Ask-the-Consul – December 2023

Emergency Services Offered to U.S. Citizens at U.S. Embassy Georgetown

The U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section provides emergency services for U.S. citizens in Guyana.  Below are answers to common questions about how we can help in an emergency.

Q:  What emergency services does the U.S. Embassy provide?

We can assist you in an emergency in the following ways:

  • Replace your lost or stolen passport
  • Connect you with information on medical and legal assistance in Guyana (e.g., attorneys, doctors, hospitals, air ambulance services)
  • Address emergency needs that may arise because of a crime against you
  • Explain financial assistance options to return to the United States if you find yourself destitute in Guyana
  • In an emergency, contact family, friends, or employers with your permission
  • Conduct a welfare/whereabouts check on a U.S. citizen in Guyana

Q:  How can the Embassy contact me during an emergency or crisis?

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) allows the Embassy to contact those who have registered their presence in the country.  STEP is a free service for U.S. citizens traveling outside the U.S.  After enrolling at https://step.state.gov, U.S. citizens in Guyana will receive country-specific information, travel warnings, emergency notifications, and helpful information by email.  The Embassy encourages all U.S. citizens in Guyana to enroll in STEP online.

Q: How do I contact the U.S. Embassy in an emergency?

The U.S. Embassy is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you have an emergency and need to contact our American Citizen Services Unit, you may call 592-225-4900 Ext: 4222/4332 during business hours.  If you have an after-hours emergency, please call 225-4126.  You may also use our online Contact Navigator at https://gy.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/ to send us a message.  Situations such as the arrest, serious illness, injury, destitution, or death of a U.S. citizen constitute emergencies.

Q: How can we help if a U.S. citizen dies while visiting Guyana?

U.S. Embassy Georgetown makes every attempt to contact the next-of-kin of a U.S. citizen who dies in Guyana as soon as information becomes available.  The next-of-kin can also reach out to the Embassy if a U.S. citizen dies in Guyana.  The Embassy will work with the next-of-kin to prepare a Consular Report of Death Abroad.  This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States; 20 certified copies of the report are provided at no fee.  Please see https://gy.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/death-of-a-u-s-citizen/ for detailed information on Repatriation of Remains to the United States.

Q:  How can the U.S. Embassy assist U.S. citizen victims of a crime?

If a U.S. citizen is the victim of a crime in Guyana, he/she should contact U.S. Embassy Georgetown and the local police to report the incident.  We cannot investigate crimes, nor can we provide legal advice or pay your expenses, but we can help to replace a lost/stolen passport, notify relatives/friends with your permission, provide a list of attorneys, and address other emergency needs that arise because of the crime.

Q:  How can the Embassy help if a U.S. citizen is arrested?

While you are traveling in Guyana, you are subject to Guyanese laws, even if you are a U.S. citizen. We cannot act as your attorney.  However, we will monitor prison conditions and work with prison officials to ensure treatment consistent with internationally recognized standards of human rights and to ensure that U.S. citizens are afforded due process under Guyanese laws.

Q:  My U.S citizen friend told me she volunteers as a liaison to the U.S. Embassy in her community.  Can you tell me more about that?

To better promote the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas, many Embassies around the world use an American Liaison Network (ALN) which is comprised of U.S. Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLVs) who serve as a source of information to the U.S. Embassy and as a conveyor of emergency information from the U.S. Embassy to other U.S. citizens in their respective communities.  If you are a U.S. citizen living in Guyana and would like more information about this volunteer opportunity, please contact us at 592-225-4900 Ext: 4222.

Not yet in Guyana but plan to travel here soon?

We encourage you to register your trip to Guyana at https://step.state.gov and to learn about your destination at travel.state.gov/destination.  The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs compiles destination-specific information on local laws, potential risks, and banned substances to help U.S. citizens #TravelSmartFromTheStart.

If you need more information about other American Citizen Services the U.S Embassy provides, please visit us at:  https://gy.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/.  We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook @USEmbassyGeorgetown for important updates.

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“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and other Consular topics.  Detailed information about visas can be viewed at https://gy.usembassy.gov/, https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ and https://travel.state.gov/.  Information about American Citizen Services can be found at https://gy.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/.

 Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice.  Consular processes change frequently, and non-U.S. government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information.  Please contact our Visa Information Service Center using the contact information at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gy/niv/information/contact_us if you have general visa questions.