What to do when you lose your passport while travelling abroad.

Travelling abroad for vacation, honeymoon, business meetings is all fun. But imagine, what would you do if you lose your most important travel document in other country. Either you misplaced it, or it got stolen, in any case, it would eat up your calmness, fun of travelling, money, patience and most important time.

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Losing your passport could be stressful especially when you are abroad but Folks, this is not an end of life. You can certainly return back to your country and Here’s how you can handle such situations when you lose your passport when travelling abroad.

Don’t Panic and Take a Rewind:

panic

Losing a passport can be nightmare, but stay calm and don’t panic. Take few steps backwards to your day and think if you could have left it somewhere, may be coffee shops, restaurants, sites, theaters, etc. Speak to their missing items in -charge and check if they have got it from somewhere or someone has handed over to them. Panicking will not change the real situation rather you must stay calm and think real actions to do.

Pitch on Social Media:

social media

Social Media could give prompt help to you in such case. Tweet or Post on FB about your missing passport. Be smart enough not to put your passport number or scanned copy of your passport on the Social Media as it is very confidential information. But you can certainly mention the place (if you remember when you lost the passport) and date. Ask you family and friends to share on their network about this so that someone can help you with this situation locally in that country.

Report to Police:

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If all above doesn’t help, Don’t waste your time and rush to police station to report your missing passport. Be as much as straight as possible and mention when did you see your passport last. They will record this in a statement and handover a copy to you as a legal document which you will require to get the new passport.

Get in touch with Embassy or Consulate:

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The Cops department can also help you direct to nearest embassy or at least give you the contact number of the embassy/consulate. Contact them, take an appointment to re-issue the passport and head straight to embassy with following documents ready before you reach there.

  • Police report in original
  • Self-attested photocopy of first two and last two pages, including ECR/Non-ECR page of old passport, if available.
  • Identification proof (Driving license etc).
  • A copy of your travel itinerary which includes your plans for leaving the country.

Along with these docs, you will have to fill up the Application form which records your personal details like Name, address, country, birth dates etc. Also, you will have to fill the old passport details like Date of issue, Expiry date, place of issue etc. In case, if you don’t have it handy; All the hotels these days, scan your passport upon your check-in in the foreign country. You can get your old passport details from the check-in counter of your hotel you are staying to help you.

Keep the money handy to pay the fee:

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Money Matters! Be ready to pay the fee to get the temporary issued passport. You can either pay by your credit card or cash.

Rearrange your flight:

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Inform the airline you were supposed to travel with, if your return journey is already planned and you are closer to that date, let them know your situation immediately and check with them how much it would cost to re-book the tickets. Usually, they exchange your original ticket and give you another ticket to get back home with minimal charges or no charge. If you have any connecting flight, give them a buzz as well and inform.

Need to go back urgently? Get “Emergency Certificate”: 

Upon losing the passport you can apply for ‘Emergency Certificate’ at the respective Embassy or consulate.

For Indian citizens: Refer here the consulate details.

 For some reason, you need to return to home country on an emergency (death in family or medical condition etc), then you can come to home country based on “Emergency Certificate”. An Emergency certificate is a one-way travel document which can be issued to the citizens of respective country whose passport has been lost, stolen or damaged. With this emergency certificate, you will be able to fly home.

You will have to carry following documents to apply for an “Emergency Certificate”:

  • Application form
  • 4-6 passport size photograph
  • Original passport copy (if available) or details of old passport
  • Police FIR statement.

Exit Visa:

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If you are in a foreign country, be mindful that you will need an exit visa to travel out of that country. The government office of the respective country can issue the exit visa for which you may have to pay some fees. This procedure may vary country to country.

Re-issue of Passport:

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Do not forget to apply for Re-issue of your passport once you are back your country. apply for “Re-issue” of passport and submit the required documents along with your passport application form.

To Apply the re-issue of passport you will need following documents:

  • Proof of Present Address.
  • Proof of Date of Birth.
  • Affidavit stating how and where the passport got lost/damaged.
  • Police report in original.
  • Self-attested photocopy of first two and last two pages, including ECR/Non-ECR page of old passport, if available.
  • A copy of your travel itinerary which includes your plans for leaving the country.

Insider Tips: 

  • Emergency passports are only valid for a year, so you’ll have to exchange for a regular passport once you’re back in the country. No fee involved.
  • Note down and store the address, phone and website of your closest embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit before leaving on your trip.
  • Make color photocopy of your passport and carry with you always when travelling to foreign country.
  • Make use of your smart phones and keep pics of your passport in your phone and store them on the secure cloud storage location like Dropbox.
  • Carry some extra passport size photos always.
  • It is also good to keep a scanned copy of your passport with you.
  • Have your backups ready with you i.e. carry photocopies of:

                 == Your passport identification page.

                 == Front and back side of your credit cards.

                  == Driving License

                 == Phone numbers of your bank.

 

Losing a passport can create a lot of hassle so it is important to know what to do if your passport is lost or stolen. Although each embassy may have different procedure for respective country, we have tried to jot down all the basic things you need to do in such situation.

Have you lost your passport ever? What were your learnings and how did you handle that situation? Share with us in comments.

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15 thoughts on “What to do when you lose your passport while travelling abroad.

  1. Avantika Agarwal says:

    Yes our passport got lost.. They were ready to deport us back to India.. we called Indian Embassy from airport.. n many calls we did.. we give thm scanned copies of passport.. our whole day was wasted… Next day we reported to police.. thn we went to visa office.. n Indian embassy for emergency certificate.. we were in that country for 7 days.. 3 days was waste in all these.. we went to found our passport in lost n found department too. Bt all wasted.. bt thankfully we visited the country n completed our trip..

    Like

  2. Avantika Agarwal says:

    Yes our passport got lost.. They were ready to deport us back to India.. we called Indian Embassy from airport.. n many calls we did.. we give thm scanned copies of passport.. our whole day was wasted… Next day we reported to police.. thn we went to visa office.. n Indian embassy for emergency certificate.. we were in that country for 7 days.. 3 days was waste in all these.. we went to found our passport in lost n found department too. Bt all wasted.. bt thankfully we visited the country n completed our trip..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritika says:

    We never lost our passport but that’s one nightmare I feel can happen to me 😦
    Thanks for sharing this post .. It’s very very helpful ., and glad to read it before so that I can b calm when it’s needed

    Liked by 1 person

  4. abcdefghizzy says:

    SO STRESSFUL! I could only imagine my fear if I were to ever find myself in this situation but the tips are really great. I love how you reiterate the importance of keeping photocopies of your passport on yourself and also a full itinerary. I know friends who have been able to expedite their lost passports since they had their photocopied passport page on hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OStruck - A Lifestyle Blogger says:

    Amazing input & a write up. Very informative. I always am in two minds when travelling out of my country. should I carry my passport with me or leave it back at the hotel/place I am staying in?
    I am sharing your post on my fb page.

    Liked by 1 person

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