What to do if you Lose Your Passport Abroad

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What to do if you've lost your passport overseas

These are the steps you need to take if you've lost your passport abroad.

Passport icon with red line through it

Find your nearest consulate/embassy

The first thing you should do if you've lost your passport is find the nearest consulate or embassy of the country of the passport that you hold and note down its address and contact details. This is extremely important as they will be your main point of contact and will assist you in getting your new travel document.

Report your passport as lost/stolen

Contact the consulate or embassy and report your passport as lost or stolen. Let them know the specifics of how and when you lost your passport.

If your passport was stolen, you should report the crime to the police and file a police report. Although it's not essential, evidence that your passport was stolen might help your application for a new passport.

Cancel your passport

Make sure that you cancel your existing passport to prevent it from being used for fraud. This can be done when you contact the consulate or embassy. They'll either deal with it for you directly or advise on the steps that you need to take in order to cancel it.

Decide which type of replacement passport you need

When speaking to the embassy or consulate officer, you should notify them of your situation and when you're planning to leave the country or travel home. Getting a regular replacement passport will take the same length of time than it does at home (up to 6 weeks), so if your flight home is scheduled to leave before that, you'll need an emergency passport, which is valid for one-time use to get you home.

If you had other travel plans that don't involve going home, you should inform the consulate or embassy officer who will advise you on the best step to take.

Fill out the relevant application forms

Depending on the protocol for the country that you're applying for a passport from, you'll need to either apply for your new/emergency passport online or fill out forms to take to the consulate/embassy with you.

Some consulate/embassies will allow you to fill out the forms or make the application in person, at your appointment. But pre-applying or filling out the forms in advance can speed up the process.

If you're pre-applying with an online form, you'll need to pay the fee for a new passport online. Otherwise, you can pay the fee on the day of your appointment.

Make an appointment with the consulate/embassy

Once you've determined whether you're applying online/filling out your application before visiting the consulate/embassy or not, make an appointment with the consulate/embassy to see them in person.

Take a passport photo

At some point before your appointment, make sure to get a passport photo taken (with at least two printed copies) so that you can bring it along with you on the day of your appointment. This will speed up the process on the day that you visit the consulate/embassy.

If you can't find anywhere to get a new passport photo taken, don't worry. You'll be able to take a photo on the day of your appointment at the consulate/embassy.

Attend your appointment with the consulate/embassy

The next step is to attend your scheduled appointment with the consulate/embassy of your country/passport. There are a few things you should bring with you to complete the application/pick up your passport:

  • Your application for a passport if you've not applied online
  • Evidence of citizenship, in the form of a birth certificate or a photocopy of your passport
  • Any other ID you have on you, such as a driving license or ID card
  • All your travel details and plans (boarding pass, flight confirmation, event tickets etc)
  • Your police report and crime number (if your passport was stolen)
  • Your passport photo (if you managed to get one taken prior to your appointment)

Receive your passport

Depending on your consulate/embassy and whether you were able to apply for a new passport online prior to your appointment, your emergency passport might be ready for collection on the day of your appointment. If not, it'll be ready within 24 hours.

If you've applied for a regular passport, this will take the time that it usually takes passports to be delivered in your country.