Canadian Embassy Washington

Embassy of Canada – Washington
501 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20001, USA

Tel: 844-880-6519
Fax: 202-682-7738


Twitter: @CanEmbUSA

Consular District
Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

Emergency Services:

Dial 911 for emergency assistance.

Sexual Assault Abroad – Emergency Assistance For Canadians Travelling Outside Canada

You can be sexually assaulted anywhere in the world

While you are planning your trip, find the information you need on the security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture of your destination in the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories. This information will give you the knowledge and awareness you need to protect yourself and travel safe. In some countries, foreigners are targeted, so always be careful. Follow the same safety rules while you are travelling that you would at home, only more so:

  • Sexual assault can happen anywhere. While you are at your destination, be aware of your surroundings at all times. 
  • Study a street map in advance or use a map app on your phone. Avoid opening a map while out on the street – or do so as discreetly as possible – to avoid appearing lost or vulnerable. If you need to ask for directions, find a police officer or the concierge of a nearby hotel.
  • Try to learn some emergency words or phrases in the local language before you travel and keep the emergency phone numbers (police, ambulance) of the country you are visiting with you.
  • If you are being followed in city or town, cross to the opposite side of the street and go to  the nearest open business or occupied house. If you are uncomfortable about walking back to your hotel, ask them to call a reputable transportation service.
  • If you are in danger, do anything you can to draw attention to the situation. Shout for help or activate a personal security alarm that emits a piercing sound. 
  • Never open your door to anyone without confirming the person’s identity.
  • Never accept car rides or hitchhike. Ask local hotels to recommend reputable transportation services and, whenever possible, try to share rides with someone you know. Write down information on the transportation service (name of driver, permit or taxi number, licence plate) and, if possible, text this information to family or friends.
  • Don’t find yourself alone with someone you don’t know or trust.
  • Remain alert and discreet while in entertainment areas. Go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
  • Never leave your food or drinks alone and never accept snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from strangers. Watch your drinks as they are being prepared and served. They may be spiked with drugs that could put you at risk of robbery or sexual assault.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect that you have been drugged.

You can be sexually assaulted at a resort

  • Foreigners have allegedly been sexually assaulted by resort staff, taxi drivers, other guests and security personnel at resorts at popular tourist destinations. Stay alert at all times and ensure that your accommodations have adequate security features, such as cameras and security guards with radios. Not all resorts have the same level of security, so do your own research before you choose a resort.
  • While you are at the resort, do not tell anyone that you do not know or trust your departure date, because sexual assaults may be more likely to take place on a traveller’s last night at the resort.

For further advice, see Physical assault abroad.

If you have been sexually assaulted abroad

Take the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Report the assault immediately to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or contact The Canadian  Emergency Watch and Response Centre . Consular officials may be able to guide you through the process.
  • Don’t allow non-official authorities such as the hotel management or tour operator to manage the issue internally.
  • After you have spoken with consular officials, contact the local police and file a report.
  • If you are unable to go to the police right away, record all the details you can recall about the attack and the attacker.
  • See a doctor. It is important to determine the risks of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. See   Sickness or injury  for further advice.
  • If possible, have photographs taken of your injuries.
  • Preserve evidence of the attack. Don’t wash or brush your teeth until the local police or health officials tell you to do so.
  • The police in some countries may be legally obligated to ask you if you want your attacker to be prosecuted.
  • If you leave some countries without filing an official complaint, you may unable to do so from Canada.
  • Contact family and friends back home to reassure them that you are okay, especially if you have been unable to contact them due to the assault.
  • Help cope with the trauma by talking about the incident with family, friends or a professional.

Canadian consular officials abroad can:

  • provide you with contact information for local police and medical services
  • help you find professionals who can help you to deal with the emotional, medical, and legal consequences of the assault
  • help you to contact relatives or friends
  • provide you with information on how to apply for emergency financial assistance through the Department of Justice  Victims Fund

If the offender is arrested

Depending on the local judicial system, legal proceedings may take much longer than in Canada and you may need a local lawyer. The Canadian government office abroad can give you a list of local lawyers.


Lost or Stolen Belongings Abroad – Emergency Assistance For Canadians Travelling Outside Canada

Lost or Stolen Belongings Abroad

Before you leave Canada, photocopy the identification page of your passport and other travel documents. Write down the numbers of your credit and debit cards. Carry this information separately from the originals and leave copies at home.

Lost or stolen credit or debit cards and money

Cancel all cards as soon as possible to prevent further loss. Notify the company that issued any lost or stolen traveller’s cheques. If a joint transaction card is missing, inform the second cardholder at once. Obtain a police report, as it may be needed if a card is used before you can cancel it.

If necessary, arrange for a transfer from your bank or other private source using a commercial agency such as Western Union. See Financial assistance for more information.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport or travel document is lost or stolen, Canadian government offices abroad can issue you an emergency travel document or a temporary passport if you are in urgent, proven need and are stranded in a foreign country. Please see Lost, stolen, inaccessible, damaged or found passports.

Replacing lost or stolen documents

Most government-issued documents (driver’s licence, birth certificate, health card, social insurance card) can only be replaced in Canada.

For a travel ticket, contact the issuing airline, railway company or bus line immediately to see if it is possible to replace it. Notify your insurance agent if the fare is insured.

If someone is arrested for stealing your belongings

You may be required to give testimony and attend legal proceedings. As in Canada, legal proceedings may be prolonged.

Lost and found items

Canadian officials abroad will help to return items that are lost or found at Canadian government offices abroad, which are held for 30 days.


Financial Assistance – Emergency Assistance For Canadians Travelling Outside Canada

Financial Assistance

If you require urgent financial assistance while you are abroad, you should transfer funds from your own bank account or another private source in Canada through one of many companies such as Western Union or  CanadianForex. They will charge you for this service.

Assistance from the Government of Canada

If you are unable to transfer funds from your own bank account or another private source, Canadian government offices abroad can give you a list of local funds transfer services and can help you contact family, friends, employers, co-workers, credit card companies or banks to ask them to transfer money to you.

To transfer the funds you must contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad and tell them where the funds are located and where you can be reached. You must also notify the source of funds in Canada that you have authorized the transfer. Consular officials in Ottawa can then make arrangements for a wire transfer from your bank or from another private source. These transactions take two or more working days to complete, and a consular service fee of C$75 may be deducted from the transferred funds.

Please note that Canadian government officials abroad cannot issue pension or social security benefits, lend personal funds, request funds on your behalf from family and friends without your permission or transfer funds through a local service on your behalf.

Emergency loans

If you cannot arrange for a transfer of funds from a private source, a Canadian government office abroad  may, in certain emergency and exceptional circumstances, provide you with a loan for a flight back to Canada. This financial assistance is not a right, depends on the circumstances of each case and is subject to strict rules. A  consular service fee of C$75 may be applied to the loan.

If you request and are provided with a loan to return to Canada or with other consular financial assistance while you are abroad, you must repay the amount within 30 days. 

Victims of violent crimes

The Department of Justice Canada provides financial assistance to Canadians who are victims of violent crimes abroad through the  Victims Fund, which is administered by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues

Repaying a loan from the Government of Canada

When you are provided with financial assistance from the Government of Canada, you sign an application for the amount of the loan and an undertaking to repay it. The loan must be repaid in full within 30 days after you receive the invoice.

If you do not repay the debt within 30 days, interest may be applied at a rate of 3% calculated and compounded monthly using the current month’s average Bank of Canada rate. The interest cannot be waived and will be applied monthly until the debt is paid. If the debt is not repaid within 120 days, your file will be transferred to the Canada Revenue Agency and will continue to accrue interest.

After your return to Canada, you will receive an invoice from Global Affairs Canada detailing the amount of your debt. The invoice will include a customer number, which you should use as a reference. There are two payment options:

  • Canada’s Passport Program: You may pay in person at a Passport Program office by debit card, credit card, certified cheque or money order. Make sure you have your customer number available.
  • Global Affairs Canada: You may pay by money order, certified cheque or post-dated personal cheques payable to the “Receiver General for Canada” (allow 30 days for personal cheques to clear). Cheques should include your customer number and be mailed to the following address:

Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Cashier’s Office (SMFM)
Ottawa ON  K1A 0G2

If you do not receive an invoice, please contact us toll-free at 1-800-267-6788 (or 613-996-8885) to ensure that we have your correct mailing address.


Death Abroad – Emergency Assistance For Canadians Travelling Outside Canada

Death Abroad

We understand how difficult it is for families and friends when a loved one dies abroad. It is hard to grieve while you have to find out what to do in a place with a different language, laws and culture.

Whether you are in Canada, or abroad with the deceased, here is what you should know.

What to do first:

  • Choose someone to make decisions for the family, either in Canada or where the death took place. If possible, this person should have the required documentation, such as the deceased’s will and any powers of attorney.
  • Notify the deceased person’s travel insurance provider and make sure that you follow their instructions to avoid unnecessary delays or complications.
  • Find a funeral home in the region where the death took place that is experienced in international funeral arrangements. The funeral home will guide you through the next steps and help you with arrangements in both countries if you decide to have the funeral in Canada.
  • Cancel the deceased’s benefits including Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan, Social Insurance Number, Employment Insurance and tax-related payments, and personal identification. The passport of a deceased person should be returned to Canada’s Passport Program .
  • Understand that each country has different policies and procedures and local laws apply when a foreigner dies there.  Timelines may often be longer than in Canada and delays can occur at any time.


Your family’s representative must obtain an official death certificate issued by the country where the death occurred.

  • The funeral home you choose in the country where the death occurred may be able to obtain the official death certificate and register the death according to local laws. 
  • Make sure you ask for several copies of the death certificate as it is required at a number of stages.
  • If it is not in one of Canada’s official languages, the death certificate must be translated into English or French by a certified translation service.

You may need more documents depending on the circumstances surrounding the death and whether the human remains or ashes will be sent back to Canada.

  • If there is an investigation into the death, you may require a medical, police or autopsy report and/or toxicology results.
  • In some countries an autopsy may be required.
  • If local laws prevent cremation in the country where the death occurred you may need a mortuary passport to transport the remains to a nearby country for cremation.
  • If the ashes are being repatriated to Canada, you should have a cremation certificate. If the body of the deceased is being repatriated, the Canada Border Services Agency may require certification that the individual had no communicable diseases before they will release the body to you.

Funeral arrangements (abroad or at home)

Your family’s representative must decide quickly whether the remains of the deceased should be returned to Canada, or buried or cremated in the country where the death occurred. Funeral customs and costs may be very different there. Consular officers at the neared Canadian government office abroad can give you advice and guidance on the local procedures.

The local funeral home will tell you about available options for burial or cremation. Some countries do not allow cremation and many have strict time limits on the cremation and burial process. Some places may have few or no facilities for embalming and preparing remains for transportation.

If you intend to repatriate the remains, the Canada Border Services Agency’s Importation and exportation of human remains and other human tissues explains the rules and processes for returning remains to Canada.

Repatriating remains

Returning the remains of a loved one to Canada requires the help of qualified funeral homes in Canada and in the country where the death occurred.

If you decide to repatriate the remains of the deceased person to Canada, the date of the funeral service should not be confirmed before the remains or ashes have been returned and have cleared Canadian customs, because the repatriation can be delayed for many reasons. Airlines have their own regulations for the repatriation of remains. Family members should not expect to travel on the same plane as the body when it is being repatriated.

The time required to repatriate remains can vary greatly and depends on a number of factors, including the procedures in the country where the death occurred and the cause of death.

Bringing cremated remains into Canada

If you choose to carry cremated remains on board an aircraft, you must notify the airline in advance to ensure you have the proper documentation, which may include copies of the death and cremation certificates. Not all airlines will transport cremated remains and some may only transport them as cargo.  The funeral director may be able to provide you with a temporary container for transportation purposes. Containers made of cardboard, wood or plastic are more likely to clear the x-ray machine at airport security and be permitted past the checkpoints. If the container is made of a dense material such as metal, stone or ceramic, screening officers may not be able to see its contents clearly and may reject it or request it be opened. In this case, you will have to make alternate arrangements to ship it.

The Canada Border Services Agency’s publication on Importation and exportation of human remains and other human tissues explains the rules and processes for bringing ashes to Canada.

If you are planning to carry cremated remains on board an aircraft, please consult the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s Cremated Remains page, or call 1 800 O-Canada from anywhere in the world.


It can be very expensive to repatriate remains back to Canada and, depending on the circumstances of the death it could take a long time. In many cases, the funeral home in the region will require a payment guarantee or payment upfront before it will start the process.

Funeral arrangements abroad usually cost less than in Canada, but local customs and the cost of interpretation or translation services for a ceremony overseas can add up. All costs related to a death abroad and the repatriation of remains or ashes are the family’s responsibility regardless of the cause of death. Your insurance company may cover the costs directly, or you may have to make the payments and be reimbursed later.

If you need help

You may, but do not have to, report the death abroad of a Canadian citizen to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or, from Canada, to The Canadian Emergency Watch and Response Centre.  You do not have to travel to the country where the death occurred, and consular officials can help you understand the processes there and help you to complete the following steps, if needed:

  • Give you advice on how to get in touch with the relevant authorities to obtain the appropriate documentation, including death certificates, autopsy and police reports and documentation for insurance companies, if necessary.
  • If family members or friends are not able to do so, contact the appropriate authorities (police, hospital and morgue) to find the location of the remains and the circumstances surrounding the death.
  • Help to identify the remains of a Canadian citizen if local authorities, family members or friends are not able to do so.
  • Provide a list of laboratory facilities offering forensic identification services (DNA, dental records, fingerprints).
  • Give you information on local internment options, costs and a list of local funeral service providers.
  • Give you advice on how to bring embalmed or cremated remains to Canada.
  • Authenticate the local death certificate for insurance or repatriation purposes after it has been authenticated by the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Canadian government offices abroad will not:

  • Pay for the burial, cremation or repatriation of the remains of a deceased Canadian citizen.
  • Intervene in private legal matters.
  • Translate official documents.
  • Provide legal advice.
  • Investigate or intervene in a local investigation.


Child Abduction and Custody Issues – Emergency Assistance For Canadians Travelling Outside Canada

Child abduction and custody issues

Canadian officials abroad work closely with local authorities to advocate for the safety, protection and well-being of Canadian children overseas. They also seek the cooperation of provincial and territorial child welfare authorities to ensure that children are protected from harm. If a Canadian child overseas is a victim of sexual assault, neglect, physical violence or abuse, you are encouraged to report it to the nearest Canadian government office abroad of from Canada to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

Canadian officials abroad can also take emergency measures on behalf of Canadian children facing the threat of being, or forced into, marriage abroad, requesting protection from local social services, if required. For more information, please visit The Government of Canada’s Forced marriage web page.

Prevent parental abduction

International parental child abductions and custody cases involving Canadian children in foreign countries are on the rise. If you or your partner are planning to travel to another country with your child and there is a possibility that a custody dispute might develop:

  • Talk to a lawyer before the child leaves home. Confirm that your custody agreement permits the child to travel internationally.
  • Immigration authorities in a country other than Canada may ask to see a consent letter when a child enters or leaves that country with only one parent or without any parent. Ensure that the person with the legal right to travel with your children has a consent letter completed and signed by the parent(s) or legal guardian.
  • If you are concerned that an unauthorized passport application may be made on your child’s behalf, you may ask Passport Canada to add your child’s name to Passport Canada’s System Lookout List.
  • Be sure to carry proper identification for you and each child accompanying you to help prove your citizenship, residency and custodial rights when travelling abroad and returning to Canada.
  • Consult The Government of Canada’s publications Travelling with Children and International Child Abduction: a Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents.
  • Visit The Government of Canada’s Children and travel web page for more tips on how to travel safely with your child.

International recognition of Canadian custody orders

Your Canadian child custody order may not be automatically recognized in the country to which your child could be abducted. In extreme cases, you or your child may not be allowed to leave the country once you have arrived. Confirm your status and that of your child with the country’s embassy or consulate in Canada before you travel.

If a custody dispute arises while your child is abroad, or if your child or a child you know is missing and may have been abducted, contact the Case Management Division of Global Affairs Canada toll-free through the Emergency Watch and Response Centre. Consult our publication International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parentsfor further information.

If you have child abduction or custody issues abroad, Canadian officials can:

  • provide information on a country’s legal system with respect to family law and local customs
  • advise a parent or guardian to seek private legal advice and provide a list of local lawyers
  • provide lists of other local professionals, such as family counsellors and social workers, as well as information on resources and avenues to help resolve cases involving children and family
  • request assistance from local authorities to conduct visits to assess a child’s health, safety, living conditions, schooling and general well-being, with the consent of a parent or guardian
  • respond to inquiries regarding the purpose, composition and certification of a consent letter for children travelling abroad
  • if there are concerns that an unauthorized passport application may be made on the child’s behalf, advise the parent or guardian on how to request the child’s information be entered in Passport Canada’s System Lookout List.
  • liaise with local and Canadian authorities, such as law enforcement agencies, social services, non-governmental organizations and Central authorities responsible for the Hague Convention.

Canadian government officials abroad cannot:

  • intervene in private legal matters
  • apply or violate foreign laws
  • provide legal advice or interfere in the legal process of another country
  • act as a custodian or legal guardian of a missing or abducted child
  • take procedural steps towards enforcement of a Canadian custody agreement overseas
  • compel another country to make a specific determination in a custody case
  • provide financial assistance to pay bills such as legal, travel, accommodation or other expenses
  • act as a law enforcement agency to locate a missing Canadian child

The RCMP’s Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children maintains a website, Canada’s Missing, that contains a database of missing and abducted children. Once a child has been located, the Travel/Reunification program is designed to assist a parent or legal guardian who cannot afford to return the abducted child to or within Canada.

The Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children is an income support grant delivered by Service Canada. PMMC is available to eligible applicants who have suffered a loss of income as a result of taking time away from work to cope with the death or disappearance of their child or children as the result of a probable Criminal Code offence which occurred in Canada.

Sexual exploitation of foreign children

Some Canadians travel abroad for the purpose of sexually exploiting foreign children. This practice is known as “child sex tourism”. Such travellers take advantage of the poverty and powerlessness of children in foreign countries, expecting to exploit weaknesses in law enforcement. For more information on the sexual exploitation of foreign children, see The Government of Canada’s publication Child Sex Tourism: It’s a Crime.


Arrest and Detention – Emergency Assistance For Canadians Travelling Outside Canada

Arrest and detention

If you are arrested or detained in another country, you should clearly inform the arresting authorities that you want them to immediately notify the nearest Canadian government office abroad of your arrest.

In countries that are party to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (176 States Parties as of 2013), the arresting authorities are obliged to advise you of your right to access consular representation and to arrange for this access. They are not required to inform a Canadian government office of your detention or arrest unless you specifically ask them to do so.

Consular officials will not arrange your release from prison. You are subject to the criminal justice system of the country where you are arrested and imprisoned.

Arrested or detained abroad

If a Canadian citizen is arrested and detained abroad, Canadian officials abroad can:

  • ask the appropriate authorities for immediate and regular access to you
  • at your request, notify your family or friends of the situation and let them know how they can help
  • help you communicate with a representative, family or friends if direct communication is not possible or the need is urgent
  • contact your relatives or friends on your behalf to request funds
  • recommend that you hire a lawyer and approach family, friends or a local legal aid society if you can’t afford to pay
  • provide an up-to-date and accurate list of local lawyers and legal translation service providers
  • provide you and your family with general information on the local legal and prison system and approximate times for court actions
  • obtain information about the status of your case and encourage authorities to process it without undue delay
  • advocate for your fair and equal treatment under local laws
  • advocate to ensure that your health and well-being are protected, including basic nutrition, medical and dental care 
  • transmit concerns through official channels about any treatment that could affect your health and well-being to local officials and prison representatives
  • arrange for the purchase, at your expense, and if permitted, of necessary food supplements, essential clothing and other basic items not available through the prison system
  • deliver letters and permitted reading material if normal postal services are unavailable
  • undertake clemency intervention if you are charged or convicted of a crime punishable by death 
  • inform you of transfer of offender options – either by treaty or by administrative arrangement with the country where you are imprisoned – that may allow you to serve your sentence in a Canadian prison and provide you with the documents to apply for a transfer if you are eligible
Canadian officials abroad cannot:
  • get you out of jail
  • post bail, pay lawyers’ fees, or pay fines
  • try to obtain preferential treatment for you or exempt you from the due process of local law
  • provide legal advice, interpret local laws and interfere in legal matters, criminal defence cases or judicial affairs in another country
  • recommend lawyers or guarantee their reliability or competence in the matter at hand
  • become involved in matters between you and your lawyer
  • investigate a crime or death or intervene in a local police investigation
  • forward or deliver parcels entering or leaving the country, or clear them through customs
  • bypass prison rules on what can and cannot be brought into or taken out of the detention facility
  • make travel or accommodation arrangements for your family or friends

The Government of Canada cannot intervene in ongoing legal proceedings in other countries or regions unless it is requested to do so by local authorities. These requests are rare. The procedures required in legal proceedings or police investigations may be different from the procedures in the Canadian legal system. If you are involved in these proceedings, you may face long delays in the effort to resolve your case.

If your international human rights are known to have been violated, the Government of Canada may take steps to pressure the foreign authorities to abide by their international human rights obligations and provide basic minimum standards of protection.

While having dual citizenship is legal in Canada, it may not be legal or recognized in the country of your second nationality, which could limit the ability of the Government of Canada to assist you if you are arrested in that country. You should still request access to Canadian consular officials, who aim to assist all Canadian passport holders.

Contact the appropriate foreign government office in Canada to address these issues before you go abroad.


Embassy of Canada, Brussels Belgium

Embassy of Canada, Brussels Belgium
Avenue des Arts 58, 1000
Brussels, Belgium
Telephone32 (2) 741-0611
Fax32 (2) 741-0619
Services: Passport Services Available
Twitter: @CanEmbBeLux

Emergency Services, Belgium
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Brussels and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Embassy of Canada, Vienna Austria

Embassy of Canada, Vienna Austria
Laurenzenberg 2, A-1010
Vienna, Austria
Telephone43 (1) 531-38-3000
Fax43 (1) 531-38-3910
ServicesPassport Services Available
Facebook Embassy of Canada to Austria
Twitter @CanAmbAustria

For emergency consular assistance, call the Canadian embassy in Vienna and follow the instructions.

Emergency Numbers – Austria
Dial 112 for general emergency assistance, or:

  • 144 for ambulance
  • 133 for police
  • 122 for firefighters

Car Help Canada

Car Help Canada is a non-profit organization. Popular services for consumers include personalized counselling and dealership discounts when shopping for a new car.

Lobbying the Government on behalf of consumers.

Consumer Advocacy.

Telephone: 416-651-0555