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What to do to US citizens in case of problems abroad

You are a US citizen and you are on an overseas trip and you are in trouble. For example, they lost their passport and all their money. Or injured. Or you've been arrested. Or faced with visa problems. In short, a nuisance with a capital "H". What to do? Edition Chicago Tribune talked collected tips on this topic.



Problem: I lost my passport

What to do to avoid: Make a color photocopy of your passport - it is more accurate than black and white. In addition, you will have your passport number on hand. You can send an electronic copy of the copy to your mail, or carry a paper copy with you.

Where to go for help: Go to the “Country Specific Information” section and enter the name of the country. You will see a section called Assistance for US Citizens and contact information for embassies and consulates. Perhaps there will be a link to the website of the US Embassy, ​​on which you will find more information about services in this country.

If you are nervous: Print this information or save it on a “flash drive”. Do not hold it near your passport. Carry an extra credit card with you and slip some cash away, too far from your passport.

What the State Department can do: In most cases, the embassy or consulate can issue you an urgent passport. It costs the same as a new passport, but is only valid for a year. It can be exchanged for a new one, which will be valid for 10 years (for adults). The Department of State can also put you in touch with friends or relatives if you are left without money, and in some cases, even help with obtaining a loan.

Tip: The embassies and consulates of the United States do not work on American holidays, as well as on holidays of the country in which they are located. If your problem occurs on such a day, you will not be able to issue a passport right away.

On the subject:

What to do if a US passport is lost or stolen abroad

Passport card instead of a US passport: when to use

What to do in case of loss, theft or delay of the green card abroad

How to get a temporary travel document if there is no green card

Problem: You or your traveling companion got sick or injured




What to do to avoid: Your regular health insurance may cover travel abroad, but Medicare will not. In this case, buy a travel medical insurance policy, preferably with the option of medical evacuation coverage.

Where to go for help: The embassy or consulate will provide a list of doctors who speak English. This information is offered by many insurance companies. See also the instructions on your policy.

If you are nervous: Or even if you are not nervous, it is still better to carry an insurance policy with you on a “flash drive” or in printed form.

What the State Department can do: If injury or illness leads to death, the State Department will advise on the procedure for the removal of the remains. In many cases, this can be done by the insurance company.

Tip: It’s nice to have a credit card with an available limit or just cash (or both) in case you find yourself in a hospital and you have to pay for services.

On the subject: What Americans need to know, departing outside the United States

Problem: You did not get along with local law

It is not necessary to commit a significant offense - you can even get caught on the use of alcohol in a public place. If you are a young traveler, be especially vigilant.



What to do to avoid: Check your local laws (under Local Laws and Special Circumstances) on on the travels of the US Department of State. Sometimes even harmless actions can be an offense - for example, photographing specific buildings or authorities, or the export of antiques without documents.

If you are nervous: Be wary of people asking you to smuggle anything.

Where to go for help: If you are arrested, the Vienna Convention commits you to inform the American embassy or consulate. If you are traveling with friends or relatives, ask them to contact the embassy or consulate on your behalf too.

What the State Department can do: Provide a list of local lawyers, information on the criminal justice system of this country, arrange a meeting with a cleric and establish a financial assistance fund for the arrested person.

Tip: In some countries, especially strictly refer to actions that may seem quite innocent. For example, in Japan, a person can be taken for interrogation if he does not have a passport or Japanese registration document with him (zairyu kado), in which there is information about the person and visa status. These documents should be carried with you all the time, so that if you are asked about your status of residence, you can prove it with their help. According to the laws of Japan, the police have the right at any time to stop any person on the street and ask for documents. If you do not have a passport or registration document with you, you may be arrested.

Many people are afraid to carry a passport with them, but not in all cases it will be enough to have a copy of it - in many countries you need to present the original. Think of a safe place for him: for example, in a small purse under clothes or in a secret pocket of a shirt or sweater.

Problem: Your visa is invalid



What to do to avoid: Familiarize yourself with the visa requirements of the country and fully comply with them. This information can be found in the aforementioned sections for each country on the State Department website. Also check on your passport for valid entry and exit stamps.

Where to go for help: It is better to say where not to ask for help. As a rule, the State Department will not help in matters related to visas of other countries - for example, the end of a string of action or the absence of a stamp on a visa.

In such cases, you can be fined, and sometimes even arrested for several months, until you are deported.

If you are nervous: Do not think that you will be able to "come up with something" if such a nuisance happens. Think over and control this question in advance.

What the State Department can do: Provide a list of lawyers or individuals who can help with legal issues, as well as information about the visa process.

Tip: Visa problems are usually expensive. Keep financial reserves in case they happen to you.

Read also on ForumDaily:

The best sites with cheap air tickets

State Department provides free travel service for US citizens

Duty-free goods and gifts: what restrictions apply when imported into the United States

How many alcoholic beverages can be imported into the US

Travel visa Educational program U.S. Department of State
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