Traveling to international destinations is no longer a grave problem. Majority of the countries of the world have opened up their doors to people from around the world – not only for travel and tourism purpose, but also for business purposes. The document that is mandatory for international travel is the passport. Along with this, there are visa requirements for different countries – though the requirements vary from one another. Again there are nations where visa is not required – some kind of permit is enough. However, whether it is the visa or the permit, it is affixed to the passport only. Thus, the passport becomes a very important document for you while traveling internationally.
Losing a passport while on an international trip
There are innumerable people who have faced the problem of losing their passport on an international trip. It is a common nightmare that travelers and tourists across the world face. The passport can either get lost or can be stolen and it can happen in the blink of an eye. Losing your passport means losing your main identification document along with the visas and permits on it.
There are various ways in which the passport might get lost. Many people leave it in the pockets of seats in the flights, some might drop it while putting the thing in the bag. Again the passport might be misplaced with some distraction and gone forever. Pickpocketing and lifting it up is also not uncommon. You might be completely unaware and your passport might just be gone.
It is obvious that such a situation in a foreign land will make you nervous and lead to panic. However, travel experts suggest that there is nothing to panic if such a situation arises. Embassies across the world are used to the issue of stolen and lost passport and they just know what to do in these situations. In majority of the cases it has been seen that the embassy professionals help the travelers in replacing the lost or stolen passports with minimum hassle.
Steps which need to be followed for replacing lost and stolen passport
It is needless to say that people who have lost their passport or whose passports have been stolen need to get a replacement as soon as possible. This document will not only help in identifying the traveler as a citizen to his native country, but it is also needed for visitor exit and getting into the home country.
The first step that needs to be taken for replacing a stolen or lost passport is contacting the United States Embassy or Consulate in the country one is visiting. The Consular Section has to be visited where an appointment is scheduled for travelers for replacing their passport. Travelers are requested to bring various kinds of documents during the appointment and these include the travel itinerary and any kind of current identification proof like a driver’s license. If the traveler has a copy of the lost/stolen passport, furnishing that is of great help. A police report is also to be submitted regarding the loss of the passport.
The replacement passport, which is issued in place of the lost/stolen passport remains valid for a period of 10 years. However, there might be special circumstances which have to be identified by the consular officer. Now, if there are visas on the passport, those have to be replaced as well. The Consular Officer is the best person who can guide travelers in this regard as what should be done. The processing of the whole thing might take few days. But immediate reporting of the loss with the police report must be done at all costs.
Losing US passport within the country
Apart from losing US passport on international trips, many people have reported loss and stealing of passport within US as well. In such a case, handling the problem is comparatively easier. Within the country, the problem might be solved at a Post Office or by any agency which offers passport services. All notices of lost or stolen passports must be sent directly to the Department of State for processing. Two forms need to be filled up in this regard – the standard passport application form (DS-11) and the statement for the stolen or lost passport (DS-64). Other documents have to be furnished as well in support of the application. There is no need to worry as how to get a passport replacement – you just need to have patience, that’s all. If you need expedited passport services for this, you will have to pay handsome amount of additional charges.