Send an International Fax

There are many reasons that you might want to send an international fax. Various formal business transactions will often require faxing, which takes much less time than postal mail when you need to get signed documents abroad. International faxing can be more expensive and a little more complicated than sending a domestic fax. There are some easy steps to follow that will help make sure your international fax is successful.


  1. Find a fax machine with international capability. Not all fax machines or public fax kiosks can send documents abroad. When you see a fax machine with international sending options, look at the prices to be sure that you're comfortable paying the international rate, which can be a lot more than a local rate for faxes.
  2. Figure out the country code for the destination country. Each country has its own code composed of several digits. You'll need this piece of information in order to dial the number that you use to send the fax.
    • Get access to a list of country codes through phone books, informational lists or other resources like phone cards. The web sites or promotional materials of phone card vendors usually have the relevant country code information. Having a list of country codes helps if you need to send international faxes on a frequent basis.
  3. Check fax protocols. Different fax machines and services are set up in different ways. Some require you to dial extra numbers to get an "outside line." Many machines may require an additional code with the country code in order to route the documents correctly. This code changes depending on from where you are sending the fax.
  4. Compose a cover sheet. Pay attention to what recipients abroad will be seeing. Your documents might go through, but the transaction may be delayed if the people who receive your fax can't understand what's in it. Take care to label your fax cover sheet with specific instructions for recipients, and consider adding foreign language descriptions if those in the destination country may not speak your language. Clearly identify yourself as the sender and include your phone number in case there are any issues with comprehension or receiving.
  5. Place the document on the fax machine as indicated. Most fax machines take paper face down in order to correctly scan it.
  6. Follow instructions on the machine, entering the entire fax number as necessary.
  7. Wait for final proof of transmission. Most fax machines will generate a result for a fax when the machine has either sent it successfully, or encounters problems that eventually stops the transmission. Getting the paper document that shows successful transmission will help you out if there are problems later. You can also keep the receipt for tax records.


  • Listen to the pickup to make sure that you have sent your international fax to the right number. If you hear a voice instead of line static when the line picks up, you may want to call that number and ask about an accurate fax number for your documents.

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