So you think you lost your passport?

This can be a very unnerving and scary situation; this is one of those things that just happens from time to time. I want to assure you that you are not the first person this has happened to, nor will you be the last.

Fear not, OISS has some great tips and information on helping make this process less unnerving.

As a note, I recommend that you make electronic copies of your passport, visa, and I-94 card (front and back) and store them somewhere safe; they might help you in the future.

What do I do now?

Make sure that you search your home thoroughly; your passport may just be misplaced. If you still cannot find it, then here are some steps you need to follow:

1.       File a police report immediately. Go to the local police station and report your document(s) lost or stolen.  If available, you will need to provide copies of the original documents.  The police will issue a police report detailing the incident. If you live on campus, then file your report with MSU Police. Make an extra copy of the report for your own records.

2.       Contact your country’s embassy or consulate in the U.S. for instructions on how to obtain a new passport and to notify them of your missing passport to guard against fraudulent use.

  • List of websites of Foreign embassies in the U.S : http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/dpl/32122.htm
  • Links to consular offices are usually available on the embassy homepages.
  • If you do not have any other photo identification, please contact your country’s embassy/consulate to find out what alternate documents you may need.

3.       It is a good idea to contact the U.S. embassy or consulate that issued your visa to make sure that your visa is not used fraudulently. Remember, if you do find your passport, you may not be able to use the U.S. visa in that passport.

4.       When you next travel abroad, you must obtain a new U.S. visa for re-entry into the U.S.  For contact information on U.S. embassies and consulates, visit: http://usembassy.state.gov/. Carry a copy of the police record with you when traveling; you may need this for visa re-issuance.

New passport issuance can take time; however, your embassy or consulate may have a faster processing procedure, so ask them if there is a way to process your new passport quickly. This may involve you having to travel to the embassy or consulate.

Traveling while you wait for your passport can be risky, so my advice is that you hold travel plans until you have your new passport. If you need to complete an I-9 (employment verification form) for employment, then you will have to wait until you have your new passport to process the form.

OISS is always available to help, so please feel free to contact us!

See how easy I just made this crazy situation?

Hersh Sisodia serves as International Student Advisor at OISS and works primarily with F-1 students and SEVIS-related issues.