In the event of a natural disaster or other crisis in or near your location, you may require assistance. Each case is unique and our assistance will depend on the circumstances and availability of consular resources.
This page provides an overview of what to do and where to get help when:
- you need urgent consular assistance
- there's a crisis or emergency
- you're the victim of a crime
- something else has gone wrong
- you need a passport
- you're subscribing
- you're using this website
This page is for Australians planning to travel, or already travelling overseas. Understand how and when we can help. Read this information in conjunction with the Consular Services Charter.
If you’re a dual national, there may be limits to the level of assistance we can provide in the country of your other nationality.
Emergency Consular Assistance
Emergency consular assistance is available 24 hours a day by calling the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on:
- 1300 555 135 (within Australia)
- +61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas, except China)
- +61 2 6261 9225 (from China)
- SMS to +61 421 269 080
If you’re overseas and it is outside working hours, you can call the Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in the country you’re visiting and follow the phone prompts for connection to the CEC.
Help in a crisis or emergency
The Australian Government decides if a major overseas incident is a crisis event for Australia.
If there's a crisis in or near your location, you have options in your destination and from back home to get help.
Seek help from local authorities first. Emergency services in most destinations have processes in place for crisis situations. See 'local contacts' in the travel advisory for your destination.
Family and friends
Reach out to your family and friends and ask for help. Especially if you need money. Or if you need someone to help coordinate flights out.
Contact your travel insurer. If you can't find their emergency number, look them up on Find an Insurer (Insurance council of Australia).
The Australian Government
In some circumstances, consular officials may be able to help. However, there are limits.
If we declare a crisis, we can help through a formal crisis response. We'll activate a crisis page on Smartraveller. It will provide current information and advice on the situation and what you should do.
If a crisis occurs while you or someone you know is travelling, you can contact us for urgent help in several ways:
- using the online emergency form that is available when the crisis page is activated on Smartraveller
- by calling 1300 555 135 (in Australia) or + 61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas)
If we haven't declared a crisis but you still need assistance, contact the closest Australian Embassy or Consulate, or the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or +61 421 269 080 (SMS) from anywhere in the world.
It's important you understand our limits, especially in a crisis. Read the Consular Services Charter.
Help if you're a victim of a crime
If you, or someone you know, is a victim of a crime overseas, you may need urgent support. This can be from local police, medical professionals or the CEC.
You can also seek support from family and friends back home, as well as your travel insurer.
We've prepared these pages with practical advice for what to do if you're a victim of a crime overseas.
Help if something else has happened
Most Australians have a great time overseas and don't have health, safety or other problems. However, sometimes things don't go as planned.
Explore these pages for general advice about what you can do when things go wrong overseas.
- Arrested or jailed overseas
- Lost or damaged property overseas
- Passport problems overseas
- Medical assistance overseas
- Money problems overseas
- Someone has died overseas
- Someone is missing overseas
Help with other consular services
The Australian Government can provide some notarial services. The services we provide depends if requested in Australia or overseas. We charge fees for our service. Learn about our notarial services.
If you'll be overseas on the day of an Australian election, you can still have your say. Learn more about voting while overseas.
Help with passports
Help with subscription
Subscribing gives you travel advice updates straight to your inbox. You can also opt in to receive SMS ‘critical alerts’ for crises overseas.
We strongly encourage you to subscribe so you’re well-informed for your trip overseas.
Subscribe to updates for your destinations.
Help with this website
We aim to meet accessibility guidelines. We strive to ensure Smartraveller meets the highest accessibility level possible. Visit our accessibility page to learn more.
Email your feedback about our website to firstname.lastname@example.org.