Detained Foreign Nationals
and Consular Notification

Any Texas judicial authority who presides over the arraignment of a foreign national should offer the arraigned person an opportunity to contact the consular officials of his country of origin.

Under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, consular officials are entitled to communicate with and to have access to their nationals in detention so that they can provide consular assistance.

The US Department of State Consular Notification and Access provides sample notification statements written in 13 languages. It is available online in a printer-friendly format.

The US Department of State Consular Notification and Access contains instructions and guidance relating to the arrest and detention of foreign nationals and related issues pertaining to the provision of consular services to foreign nationals in the United States. The Guide is designed to help ensure that foreign governments can extend appropriate consular services to their nationals in the United States and that the United States complies with its legal obligations to such governments.

The instructions and guidance herein should be followed by all federal, state, and local government judicial officials, insofar as they pertain to foreign nationals subject to such officials’ authority or to matters within such officials’ competence.

The continued cooperation of federal, state, and local judicial officials in ensuring that foreign nationals in the United States are treated in accordance with these instructions will permit the United States to comply with its consular legal obligations domestically. Additionally, it will help ensure that the United States can insist upon rigorous compliance by foreign governments with respect to United States citizens abroad. The Office of the Attorney General of Texas appreciates the assistance of all judicial officials in helping to achieve these objectives.

Revised: August 25 2011