Help in Emergency Situations
If you are an Austrian citizen in an emergency situation, contact the Embassy or a Consulate General. Please note that the Embassy cannot replace the local police, an ambulance, and/or any legal institutions.
Please have the following information ready:
- Last and first name
- contact details (phone, cell, fax, e-mail)
- details/circumstances of the emergency (when, where, and how)
- contact person/-s in Austria
Austrian Citizen Service and Officer-on-Duty:
Austrian Citizen Service at the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna: +43 501150 4411 at any time 24/7.
Austrian Embassy Officer on Duty (for severe emergencies): 1 202 413 8181
If you seek advice on legal or medical matters, you may also contact the Embassy's legal adviser or its physician (please inquire regarding possible fees before services are tendered):
Hauswiesner Law Group PLC
8280 Greensboro Drive 7th Floor
Mc Lean, VA 22102
Tel.: 703-992 8152
Fax: 703-992 9839
If you (an Austrian citizen) are arrested by US police and taken into custody, insist on the police notifying the Embassy (the USA have entered into an international agreement which gives foreign citizens the right to contact their embassy or consulate). The Embassy can then help you notify your family and friends (in Austria) and find an attorney (here in the US). Furthermore, consular officials have the right to visit you in prison and to write letters to you.
The Embassy, however, is not authorized to represent you or act on your behalf in legal matters before a court or any other legal institution.
Theft or Loss of Documents and/or Money in the United States
If you have been robbed or have lost your money and/or documents, please go to a local police station and file a police report immediately. Do not forget to call your bank and credit card companies to report your lost or stolen cards (ATM, credit card).
The Embassy (in general) does not have funds at its disposal to lend you money for your stay or a return flight to Austria. Please contact relatives and friends in Austria and ask them to send you money either via Western Union (money can the be picked up at any Western Union branch) or, if this is not possible, via the Austrian Foreign Ministry (money is then given to you by a consular officer at the Embassy).
For your trip back home to Austria, the Embassy can provide you with an emergency passport valid for up to six months. It usually takes at least 24 hours before such a passport will be issued.
In addition, it is highly recommended to make a copy of your passport before leaving Austria and to take this copy with you on your trip. If need be, you can show the copy to the staff at the Embassy. Furthermore, you must present the Embassy with a copy of the police report you filed, and you must be able to document your citizenship and your identity (by means of a friend, relative, driver's license a.t.l.). Two passport pictures and the passport application form must also be submitted.
Please note that you have to present your emergency passport to the Austrian authorities (in Austria or at an embassy or consulate abroad) in order to have them cancel it (deadline = expiration date of passport).
Death of an Austrian Citizen in the US & Probate and Estate Issues
If an Austrian citizen dies in the Unites States, the Embassy can help you with the administrative proceedings (obtaining a death certificate, disposition of remains etc.). However, the Embassy may not legally represent you. If the deceased has received retirement benefits from Austria, please do not forget to inform the Austrian Pension and Retirement Agency of his/her death.
Austrian and US estate laws are based on different legal traditions and are therefore structured differently. Austrian estate law focuses on the citizenship of the deceased, whereas US estate law (which may well vary from state to state) both concentrates on the deceased's last place of residence and distinguishes between real estate and personal property.
As of January 1, 2005 (see BGBl. I 112/2003 of December 12, 2003), Austrian law states that an Austrian court will handle the probate/estate in the following instances:
real estate of Austrians and foreigners if property is located in Austria
personal property of Austrians (having resided in Austria or abroad) and of foreigners having resided in Austria before their death if the property concerned is located in Austria
personal property of Austrians having resided in Austria if property is located abroad
Real estate of Austrians (if property is located abroad) is not the responsibility of an Austrian probate or surrogate's court.
Depending on both where the property concerned is located (in Austria or abroad) and which court (Austrian or US) is charged with handling the probate/estate, different tax regulations come to bear (Austrian or US tax laws). In order to avoid double taxation, Austria and the US have signed a double taxation treaty covering estate and gift taxes.
In short, estate law are highly complex if estate laws of more than one counrty are involved. It is therefore highly recommended that you contact an attorney in both Austria (called "Notar") and the United States.
Embassy of Austria
3524 International Court, NW
Washington, D.C., 20008
Consulate Office Hours:
Monday through Friday,10.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(except on Austrian and U.S. holidays )