I lost my passport that contains my U.S. visa! Help!

This post originally appeared on ImmiGo’s blog and can be found here.

Losing a passport is always an administrative hassle, but if this passport contains your U.S. visa, there are extra measures you must take immediately.

Report the loss to local police. As soon as you realize your passport is missing (lost or stolen), you need to file a report with the local police. Please make sure to ask for a copy of this report as you will need it to reapply for your visa the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

Replacing the passport. To replace your passport, reach out to the local Embassy or Consulate of the country that issued your passport (country of your citizenship). Replacement/reporting requirements vary from country to country and you must follow the country specific procedures.

Report the loss to the U.S. Consulate/ Embassy that issued the visa. Getting through to an American Consulate/Embassy via phone can be challenging so your best bet is to find the email listed on the website of the Consulate/Embassy that granted your visa. It’s always good practice to keep a digital copy of your passport and visa — share this via email along with the police report you just filed. If the email bounces back, try another Consulate/Embassy e-mail address in the same country (if they have more than one). As soon as you report loss of your passport, your visa is invalidated for security reasons. If your passport is recovered later, the visa will no longer be valid.

Replacing the visa. Barring a few visa types (some A and G visas), visas cannot be reissued from within the U.S. You will need to schedule a visa appointment at a Consulate/Embassy abroad (just like you did the first time you obtained the visa) and submit a copy of the police report/summary of events with your visa application.

Please note that if the passport was lost or stolen in the U.S., you do not need to travel abroad just to replace the visa. A visa is a travel document that allows re-entry to the U.S., so if you are not planning to travel abroad in the near future, you may wait on this last step.

*The content and materials available via ImmiGo are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

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