Important Regarding Passport Replacement In Foreign Countries

by erin on November 5, 2010

When you are traveling out of the country, the thought of losing or having your personal items and passport stolen can be even more frightening than having to deal with it when you are home. Unfortunately, it does happen. If it happens to you, the first thing you should do is pay a visit to the US consulate office to obtain a passport replacement.

If you are abroad, you will need to contact the closest consulate office. You can locate the nearest office by looking on the Internet at the U. S. Department of State website and then by choosing the country you are currently visiting. If you do not have access to the Internet from you where you are, you could contact a friend or family member in the United States for assistance.

When you arrive at the consulate, you will be required to fill out an application for a passport. The consulate officer will interview you as a means to verify who you are. He will very likely ask questions including your name, date of birth, and place that you were born. You may also be asked for your passport number and the location and date that you applied for your passport. In the event you have a photocopy of the passport that was lost or stolen, be sure that you bring it with you to the consulate. It will provide them with much of the information that they need to expedite the process for you.

You will be asked to provide the consulate with proof of your identity. In the event that all of your personal paperwork was lost with your passport, the consulate can establish your identity in other ways. For example, the officer may speak to anyone that is traveling with you, he may accept information from your family or friends in the United States or he may review information from a previous passport application.

Usually the replacements that are issued are valid for the full 10 years that any passport is valid for. If there is any doubt in the consular officers mind as to your identity and there is not time to wait for the State Department’s verification, a limited 3 month passport may be issued. If this happens, than once the applicant returns to the United States, they will be required to apply for and pay for a regular passport.

Normally the applicant will be required to pay the fees for the replacement passport to the consulate. In some emergency circumstances, if the applicant does not have the means to pay the fees, they will still be issued a limited passport and, once they return home to the US, they will have to apply for a regular passport and will pay the fees at that time. An emergency situation may include instances where the person applying was a victim of a natural disaster or if their money was also stolen when their passport was taken.

If you find that you need a replacement passport on weekends, holidays or other times when the consulate office is closed, you will have to wait until they reopen. Officers that are on duty after hours are there to assist with life and death matters only. In the event that you are supposed to be heading directly back to the United States, you may be able to obtain a letter from the consulate officer on duty and he may be able to notify the airline and the US Customs office to the fact that you will be entering the US without a passport.

By contacting the consulate office in a calm manner and providing them with the necessary information for the new passport application, they will be able to assist you with your replacement needs. Even though it can be alarming dealing with theft or loss while traveling, keeping a level head will be your best asset. By working with the consulate office, you will be back to traveling in no time.

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