Consular Notification and Access

If foreign nationals in the United States are arrested or detained, they must be told that they may have their country’s embassy or consulate notified, and officials from the embassy or consulate must be allowed access to them upon request. In some cases, the foreign embassy must be notified regardless of the individual's wishes. Notification is also required when a foreign national dies or is involved in an airplane crash or shipwreck, or a guardian is appointed for a foreign national who is a minor or an incompetent adult.

The Consular Notification and Access Manual and the links below explain how U.S. state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies, courts, and other competent authorities should handle arrests and detentions, quarantines and other types of non-criminal confinement, airplane crashes, shipwrecks, deaths, serious injuries or illnesses, and the appointment of guardians for foreign nationals. The Bureau of Consular Affairs within the Department of State conducts outreach and training on consular notification and access and strives to assist law enforcement agencies in every way possible.

Consular Notification and Access Training Video

Watch this video on YouTube

Quick Links

Supporting Material

Training & Outreach

Access the CNA Manual

E-mail the Bureau of Consular Affairs

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