National missing persons coordination centre

Australians missing overseas

If you are 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. Contact family and friends to find out if others may have heard from or had contact with the missing person.
  3. Check social media sites, blogs, online travel diaries etc. 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 for 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 find 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).

File a missing persons report

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

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

  • 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. The responsibility for conducting searches overseas rests with the local police force in the country where the person has gone missing.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

After a missing persons report has been made to your local police, it will be forwarded to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) who will coordinate the investigation into the missing person. Consular staff will contact you and explain the missing person processes and will also confirm family consent for DFAT to provide information to external agencies including Interpol.

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. You can also 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 105 KB)

Go to ACT Policing

Australian Federal Police