Australian Embassy
Thailand

Consular Services

Consular Assistance

Closure of Honorary Consulate in Chiang Mai

The Honorary Consulate in Chiang Mai closed on 21 December 2023. Australians in Chiang Mai requiring consular assistance should contact the Australian Embassy in Bangkok.

 

Consular Assistance is available to Australian citizens living in and travelling through Thailand and is provided by the Australian Embassy in Bangkok and the Consulate-General in Phuket.

The Consular Services Section is open 0830-1600 hours Monday to Friday (excluding Embassy public holidays). If you require consular assistance, please contact us on 02 344 6300 during these hours.

For consular emergencies outside of these hours please call the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on 02 344 6300 (from within Thailand) or 1300 555 135 (from within Australia).

The Consular Services Section does not accept or process applications for visas for entry to Australia, or applications for Australian citizenship. Refer to the Visas and Migration page for further information about these services.

 

Assisting Australians overseas

The Consular Services Charter - What help we may be able to provide and what we cannot do

This charter outlines the consular services and assistance provided by the Australian Government. In some circumstances, our assistance may be limited.

 

We strive to

  • Empower Australians to help themselves overseas.
  • Effectively prepare for and manage overseas crises.
  • Deliver a consular service focused on Australians most in need.

 

Who we can assist

We only provide consular services to Australian permanent residents in the event of a crisis overseas. This may include government-assisted evacuations when provided to Australian citizens.

If you’re a dual national, we will only be able to assist you in your country of other nationality in exceptional circumstances.

 

We aim to

  • Deal with your enquiry courteously, promptly and efficiently.
  • Explain clearly how we can help and when you should approach others for advice and help.
  • Recognise the cultural and religious diversity of Australia, including the traditions of First Nations Australians.
  • Tell you if there is a charge for a service we provide.
  • Protect any personal information you give us in accordance with Australia’s privacy laws.
  • Take feedback on our performance seriously.

 

We ask that you

  • Take personal responsibility for your travel choices, your safety, finances and behaviour overseas, including obeying the laws of the country you’re visiting.
  • Tell us if there are any cultural or religious considerations we need to be aware of.
  • Take out appropriate travel and medical insurance and understand what is and isn't covered by the insurance you purchase.
  • Follow our travel advice at smartraveller.gov.au and the advice of local authorities.
  • Protect your passport and report promptly if it is lost or stolen.
  • Treat consular staff with respect and be honest in providing us with all relevant information when seeking our assistance.
  • Give us feedback to help us to improve our services.

 

Our assistance may be limited in some circumstances

You don’t have a legal right to consular assistance and you shouldn’t assume assistance will be provided. For example, we may limit assistance where:

  • your actions were illegal
  • you’ve deliberately or repeatedly acted recklessly or negligently
  • you put yourself or others at risk
  • you’ve demonstrated a repeated pattern of behaviour requiring multiple instances of consular assistance previously

 

What help we may provide

Each case is unique and our assistance will depend on the circumstances and availability of consular resources. We may be able to:

  • issue replacement passports and travel documents for a fee
  • provide details of local doctors and hospitals, including mental health support if available in your location
  • provide advice and support if you’re the victim of a serious assault, or other crime, or you’re arrested, including details of local lawyers and interpreters
  • visit or contact you to check on your welfare if you’re arrested or detained, and do what we can to ensure you’re treated the same as others detained under the laws of the country in which you’re arrested
  • provide advice and support in a range of other cases including the death of relatives overseas, missing persons and kidnappings
  • if you agree, contact friends or family on your behalf. In some circumstances we may need to contact your friends or family where we’ve been unable to get your consent
  • make special arrangements in cases of international terrorismcivil disturbances and natural disasters (fees may apply)
  • provide some notarial services, including witnessing and authenticating documents and administering oaths and affirmations (fees apply)
  • in some locations, provide voting services for Australian federal and some state elections

 

What we can’t do

Some tasks are outside the consular role. For example, we can’t:

  • guarantee your safety and security in another country or make your travel arrangements
  • give you legal advice, interpret or translate documents
  • intervene in another country’s court proceedings or legal matters including employment disputes, commercial disputes, criminal cases, and family law matters or child custody disputes
  • investigate crimes or deaths overseas, or carry out searches for missing people, which are the responsibility of local authorities
  • get you out of prison or prevent you from being deported
  • get you better treatment in prison than local prisoners
  • post bail or pay your fines or legal expenses
  • enforce an Australian or any other custody agreement overseas or compel a country to decide a custody case
  • pay for medical or psychiatric services or medications
  • pay your pension or social security benefits
  • arrange visas, licences, work or residency permits for other countries
  • intervene in immigration, customs or quarantine matters in other countries
  • store luggage or other personal items
  • receive or send postal items on your behalf

 

Crisis response

Some international crises involving Australians overseas will require an exceptional response, such as:

  • those in which large numbers of Australians have been killed or injured or face significant threat, for example terrorist attacks, major accidents, pandemics and natural disasters
  • political unrest which leads us to advise you to leave the country and which might require the assisted departure or evacuation of Australians if there are no commercial options
  • events which cause major disruption and hardship to large numbers of Australians

In an international crisis, we’ll provide support to Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia. Depending on the circumstances, we may also assist dual nationals in the country of their other nationality.

Our assistance is guided by many considerations, but we may:

  • deploy expert teams to support affected Australians
  • liaise with the families of any Australians killed or injured
  • work with local authorities to support affected Australians
  • support Australians trying to leave the area and put them in contact with their families
  • provide travel advice and crisis updates

 

What you can do

Be informed

  • Check the latest travel advice at smartraveller.gov.au.
  • Subscribe to receive updates and follow Smartraveller on social media.
  • Check the expiry date of your passport before you travel. Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months from when you plan to leave that country.
  • Check with health professionals about recommended vaccinations and other health precautions. Vaccinations can be an entry requirement for some countries.
  • Make sure you have the right visas for the countries you are visiting or transiting and check other entry or exit requirements.
  • If you’re carrying pharmaceutical products or medicines, make sure they are permitted in the country you’re visiting.
  • Check if you’re regarded as a national of the country you plan to visit, and whether dual nationality has implications for your travel plans.

 

Be prepared

  • Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance. Ensure it covers you for the places you’ll visit, things you‘ll do and any pre-existing conditions or current medical treatments.
  • Consider your physical and mental health before travelling and ensure your vaccinations are up to date.
  • if you or someone you’re travelling with needs mental health support while overseas, read our advice about travel and mental health ahead of departing
  • Ensure you have sufficient funds for your specific destination and can access those funds while travelling.
  • Make copies of your passportvisas and insurance policy and leave a copy with someone at home.

 

Your privacy

Personal information provided to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is protected by law, including the Privacy Act 1988. DFAT’s privacy policy can be accessed at dfat.gov.au/privacy.

DFAT may use personal information to provide consular assistance. In accordance with Australian Privacy Principle 5, the Consular Privacy Collection Statement contains information about how we collect, use, disclose and store personal information related to consular cases.

Copies of the Statement are available at online or by requesting a copy from DFAT.

The media takes a close interest in incidents involving Australians overseas, ranging from crises to individual cases. Consular clients should be aware that there may be limited circumstances when we’ll confirm to the media that we are providing you with consular assistance or correct and/or clarify information about the nature of that assistance.

 

How did we do?

We welcome your comments on our services. Both positive and negative feedback helps us to identify areas that need improvement or where changes would make sense. Sharing your experiences may also help other Australians to avoid difficulties overseas and understand what level of assistance we can provide.

You can comment on our services by:

  • using our online contact form
  • writing to us at
    First Assistant Secretary
    Consular and Crisis Management Division
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    RG Casey Building
    John McEwen Crescent
    BARTON ACT 0221

If you aren’t satisfied with our response, you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office in Australia.

 

While you’re away

  • Visit our website at smartraveller.gov.au. We regularly update travel advisories.
  • Subscribe for updates for all your destinations at subscription.smartraveller.gov.au/subscribe.
  • Follow @smartraveller on FacebookTwitter and Instagram
  • Obey the laws of the country you’re visiting even if these appear harsh or unfair by Australian standards. Don’t expect to be treated differently because you’re Australian.
  • Keep in contact with friends and family back home. Let them know if you won’t be contactable for an extended period or if you change your itinerary.
  • Risks are often greater overseas. Be careful and don’t take any risks that you wouldn’t take at home.

 

In a crisis

  • Monitor local media and follow the advice from local authorities.
  • Keep in contact with family and friends to let them know you are safe.
  • Check with your airlines or travel providers to find out if your flights or tours are affected.