Australians missing overseas

If you become concerned for the welfare of a person who is travelling overseas here are some initial steps you can take:

  1. Attempt to phone, text, email or mail the person and their travelling companions.
  2. Establish contact with family and friends to ascertain if others may have heard from or had contact with the missing person.
  3. Check social media sites for information and recent updates.
  4. Find out from the families of travelling companions if they have heard from their loved ones.
  5. Contact their financial institution(s) (if authorised) to check details of their latest credit/debit card transactions.
  6. Contact the missing person's last known address or employer to seek information about their possible movements.
  7. Contact their travel agent or airline (if authorised) to seek details of their travel arrangements.
  8. Contact their mobile phone provider to information on any calls they may have made

Maintain a record of all the information you gather so you can provide comprehensive details, if required, to others assisting to locate the person.

If after making initial enquiries you're still unable to locate your loved one and there are serious concerns for their safety and welfare, contact can be made with either local police or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Local police

If you have concerns for the safety and welfare of a person, even if that person is overseas, a missing persons report can be filed with local State or Territory police.

To file a missing persons report for someone travelling overseas you will need the following information in relation to the missing person:

  • Full name
  • Place and date of birth
  • Passport number (if known)
  • Details of any other citizenship or passport (if known)
  • Recent photographs of the missing person
  • Known travel details and plans, including itineraries
  • Contact details overseas (including names and contact details of employers or people they have been travelling with
  • Advice about the last contact they have made.

This missing persons report is then sent to DFAT and if deemed appropriate, may be lodged with Interpol to facilitate international cooperation in investigating the whereabouts of the missing person.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

After a missing persons report made to your local police has been forwarded to DFAT consular staff will then contact the enquirer and outline the level of assistance which can be provided, including contacting the relevant Australian diplomatic missions overseas.

DFAT will pursue enquiries that are based on a serious concern for the welfare of an Australian overseas and a belief that the person concerned needs consular assistance. Contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Australia on 1300 555 135 (for the cost of a local call) or from anywhere in the world on +61 2 6261 3305, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information download the When someone is missing overseas booklet (PDF 143 KB) published by DFAT.