American citizens with an emergency may appear at the Embassy during business hours or contact the duty officer after hours by phoning (229) 21 30 06 50.
For other services, including passport services and reports of birth aboard, as well as those listed below, please make an appointment.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
In order to allow the Consular Section to better help and serve you, please register with the Embassy as soon as you arrive in Benin.
You may register either in person at the Embassy or preferably online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Services for U.S. citizens living in Benin include the following:
Assistance In Finding Medical Help
If you become sick or hurt, you can contact the consular section for a list of local doctors, dentists and medical specialists or the list is online at the Embassy Website Medical Facilities Page. If you are injured or become seriously ill, the consul may at your request, inform your family or friends. You are responsible for the cost of any medical services.
Assistance In Getting Funds
Should you lose all your money and other financial resources, the consular section can help you contact your family, bank, or employer to arrange for them to send you money.
Help In An Emergency
In the event that your family needs to reach you because of an emergency at home or because they are worried about your welfare, they should call the State Department's Citizens Emergency Center at (202) 647-5225. The State Department will relay the message to consular officers in the country in which you are traveling. Consular officers will try to locate you, pass on urgent messages, and, consistent with the Privacy Act, report back to your family.
If you are arrested, you should ask the authorities to notify a U.S. Consul. Consuls cannot get you out of prison. You are in a foreign country and are subject to its laws. However, Consuls can work to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against. They can provide a list of local attorneys (http://cotonou.usembassy.gov/lawyers3.html), to visit you, and contact your family and friends.
Making Arrangements After The Death Of A U.S. Citizen
When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, a consular officer notifies the American's family and informs them about options and costs for disposition of remains. Costs for preparing and returning a body to the U.S. may be high and must be paid by the family.
Notarial service (seal) can be provided for a fee of $50 per seal.
The Consular Section Can:
- issue a Consular Report of Birth Abroad,
- distribute federal benefit payments,
- handle personal estates of deceased U.S. citizens,
- assist with absentee voting and Selective Service registration,
- provide U.S. tax forms.
The Consular Section Can't:
- act as travel agent, bank, lawyer, investigator, or law enforcement officer.
- find you employment,
- get you residence or driving permits,
- act as interpreter,
- search for missing luggage, or
- settle disputes with hotel managers.
They can, however, tell you how to get help on these and other matters.