What to Do if You Lose Your Passport
Losing your passport whilst travelling can be highly inconvenient, expensive and worrying. In order to continue travelling, you will need to get hold of an Emergency Travel Document – an EDT. This allows you onward travel in up to five further countries.
If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in the situation where your most important travelling companion, your book of stamps and memories, and your ticket to everywhere has been lost or stolen, you will need to take a few steps in order to get sorted.
Step 1: Obtain a police report
If your passport has been stolen, you will need to obtain a police report from the local police force in order to get an EDT. Ask the staff at your accommodation to help put you in contact with the police. If you have lost your passport or it has become damaged or expired, a report is not necessary.
Step 2: Prepare the documents required
A police report for those requiring one, is not the only thing you need to get yourself an EDT. You will need to fill out the application form, which can be found online on the Government website. Alongside this, you will need a recent passport sized photograph of yourself, confirmation of onward travel plans – or a written version of your future travel plans if you do not have anything pre-booked, and the applicable fee. For citizens of the UK, the cost of an EDT is £95 and must be paid in the local currency.
Step 3: Visit the embassy
Some embassy’s require you to make an appointment to be seen; check with your nearest consulate or embassy, and if necessary make an appointment as soon as possible. Bring all the above documents to the embassy. Depending on the reason for the application of an EDT, the length of the processing time can vary. Some EDTs are issued on the same day, whereas others may take longer to process. Be as flexible as possible so that you are prepared to stay to stay somewhere longer than you had originally planned should you need to.
Step 4: Replace visas
Once you have your EDT and are able to travel onwards, you will still need all the necessary visas.. You may need to replace an existing visa for the country you are already in, alongside visas that you have already been granted and placed into your passport for intended future travel. Ask for relevant advice at the embassy or consulate and make arrangements where necessary. Be prepared to have to pay a hefty amount should you need to get visas quickly.
Step 5: Sort out onward arrangements
If you have already booked travel arrangements or a tour, don’t assume the worst and expect the company to tell you that, whilst they are very sorry, there is nothing they can do and you will simply have to re-book and pay again. Yes, some tour operators or travel companies will not allow you to change dates and you will be out of pocket, but not all companies are so unhelpful. Some may offer to re-book you for a fee, or even free. It is always best to try, as even the most unlikely of companies can sometimes come up trumps.
If you are yet to leave on your travels, and are reading this in a ‘just in case it happens to me’ way, then there is one main thing you can do at home that may help you should you find yourself in such a situation. Photocopy your passport. Pack a copy somewhere in your bag, leave a copy with a friend or family member, and scan and attach one into your email account. Should you then find yourself in this sticky predicament when you are on the road, having a ready made copy of your vital document could help to speed up the process of getting an EDT.