U.S. citizens who find themselves destitute in Albania may request the assistance of the consulate to return to the United States. The Department of State issues loans to destitute American citizens solely for the purpose of returning to the United States. The U.S. consular officer has no funds available for welfare services because U.S. Congress has allocated no funds to be handed out to destitute Americans abroad.
If you express the need to be repatriated, please understand that this process takes a few days, and it is a loan program; the U.S. Government will expect you to pay it back over time, with interest and penalty charges. Your U.S. passport will also be limited and you will not be able receive a new U.S. passport until the loan is paid. You must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
- Must be a U.S. citizen;
- Must be destitute and would experience hardship if not returned to the U.S.;
- Must have no friends or family in the U.S. who are willing to assist financially.
Upon your request, and upon signing an authorization for release of information under the Privacy Act, the Consular Section will contact your family and friends to arrange for money to be wired to you. If no resources are found, you can apply for a repatriation loan so we can purchase a one-way ticket for direct return to the United States. In this case you will have to sign a promissory note agreeing to repay the loan to the U.S. Government within a certain time period.
For more information, please visit the Consular Section Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 11:45 a.m., and 1:00 to 3:45 p.m. This process cannot be initiated when the Embassy is closed.