What To Do If You Lose Your Passport

What To Do If You Lose Your Passport

Any traveler’s worst nightmare is losing their passport. Not only is it your primary form of identification, but it’s essential to have when returning home. We hope this doesn’t happen to you, but if it does here’s what to do to get a new or temporary passport so you can continue your travels until you return to your country of residence. 

It’s not uncommon for passports to be lost or stolen as you travel, but it’s important that you report your missing passport to local authorities or the embassy for your country as soon as possible. If not, your passport could be used to steal your identity. For a stolen passport, file a police report with local authorities and be sure to bring files detailing the report with you when you go to the embassy. 

Each Embassy has varying requirements for passport application. The U.S. Embassy Consulate in India requires that you make an appointment in advance, while other embassies will take walk-ins. Almost all require that you appear in-person with the appropriate documents at the embassy to file your application.

To complete an application you must provide a passport photo, alternate identification like a driver’s license, evidence of citizenship like a birth certificate or photocopy of your passport, along with evidence of your travel itinerary through proof of flights, trains, etc. It is also essential that you pay for your temporary passport at the time of application.

The amount of time it takes to receive your new or temporary passport is usually speedy, but it primarily depends on the urgency of the situation and where the embassy is located. If you need to leave the country the same day you lose your passport, depending on where you are, you can receive a temporary replacement in 24 hours, and special emergency passports are issued in the case of a life or death circumstance.

The most up to date information on replacing lost or stolen passports from the official U.S. Embassy in Italy states that you can be issued a limited validity passport on the same day as long as you apply before 12 p.m. If you fail to do this, your new temporary passport will be issued on the following business day. In Spain, as long as you submit your application before 11 a.m. or noon, you can receive your new copy in the afternoon on the following business day.

To determine the processing rules and regulations for temporary passports in the country you are visiting, we recommend searching “U.S. Embassy in (your location)” or “lost, stolen, or temporary passport in (your location).” That way you can find step by step instructions for making appointments, necessary documents, and a time frame for receiving your new passport.

Temporary passports are valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children, but in certain emergency cases, an embassy can issue an emergency passport that can only be used for your destination, and should be replaced with an official passport once you return to your country of residence.

If you have any visas associated with your previous passport number, you will have to renew them once you get a new passport because your identification number will change.


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