Traveling abroad can be overwhelming in and of itself. After all, you are trying to navigate through foreign lands, avoid scams and tourist traps, and it is possible that you are farther away from home than you are used to.
Unfortunately, there are also unexpected obstacles that you may face, including a lost or stolen passport. If you did not get the chance to snap a photo or make a photocopy of your passport in case of such an event, you may be spiraling into a state of panic.
In spite of your situation, you are not stuck in a foreign country forever. There are ways that American citizens can (almost painlessly) return home. If you have found yourself in such a position, continue reading to discover what to do if you lose your passport while traveling abroad:
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate. You must report your situation to the consular specifically, as they handle all affairs regarding traveling US citizens. If your passport has been stolen, you must report that detail to them as well, then inform them of when you intend to return home — especially if the date is imminent. This will dictate the type of passport you will receive in lieu of your own.
File a police report. Be sure to alert local authorities if your passport was stolen. Chances are they will not be able to recover your stolen property. However, they will be able to keep an eye out for similar cases or any other suspicious activity.
Take a new passport photo. You will be required to provide a photo for your new passport, so be sure to have a new one taken prior to going to the US embassy or consulate. This will speed up your replacement process.
Fill out an application for your new passport. You will have to complete and submit two forms during this process. The first is the standard US passport application, which you have filled out before. The second will be a statement regarding your lost or stolen passport.
Go to your embassy or consulate. Turn in your paperwork, your photo, and be sure to show identification, a travel itinerary in the form of a plane or train ticket, and evidence of your US citizenship.
You will also have to pay $140, which is the standard passport fee — that is, unless you are a victim of a disaster or serious crime. From there, all you can do is wait as the consular staff works diligently to get your replacement passport as quickly as possible.
The time it takes for you to receive your new passport will be entirely dependent on your situation. If you are leaving the country just a few days after you have turned in your paperwork, then you will likely receive a limited-validity passport, which will get you back to the United States and expire upon your return. Otherwise, you will be waiting the standard four to six weeks it takes to receive a passport.