What to do if you lost your passport while in England

Actions to take when you lose a passport in a foreign country:

For me, losing passport in a foreign country is a usual nightmare every time I travel abroad.

Although it has not happened to me, some of my friends have had their passports stolen. In some cases, interestingly enough, some pickpockets took the cash away and then the police found wallet and passport intact.

Even though written for Britain, effectively the same process will apply if you lost the passport in any other country.

The first thing is DO NOT PANIC. This is not the first time someone is losing a passport. It happens all the time and there are consulates which have processes to help their citizens.

The action for losing a passport has to start before you actully make the travel.

Buy travel insurance. I cannot stress enough, but it should cover not only for loss of passport but also for loss of belongings. At least your financial loss could be recovered which will reduce your frustration later on.

Another tip is to take photos of important pages of your passport / visas with your Smartphone so that you can print it when needed.

If you think storing passport images on a Smartphone is not secure, then before you travel, scan your passports / visas and send to your secure mail id or Google drop box so that you can print them in case of loss.

Another thing to do is the good old way of carrying photocopies of important pages of passports and visas.

Ok, assuming you have bought an insurance and are in Britain and have now lost your passport, either theft or negligence (yes, a friend was careless enough to keep his passport in a open bag for his son to pour water inside and making it useless), the first thing to do is report it to police (in case of loss).

Find out where the nearest constabulary (police station) is, and go there in person.

The police would typically give you some kind of acknowledgement that they have received your lost passport complaint.

Approach your Embassy:

Depending on what your nationality is, you need to approach your Embassy for a replacement passport or a travel document that will allow you to leave England and your contry to admit you!

I think not all consulates / embassies will be able to provide this service, but you can off course call them and ask before going there. Ask what documents you need to carry with you - typically the passport accepted photos, fees, may be copies of your lost passport etc. Hopefully you would have either stored your passport photos or carried photocopy of passport.

Get travel document from Embassy:

Typically getting a brand new passport may take time. This depends on your embassy guidelines. Passports can be issued urgently but it may not be instantaneous.

If your travel is very near, the embassy will issue you some kind of travel document which will allow you to leave Britain and enter your home country.

Have a safe travel:

Once you get hold of a shiny new passport or a travel document, keep it safe. Bon voyage!

Here are details of some of the Embassies of other countries in England / London.

Auastralian Embassy in London

Australia House, Strand, London WC2B 4LA
020 7379 4334

http://www.uk.embassy.gov.au/lhlh/home.html

USA Embassy in London

24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ
020 7499 9000

london.usembassy.gov/

Indian Embassy in London

India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA
020 7836 8484

www.hcilondon.in/?

Embassy of Japan in London

101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT
020 7465 6500

www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/

 
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