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Emergency aid for Germans abroad
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
German missions abroad are usually embassies or consulates general. For example, they can
- issue you with a travel document to return to Germany if you lose your passport,
- put you in touch with relatives or friends at home if you have lost money,
show you how to transfer money quickly,
- for example, Blitzgiro, telegraphic postal transfer, Western Union Money Transfer or
- in countries where these transfer methods are not available, a transfer via the foreign representative office,
- provide you with legal or medical assistance as well as interpreting or translation services,
- arrange legal representation for you if you wish in the event of arrest and inform your relatives,
- arrange for you as a relative to be informed of the death of a German national abroad and arrange for local morticians to take care of the formalities,
- help you in the event of missing persons, for example by involving the local police and supporting you in discussions with local authorities,
- provide assistance if the tour operator becomes insolvent,
- provide support in crisis situations and during evacuations.
The German representations can help you if no other assistance is possible. In this case, you have extensive obligations to cooperate and provide information. The principle of "helping people to help themselves" applies. Financial assistance provided is a social benefit that is subject to charges and repayable.
Contact the nearest German diplomatic mission abroad.
- If you have lost your passport, you must visit the diplomatic mission in person.
- In emergencies, how you make contact depends on the situation.
Depending on the issue and emergency situation, it is possible that
- there is a suitable form or an informal application is sufficient,
- the written form is required (e.g. signed application),
- you must appear in person.
- Objective emergency situation from which the person concerned cannot free themselves and cannot be freed by third parties
- German nationality of the person concerned
Which documents are required?
- If you lose your passport: report the loss or theft to the police
What are the fees?
Consular assistance is subject to a fee. The fees are essentially based on the work involved. Hourly rates in the two to three-digit euro range are to be expected. Please clarify any costs that may arise with the diplomatic mission abroad.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
There is no time limit, but no help for the past is possible.
- depending on the situation, immediately if necessary
- Example: If a passport is lost, processing usually takes one working day.
- Action before the administrative court
Applications / forms
Forms available: Yes
Written form required: Yes
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: Yes
Online services available: No
What else should I know?
Before starting any trip abroad, you should clarify whether you have adequate health insurance cover that also covers a rescue flight to Germany in an emergency. Without adequate insurance cover, you will have to bear any costs incurred locally. This can quickly eat up all your savings. These costs cannot be covered by German diplomatic missions abroad. It is also possible that you may be refused permission to leave the country if, for example, you are unable to pay hospital bills.
Technically approved by
Federal Foreign Office