Did You Lose your Green Card or Passport Outside the US?

If you lose your green card or passport at home, you need to apply for new documentation with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). This can be complicated and time-consuming enough. However, a lost green card or a passport lost abroad on vacation can lead to full-fledged panic. It’s very scary to have a passport stolen or a green card lost in a foreign country, where you may not know the language and where you need your ID to get back home.

If a stolen green card or lost green card is the problem, visit the local police station and file a report about the stolen green card. Get a copy of the police report. Then, publish an ad in the local newspaper asking for receipt of your green card. Keep a copy of the paper where the ad ran as well as any receipt the newspaper gave you for the ad. Both the police report and the ad are important documentation that your documents have been stolen. In addition to taking these steps, visit your local US consulate or embassy as soon as possible. They will be able to help you, usually by helping you apply for a “”transportation letter”” which will allow you to re-enter the US, even without a green card or passport. Once you are back in the US, apply for a new green card immediately.

If you have had a passport stolen or lost while on a trip outside the US, visit the nearest US consulate or embassy. They can help you report the lost passport and can help you get the documentation you need to re-enter the US without penalty. US consulates and embassies deal with such situations frequently and may be able to help you.

Having a passport lost or a green card stolen is terrible, but there are many things you can do before your trip to make the process less upsetting. Before traveling, for example, consider getting photocopies made of your passport or green card and store these in a safe place at your destination or with a friend who can fax these to you.

It can be easier to get your documentation if you can prove your identity. As well, it is useful to get travel insurance, which protects you against the unexpected. Carrying your documentation in a well-hidden inner pocket is also a good preventative measure against theft while traveling. It can save you a great deal of hassle.