Life-or-Death Emergencies

You may qualify for an appointment if you need to travel to a foreign country in the next two weeks because your immediate family member outside of the United States:

  • Has died, or
  • Is dying (hospice care), or
  • Has a life-threatening illness or injury


Who is an immediate family member?

  • Parent or legal guardian
  • Child
  • Spouse
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent

We do not consider aunts, uncles, cousins, or other relatives to be immediate family members.

If you are traveling to another country for medical services, you will not qualify for life-or-death emergency service. 


How do I make an appointment?

Schedule your appointment up to two weeks before your international travel. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Get documentation of the emergency:
    • Death certificate
    • Statement from a mortuary
    • Letter from the hospital. The letter must be on hospital letterhead, signed by a doctor, and explain your relative’s medical condition.
  2. If the document is not in English, get it translated by a professional translator.  
  3. Get proof that you are traveling to a foreign country in the next two weeks such as an itinerary or airline ticket.
  4. Complete a passport application, get a passport photo, and valid government-issued photo ID.
  5. Make an appointment. The process depends on several factors:
    • First, try to make an appointment online if you have not applied for a passport. 
    • If you are unable to get an appointment online or you have already applied for a passport:
      • Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET: Call 1-877-487-2778. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call 1-888-874-7793 for TDD/TTY teletype services.
      • Saturdays, Sundays, federal holidays, and after 8:00 p.m. ET on Mondays through Fridays: Call 202-647-4000. Do not call this number between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET on Mondays through Fridays, or if you need Urgent Travel Service


Last Updated: April 17, 2024