Emergency Financial Assistance

Americans who find themselves temporarily destitute while in Bermuda may obtain money from relatives and friends in the U.S. in a variety of ways.

  1. Contacting Home
    U.S. citizens may contact the U.S. Consulate for assistance in contacting their family, friends, or employer in the States for financial help with written permission, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974.
  2. Wiring Money Directly
    You or your family, friends or associates may be able to contact Western Union, which has offices in many foreign countries, to wire money directly to the U.S. citizen abroad.  It will be necessary for the person receiving the money to present proof of identity such as a passport.  If applicable, please see our information about replacement of lost or stolen U.S. passports abroad.  If you have a major credit card, you may contact a Western Union agent at 1-800-325-6000.  Tell Western Union that you wish to purchase a money order for the desired amount. Please note, that Western Union charges a fee based on the amount sent.  If you want the consulate to handle the destitution case, please make the Western Union money order payable to the U.S. Department of State.  A message with your name, address, and telephone number, as well as the recipient’s name and overseas location must accompany the money order.  The money order and message should be sent to Overseas Citizen’s Services (OCS), Department of State, Washington, DC  20520.  Funds are normally received electronically in OSC within several hours.
  3. Credit Card Company
    Another alternative is to contact your credit card company, which may be able to advance you funds temporarily.  If your credit card was lost or stolen, report this immediately to your credit card company.  They may also be able to verify your credit card directly to your hotel or airline to enable you to check out of your hotel, obtain replacement airline tickets, or secure other emergency services.  It may be necessary for a person receiving funds and a new credit card to present proof of identity such as a passport. If applicable, please see our information about replacement of lost or stolen U.S. passports abroad.  You may also wish to confer with your credit card company before you travel abroad to find out what alternatives are available to you.
  4. Sending Money through the Department of State

    The State Department strongly encourages you to use commercial services first.  However, family and friends may send funds through the consulate using the Department of State’s Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) office.  Please note, this service is for emergencies only and funds are disbursed only during normal office hours, not during weekends or American or Bermudian holidays when the consulate is closed.  A fee of $30 is charged for setting up and maintaining a trust account for one year or less to transfer funds to or for the benefit of an American in need in a foreign country.
    For more information please contact Overseas Citizens Services (OCS).  OCS is open Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time.  The OCS toll-free hotline at 1-888-407-4747 is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday-Friday, except U.S. federal holidays.  Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling (317) 472-2328.  Instructions for sending money to a U.S. citizen in an emergency financial situation abroad through the U.S. Department of State are as follows:
    • When you use this OCS service, which has a $30 processing fee, a Department of State trust account is established in the recipient’s name in order to be able to forward the funds overseas.  Personal checks are not accepted.  Your money order or cashier’s check must be made payable to the Department of State.
    • Upon receipt, OCS sends a telegram to the appropriate overseas U.S. embassy or consulate authorizing next workday disbursement of funds to the recipient.
    • The recipient must contact the consulate to arrange for the receipt of the funds.
    • Please note, that the forwarding of funds will be delayed if you fail to provide the recipient’s overseas location.  Funds are normally disbursed in the country’s local currency, not in U.S. dollars.

Please follow this link to contact the consulate or follow this link to book an appointment on-line – select ‘Request notarial and other services not listed above’ when booking an appointment.