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Emergency Consular Assistance

Apr 5 , 2024

Diplomatic missions perform a variety of functions in the field of international relations. These sections, located in both embassies and consulates, not only facilitate exchanges between countries, but also serve to ensure the safety of citizens of one country within the borders of another.

There are special circumstances under which nationals of a country may seek emergency assistance from that country’s diplomatic mission abroad; these circumstances are virtually universal, with slight variations from country to country and depending on the state of diplomatic relations between the two parties.

Purpose of urgent consular support

Providing assistance and guidance in situations such as the following is the primary objective of emergency consular assistance:

  • Natural Disasters
  • Accidents
  • Serious diseases
  • Armed Conflicts
  • Arrests
  • Loss of important documents

While each case will have its own unique characteristics, the following is a summary of the general services that are provided by diplomatic missions in emergency situations.

Crisis Response

During crisis situations, consulates provide up-to-date information on the situation in the host country or region and solutions to ensure the safety of citizens seeking assistance.

Contact with family members

The consulate or embassy will, at the request of the individual or if the individual is unable to do so, provide effective channels of communication with family members and authorities in the country of origin so that steps can be taken to secure the assistance the individual needs.

Legal advice and remedies

The consulate or embassy provides citizens in need with access to resources, protection, and legal information, and facilitates access to medical care, repatriation, or financial assistance when needed.

Temporary travel document issuance

In case of theft, loss or damage of identity or travel documents, the Consulate provides temporary solutions to enable the safe return of the citizen to his/her country of origin.

Coordination with Local Authorities

The diplomatic mission acts as a mediator between the authorities of the host country and the affected citizen in problem solving or crisis management.

General Emergency Consular Assistance Guide

  1. Contact your consulate or embassy

You’ll find their emergency numbers on the consulates’ websites. They are generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once you have received a response from the diplomatic mission, you should check to see if you are eligible for emergency assistance provided by the diplomatic mission.

  1. Provide useful information for your case

Either over the phone or in a pre-arranged meeting, provide all information that may be useful in resolving your problem, such as first and last name, immigration status, location, nature of the emergency, etc.

  1. Please be sure to provide all documentation as required by the consulate.

Providing the authorities with useful information about your case can make the process of applying for assistance easier.

  1. Follow the consulate’s instructions

If the consulate takes care of your emergency, it will help you avoid problems in obtaining assistance, so in no case should you violate the instructions given to you by the trained personnel of the diplomatic mission of your country of origin.

  1. Be in touch with the consulate for updates on the status of your case.

In any case, and depending on the nature of your situation, it is advisable to maintain direct communication with the individuals responsible for resolving your case.

Since emergency consular assistance is available for extraordinary or serious situations, we recommend that you seek advice or assistance as soon as possible. The immediacy of your request can speed up the process and make the consular assistance you receive more effective.

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