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Emergency assistance in Germany

If something goes wrong when you’re on holiday in Germany and you need help, you can contact the Embassy in Berlin or your local Honorary Consulate or call the Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Travel advice

Before travelling to Germany, you should read our “Know Before you Go” travel advice for tips on road safety, local laws and customs, precautions against petty crime, and more.

Consular Duty Service Out of Hours

If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on: +49 (0)30 220 720. If you call outside normal working hours, you will be asked to leave a message on the answering machine. The answering machine is monitored regularly, and the Duty Officer will contact you as soon as possible. Please ensure the message contains the following information:

• Your name
• The nature of your problem
• Where you are now
• Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you’re staying)

This duty service is operated from the Embassy in Berlin. Our Honorary Consulates do not operate an out of hours service. You may also wish to call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin directly at 00353-1-4082000.

Please read the guidelines under Lost or stolen passports prior to contacting the Embassy. The emergency travel document service is not available outside of normal office hours except in genuine, documented emergencies such as the death or serious illness of a family member.

Contacting the police

Contacting the police and emergency services

To contact the emergency services in Germany, dial 112.

Making a police report

Click here for a list of police stations by district in Berlin. Details of police stations throughout Germany are available by entering "Polizei" into an Internet search. The Bundeskriminalamt (federal criminal police) website contains links to websites of the police force of each state. Bear in mind that English language interpreters are not always available at short notice: it may be advisable to bring a German-speaking person with you.

You can also submit reports online, and in English, to most of the state police forces via the at the Online Strafanzeige website (online criminal charges). Select the state where the incident arose and then click on "Online Stratanzeige in [name of state] erstatten". At the time of writing, it is not possible to submit online complaints to the police in the states of: Munich, Hesse, Rhineland Palatinate, Saarland and Thuringia.

While the text is in German, you can submit complaints in English. Bear in mind that the person receiving your complaint will probably not be a native English speaker to keep your report concise, clear and to-the-point. If you have difficulties understanding the instructions, copy and paste the German text into an Internet translator for an approximate summary in English.

European Health Insurance Card

European Health Insurance Card and Travel Insurance

We advise you to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel to Germany. This card replaces the E111 form and entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as German nationals.

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance and doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. You can apply for an EHIC online.

You may also wish to consider acquiring comprehensive travel insurance before travelling to Germany. Your travel insurance policy should cover the entire period you are abroad until you arrive home. Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy; most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

You may wish to include the following in your policy:

• medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad, including medical evacuation/repatriation
• 24 hour emergency service and assistance
• personal liability cover (in case you are sued for causing injury or damaging property)
• lost and stolen possessions cover
• cancellation and curtailment cover
• cover for activities that are often excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing)

1. If your passport is lost or stolen you must immediately report this to your nearest police station and ask them to issue you with a statement of loss/theft.

Click here for contact details of police stations across Berlin. For police stations in other German states, enter "Polizei"and your current location into an Internet search. Bear in mind that English language interpreters are not always available at short notice: it may be advisable to bring a German-speaking person with you.

 

2. Contact the Embassy or your nearest Honorary Consulate for advice on obtaining an alternative travel document. Please note that the Honorary Consulates are not open outside of their public opening hours.

Minimum requirements to apply for an Emergency Travel Certificate or an Emergency Passport:

  • Your original police report;
  • Two passport photographs (you should find "Fotoautomats" inside shopping centres and in the main train stations - photos must comply with Passport Office requirements);
  • Proof of your flight home;
  • Evidence of your identity/citizenship. If you do not have alternative photo i.d. with you in Germany, you will need to ask somebody to bring your original long form birth certificate (and civil marriage certificate in the case of a married woman whose passport name is in her married surname), or an old cancelled passport, to a Garda Station in Ireland and fax a copy to the Embassy (fax: +49 30 220 72 299) or to your nearest Honorary Consulate;
  • A fee of €30 for a travel document issued within working hours or €110 in cash for a travel document issued outside of working hours;
  • Depending on your situation, we may require additional evidence in support of your application, including a fully witnessed application form, and additional proof of name and address.

Subject to fraud and security checks, and to maintaining the overall integrity of the passport service, this is a same day service during normal working hours.

Please bear in mind this service is not available outside of office hours except in case of emergency. You may need to arrange a new flight to allow you time to obtain a travel document. Your airline may accept a police report and another form of photo identification to allow you to return to Ireland. However, this depends on the policy of individual airlines. We strongly recommend that you contact your airline in advance.

 

3. If you are in an emergency situation requiring urgent travel (such as the death or serious illness of a family member)

Contact the Embassy, by phoning +49 (0) 30 220 720 (outside normal working hours). You will be asked to leave a message on the answering machine. The answering machine is monitored regularly and the Duty Officer at the Embassy will contact you as soon as possible. When you leave a message, remember to state your name, telephone number, the nature of the emergency, and your location. Please note that you may be requested to provide documentation relating to the emergency sitaution.

If you are resident in Germany and your passport has been stolen or lost, you must follow the following steps:

 

1. Immediately report the loss/theft to your nearest police station and ask them to issue you with a statement of loss/theft.

Click here for contact details of police stations across Berlin. For police stations in other German states, enter "Polizei"and your current location into an Internet search. Bear in mind that English language interpreters are not always available at short notice: it may be advisable to bring a German-speaking person with you.

 

2. Apply online for a new passport (online applications do not need to be witnessed. The new passport will be sent to you from Ireland by registered post approximately 10-15 working days after you have applied online. Make sure to give an address where someone can sign for the passport during your normal postal delivery times).

 

3. If you do not meet the criteria for an online application (for instance, if you have changed your name since your last passport issued), or if you do not wish to apply online, apply to the Embassy for a new passport. For general advice, please see our step-by-step guide on applying for a passport.

All applicants must include:

  • A completed and witnessed APS2 passport application form (email us your full postal address to request an application form - bear in mind that your witness must be resident in Germany);
  • 4 Passport Photographs (2 witnessed; photos must comply with the Passport Office photo requirements);
  • A copy of the photo page of your previous passport (if you have this);
  • Your original long form birth certificate or a copy certified by a notary public. This must be included for all under 18s and for adults if you have lost your passport, or if applying for your first passport;
  • Your civil marriage certificate (if you are changing your name).

With a view to preventing identity theft and the circulation of falsified passports, there are additional safeguards for the passport application procedure for those adults seeking to replace a lost or stolen passport. If your passport has been lost or stolen, you must also supply the following documents:

  • Additional form of photo-identification; e.g. a certified copy of a driver's licence, work ID; student card; social club membership; passport from other country etc.;
  • Evidence of entitlement to Irish citizenship, where applicable;
  • Documentary evidence to show use of name, e.g. payslips; records of unemployment or disability payment; bank statement; college registration etc.; and
  • Evidence of residency at the application address, e.g. utility bills; bank statements; official correspondence from public or private sector etc.

Crime

Accident/assault/victim of crime

All cases are treated in complete confidence. We can help you to contact friends and family and assist with arrangements to get you home, if that is your wish. All persons who have been assaulted, or who were in an accident, must report the incident to the Police (see "Contacting the police" tab across).

English-speaking lawyers

Contact details for lawyers in German providing a service through English is available on the www.anwalt.de website. Enter your city or state at the first search option, and then choose "Englisch" under "Sprache" (language) from the filtering options on the right. The Embassy cannot give legal advice, recommend individual lawyers or pay for legal consultations.

English-speaking medical services

Click here for a list of English-speaking doctors in Germany. The Embassy cannot give medical advice, recommend individual doctors or pay for medical services. If you have been the victim of a serious assault and would like to speak to a counsellor contact us for information on services available through English. The Berliner Krisendienst provides professional assistance in cases of psychosocial crises and acute mental and psychiatric emergencies. Contact details and information on services is available at the Krisendienst website.

 

Arrest/detention

If you are arrested, you may ask the German authorities to inform the Embassy of your arrest. Depending on the nature of the offence and on whether the authorities consider you to be a potential flight risk, you could be transferred on remand to a prison pending a trial date.

The Embassy can:

  • If necessary, provide you with a list of local English-speaking lawyers;
  • If you wish, inform your family of your arrest (for data protection reasons, we will be unable to provide more detailed information until we obtain your written consent);
  • Advise your family how they can transfer funds to your prison account;
  • Advise you about your entitlement to phone calls, visits, mail and other facilities;
  • Bring details of any medical condition you may have to the attention of police or prison officials;
  • Pursue with the prison authorities on your behalf any complaints about ill-treatment or discrimination.

However, the Embassy cannot:

  • Secure better treatment for Irish citizens than local or other nationals receive;
  • Give or pay for legal advice;
  • Recommend specific lawyers;
  • Interfere with or influence the proper operation and application of the local judicial system;
  • Provide any financial assistance while you are in prison;
  • Pay bail bonds or fines.

Death and illness abroad

Death Abroad

If a member of your family dies while abroad, the Irish Embassy will provide all possible assistance in dealing with the formalities that arise in these situations.

The Embassy can:

• Arrange to have the next of kin of the deceased informed by the Garda Síochána
• Assist with procuring documents such as death certificates or medical or police reports
• Assist relatives to communicate with the Police and other authorities

However, the Embassy does not:

• Investigate the circumstances of the death
• Pay expenses relating to local burial or cremation
• Pay the cost of repatriating the remains
• Pay for relatives to travel to where the death occurred or to accompany the remains to Ireland

If the deceased was covered by travel insurance, it is important for next of kin to contact the insurance company without delay. If there is no insurance cover, the cost of repatriation or burial will have to be met by the family.

Families should be aware that the time required to repatriate remains to Ireland varies depending on the circumstances of a death. A minimum of a week is usual from Germany. However, there may be circumstances where repatriation can be delayed for longer.

Illness/Hospitalisation

In an emergency, you are advised to go to the nearest public hospital as soon as possible. You can access information on English-speaking medical services.

If you become ill or require hospital treatment while in Germany, you or your friends/family can contact the Embassy/nearest Honorary Consulate for assistance if you need help in dealing with the situation.

The Embassy can:

• Offer general advice on the local medical services
• Assist in liaising with doctors or hospitals
• Advise relatives or friends about accidents or illnesses
• Assist in arranging repatriation to Ireland

It is important to stress that the Embassy does not have funds to pay hospital bills or meet other medical expenses on your behalf.

Also, the Embassy does not:

• Provide medical advice
• Pursue insurance companies about payment of or refund of the cost of medical treatment
• Pursue claims for compensation relating to negligence, injury or any other matter
• Pay for visits by relatives

Remember...

Don’t take the risk of travelling without your European Health Insurance Card  and comprehensive travel insurance.