International Phone Number Format & Examples: How to Dial Abroad Without Making Mistakes

  • Last Updated: 15 Feb 24
  • 14 min read
international phone number format and examples how to dial abroad without making mistakes

In our phone-connected world, communication barriers have nearly been eradicated, and borders are increasingly blurred by various means. That being the case, International phone numbers are the true medium, making cross-border communication possible.

Whether you need to connect with loved ones overseas or conduct business with international partners, making phone calls properly is crucial. And to do it correctly, at all times, you need to master the art of international dialing with precise knowledge of all international phone number formats.

But where to get that expertise? Well, that’s what this blog is all about.

In this blog, we aim to provide you an overview of the international phone number format and its components, make you familiar with the writing format of some major countries, and finally, provide a list of do’s, don’t & tricks to remember.

So, first, let us introduce you to International Number Formats.

What is the International Phone Number Format?

The international phone number format is a standardized way of writing a telephone number, and it is a globally recognized numbering plan for international telephone numbers. It is also known as the E.164 standard, which was established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to ensure consistent and reliable worldwide communication. Having learned that, now, let’s move on to the technical bits.

what is the international phone number format

What are the Components of International Phone Numbers?

In general, a typical international phone number consists of three main components. And to make it even simpler for you to get associated with all those elements, here is a breakdown of those:

What are the Components of International Phone Numbers
  • Country Code: It is a unique prefix assigned to each country, usually ranging from one to three digits in length, which is used to identify the country to which a phone number belongs to.
  • Area Code/NDC/Dialing Code: It is a three-digit number that is assigned to a specific geographic region within a country, which is used to distinguish between local and long-distance and then to route calls to the correct area. For example, 888 is the area code related to the toll-free number in North America.
  • Subscriber Number(SN): It is the remaining set of digits representing the unique phone number of a specific subscriber or telephone within a country. Its length varies from country to country and is of the following types-
    • Mobile Numbers: These numbers are designed to be used on mobile phones and typically have a specific format that includes a Mobile Country Code (MCC), a Mobile Network Code (MNC), and then the subscriber’s number, making them usable across the designated country.
    • Telephone Numbers: These numbers are directly assigned to landline phones and are used to make and receive calls within a specific geographic area. Their format varies depending on the country and are commonly known as Local numbers.
    • Toll-Free Numbers: Toll-free numbers are special phone numbers that can be dialed for free from any phone in a country and are typically used by businesses and organizations. Toll-free numbers typically have a specific format that starts with a specific prefix, such as “800” in the United States.

All these three components are joined to make a complete international number, which all together constitutes a maximum of 15 digits and is formatted as follows: [Country Code] + [National Destination Code] + [Subscriber’s Number].

Here are some real-life examples of international phone numbers from different countries and regions.

CountryCountry CodeExample Phone Number
China+86+86 138 0013 8000
India+91+91 987 654 3210
Indonesia+62+62 812 345 6789
United States+1+1 212 456 7890
Brazil+55+55 11 98765 4321
Russia+7+7 912 345 6789
Pakistan+92+92 333 123 4567
Nigeria+234+234 802 345 6789
Bangladesh+880+880 1712 345 678
Japan+81+81 90 1234 5678
Germany+49+49 171 234 5678
Philippines+63+63 917 123 4567
Mexico+52+52 55 1234 5678
Iran+98+98 912 345 6789
Egypt+20+20 10 123 4567
Italy+39+39 333 123 4567
United Kingdom+44+44 791 112 3456
Vietnam+84+84 912 345 678
Turkey+90+90 532 123 4567
France+33+33 7 56 78 90 12
Thailand+66+66 92 345 6789
South Africa+27+27 82 345 6789
Colombia+57+57 321 123 4567
Ukraine+380+380 97 123 4567
Argentina+54+54 911 123 4567

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How to Write US Phone Number in International Format?

In the United States, phone numbers are typically written in the format: (XXX) XXX-XXXX. To write a US phone number in international format, you would add the country code before the local number.

The international format for a US phone number would be +1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX. Below is a table that depicts various US phone number types:

US Phone Number TypeDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX+1-203-688-5500
Toll-Free+1 800 XXX-XXXX+1-800-222-6868
Mobile+1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX+1-610-234-7996
VanityVarious Formats+1-215-Get-A-Cab

How to Write UK Phone Number in International Format?

There is a standard way of writing phone numbers in the UK by using XXX-XXX-XXXX. You would need to add the country code to a UK phone number in order to convert it into an international format.

The international format for a UK phone number would be +44 XXX-XXX-XXXX. Below is a table that depicts various UK number types:

UK Phone Number TypeDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+44 XXXX-XXX-XXX+44 207 143  7567
Toll-Free+44 0800 XXX XXX+44 800 333 8874
Mobile+44 7XXX XXX XXX+44 791 112 4456
VanityVarious Formats+44 07123-ERCPST 

How to Write Canadian Phone Number in International Format?

In Canada, phone numbers are typically written in the format: (XXX) XXX-XXXX. To write a Canadian phone number in an international format, you would first have to add the country’s code before the local number. +1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX is the international format for a Canadian phone number. 

The following table illustrates various types of Canadian numbers:

Canada Phone Number TypeDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX+1 613-957-2991
Toll-Free1 800 XXX-XXXX1-800-837-6486
Mobile+1 (XXX) XXX-XXXX+1 613-722-7000
VanityVarious Formats+1-800-TERMIUM

How to Write Australian Phone Number in International Format?

The format of Australian phone numbers is XXX-XXX-XXX. If you want to write an Australian phone number in the international format, you must add the country code before the local number, which would be like this: +61 XXX-XXX-XXX.

Below is a table that depicts various Australian number types:

Australia Phone Number TypeDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+61 XXX-XXX-XXX+61 (2) 9299 9999
Toll-Free+61 1800-XXX-XXX+61 1800 865 256
Mobile+61 04XX-XXX-XXX+61 483-957-504
VanityVarious Formats1300 GROWTH

How to Write Indian Phone Number in International Format?

In India, phone numbers are typically written in the format XXX-XXX-XXXX. To write an Indian phone number in international format, you would add the country code before the local number. Then the international format for an Indian phone number looks like this: +91 XXX-XXX-XXXX. 

Here is a table that shows the various Indian number types:

India Phone Number TypeDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+91 XXX-XXX-XXXX+91 11-25750000
Toll-Free+91 0800-XXX-XXXX+91 0800-950-6264
Mobile+91 XXXXXXXXXX+91 9431822450
VanityVarious Formats033-444-4444

How to Write French Phone Number in International Format?

X-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX is the typical format for French phone numbers. When writing a French phone number in an international format, you should enter the country’s code first and then the local number. A French international phone number would be like this: +33 X-XX-XX-XX-XX. 

Here is a table that contains all the number types used in France:

France Phone Number TypesDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+33 X-XX-XX-XX-XX+91 9431822450
Toll-Free+33 0800 XX XX XX+33 0800 04 00 04
Mobile+33 XX-XX-XX-XX-XX+33 01 45 67 50 50
VanityVarious Formats01.53.67.50.50

How to Write German Phone Number in International Format?

German phone numbers are typically written in the format XXX-XXX-XXXX, and to write those in the international format, you have to add the country code before the local number. To make the identification process easier, here is the usual international format for a German phone number: +49 XXX-XXX-XXXX.

This table consists of various German number types:

German Phone Number TypesDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+49 XX-XXXX-XXXXX+49 30 9018 22010
Toll-Free+49 XXXX XX XX XX+49 1802 22 22 22
Mobile+49 XX XXX XXX XXX+49 30 450 555 222
VanityVarious Formats11880 (Auskunft)

How to Write Japan Phone Number in International Format?

Japanese phone numbers are typically written as XX-XXXX-XXXX. To write a Japanese phone number in international format, you would add the country code, which would look like this: +81 XX-XXXX-XXXX. 

Here is a table that illustrates the different types of Japan numbers:

Japan Phone Number TypesDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+81 XX-XXXX-XXXX+81 03-3443-8111
Toll-Free+81 800-XXX-XXXX+81 800-112-299
Mobile+81 XXX-XX-XXXX+81 476-22-2311
VanityVarious Formats#8000

Check out👀: How to Call Japan from the US?

How to Write Philippine Phone Number in International Format?

Phone numbers In the Philippines are typically written in the format XXX-XXX-XXXX. The international format for a Philippine phone number is +63 XXX-XXX-XXXX. Here is a table that displays the number types used in the Philippines:

Philippine Phone Number TypesDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+632 XXXX-XXXX+632 8558-0798
Toll-Free1-800-XX-XXX-XXX1-800-11-456-789
Mobile+63 XXX-XXX-XXXX+63 917-894-3088
VanityVarious Formats1-800-10-GOBI

How to Write Brazilian Phone Number in International Format?

In Brazil, phone numbers are typically written in the format XX-XXXXX-XXX. To write a Brazilian phone number in international format, you would first have to add the country’s code before the local number, which would look like this: +55 XX-XXXXX-XXX.

Brazil Phone Number TypesDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+55 XX-XXXXX-XXXX55 11-3069-6100
Toll-Free+55 800-XXX-XXXX+55 800-116-5656
Mobile+55 XX-XXXXX-XXXX+55 21 99876-5432
VanityVarious Formats21 99999-9999

How to Write Nigerian Phone Number in International Format?

In Nigeria, phone numbers are commonly written in the format XXX-XXX-XXXX. To convert a Nigeria phone number to an international format, you would add the country code before the local number. Then, the international format for a Nigeria phone number would be +234 XXX-XXX-XXXX. Below is a table that depicts various Nigerian phone number types:

Nigeria Phone Number TypeDialing FormatExamples
Local/Landline+234 XXX-XXX-XXXX+234 704-365-9614
Toll-Free+234 800 XXXX-XXXX+234 800-2255-6688
Mobile+234 XXX-XXX-XXXX+234 802-290-8484
VanityVarious Formats0800-CALL-FGN

International Phone Number Dialing Etiqques: Do’s & Don’t

Having learned what international number formats are and their components, and also having understood how to correctly write those for various countries.

International Phone Number Dialing Etiqques Dos and Dont

There’s still a list of guidelines you need to follow while exploring the world of international numbers to eliminate the existence of any errors, like unfamiliar dialing codes and country-specific protocols, that might unintentionally occur. To make things easier, here are some Do’s, Don’ts, and some tips that you must follow as a traveler or business personnel any & all the time-

Do’s:

  • Research Country Codes: Know the country code of the destination you’re calling. It’s like the secret handshake to get your call through.
  • Use the ‘+’ Symbol: Start your number with the ‘+’ symbol, followed by the country code. This magical ‘+’ works across borders, making your call internationally friendly.
  • Double-Check Numbers: Precision matters. Recheck the number before hitting that dial button to avoid ending up in the wrong hemisphere.
  • Include Local Area Codes: Some countries require you to dial a city or area code before the local number. Be thorough, and include it.
  • Understand Time Zones: Nobody likes a 3 AM wake-up call. Be mindful of the time zone differences and call at a reasonable hour.
  • Consider the Receiver’s Time: If it’s a personal call, think about when the other person is likely to be available. Work calls during their lunch break might not be appreciated.

Don’ts:

  • Assume One Format Fits All: Different countries have different formats for phone numbers. Don’t assume a universal style—research and adapt.
  • Forget the Exit Code: If you’re dialing out from a different country, use the exit code of the country you’re in before dialing the international number. It’s the door out.
  • Ignore Language Differences: If English isn’t the dominant language, make an effort to learn a few basic phrases or hire an interpreter. It’s a nice touch.
  • Rely Solely on Mobiles: While mobiles are convenient, sometimes landlines are the way to go. Check what’s more suitable for the country you’re dialing.
  • Skip on Country-Specific Rules: Some countries have additional digits for special services or require a specific sequence for mobile numbers. Respect the local rules.
  • Assume Your Phone Works Everywhere: Not all phones are created equal. Check if your phone is compatible with the local network or if you need a SIM card.
Also check out👉: How to Call International from USA

Special Tips for Travelers and Business Professionals

  • Use International Roaming or Local SIM Cards: Firstly, activate international roaming on your phone, and if not possible, consider getting yourself a local SIM card to avoid excessive charges and save some bucks.
  • Explore Communication Apps: Secondly, try using VoIP communication apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, or Cloud-telephony services for cost-effective international calls or video conferences over Wi-Fi.
  • Have Emergency Contacts Handy: When traveling to unexplored territories, make sure you have saved some important local and international emergency contacts in your phone for quick access. It can be the thing that saves your life.
  • Test Your Connectivity: The last tip that you must follow all the time is to test your connectivity to avoid dropped calls or poor audio quality before even beginning to make a call.

The Wrap-up!

Bringing all the things together, in this blog, we highlighted everything about international phone number format and its components, discussed how to correctly write international phone numbers of some famous and well-known countries, and provided you with some crucial tips, do’s & don’ts to be always followed in any scenario.

However, it is crucial for you, yourself, as a phone number user to be able to recognize and understand all the varying phone number formats across the world and to accurately write those. As this knowledge can help you get rid of communication barriers, ensure that you can contact the person you want, lead to effective communication, and to avoid confusion and error in both personal and business contexts.

FAQs

How to write my phone number in International format?

To write your phone number in an international format, you’ll need to know the country code for your country. You can find country codes online or in a phone book. Once you have the country code, follow these steps:

  1. To begin, enter the country code, which is a 1 to 3-digit code prefixed by “+” or “00”.
  2. Next, add the local area code.
  3. Finally, enter the rest of your phone number. Make sure that you remove any preceding zeros from your number, and also note that the number of digits varies from country to country.

For example, if your phone number is (123) 456-7890 and you live in the United States, your international phone number would be +11234567890.

Are all phone numbers 10 digits internationally?

No, not all phone numbers are 10 digits internationally. The length of a phone number can vary depending on the country. While the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set a maximum length of 15 digits for international phone numbers, this means countries can use shorter numbers.

As an example, in the United States, the length of a phone number is seven digits, while in France, it is eight digits

What is the proper format for a phone number?

The proper format for a phone number varies from country to country and the context in it is to be used. However, there are some general guidelines that you can research on and follow when dialing a phone number in an international format. Here is a general outline of a proper format for a phone number:

  • International format: A plus sign (+) – country code – city code – local phone number(user’s number).
  • Landline format: A 2-digit area code – a non-breaking space – the rest of the number in 2 chunks of 4 digits or altogether.
  • Mobile format: The mobile operator code- seven to ten digits for the main phone number.
  • Vanity format: Any combination of unique characters with separators, such as a space, dash, or period.

What is the country exit code for USA?

The exit code for the United States is 011. When you are calling from the United States to another country, you must dial the exit code followed by the country code and the phone number. For instance, to make a call to a telephone number in the UK, you would have to dial 011+44+12345678.

Arun Chaudhary

Arun is SEO Analyst at KrispCall. He has written in extensively in the field of cloud telephony and call center solutions.

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