*If you are the victim of a crime please call the police immediately, the numbers listed are the same throughout China: Police 110
*In the case of a fire incident please call: Fire 119
*In the case of a medical emergency needing transportation to a hospital please call: Ambulance 120
*In the case of traffic accidents please call: Traffic police 122
For emergency assistance, lost or stolen passports, arrests and detained cases please call the nearest Embassy or Consulate.
For air medical evacuations please call:
Premier Jets 503-640-2927
Jets operates a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week air evacuation service throughout the world.
Heathrow Air Ambulance 800-513-5192
You can pre-arrange air-evacuation insurance and other emergency travel assistance. This service also has a business plan to assist foreigners who lack travel insurance.
The fastest and most efficient method to send money internationally, including to China, is via Western Union. The U.S. Department of State can assist relatives in the U.S. who wish to send money in an emergency, although this option is slower. See details below:
1) OCS Trust
An OCS Trust can be used to send money to a U.S. citizen in an emergency financial situation. When one uses this service, a Department of State trust account is established in the recipient’s name in order to forward funds overseas. There is a $30 processing fee, and the person sending the funds must transfer the money to the Department of State via Western Union, bank wire, or cashier’s check. Upon receipt, the Department of State sends a telegram to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad authorizing disbursement the next work day. The recipient must contact the Embassy or Consulate to arrange receipt; funds are normally disbursed in the foreign country’s currency and not in U.S. dollars. Depending on how the funds are transferred to the Department of State, it can take 3-10 business days to complete the transfer to the recipient overseas.
For details on how to send money to destitute U.S. citizens overseas, please click here for details.
Because of the time required to process an OCS Trust transaction, many prefer to work directly with Western Union to send money overseas. Western Union operates in China in partnership with the China Courier Service Corp. The money transfer information is sent through the company's international computer network and the recipient can collect the funds a few minutes after the transaction is complete. Funds can be picked up in person, or delivered by courier to the recipient at the address provided by the sender. As of now, only US dollars or Chinese Renminbi Yuan can by transferred through this service. Western Union charges a 0.5% service fee. They have hundreds of locations in Beijing, please see their website for specific locations.
Similar to Western Union, MoneyGram transfers funds electronically through its network of over 50,000 international agents. However, unlike Western Union who charges a flat fee, MoneyGram’s fee is based on the origination and destination cities, amount of money sent, and the desired speed of transaction completion. MoneyGram has 38 locations in the Beijing Consular District, including six locations in Shanghai, two in Nanjing, and one in Wuxi, Suzhou and Ningbo. Most CITIC Industrial Banks are MoneyGram Agents. Please see their website for locations.
What if no one can send me money?
In certain cases, the U.S. Embassy may be able to help a needy American return home. However, applicants must meet strict criteria in order to qualify for a loan, and will not be permitted to leave the U.S. again until they repay the full amount of their loan. Assistance will not be provided to pay existing debts.
Note: The Embassy and Consulates cannot cash checks.
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