Citizen Services FAQs

To replace a lost CRBA, you will need to directly contact the Department of State in Washington, DC.  Please follow the instructions on the Department of State’s page to Replace or Amend a CRBA.

To amend a CRBA, you will need to directly contact the Department of State in Washington, DC.  Please follow the instructions on the Department of State’s page to Replace or Amend a CRBA.

You will need to apply for a new passport.  Please see our Passport Services page for instructions on how to apply.  In addition, you will also need to submit evidence of your name change and a completed form DS-5504 (Application for a U.S. Passport Name Change, Data Correction and Limited Passport Book Replacement).

If your passport was issued less than a year ago, you can come to the ACS Unit any business day between 8:00 am and 10:30 am, and we will process the application to fix the mistake.  If your passport was issued more than a year ago, you will need to apply for a new passport.

The ACS Unit mail U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) via Zoom courier service. If you wish to pick up your passport or CRBA at a local Zoom office, please specify which one at the time of your interview.

The Embassy only notarizes documents that will be used in the United States.  Additionally, you must demonstrate to the consular officer that you understand the content of the document to be notarized.

No, the consular officer may not be your witness.  If you require a witness for your notary, you should bring your witness to the appointment.

No, the Embassy does not apostille documents.  To obtain an apostille for a Venezuelan document, please consult the Venezuelan Ministry of Popular Power for External Relations.  To obtain an apostille for a U.S. document, please consult the appropriate competent authority.

If you need to get money to a U.S. citizen outside the United States, you have a number of available options.

  • Contact the individual’s bank and arrange to add funds to the person’s account.
  • Contact the individual’s credit card company to ask for a temporary credit limit increase.
  • Arrange for immediate replacement of a lost/stolen credit card.  Express delivery may take 2-3 business days.
  • Identify a commercial money transfer company that operates in/near the city where the individual is located.  NOTE: The individual must typically present identification to collect funds; this channel may not be an option if identification is lost or stolen.  Please see our question, “What commercial money transfer companies operate in Venezuela?” for more details on money transfers.

As a last resort, the Department of State may be able to transfer funds through the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.  Please see our question, “What is an OCS trust?” for more details.

The major commercial money transfer companies that operate in Venezuela are MoneyGram and Western Union.  Please see the directions on their respective websites to make a transfer.  Note that these services usually require that a contact in Venezuela collect the money in person, so you may wish to review their locations in Venezuela before choosing a service.

An OCS trust is a way for you to transfer funds through an office in Washington, D.C. to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.  The Department of State charges a US$30 processing fee to set up an account and transfer funds overseas.  Any money that you send through the OCS trust fund will be dispersed at the official exchange rate.

The quickest way to send money to the Department of State is by Western Union.  Express courier services or U.S. Postal Service can take from several days to several weeks.  When sending funds, you must include your name, address, and telephone number, and the destitute individual’s full name and location (city and country) on the check.  The Department of State transfers funds daily during normal business hours and process funds arriving after-hours during the next business day.

To set up an OCS trust, please contact us by e-mail and review the instructions on the Department of State’s page on Sending Money to a U.S. Citizen Overseas.

Venezuelan law mandates that minors (under 18) of any nationality who are traveling alone, with only one parent, or with a third party, must present a copy of their birth certificate and written, notarized authorization from the absent parent(s) or legal guardian, specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent, or with a third party.  This authorization must reflect the precise date and time of the travel, including flight and/or other pertinent information.  Without this authorization, immigration authorities will prevent the child’s departure from Venezuela.

The Venezuelan government no longer recognizes blanket or non-specific travel authorizations.  When a parent is deceased, a notarized copy of the death certificate is required in lieu of the written authorization.  If documents are prepared in the United States, the authorization and the birth certificate must be translated into Spanish, notarized, and authenticated by the Embassy of Venezuela or a Venezuelan Consulate in the United States.  If documents are prepared in Venezuela, only notarization by a Venezuelan notary is required.  A permission letter prepared outside Venezuela is valid for 90 days.  A permission letter prepared in Venezuela is valid for 60 days.

If you are a resident of Venezuela and fear that your U.S. citizen child might be taken abroad by the other parent without the mutual consent of both parents, you may ask to have the child’s name placed in the U.S. passport name check system by contacting the American Citizen Services Unit.  The American Citizen Services Unit will not adjudicate a U.S. passport application without first informing the parent who has requested notification.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas and the Department of State may be able to assist parents who are involved in child support disputes; however, in most cases, the amount and type of assistance is restricted.  The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has no legal jurisdiction in Venezuela to enforce child support agreements.  However, please contact us via e-mail with the details of your case, and we may be able to assist you in finding a solution to your child support enforcement problem.

Please see our list of lawyers and law firms that are willing to provide assistance to U.S. citizens. (PDF 270 KB)  The U.S. Embassy in Caracas does not endorse and assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or the quality of services provided by the lawyers or law firms on the list.  Names are listed alphabetically; the order in which they appear has no other significance.  Lawyers themselves provide their own professional credentials, areas of expertise and language ability, and the Embassy does not vouch for that information.  You may receive additional information about the individuals on the list by contacting the local bar association (or its equivalent) or the local licensing authorities.

Please see our list of medical facilities outside of Caracas (PDF 227 KB) and our list of medical facilities in Caracas. (PDF 533 KB) The U.S. Embassy in Caracas does not endorse and assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or the quality of services provided by the doctors, hospitals or medical facilities on the list.

The Embassy does not provide translation services.  Under Venezuelan law, translations made by licensed public interpreters are authenticated by the Venezuelan Ministry of  Popular Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace.  The Venezuelan Ministry of Popular Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace provides a list of accredited public translators.

Please see the Medical Facilities and Health Information section of our Country Specific Information sheet.

Please contact us by e-mail or by phone (+58 0212-907-8365) to discuss your situation.  The ACS Unit prepares a Consular Report of Death Abroad, which is an official document that can generally be used in the United States as proof of death.  In order for us to issue the Consular Report of Death Abroad, we need the following documents:

  • Original local death certificate issued by the Venezuelan authorities (acta de defunción, not the “certificado de defunción”)
  • Original embalming certificate OR original cremation certificate, as appropriate
  • Original U.S. passport of the deceased
  • Social Security number of the deceased (original Social Security card preferred, if available)
  • Information Form: Consular Report of Death of a US Citizen Abroad (PDF 87 KB)
  • A valid government-issued photo ID for the next-of-kin or designated responsible party

All originals requested above will be returned to the family when the Consular Report of Death Abroad is issued.

You may ship embalmed remains or ashes to the United States.  The process for preparing and returning remains in Venezuela is complex and may be expensive.  This is especially true when the death occurs outside a metropolitan area.  Please contact us by e-mail or by phone (+58 0212-907-8365) to discuss your options.

In general, you will need the following documents and permits to return embalmed remains to the United States:

  • Original local death certificate issued by the Venezuelan authorities (acta de defunción, not the “certificado de defunción”)
  • Local transportation permit, issued by Venezuelan health authorities
  • Packing certificate of the remains, issued by the funeral home
  • Airline name, flight number, date of flight, air bill number and destination
  • Name, address and telephone number of consignee or funeral home in the United States
  • Valid identification of the person who brings in the documents in order to prepare the transit label
  • A Consular Mortuary Certificate issued by the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.  There is a fee of US$60 for the Consular Mortuary Certificate for non-U.S. citizens.
  • U.S. passport or Alien Resident Card (green card) of the relative transporting and/or receiving the remains

To ship cremated remains, you will need the following documents and permits:

  • Original local death certificate issued by the Venezuelan authorities (acta de defunción, not the “certificado de defunción”)
  • Packing of Ashes Certificate, issued by the funeral home.
  • Local transportation permit, issued by Venezuelan health authorities.
  • Packing certificate of the remains, issued by the funeral home.

The U.S. Embassy can assist in locating persons abroad who (1) have lost touch with concerned parties in the United States; (2) are overdue for scheduled travel; and (3) are missing persons.  The U.S. Embassy may also, in certain cases, coordinate with host country and U.S. officials in search and rescue cases, pass on emergency family messages, and report on the general welfare of U.S. citizens or nationals.  Please see 7 FAM 110 for information about the consular services we may provide to missing U.S. citizens.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Venezuela are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974.  In general, the U.S. Embassy in Caracas may not divulge any information about a U.S. citizen or that citizen’s whereabouts without the citizen’s written consent.  In the event of an emergency, the U.S Embassy in Caracas stands ready to help the next of kin locate a U.S. citizen relative in Venezuela.  Each U.S. citizen adult, however, has the right to have his/her whereabouts remain undisclosed.

If you need to locate a U.S. citizen in Venezuela, please contact the American Citizen Services Unit by phone at +58-0212-907-8365 or by e-mail.  For emergencies after 5:00 pm and before 8:00 am, please call +58-0212-975-6411.

Be prepared to supply as much of the following information as possible: name of the missing citizen; date and place of birth; a physical description; travel itinerary/traveling companions; address or telephone contact information in Venezuela; Spanish fluency; and, any information on the U.S. citizen’s state of health.

Please contact us immediately (+58 0212-907-8365 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and +58 0212-975-6411 after hours) to report the arrest of a U.S. citizen in Venezuela.  U.S. citizens living or traveling in Venezuela are subject to Venezuelan law.  The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has no legal jurisdiction over the court system in Venezuela.  The U.S. Embassy does, however, assist and protect U.S. citizens who are arrested or imprisoned in Venezuela.  Please see 7 FAM 400, 7 FAM 420 and 7 FAM 440 for more information about the kinds of assistance consular officers can provide to detained U.S. citizens.

Venezuelan law does not allow for private adoptions.  To apply for an international adoption, a U.S. citizen residing in the United States must submit his or her request through the U.S. Central Authority (U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Children’s Issues).

According to Venezuelan law, before an international adoption is approved priority will be given as follows:

  • Relatives
  • Friend of relatives
  • Venezuelans with domicile in Venezuela
  • International adoption

The U.S. Embassy can only provide limited assistance in most private property and commercial disputes.   In most cases, these disputes are private legal matters, but you may contact our Economic Section by e-mail to see if that section can provide some guidance.

What international courier services does the Embassy recommend?
The international courier services operating in Venezuela are DHL, Grupo Zoom, Jet International, FedEXeral, Domesa, and M.R.W.  Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Caracas does not endorse a particular courier service and assumes no liability for the quality of services provided.

How can I obtain an affidavit of eligibility to marry?
As a U.S. citizen, you may come to the Embassy to sign and notarize an affidavit of eligibility to marry. (PDF 168 KB)  The form is available at the Embassy and will require you to present your U.S. passport, confirm your citizenship and sign an oath declaring that you are not legally married in the United States.

How can I register with the U.S. Embassy?
U.S. citizens who travel internationally or who reside abroad can access our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program site at https://step.state.gov/step/.  U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Venezuela who have registered via this system will receive any e-mails sent by the American Citizen Services Unit during their time in the country.

You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips

If you encounter any difficulties or have any questions about our travel registration website, please send an e-mail to CAIbrs@state.gov.  If you have specific questions about your registration with U.S. Embassy Caracas, please e-mail us directly.

What arrangements do I need to make to take my pet with me to the United States?
Please check with your airline for information about traveling with your pet.  In addition, you should consult the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the appropriate authorities at your destination for information about local requirements.