If you find yourself in Venezuela without access to money or if you know a U.S. citizen in Venezuela who is destitute and in need of financial assistance, you have a number of available options.
Step 1: Help the U.S. citizen get access to his/her own money
As a first step, the ACS Unit will always attempt to help the U.S. citizen gain access to personal funds or financial assistance from family or friends.
- Contact the U.S. citizen’s bank and request the bank add funds to their account.
- U.S. citizen’s credit card company to ask for a temporary credit limit increase and/or permission to withdraw money from an ATM in Venezuela.
- Arrange for immediate replacement of a lost/stolen credit card. Express delivery to Venezuela may take 2-3 business days.
- Identify a commercial money transfer company that operates in/near the city where the U.S. citizen is located. 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.
Step 2: Request financial assistance from the U.S. Embassy
As a last resort, the U.S. Department of State may be able to transfer funds through an Overseas Citizen Services (OCS) trust fund.
- Any money that you send through the OCS trust fund will be dispersed in local currency by the U.S. Embassy in Caracas at the official exchange rate.
- The Department of State charges a $30.00 processing fee per fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) to set up an account and transfer funds to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. If your account remains open and in use for longer than one fiscal year at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas or you request to transfer the account to another overseas U.S. embassy or consulate, you must pay an additional fee of $30.00. For this reason, please be sure to add $30.00 to the total amount you wish to provide the intended recipient.
- To set up an OCS trust, please review the instructions on the Department of State’s page on Sending Money to a U.S. Citizen Overseas and contact the ACS Unit at email@example.com.