If you’re going on a short-term mission trip or searching for long-term missionary solutions, you should know about the nearest US embassy at your destination. Why? Each US Embassy exists to help American citizens who travel or live in a host country. The US government maintains nearly 300 US Embassies around the globe, which means you have higher chances of finding one wherever you travel. Before you leave on your next mission trip, you should know how a US Embassy can help you in case of an emergency.
For assistance while traveling, you can search by country to locate the closest US Embassy.
10 Things a US Embassy Can Do:
1. Send emergency messages to registered US citizens
If you sign up with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), the US Embassy will notify you of any local mishaps in your destination, including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and political upheaval. Registration is completely free and exists for your benefit.
2. Provide local emergency contact information
If you require services from a hospital, funeral home, or attorney, a US Embassy can provide you with relevant contact information. However, it cannot provide contact information for local schools or other businesses.
3. Report a lost or stolen passport
If your passport gets lost or stolen, make sure you notify the local US Embassy immediately so they can adequately assist you as soon as possible. Learn more from the US Government website.
4. Issue emergency passports
With the right documentation, the US Embassy can grant you an emergency passport in about 72 hours. Timing and requirements may vary by location, so make sure you check these before you go.
5. Notarize essential documents
If you need a document notarized while abroad, the US Embassy is the place to go!
6. Advocate your rights as a US citizen
The US Embassy will advocate for your rights as a US citizen in a foreign country.
7. Help connect you with loved ones
A US Embassy can help you connect with loved ones back home, under certain circumstances. These situations may include if you become victim to a crime or get arrested. However, they are not authorized to locate or provide information on US citizens abroad without their permission.
Note: Faith Ventures provides Kidnap & Ransom Coverage as an add-on to their travel insurance policies.
8. Provide temporary financial assistance services
The US Embassy can financially assist a destitute US citizen abroad, under certain circumstances. It can help you connect with loved ones back home to assist with a money transfer in case of an emergency. Learn more from the US Government website.
9. Report a birth abroad
If you give birth overseas, the US Embassy can assist eligible parents in filing a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Although a CRBA is not a travel document nor a birth certificate, it is the first step in acquiring US citizenship. Learn more from the US Government website.
10. Assist with an overseas crisis
If your host country declares a national emergency, the US Embassy will act appropriately for the situation. Appropriate actions may include warning you of areas in unrest or sharing where to seek help. The embassy may also recommend regularly scheduled commercial flight routes as a means to leave the country. In extreme emergencies, the US Embassy may work with the local government to arrange non-commercial transportation for US citizens to leave the country. Learn more from the US Government website.
➡ Travel insurance is your best help in case of a travel emergency! Here’s why missionaries should buy travel insurance.
**Disclaimer: This information is provided for general information only and may not be applicable in a particular case.