Everyone should take the opportunity to travel at least a few times in their lives. Whether you decides to travel to a new region within their country, or go to a completely foreign one, travel allows you to expand your horizons. Just be sure to carry the necessary supplies and items for your journey.
However, you should expect things to not go according to plan in some capacity. If you’re not careful with your belongings and important documents, your passport may become lost. In your panic, you may not remember what to do if you lose your passport overseas.
Losing documentation as important as your passport can be a tremendously stressful situation. However, it shouldn’t be cause to lose sight of your return trip plans. There are always safeguards in place around the world in case you lose your passport overseas. Don’t let this unfortunate incident completely ruin your voyage!
Here are the six tasks you should do if you lose your passport overseas:
Step #1: Contact the nearest embassy about your lost passport
If you have lost your passport, or are the victim of theft, the first thing you need to do is report it to the nearest consulate. The information on the respective consulate should be easy to locate; visit the country’s home website to start. Once you have found out where it is, make your way to the embassy.
Once there, you should be prepared to speak with a consular officer and provide them with the details about how you lost your passport. Once you explain your situation to the officer, inform them about the details of your return trip. It is vital that you establish a relevant schedule as quickly as possible, so you are able to return home in a timely manner after losing the passport.
Step #2: File a police report about the lost passport
Do you know what to do if you lose your passport due to an incident of theft? In the event of a stolen passport, you should also be prepared to contact the local law enforcement. This is because you need to file a police report. Some individuals initially believe that this isn’t necessary, but it is a critical step to take if your documentation gets stolen.
The first reason for this is because it provides confirmation that your passport was indeed stolen. Having recorded documentation on this event is always something to support your claim. Be sure to time this step properly, in relation to your return trip. If your return trip is mere hours or days away, it might be better to skip it altogether.
Step #3: Take a new passport picture
Once the embassy has been informed of you losing your passport, it is time to take a new photo for your new passport. You can also do this before you inform the consulate of your situation, although it depends on your circumstances. Should you choose to take the photo afterwards, find a place that provides passport-taking services.
Most countries will have these services in local photography shops for ease of access. Following this step, you will need to return to the embassy with your new, passport-approved photo. Although the situation so far is nerve-wracking, try your best not to feel too stressed out!
Step #4: Fill out the new passport application
Once you have arrived at the consulate, you will be required to fill out a new passport application. This process usually involves filling out two forms. One is for the actual new passport, while the other one is a statement indicating how your original passport was misplaced or stolen.
The latter form is especially important because, once processed, it will render your old passport as void. This will prevent anyone else from using it for nefarious purposes, should they get their hands on it. After these forms have been filled out, hand them back to the respective representative and await further instruction.
Step #5: Pick up and pay for the replacement passport
Once you are given the go ahead to pick up your new passport, you’ll need to bring with you certain documents. This is to confirm that the new passport belongs to you and coincides with your identity. Usually, these documents include some alternative type of identification like a driver’s license, or the boarding pass you used for travel.
After your identity has been confirmed, you’ll have to pay for the processing and servicing. New passports are generally priced around the one-hundred and fifty mark, depending on where you are. If you are unable to pay this fee, you should be given an option to have someone on your behalf pay it for you.
Step #6: Wait for your new passport to arrive
Normally, the final step in getting your new passport is to simply wait. Depending on your situation, the general wait time of four to six weeks can be significantly reduced. This is only if your old passport was confirmed to be misplaced or stolen.
In addition, if you plan to travel back to your home country immediately, you should also be given the option to be issued an emergency passport. Just be aware that this takes twenty-four hours to be issued. Furthermore, it will only be validated long enough to get you back to your country of origin.