Losing one’s passport is every traveller’s worst nightmare. It seems like it’s the end of the world, but it’s really not. Here are 12 steps to handle the unfortunate situation.
1. Do not panic.
Remember that it can happen to you. It’s an important document, but that’s that. You’re not going to die, and it’s not the end of the world.
2. Retrace your steps and recollect where you last saw it.
Remember how Carrie Bradshaw finds her lost passport at a shoe shop in Abu Dhabi in the movie Sex And The City 2? Well, there are chances that you might have left it at a coffee shop or at the museum. Check all the places you went to and ask the locals around.
3. Make noise on social media.
Tweet or post a status saying that you have lost your passport. Ask your friends to share it. If you’re lucky, some good samaritan will surely come to your rescue.
4. File a police report.
If you’re in India, then head to the nearest police station and file an FIR. Simply tell the police where you might have misplaced it. The police will give you a copy of your statement in the form of a legal document officially stating that your passport is missing.
5. Visit the nearest embassy/consulate.
At the embassy or the consulate, you will have to produce the written statement of your missing passport, which you got from the police. You will then have to apply for an emergency certificate at the nearest embassy. It would take a week or two for the certificate to arrive. With this emergency certificate, you will be able to fly out of the country.
6. Get passport size pictures clicked at a local photo booth.
The embassy will ask you for your passport size photos. Get them clicked from a local photo booth. You will be issued a form which will ask you for your previous passport information.
7. You will have to pay an emergency processing fee.
You will have to pay a specific amount for the emergency certificate process at the embassy. Keep the money ready with you, or call up a friend who will pay for you, if your cash and wallet went missing too.
8. Call up home or your hotel for your passport details if you don’t remember them.
If you don’t have a photocopy of your old passport, then you will have to call up someone at home to send it on your email id. Or you can also call your hotel reception. They would have zand they will forward it to you.
9. You will also need an exit visa.
Once you apply for the emergency certificate, you will also need an exit visa. You will have to pay for the exit visa too at the government office of the respective country.
10. Reschedule your flight.
Immediately call up your airline to inform that you won’t be able to board the flight since you have lost your passport. Ask them how much it will cost to replace the ticket, and then reschedule your flight timings according to the emergency certificate and exit visa.
11. Apply for the re-issue of passport.
Once you’re back, you will then have to apply for the re-issue of the passport which will need the same documents which were required during the issue of the first passport.
12. Always remember to…
Get photocopies of your passport before you start your journey. Scan the copies and mail them to yourself, so that you have them handy in case of a crisis.