Arrest of a U.S. Citizen

If you are aware that a U.S. citizen is under arrest in Kosovo, please ask the authorities to notify the U.S. Embassy Pristina immediately. The U.S. embassy will visit the prisoner, provide information about the local legal process, provide a list of local attorneys, and, with permission, notify family and friends.


Avoid getting arrested overseas by:

  • Following the laws and regulations of the country in which you are visiting or living.
  • Learning about laws which might be different from the laws in the United States. We provide some information for each country on our Country Specific pages.
  • Contacting the country’s embassy or consulate within the United States for more information.

If you are arrested overseas or know a U.S. citizen who is:

Consular assistance to U.S. prisoners:

When a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, he or she may be initially confused and disoriented. The prisoner is in unfamiliar surroundings and may not know the local language, customs, or legal system.

 We can help:

  • Provide a list of local attorneys who speak English.
  • Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with their written permission.
  • Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate.
  • Help ensure that prison officials are providing appropriate medical care.
  • Inform the detainee of local and U.S.-based resources to assist victims of crime.
  • Make sure prison officials allow visits from clergy of religious preference, if desired
  • Establish an Overseas Citizen Services Trust so friends and family can transfer funds to imprisoned U.S. citizens, when permissible under prison regulations.

We cannot:

  • Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas.
  • Make a statement of guilt or innocence
  • Provide legal advice or represent U.S. citizens in court overseas.
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators.
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for U.S. citizens overseas.