Should you register with your embassy or consulate while you’re traveling to a foreign country? Maybe. It really depends on the country you’re visiting. In this article, we’ll show you how to register with many of the world’s embassies or consulates while you’re abroad.
We always recommend travel registration, especially if you’re in a country that is politically or socially unstable. But that’s not the only reason to register.
Even in countries that are quite stable, registering with your embassy or consulate can be a good idea. It means your government knows you’re there and can more easily help you if you get in trouble and need help.
When we think of registering, we often think it’s a good idea to do it in more “sketchy” places. But what about others? Well, we all watch the news and know that anything can happen anywhere. Even the most stable Democracies with little to no history of issues with foreigners can experience a natural disaster.
What is Travel Registration?
Travel Registration is a free service provided by specific countries to their citizens who are living or traveling (usually for an extended period) in a foreign country.
You can do it either online for a lot of countries, but also by visiting the embassy of a foreign citizen.
What is the purpose of these programs?
It is to build an emergency contact database so that they can contact you if an emergency arises, such as natural disaster or civil unrest, and provide you with assistance.
Why should you register?
The majority of travel registration programs are not mandatory. They are intended by countries to help their citizens abroad.
And since it is a free service, it’s something to consider doing for your own good. Nobody can predict what will happen, so it is always wise to prepare, just in case.
Types of embassy registrations around the world
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) can be completed online here. You must create a profile with your information.
When you do, you can get any travel alerts or warnings based on your specific needs.
STEP provides assistance to US Citizens only; however anyone can create a profile and receive alerts and updates.
The Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) Web site is here.
Travel Registration for Australian, Israeli, and Jamaican Citizens (ROCA)
Under an agreement between Canada and these countries, ROCA also registers the citizens of Australia, Israel (West Bank and Gaza), and Jamaica in some particular regions.
See here for the complete listing, as well as updates.
Indonesia: Lapor Diri
Unlike the US or Canadian Travel Registration Program, the Indonesian ‘Lapor Diri’ (Self Reporting) is a compulsory program for its citizens who live abroad.
Indonesian law dictates that every citizen reports and retains his or her citizenship every five years or less (which also happens to equal the validity of a passport).
Otherwise, you can lose your Indonesian Citizenship and become stateless.
There is no online application service for this registration. Citizens must apply either in person or send the completed application, photos, and passport to the Consul General or Embassy or the jurisdiction in which they live.
Indonesian citizens are also encouraged to register when visiting a foreign country.
You don’t need an appointment, and you’ll get a full-page stamp on the back of your passport!
Australia: Smartraveller Program
Although not as intensive as the US or Canadian travel registration programs, Australian Citizens can create an online profile and register their trips abroad with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
They’ll get an email subscription to travel warning updates for certain parts of the world.
New Zealand: Safetravel Registration
The Official Registration site for New Zealanders living and traveling overseas, called Safetravel Registration, is here.
Check with your Embassies and representatives abroad for the travel registration programs that you can enroll in.
Does your country have a specific travel registration program? If so, and if they are not mentioned above, please let us know so we can add it to our list!
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Halef moved from Indonesia to the US nearly two decades ago to go to college here. He hasn’t looked back. He’s been to over forty countries and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He’s a Landscape Architect in Atlanta, GA.