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Consular Notification and Access
January 1998

Instructions for Federal, State, and other Local Law Enforcement and Other Officials Regarding Foreign Nationals in the United States and the Rights of Consular Officials To Assist Them

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About This Booklet

This booklet contains instructions and guidance relating to the arrest and detention of foreign nationals, deaths of foreign nationals, the appointment of guardians for minors or incompetent adults who are foreign nationals, and related issues pertaining to the provision of consular services to foreign nationals in the United States. This booklet is designed to help ensure that foreign governments can extend appropriate consular services to their nationals in the United States and that the United States complies with its legal obligations to such governments. The instructions and guidance herein should be followed by all federal, state, and local government officials, whether law enforcement, judicial, or other, insofar as they pertain to foreign nationals subject to such officials' authority or to matters within such officials' competence.

The continued cooperation of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in ensuring that foreign nationals in the United States are treated in accordance with these instructions will permit the United States to comply with its consular legal obligations domestically. It will also help ensure that the United States can insist upon rigorous compliance by foreign governments with respect to United States citizens abroad. The Department of State appreciates the assistance of all law enforcement officials in helping to achieve these objectives.

If you have questions not addressed in this booklet, write or call:

Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Consular Affairs L/CA, Room 5527A U.S. Department of State Washington, D.C. 20520 telephone 202-647-4415 fax 202-736-7559

For urgent telephone inquiries after normal business hours, you may call the State Department Operations Center at 202-647-1512.

The Department of State expects to update this publication every 2-5 years. Note that the instructions in this booklet are in addition to those pertaining to the treatment of foreign diplomatic and consular officers. For information on the treatment of such officers, see the Department of State publication titled "Diplomatic and Consular Immunity: Guidance for Law Enforcement and Judicial Authorities."

Table of Contents

This report appears on this web site as a series of PDF files. To view the following files in PDF format, you must first download Acrobat Reader from Adobe. (Installation and web browser instructions are included.)

For an .html version of this publication, click here.

Part One: Basic Instructions [85.7kb]

Summary of Requirements
Steps To Follow When a Foreign National Is Arrested or Detained
Mandatory Notification Countries and Jurisdictions
Suggested Statements
Suggested Fax Sheet
Consular Officer Identification Cards [Note: This is the best copy available of this image file]

Part Two: Detailed Instructions [77.2kb]

Arrests and Detentions of Foreign Nationals
Notification to Consular Officials at the Foreign National's Option
Mandatory Notification to Consular Officials
Consular Access to Detained Foreign Nationals
Deaths of Foreign Nationals
Appointments of Guardians or Trustees for Foreign Nationals
Accidents Involving Foreign Ships or Aircraft

Part Three: Frequently Asked Questions [119kb]

About Consular Officers
About Foreign Nationals
About Who Is Responsible for Consular Notification
About When Consular Notification Should Be Given
About How Consular Notification Should Be Given
About Failure To Notify
About Consular Access and Assistance
About Contacting the Department of State

Part Four: Translations of Suggested Statements [394kb]

How To Use the Translations

Part Five: Legal Material [160kb]

Legal Overview
Historical Background.
The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations ("VCCR")
Bilateral Agreements
Customary International Law
Basis for Implementation
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
Article 5
Article 36
Article 37
Bilateral Mandatory Notification Provisions
Agreements Pertaining to Consular Functions (Country List)

Part Six: Embassies and Consulates [110kb]

Phone and Fax numbers for Foreign Embassies and Consulates in the United States

[end of document]

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