LivingTravelWhat to do if your passport is lost or...

What to do if your passport is lost or stolen

One thing you really can’t forget when traveling internationally is your passport. It is quite difficult to enter or leave a country if you don’t have it. Fortunately, most business travelers keep a close eye on their passport and make sure they have it when they go on a trip.

But what happens when you lose your passport in a foreign country? What should a business traveler do if they are in a foreign country but no longer have their passport?

Perhaps the first step is not to worry. Losing a passport (or theft of one) is certainly a pain and an inconvenience, but it is not impossible to recover. In fact, most travelers who have their passports lost or stolen can continue their travels with relatively (well, well, some) inconvenience and lost time.

Sound the alarm

If your passport is lost or stolen, the first thing to do is notify the US government that it is missing. You can do this in a number of ways. If you are still in the United States, call the United States Department of State at 1-877-487-2778. They will also ask you to complete a form (Form DS-64). Of course, once you report your lost or stolen passport, you will no longer be able to use it even if you find it.

Replace your passport abroad

The first thing to do if your passport is lost or stolen in a foreign country is to contact the US embassy or consulate. Closest. They must provide the first level of assistance. Ask to speak to the US Citizen Services unit of the Consular Section. If you plan to leave the country soon, be sure to mention your planned departure date to the representative. They should be able to help you and even provide you with information on where to get new passport photos.

Another helpful tip is to travel with a hard copy of the information page in your passport. That way, if your passport is lost or stolen, you will be able to provide all the necessary information to the US embassy.

To obtain a new passport, you will need to complete a new passport application. The representative at the embassy or consulate must be reasonably certain that you are who you say you are and that you have proper U.S. citizenship. Otherwise, they will not issue the replacement. This is usually done by examining any documents you have available, answers to questions, discussions with fellow travelers, and / or contacts in the United States. If you are traveling with a child under the age of 14, you may want to find out if they have different requirements for obtaining a lost or stolen passport.

Passport replacement details

Replacement passports are generally issued for the full ten years for which standard passports are issued. However, if the embassy or consular officer has doubts about your statements or identity, they can issue a limited three-month passport.

Normal fees are charged for replacement passports. If you don’t have money, they can issue a limited passport free of charge.

Help from home

If you have friends or family in the United States, they can also notify the government to help you start the process. They should contact Foreign Citizen Services at (202) 647-5225, in the United States Department of State. They can help verify the traveler’s old passport and erase the person’s name through the system. They can then pass this information on to the U.S. embassy or consulate. At that time, you can apply for a new passport at the embassy or consulate.

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