Have you ever wondered what you need to do if your passport containing a U.S. visa inside is lost or stolen? We’ve got you covered. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains everything you need to know about this important topic.
So, you’ve successfully managed to pass your Consular interview, and now you’ve received your U.S. visa in your passport. Let’s imagine that you, like thousands before you, manage to lose your passport containing your U.S. visa inside, or have it stolen.
What should you do in this situation?
First and foremost, foreign nationals must remember that their passport and visa is an official travel document. You cannot enter the United States without having such documents in your possession to demonstrate your country of citizenship and legal status in the United States.
Before even falling into this predicament, foreign nationals should always make a copy of their passport biographic page, U.S. visa, and admission stamp or paper I-94 (if applicable) as soon as they have arrived in the United States.
Foreign nationals who have entered the United States temporarily on their valid visa, and later lose their passport, can remain in the U.S. for the duration of their authorized stay, as printed on their admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
If you were issued a paper Form I-94 and it was lost or stolen, you must have it replaced immediately.
What steps should you take once you realize your passport has been lost or stolen?
Step One: File a Police Report
The first step involves going to the local police station to report your U.S. visa as lost or stolen. If available, you will need to provide copies of your passport biographic page and visa. You will be issued a police report detailing the incident for your records.
Replacing a Lost or Stolen Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94)
If you were issued a paper Form I-94, you should request a replacement I-94, by filing Form I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document with USCIS.
Step Two: Report your Passport as Lost or Stolen with Your Country’s Embassy
Next, you must contact your local Embassy or Consular section for your country of citizenship and ask for the procedure to replace a lost or stolen passport. Most countries have Internet web sites with contact information.
Step Three: Report your Visa as Lost or Stolen to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Abroad
Thereafter, you must report your U.S. visa as lost or stolen, by contacting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas that issued your U.S. visa. You may review the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website to locate your Embassy or Consulate’s email address and contact information.
Most Consular sections can be contacted by email. If your Consulate allows communications by email, you should make sure to include the following in the body of your email: your full name, date of birth, place of birth, address in the United States, and your e-mail address, state whether your visa was lost or stolen, the category of the visa, and passport number (if known). If you have a copy of the passport or visa, include them as attachments.
Please be aware that once you have reported your U.S. visa as lost or stolen with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas, if you later find your visa it will be invalid for future travel to the United States. If you find yourself in that situation, you must apply for a new visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Step Four: Applying for a Replacement U.S. Visa
Finally, your lost or stolen U.S. visa cannot be replaced in the United States. To apply for a replacement of U.S. visa, you must apply in person at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. When applying for a replacement visa, you will need to provide a written account documenting the loss of your passport and visa, such as a copy of your police report.
Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
- How do I replace a Form I-94, Arrival- Departure Record?
- U.S. Embassies and Consulates Directory
- NVC Timeframes
- Visa Status Check Online Information
- CEAC Visa Status Check
- Administrative Processing Information
- Visa Appointment Wait Times
- Visa Bulletin
- State Department Newsroom
- ImmigrationU Membership
- Success stories
- Youtube channel
JOIN OUR NEW FACEBOOK GROUP
Need more immigration updates? We have created a new facebook group to address the impact of the new executive order and other changing developments related to COVID-19. Follow us there.