U.S. consuls can assist Americans abroad who are temporarily destitute due to unforeseen circumstances. Americans who find themselves in these circumstances should contact the Consulate General or the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 (during business hours) or 202-647-5225 (after hours). Consular officers can help destitute Americans contact family, bank, or employer to arrange for transfer of funds. In some cases, these funds can be wired through the Department of State. For information on how a consular officer can help under these circumstances, please visit the State Department website.
Fund transfers from the U.S. are straightforward. Most people can arrange for family or friends to get them money through commercial channels with the help of a collect phone call. Money on credits and through commercial money wiring services is the fastest and easiest. Although there is a mechanism for transferring funds through the Department of State, it is slower and more complex than through commercial channels in a country like Canada.