What to do if you lose your UK passport abroad.
One of the worst things that can happen when traveling is to lose or have your passport stolen.
Luckily, the situation is always salvageable and this article will explain what you need to do should your UK passport go missing whilst abroad.
Can I get a new UK passport abroad?
If you find yourself overseas and your UK passport has been stolen or lost, the good news is that you can apply for an emergency passport (otherwise known as an emergency travel document).
The emergency travel document will be issued if you need to travel and do not have time to apply for a new passport. If you are able to wait for over a month, you can apply for a new passport.
To apply for a new emergency travel document whilst abroad, you can do so as long as the following eligibility criteria apply:
- You are a British citizen
- You currently find yourself outside of the United Kingdom
- Your current UK passport has either been stolen, misplaced or damage. If your passport has recently expired, is full (you don’t have any empty stamp pages left) or is with a foreign embassy or HM Passport Office, you can apply for an emergency travel document as well.
- You do not have enough time to apply for a new passport before you need to travel.
- You are able to provide proof of your travel plans in the form of airline tickets and accommodation confirmations. If not, you will need to provide a complete, written itinerary detailing your travel plans.
How long does it take to replace a lost UK passport?
After you have applied for your emergency travel document, it normally takes around 2 working days to be ready. However, during the current Covid-19 pandemic, this may take a little longer, so we recommend taking action as soon as possible.
The travel document will take longer to be processed if you are applying for one for a child under the age of 16, you have not paid or provided the correct supporting documentation, or you have not provided sufficient information in the application.
Once you’ve applied, you will be advised when can expect to receive your emergency travel document.
Applying for your emergency travel document can be done online and it will cost you £100 in application fees, which can also be paid online or over the phone, if necessary. Regardless of whether or not your application is successful, this is a non-refundable fee and it is important to ensure that your application has been completed accurately and to the best of your ability.
Remember to make sure that you have given your full contact details (including your phone number, email address and physical address) when submitting your application so that you can receive updates.
After completing your online application for your emergency travel document, you may need to make an appointment at the closest British high commission, consulate or embassy, but this is not always the case. You will be advised if you need to make an appointment after you have submitted your online application.
Can I still travel if I have lost my passport?
Yes, you can still travel if you have lost your passport, as long as you have an emergency travel document.
Your emergency travel document will allow you to travel to another country (although there is a maximum of 5 countries that you can visit). You will also be able to use it to gain entry back into the country you applied for it from, as long as you are normally resident there.
It should be noted that your emergency travel document will have the details of your travel itinerary so if you want to make any changes to your travel plans after your application, you will need to apply for another one.
Depending on the country you are located in, you might need to re-apply for a visa to leave the country or re-apply for a visa to enter another country on your itinerary. We recommend checking with your local consulate or embassy for more information on visas.
If the final destination on your itinerary is the United Kingdom, the border official will keep your emergency travel document upon arrival and you will need to apply for a passport as soon as possible. It is also possible that the immigration officials at your final destination (if not the UK) will retain your emergency travel document.
If you have never held a UK passport, you probably will not be able to apply for an emergency travel document. If this is the case, you will need to wait while you apply for an actual passport.
Apply for a British passport Replacement
An emergency travel document is a great solution for lost or stolen passports that need to be replaced quickly. They are however only valid for up to a year (maximum). You will have to replace your passport with a new one one as soon as possible.
U.K.ABROAD specialises in replacements of lost, stolen or damaged British passports.
For help with British passport replacements, contact our team at U.K.ABROAD, below.