If you require urgent financial assistance while you are abroad, you should transfer funds from your own bank account or another private source in Canada through one of many companies such as Western Union or CanadianForex. They will charge you for this service.
Assistance from the Government of Canada
If you are unable to transfer funds from your own bank account or another private source, Canadian government offices abroad can give you a list of local funds transfer services and can help you contact family, friends, employers, co-workers, credit card companies or banks to ask them to transfer money to you.
To transfer the funds you must contact the nearest Canadian government office abroad and tell them where the funds are located and where you can be reached. You must also notify the source of funds in Canada that you have authorized the transfer. Consular officials in Ottawa can then make arrangements for a wire transfer from your bank or from another private source. These transactions take two or more working days to complete, and a consular service fee of C$75 may be deducted from the transferred funds.
Please note that Canadian government officials abroad cannot issue pension or social security benefits, lend personal funds, request funds on your behalf from family and friends without your permission or transfer funds through a local service on your behalf.
If you cannot arrange for a transfer of funds from a private source, a Canadian government office abroad may, in certain emergency and exceptional circumstances, provide you with a loan for a flight back to Canada. This financial assistance is not a right, depends on the circumstances of each case and is subject to strict rules. A consular service fee of C$75 may be applied to the loan.
If you request and are provided with a loan to return to Canada or with other consular financial assistance while you are abroad, you must repay the amount within 30 days.
Victims of violent crimes
The Department of Justice Canada provides financial assistance to Canadians who are victims of violent crimes abroad through the Victims Fund, which is administered by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues
Repaying a loan from the Government of Canada
When you are provided with financial assistance from the Government of Canada, you sign an application for the amount of the loan and an undertaking to repay it. The loan must be repaid in full within 30 days after you receive the invoice.
If you do not repay the debt within 30 days, interest may be applied at a rate of 3% calculated and compounded monthly using the current month's average Bank of Canada rate. The interest cannot be waived and will be applied monthly until the debt is paid. If the debt is not repaid within 120 days, your file will be transferred to the Canada Revenue Agency and will continue to accrue interest.
After your return to Canada, you will receive an invoice from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada detailing the amount of your debt. The invoice will include a customer number, which you should use as a reference. There are two payment options:
- Passport Canada: You may pay in person at a Passport Canada office by debit card, credit card, certified cheque or money order. Make sure you have your customer number available.
- Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada: You may pay by money order, certified cheque or post-dated personal cheques payable to the “Receiver General for Canada” (allow 30 days for personal cheques to clear). Cheques should include your customer number and be mailed to the following address:
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Cashier’s Office (SMFM)
Ottawa ON K1A 0G2
If you do not receive an invoice, please contact us toll-free at 1-800-267-6788 (or 613-996-8885) to ensure that we have your correct mailing address.
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