They say that to err is human, and human errors do indeed happen all over the world. Ahmed Nashaat knows like no other how horrible it can be if you are on a fantastic overseas adventure, only to find that your passport has gone missing, Nobody wants to spend their vacation queuing for hours in the consulate or embassy, being sent from pillar to post to get one form after the other. However, should you find yourself in a lost passport situation, you need to know what to do.
Ahmed Nashaat on Handling a Lost Passport
The minute you find out that you have lost your passport, you need to get in touch with your closest consulate or embassy. They will make sure your existing passport is canceled, and they will advise you on the next steps to receive either a new passport or an emergency travel document. It is vital that your passport is cancelled, because no new one can be issued if an active one still circulates.
Of course, you also have to cancel your passport so that it cannot be used fraudulently. A lot of money is paid for international passports on the black market, who use them for fake identities and a variety of other things, none of them good and none of them something you want your name to be associated with.
Your embassy or consulate will provide you with an application form that must be completed and you will have to pay the standard passport fee. You will also have to pay the fee for a lost passport. After that, you will need to wait for your new documents. Sometimes, this can take a little while, which is why an emergency passport may be more suitable. These aren’t valid as long, however, which means you will need to apply for a full new passport immediately after getting back home.
How Not to Lose a Passport
Of course, the best thing to do is to not lose your passport in the first place. You need to be proactive in this to make sure you minimize the chances of it happening. Ahmed Nashaat’s top tips include:
- To keep your passport in a money belt and wear it at all times. You will have to take it off to go through customs, after which it should be replaced straight away. You would be surprised at the number of people who lose theirs because they put it down for a minute and forget to pick it back up in banks, restaurants, hotels, and so on.
- To never lose track of where your passport is, particularly if you have to hand it over to someone. If you have to identify yourself for credit card payments or at border checks, for instance, you need to make sure that you can see your passport at all times. Where possible, use a photocopy.
- To regularly check you still have your passport, so that, should you lose it, you know exactly where it was lost.