Emergency Services

Help in an emergency

In the event that your family needs to reach you because of an emergency at home or because they are worried about your welfare, they should call the Overseas Citizens Services at (888) 407-4747 from the U.S., or (202) 647-5225 from overseas. OCS will relay the message to consular officers in the country in which you are traveling. Consular officers will try to locate you, pass on urgent messages, and, consistent with the Privacy Act, report back to your family.

Assistance in finding medical help

If you become sick or hurt, you can contact a consular officer for a list of local doctors, dentists, and medical specialists. If you are injured or become seriously ill, we can help you find medical assistance and, at your request, inform your family or friends.

Making arrangements after the death of an American citizen

When an American dies abroad, a consular officer notifies the American’s family and informs them about options and costs for disposition of remains. Costs for preparing and returning a body to the U.S. may be high and must be paid by the family.

Visit in jail

If you are arrested, you should ask the authorities to notify a U.S. Consul. Consuls cannot get you out of jail. You are in a foreign country and are subject to its laws. However, Consuls can work to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against. They can provide a list of local attorneys, visit you, and contact your family and friends.

Assistance in getting funds

Should you lose all your money and other financial resources, consular officers can help you contact your family, bank, or employer to arrange for them to send you money.

Also see: Sending Money to U.S. Citizens Overseas