Emergency Financial Assistance

U.S. consular officers can assist U.S. citizens abroad who are temporarily destitute to get in touch with a family member, a bank, or an employer to arrange for transfer of funds.  In some cases, these funds can be wired through the Department of State.

U.S. citizens within Madrid Consular district who find themselves in these circumstances should contact the Embassy in Madrid.  U.S. citizens within Barcelona Consular district should contact the Consulate General in Barcelona.  You may also contact the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services.

Although there is a mechanism for transferring funds through the Department of State, most people can arrange for family or friends to send them money through commercial channels.  Funds sent through services such as Western Union or Moneygram are fastest and easiest.

WESTERN UNION (WU):  If sender has a major credit card, he/she can call WU at 1-800-225-5227, 1-800-325-6000, 1-800-325-4176 or 1-800-752-6077; may access WU on line at: www.WesternUnion.com or may visit a local WU agent to purchase a “money transfer”.  Remember to request the ten-digit reference number for the transaction.

In Spain, recipients may call toll free at 900-983-273 for information on the nearest WU agent.  Currently, only Spanish post offices (“Correos”) will disburse funds sent from the U.S. and they require that the recipient shows his/her passport.  If recipient does not have a passport, he/she should contact the Embassy or the Consulate for further instructions.

MONEYGRAM:  The sender should call 800-926-9400 or 800-955-777 or go to the nearest MoneyGram agent to deposit funds.  Funds will be disbursed in Euros.  For funds disbursement in Spain, call toll free: 900-96-1218.

For additional information on how a consular officer can help under these circumstances, see Sending Money to Destitute Citizens Overseas.