Whom should I contact if I am confronted with financial difficulties abroad?
A social aid scheme for Swiss citizens abroad exists at the Federal Office of Justice and can help expatriate Swiss citizens who find themselves in difficulty. Applications for such aid must be sent to the Swiss Representation responsible for your place of domicile. The Swiss Representation will then forward the dossier to the Federal Office of Justice in Berne. Swiss citizens residing in Germany and France on the other hand must make their application to the appropriate social aid authorities of Germany and France. Switzerland has in fact signed agreements on social aid with those countries.
Important: social aid for Swiss citizens abroad is not in principle provided for persons holding dual nationality when the foreign nationality is preponderant. In such cases, the other state will in principle have authority to determine applications for aid.
In a number of countries, Swiss benevolent societies exist to assist compatriots who are in financial difficulties. You will find a few addresses on the pages listing Swiss associations abroad. The Organisation of Swiss Abroad also has other addresses.