How Can You Locate People Living Outside the United States?


Quick Answer

People living outside the United States can be located with the help of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, which handles issues related to passports and travel. If a U.S. citizen is missing, concerned relatives and friends should call the U.S. Department of State to report the issue. Embassies and Consulates abroad then check with local authorities to locate Americans who may have been hospitalized, arrested or otherwise unreachable, says Travel.state.gov.

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How Can You Locate People Living Outside the United States?
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Full Answer

Often, citizens traveling abroad tend to cut communication ties with people back home due to busy schedules, the high cost of international calls, or time differences. If a person takes too long to communicate, close family and friends usually get worried, but they lack a way of locating their loved ones. The Bureau of Consular Affairs provides a number through which members of the public can call to report such cases.

Foreign embassies use the information provided by friends and relatives to locate the missing person. They conduct searches in different places including hospitals, hotels and prisons. However, personal information is protected by the U.S. Privacy Act, so the embassies reveal a person's information after obtaining consent. Exemptions are possible if the person's health or safety is compromised, or in the case of minors.

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