How to dial an international call

An international call is dialed with the following sequence:

Exit CodeCountry CodeLocal Phone Number
connects to the international switchboardconnects to the destination country's switchboardphone number at the destination country

This call sequence exists for calling between any two countries, with the exception of calling between two regions that are both in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP).

NANP regions include Canada, the United States, a majority of Caribbean regions, and U.S. territories in the Pacific.

Step 1: The exit code

The first step is to dial the exit code.

This is a code that is needed to reach international switchboard.

The exit code varies by country – in most of Europe, Africa, and Asia, it is ’00’, in the United States and Canada it is ‘011’, in Australia it is ‘0011’, in Russia it is ‘8 – wait for the dial tone – 10’.

Once this code has been dialed, the phone is connected to the international switchboard.

On cellular phones, the exit code can be replaced with a ‘+’ – this allows the user to connect to the international swtichboard from wherever they are located (as exit codes vary by country).

Step 2: The country code

Once the international swtichboard is reached, the next step is to dial the destination country code.

This it the unique code assigned to each country (there are some regions that share a country code, however the process is the same)

Dialing the country code connects the call to the destination country’s domestic switchboard.

Step 3: The local phone number

Once connected to the destination country’s domestic switchboard, the local phone number needs to be dialed.

The structure of local phone numbers varies between countries – some have phone numbers as short as 5 digits (some special numbers are even shorter) to as long as 15 digits or more.