Providing assistance to U.S. citizens during an emergency or crisis abroad is one of the most critical tasks consular officers perform. To help us better assist you, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe encourages all U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Tajikistan to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). When you enroll in STEP, you automatically receive up-to-date security information about Tajikistan and other countries in the region. Your enrollment also makes your whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency.
Privacy Act – Consular officers may not reveal information regarding an individual U.S. citizen’s location, welfare, intentions, or problems to anyone, including family members, without the expressed consent of that individual. When completing your registration form, online or in person at the Embassy, make sure you fill out and sign the Privacy Act Waiver.
Before a crisis situation occurs:
- Check the validity of your passport and visas. If your passport expires within six months or less, you need to renew your passport.
- Non-citizen immediate family members should keep their U.S. visas current. Visa processing can sometimes take several weeks.
- Make sure your enrollment in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is up-to-date and that we have your current phone number, email and overseas work and residential addresses.
- Make or update a complete inventory of your household effects, in duplicate.
- Maintain an adequate supply of food, water, and medications in your home.
- Make sure your car is in good working condition. Keep the gas tank full and check the oil, coolant, tires, and battery.
- Individuals with children should complete and have on hand Form DS 3053 – Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor under Age 16.
- Execute a power of attorney for each adult family member. Whenever possible, make the power of attorney specific to required actions – banking, childcare, property management, medical (at home and at post), etc.
- Assemble vital records and important documents in one readily accessible location (portable file box, computer disk/thumb drive or laptop); documents you should gather include, passports, naturalization certificates, birth and marriage records, U.S. driver’s license, social security cards, will/testament, power of attorney, Form DS 3053, children school records, medical and immunization records, insurance policies, personal checks, credit cards, and bank account documents, etc.
We offer assistance in the following crisis situations:
Family Emergencies and Welfare and Whereabouts
If your family needs to contact you because of an emergency at home or because they are worried about your welfare and cannot reach you directly, they may call the State Department’s Citizens Emergency Center at (202) 647-5225. The State Department will relay the message to the Consular Section. The American Citizen Services Unit will attempt to locate you, pass on urgent messages and report information back to your family.
Natural Disasters and Civil Disturbances
If you are caught in a natural disaster or civil disturbance in Tajikistan, if possible let your relatives know as soon as possible that you are safe. You may also contact the American Citizen Services Unit, which will try to pass a message to your family through the State Department. Be resourceful. U.S. officials will do everything they can to contact and advise you. However, they must give priority to helping U.S. citizens who have been injured or are in immediate danger. In a disaster, consular officers face the same constraints you do – lack of electricity or fuel, interrupted telephone lines, closed airports, etc. You should monitor news reports and contact the Embassy to find out if an advisory has been issued.
Sometimes commercial transportation entering and leaving a country is disrupted during a political upheaval or natural disasters. If this happens, and if it appears unsafe for U.S. citizens to remain, the Embassy will work with a Washington task force to charter special air flights and ground transportation to help U.S. citizens to depart. The U.S. Government cannot order U.S. citizens to leave a foreign country. It can only advise and try to assist those who wish to leave. By law, U.S. citizens receiving evacuation assistance are required to sign a promissory note, agreeing to reimburse the government for some of the evacuation costs. Each evacuee family fills out one Form DS-3072 for the entire family in triplicate. A non-parent escort of a minor child fills out one form for him/herself and the child/children. Pets cannot be evacuated.
Victim of a Crime
If you are the victim of a crime while in Tajikistan, contact the local police to report the incident and obtain immediate help with safety concerns. Remember to request a copy of the police report. If you need assistance, you may contact the ACS Unit. Consular personnel are familiar with local government agencies and resources in country. We can help U.S. citizen victims of crime with issues such as:
- Replacing a stolen passport;
- Contacting family and friends;
- Obtaining appropriate medical care;
- Emergency needs that arise as a result of a crime;
- A list of local attorneys who speak English;
- Information about the local criminal justice process;
- Information about local resources to assist victims;
- Information about crime victim assistance programs.
Consular officers cannot, however, investigate crimes, provide legal advice or represent you in court, serve as official interpreters or translators, or pay legal, medical, or other fees for you.
International Child Custody Disputes
There are legal limits to the assistance that U.S. authorities can provide to parents involved in a child custody dispute. When a U.S. citizen child is abducted overseas by a parent, the U.S. Government’s role is to help the remaining parent by locating the child, monitoring the child’s welfare, and providing information about child custody laws and procedures in the country where the child has been taken.
If you are in Tajikistan and would like information on this subject, contact the American Citizen Services Unit. Parents in the U.S. should contact the Office of Children’s Issues at the Department of State, +1 (202)-647-7000.
We offer assistance in the following emergency situations: