Requesting consular assistance when traveling abroad

The Department of Consular Affairs and International Cultural Relations provides consular assistance, namely to Luxembourg nationals who are in difficulty abroad, in cooperation with the diplomatic and consular missions.

A Luxembourg national may request consular assistance in a number of situations, including:

  • the need for emergency travel documents (see Decision 96/409/CSFP);
  • the need for assistance and repatriation in emergency situations;
  • in case of accident or serious illness;
  • death;
  • arrest or detention;
  • being a victim of a crime or an offense.

Who is concerned

The following people can benefit from consular assistance by the Luxembourg diplomatic and consular missions:

  • Luxembourg nationals and members of their families;
  • nationals of a Member State of the European Union (EU) whose country of nationality is not represented in the country of residence.

The family members of a Luxembourg national are:

  • their spouse;
  • their partner with whom they have entered a civil partnership (PACS or similar);
  • their direct descendants or those of their spouse/partner, who are under 21 years of age or under the care of the Luxembourg national;
  • their direct ascendants or those of their spouse/partner.
As regards consular assistance, third-country family members of EU-citizens are treated in the same way as family members of Luxembourg nationals.

Prerequisites

In order to request consular assistance from a Luxembourg diplomatic or consular mission or, where applicable, Belgian or other, the applicant for assistance must be able to provide proof of their identity by presenting a valid passport or identity card.

For applicants who do not or no longer have either of these documents, the diplomatic or consular mission can carry out checks to determine whether they actually are Luxembourg nationals.

The nationality and relationship of family members accompanying the Luxembourg national can be proved by any means.

Costs

Consular assistance may entail costs for the person benefiting from the services, irrespective of the diplomatic or consular mission of the European Union to which the request for assistance is addressed.

If there are no Luxembourg diplomatic or consular missions in the country concerned, the Luxembourg national must complete a document attesting the the expenses incurred by the Member State of the diplomatic or consular mission called on.

The Luxembourg national will then have to reimburse the Luxembourg State for the costs advanced by the other Member State.

How to proceed

Requesting consular assistance

Luxembourg nationals may apply to Luxembourg diplomatic and consular missions abroad for consular assistance.

In countries where Luxembourg is not represented, Luxembourg nationals may apply to Belgian diplomatic or consular missions.

If there are no Luxembourg or Belgian diplomatic or consular missions in a third country, a Luxembourg national can apply to any diplomatic or consular mission of a Member State of the European Union (EU).

Nationals of another EU Member State may apply to Luxembourg diplomatic and consular missions in the event that their home Member State does not have diplomatic or consular missions in the third country.

The applicant can lodge his request for consular assistance with a Luxembourg diplomatic or consular mission:

  • in person or by being represented by a third party;
  • by phone;
  • by email;
  • by post.

If consular assistance is needed outside the office hours of Luxembourg diplomatic and consular missions or on weekends, it is possible to contact the telephone exchange of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs: (+352) 247-82300.

Loss or theft of identity papers

In case of theft or loss abroad of the passport or ID card, a declaration of theft or loss must be made to the local police authorities.

With this document and 2 passport photos, Luxembourg nationals can address the competent diplomatic or consular mission in order to receive a "laissez-passer".

This document will allow the traveler to return to Luxembourg without being allowed to make one or more stopover(s), except for airport transit.

If the diplomatic or consular mission is too far away, they can:

  • go to an honorary consul of Luxembourg established with jurisdiction over the region where they are traveling, or;
  • ask a family member to contact the Passport Office of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

In the event of non-representation of Luxembourg, Luxembourg nationals may apply to a Belgian diplomatic or consular mission or that of another EU Member State for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD).

Upon their return to Luxembourg, the laissez-passer or ETD must be handed over to the Passport Office. In case of loss of the identity card, it should be noted that it must be replaced.

The declaration of loss or theft established abroad by the local police must also be handed over to the Luxembourg authorities.

Need for assistance and repatriation in emergency situations

In case of serious difficulties, for example with local authorities or individuals, the competent diplomatic or consular mission can assist Luxembourg nationals by:

  • providing them with useful addresses such as local administrations, lawyers or other;
  • giving them access to the equipment of the diplomatic or consular mission (telephone, Internet, fax, etc.) to ask for help, for example, from their family, friends or employer.

Accident or serious illness

In the event of an accident or a serious illness in a country where Luxembourg is represented by a diplomatic or consular mission, the family of the national in question is contacted:

  • to be informed on the state of health of the person concerned;
  • in order to provide them with the contact details of doctors/hospitals in the country;
  • to help with local procedures in case of hospitalisation, or to organise a medical repatriation, etc.

The diplomatic or consular mission does not, under any circumstances, cover for expenses concerning hospitalisation or other (drugs, medical treatment, etc.).

Death

In case of death abroad, the competent diplomatic or consular mission will immediately inform the Directorate of Consular Affairs and International Cultural Relations so that it can inform the family of the deceased.

The mission can also advise the family on how to organise the repatriation of the mortal remains/ashes, or the burial in the foreign country.

Repatriation costs are borne by:

The diplomatic or consular mission can also help the family of the deceased to obtain or legalise administrative documents of the local authorities.

Arrest or detention

In case of arrest or detention abroad, the Luxembourg national has the right to request that the competent diplomatic or consular mission be informed.

The prisoner's family can be notified if so requested.

A visit to the prisoner by the diplomatic or consular mission can normally take place immediately after their arrest, but this always depends on the local regulations.

The diplomatic or consular mission verifies the conditions of detention and checks compliance with local regulations.

Upon request, it can help the prisoner find a lawyer for representation purposes before the local judicial authorities. The lawyers' fees are borne by the prisoner or their relatives.

In case of difficulties, the diplomatic or consular mission can assist the prisoner with the administrative procedures to obtain legal assistance in accordance with the laws of the country where the person is detained. The same applies to administrative formalities where the Luxembourg national requests a transfer to a prison in Luxembourg to serve their sentence.

Victim of a crime or offense

If the traveler is a victim of a crime or offense, the competent diplomatic or consular mission can assist them by:  

  • providing them with useful addresses such as local administrations, lawyers or other;
  • giving them access to the equipment of the diplomatic or consular mission (telephone, Internet, fax, etc.) contacting their family, friends or employer to seek help;
  • providing them with the contact details of doctors/ hospitals in the country, if necessary;
  • helping with local formalities, etc.

The diplomatic or consular mission does not, under any circumstances, cover for expenses concerning hospitalisation or other (drugs, medical treatment, etc.). that may be incurred as a result of a crime or offense of which a person has been a victim.

Cases in which consular assistance cannot be provided

Consular assistance is, in principle, of administrative nature.

Certain actions cannot be carried out or taken over by the competent diplomatic or consular mission, such as:

  • the repatriation of a person at the expense of the state, except in cases of exceptional gravity and subject to subsequent reimbursement;
  • the payment of a fine, a hotel bill, hospital bill or any other expense incurred;
  • the advancing of money without the prior provision of guarantees;
  • the issue of a passport on the spot;
  • intervention in the course of justice to obtain the release of a person, even if they are involved in a court case or charged with an offense committed on the territory of a host country;
  • act as a replacement for a travel agency, a bank or insurance company;
  • formally provide consular protection if the person is also a national of the country in which they travel.

Who to contact

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