U.S. Consular Officers can assist Americans abroad who are temporarily destitute due to unforeseen circumstances. Americans in Cuba in such circumstances should contact the American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Havana by email at ACSHavana@state.gov or by phone at (+53) 7839-4100, or the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (+1) 202-501-4444.
You may also visit the U.S. Embassy in Havana to request assistance. The Embassy cannot give loans, but Consular Officers can help destitute Americans contact their family, bank, or employer to arrange for transfer of funds. In certain circumstances, these funds can be wired through the Department of State.
Sending Money to Destitute U.S. Citizens Overseas
8AM – 5PM weekdays
All transactions must be processed through Western Union’s Quick Collect Service. Be aware that some U.S. states place restrictions on the use of the Quick Collect Service by phone or the Internet. Some states also restrict the amount of funds any one person can transfer within a given period of time. Western Union can inform you which states have such restrictions.
NOTE: Western Union will charge you a money transfer fee based on the dollar amount you are sending. Ask about their fee structure. Their fee is separate from and in addition to the $30 processing fee that the U.S. Department of State charges to set up an account.
There are three ways to send money to the U.S. Department of State by Western Union (From the United States):
- Call Western Union’s Quick Collect Customer Service at 1-800-238-5772. Please provide the following information to the agent:
- The “code city” for the U.S. Department of State is, – “OVERSEASEMERGENCY DC.”
- The “pay to” name is – “U.S. Department of State, Overseas Citizens Services (OCS).”
- The “account number” requested should be the name of the country where the funds are intended and the recipient’s last name, i.e. Cuba-Smith.
- The “Recipient City” is – “Washington, D.C.”, and the “Recipient Country” field is – “United States.”
- Internet: If you have a MasterCard or Visa credit card, visit Western Union’s website or call Western Union’s Quick Collect Customer Service at 1-800-238-5772 for processing assistance.
- Step 1: Visit WesternUnion.com and register a new account or log-in for existing users.
- Step 2: Click “Pay Bills” from the dropdown menu at the top of the screen.
- Step 3: Enter “Overseas Citizens Service” in the “Search Biller” field.
- Step 4: Enter the amount.
- Step 5: In the “Account Number” field, enter the name of the country where the funds are intended and the recipient’s last name. i.e. CubaBaxter, CubaDouglas, etc.
- Step 6: In the “Recipient City” field, enter Washington, D.C., and in the “Recipient Country” field enter United States.
- Step 7: Select the form of payment and click continue.
- Step 8: Provide required payment information to complete transaction.
- Step 9: Email the American Citizen Services Unit at ACSHavana@state.gov to notify U.S. Embassy Havana that the Western Union transaction was successful and provide MRN transaction confirmation number.
- In Person Cash Payments: If you want to process a Quick Collect transaction using cash, you can visit any Western Union location in person.
- Call 1-800-325-6000 to find the Western Union location nearest you.
- Request a Quick Collect form and complete fields #1 and #2 only. Once both fields are completed, sign the form.
Funds normally reach the U.S. Embassy in Havana within several hours. The Department of State will notify U.S. Embassy Havana that it is authorized to disburse funds to the recipient. However, it is important to understand that the funds are disbursed only during normal office hours, not on weekends or local holidays when the Embassy is closed. The Embassy disburses funds in Cuban pesos and not in U.S. dollars.