Travel.State.Gov > International Parental Child Abduction > Country Information > Venezuela International Parental Child Abduction Information
The U.S. Department of State strongly recommends that U.S. citizens remaining in Venezuela depart. More information can be found within the U.S. Department of State’s Venezuela Travel Advisory. The U.S. Embassy in Caracas suspended operations on March 13, 2019 and therefore cannot provide protection or consular services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela.
If you are a U.S. citizen in Venezuela in need of assistance, or are concerned about a U.S. citizen in Venezuela, please contact us in one of the following ways:
Venezuela and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since January 1, 1997.
For information concerning travel to Venezuela, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Venezuela.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Venezuela. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Venezuelan Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs's role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children.
They can be reached at:
Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores
Direcci's General para Relaciones Consulares
Av. Urdaneta, Esq. Carmelitas a Puente Llaguno
Phone number: 58-212-802-8000
Website: Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Venezuela, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Venezuelan Central Authority, either directly or through the USCA. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or the Venezuelan Central Authority. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Venezuela. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Venezuela. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Venezuela does not offer free or reduced fee legal aid services. A public defender will be appointed to intervene in the judicial proceedings solely for the best interest of the child, not to represent either parent. A parent may retain a private attorney in Venezuela to have his or her interests represented in court.
The U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
We are not aware of any government or non-governmental organizations in Venezuela that offer mediation services for custody disputes.
While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent. Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:
The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.
To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.
For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney.
Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.
For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.
Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.