Travel SOS: Is there an Australian embassy in every country?

Susan is travelling through Europe and is worried about what to do if there is no embassy.

Travel SOS: Overseas embassies

Susan is planning an extensive trip across Europe, but a friend has warned her that some of the countries she plans on visiting don’t have Australian embassies. Should she be worried?

Q. Susan
After dreaming of it for many years, my husband and I are planning an extensive holiday through Europe, visiting 18 countries. When we showed a friend our itinerary, she thought that some of the places we were visiting, did not have Australian embassies, namely Bulgaria and Romania. Is this something we should be worried about?

A.
Hi Susan. Your friend is right, Australia does not maintain consulate offices in every country and neither Romania nor Bulgaria contain Australian missions. If Australia does not maintain consular offices in a particular country, then it may be the case that such services will instead be provided by a Canadian embassy.

The agreement with Canada extends to 19 countries, but does not include Romania or Bulgaria, although there are Canadian embassies in both of those countries.

If there is an international crisis or emergency in a country you are visiting and there is no Australian embassy or consulate, the Government’s Smart Traveller website recommends making contact with the UK, Canadian or US embassy.

Consular assistance in also available around the clock by calling +61 2 6261 3305 or texting +61 421 269 080 from anywhere around the world. Any person you speak to will then be able to put you in contact with the nearest consular contact (most likely the Australian embassy in Serbia for Bulgaria and Romania) and they will advise you on what to do next.

In 2016-17, Australia's embassies, consulates, high commissions, honorary consuls and the Canadian missions with whom Australia shares some consular services provided assistance to 12,454 Australians overseas. That's slightly more than one case for every 1000 Australian international travellers or 0.1 per cent.

With consular assistance available over the phone or via text, we don’t think you have a great deal to worry about on your European vacation. Enjoy!

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    COMMENTS

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    Cowboy Jim
    7th Apr 2018
    7:22am
    As many Australians still have access to European passports they might consider using those for European trips. I just use an ID card which is sufficient unless one wants to go to Russia or Belarus (White Russia). You might find Euro passports to be far cheaper than Aussie ones.
    ozirules
    7th Apr 2018
    10:37am
    If travelling overseas with a non Australian passport you will still need to re enter OZ on an OZ passport else a visa will be required. I carry both a Euro and OZ passport when travelling as both a security measure and as a money saver. One instance was entering Chile where it cost $160 each for an entry visa but was free for Europeans. Check each country you are visiting before you travel and note which passport to use.
    Cowboy Jim
    7th Apr 2018
    11:11am
    That is the way we use ours, leaving Oz on an Aussie passport, switch in Singapore both ways. Noticed that in South America as well,
    $130 for Brazil on Oz Pass or nothing on a Euro one, funny that! Just
    do not forget to fill in the forms correctly at the border.
    Mondo
    21st Apr 2018
    10:44am
    Just need to realise that whichever passport you use to enter a country is the one that applies for the rest of your time there. If you enter on a non-Australian passport you can't later claim to be Australian if you need help or get into trouble. Few embassies and consulates go to the trouble that Australian offices do to help their citizens in distress. If you're in dire need in Bulgaria, being repatriated to another EU country may not be of much help if you've lost everything and want to get back to Aus.


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