Government Advice: Sending Money to Overseas Citizens Services

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Government Advice: Sending Money to Overseas Citizens Services

Editor’s Note: The information below was posted as of March 2007 by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.

When a U.S. citizen encounters an emergency financial situation abroad, the Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) can establish a Trust account in the citizen’s name in order to forward funds overseas. There is a non-refundable $30 Trust processing fee. Upon receipt of funds, OCS will transfer the money to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate for disbursement to the recipient. The recipient must contact the Embassy or Consulate directly, except in extremely limited circumstances, to arrange receipt. If the recipient’s name and overseas location (city, country) are not provided with the money, it will delay the transfer. The Embassy or Consulate normally disburses funds in the foreign country’s currency and not in U.S. dollars. Trust funds transfers are a one time service, except in specific, pre-approved circumstances. Funds sent during non-business hours may not be processed until the next business day. Questions can be directed to OCS at 1-888-407-4747.

There are three methods of transmitting funds to OCS for transfer overseas:

WESTERN UNION is the fastest method of sending funds to OCS. Funds sent via Western Union are generally processed and available for disbursement overseas within 24 hours during the business week. Western Union’s Quick Collect© service may be used by calling 1-800-634-3422 or by logging onto www.westernunion.com. In most cases, funds sent via Western Union arrive at OCS within 30 minutes.

You will need one of the following major credit cards to send money over the phone: MasterCard, Visa or Discover; on the Internet: MasterCard and Visa only. You will be asked for a “code city”, which is: “OVERSEASEMERGENCY, DC”.

You will be asked for a “Pay To” name which is “Department of State.”

You will be asked for an account number: please use your phone number.

Tell the operator to put the name and location of the citizen you are sending money to in the reference field, or key that in if you are using the website.

Some states place restrictions on the use of QuickCollect©by phone or the Internet. States with restrictions by phone are CT, MA, ME, MN & NY. States with restrictions by Internet are CA, CT, MA, ME, MN & NY.

You may go in person, with cash, to any Western Union agent location. This is the least expensive Western Union method of sending money. To find the closest location, call 1-800-325-6000. You will need to complete a blue payment form which will ask for the same information requested above. The State Department’s non-refundable $30 processing fee must be included in the total amount sent by Western Union. Failure to include the fee will result in the money being deducted from the amount intended for the U.S. citizen recipient.

BANKWIRE can take up to 7 days to process a transaction. Tell your bank that you want to transfer the desired amount plus the non-refundable $30 processing fee to Bank of America, Department of State Branch, 2201 C St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20520 at 202-624-4750, via ABA Number: 114000653; Account Number: 7476363838; Account Name: PUPID State Department. Include the recipient’s full name, their overseas location, and your name, address, and telephone number. Bank of America forwards the funds to OCS. Failure to include the nonrefundable $30 fee will result in the money being deducted from the amount intended for the U.S. citizen.

U.S. MAIL OR COURIER SERVICE send a cashiers check or money order ONLY (personal checks and cash cannot be accepted) for the desired amount, plus the nonrefundable $30 processing fee, made payable to Department of State, to: Overseas Citizens Services, Department of State, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20520. Include the recipient’s full name, their overseas location, and your name, address, and telephone number. Failure to include the fee will result in the money being deducted from the amount intended for the U.S. citizen. Delivery of overnight/courier mail to OCS may take 3 to 4 days. Regular mail can take 3 to 4 weeks to reach OCS due to on-going irradiation procedures. We strongly discourage this method for emergency use.