U.S. Citizens Missing Abroad

Travelers may not always be in contact with their friends and families, because of time differences, busy schedules, or poor connectivity. It is smart to discuss plans for staying in touch with friends and relatives before they leave. Agree on how frequently they will be in touch and whether it will be by phone, email, or text. Also, keep their contact information and a copy of their travel itinerary handy. This includes what flights they are taking and at which hotels they are staying.

If you are worried about a U.S. citizen relative or friend who is traveling or living abroad and have reached out with no response, you can contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You can also call our Overseas Citizens Services office in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747. If you are outside the United States or Canada, call 202-501-4444.

Our team abroad can use the information you provide to try to locate the U.S. citizen and pass on your message. We may also ask local authorities in the foreign country. We can check for reports of a U.S. citizen hospitalized, arrested, or unable to contact those looking for them. The more information you provide about the individual, the better we may be able to help.

Even if we can reach your loved one, we may not be able to share information without their written consent. Safeguarding privacy is an integral part of the consular mission. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a) is a federal law that governs how federal agencies, like the Department of State, collect, use, and keep certain records about U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. Information from these records may only be disclosed with the person's written consent or if an exception in the law applies.  Please visit the Privacy Act for additional information.  

Last Updated: March 6, 2024