Australians in difficulty overseas

Australians in difficulty overseas? Here’s how to get help

The number of Australians that go abroad to live or travel is increasing by about 5% each year. However, travelling, living and working overseas can land you in some tricky situations, and many you might end up in a position where you’re in need of help.

There are a number of ways you can seek assistance as an Australian expat or traveller, whether it’s from the country you’re in or from back home. The type of help you might need depends on the situation you’re in, so we’ve compiled a list of various helpful resources you might utilise if you’re in trouble overseas.

Travel and health insurance

One of the first things you should take care of before you travel overseas is making sure that your travel insurance covers any eventuality. Travel insurance companies are often contactable 24/7 and are available to assist you no matter where you are in the world. If any of your valuables get lost or stolen or if you run into a medical emergency, you should contact your insurer right away.

If you are living and working overseas, then you should obtain appropriate health insurance to cover yourself and your family for any health emergencies. Depending upon the quality of hospital care and health care generally in the country where you’re living and working its often a good idea to ensure that your health insurance policy has a repatriation clause, allowing you to be repatriated back to Australia for hospital care.

Consular services

In 2017/18, there were 11,880 open consular assistance cases (help and advice provided by diplomatic agents for Australians living/travelling overseas). Consular assistance is generally required for more serious situations, such as imprisonment, assault or missing persons cases, but they also deal with issues regarding problems with your passport. The Australian consular emergency centre can be contacted 24/7, at +61 2 6261 3305.

Emergency services

When travelling to a new country, it is advisable to compile a list of important contact details you might need, including the number of the local emergency services in case you need police, ambulance or fire service assistance. If you’re in a country that’s a member of the EU, you can call 112 in an emergency, but for other countries, emergency contact numbers can be found on most travel advisory websites or tourist information centres.


Seeking tax services as an Australian expat can be particularly difficult due to your unique situation, so it’s essential to seek help from experts in the field. You can find specialist tax advice from our team of professionals at Expat Tax Services – we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Shane Macfarlane CA
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