Welfare and Whereabouts Services

U.S. embassies and consulates help to locate U.S. citizens overseas when relatives or friends are concerned about their welfare or need to notify them of emergencies at home.

The Department of State and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad handle over 200,000 welfare and whereabouts inquiries a year.

Privacy Act: The provisions of the Privacy Act require that U.S. citizens over the age of 18 provide a Privacy Act waiver before the Embassy can release information about them to third parties.

In order to assist the Embassy in locating the U.S. citizen abroad, it is helpful to have the following information available:

  • Caller’s full name, address, phone number and relationship
  • Name of the person abroad
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Passport number (if known)
  • Last known address and phone number
  • Reason for their travel/residence abroad (business, tourism, etc.), and their travel itinerary
  • Date of last contact
  • Other points of contact abroad (friends, business associates, hotel, etc.)

For emergency family messages also include:

  • Nature of the emergency
  • What you want to tell the person about the emergency
  • Name, address and telephone number and relationship of the person you wish subject to call after the emergency family message is relayed to them by U.S. Embassy.