Ask the Consul – February 2020

Emergency Services Offered for U.S. Citizens

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

The U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section provides many emergency services for U.S. Citizens. Below are answers to common questions regarding American Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy.

 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 arise as a result of the crime
  • Explain financial assistance options to return to the United States if you find yourself destitute in Guyana
  • Contact family, friends, or employers with your written permission, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974
  • Conduct a welfare/whereabouts check on a US citizen in Guyana

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

While you are travelling 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 can protest allegations of abuse against U.S. citizen prisoners. We 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: What can the Embassy do if you are the victim 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, and address other emergency needs that arise as a result of the crime.

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

U.S. Embassy Georgetown will make 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.

Q: Can I travel on an expired U.S. passport?

No, you must have a valid passport to travel. Some airlines require at least six months validity on a passport for boarding. If you have urgent travel and your passport is expired, please call us and we’ll work with you to issue an emergency passport quickly.

Q: I am a U.S. Citizen with a valid Guyana passport. Can I use that to travel to the U.S.?

No. You must travel to the U.S. using your valid U.S. passport.

Q: What actions does the Embassy take if there is a crisis? How will they contact me?

The safety and security of U.S. citizens in Guyana is one of our top priorities. To keep U.S. citizens informed, we provide security updates on our website at We also send out email Alerts to anyone who enrolls in our free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

The actions we take depend on the nature of the crisis. In some instances, we may provide information on conditions in the country, such as warnings about areas of unrest, how and where to seek help, and other useful information. In more severe situations, we may recommend that U.S. citizens leave the immediate area if it is safe to do. Joining STEP means we’ll be able to communicate these actions with you.

For more information on emergency preparedness and handy checklists on personal and family readiness- go to

For detailed information about other American Citizen Services the U.S Embassy provides, please visit us at:

To contact the Embassy, please call (592) 225-4900 ext. 4222 Monday – Friday from 7:30am – 4:00pm or email

“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. Detailed information about visas and travel can be viewed at, and Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice.  U.S. Consular rules change frequently, and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information. Please contact our Visa Information Service Center on toll free numbers: 1-877-246-6788 or 703-988-5765 if you have general visa questions.