What to do if my passport and student visa are stolen
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Aug 3, 2012 1:24 AM Last Post By: Aribo
Apr 16, 2012 10:04 PM
What to do if my passport and student visa are stolenI should probably start by saying this: I am a worrier. Always have been. So please forgive me if my question seems a little premature. I am a United States Citizen who will be studying in Italy on a student visa in the fall. However, this summer I am going to France for tourism purposes for a month. I will only have two weeks in between the end of my France adventure and the start of my one in Italy. If for some reason (knock on wood) my passport and thus, my italian student visa stamp, were stolen while abroad in France, would I have to apply for a completely new Italian visa even if I had photo copies of both documents? Would I get a new visa in time for my Italy trip? Has this ever happened to anyone, or do they have any advice? Please share any relevant information and your opinions on whether or not you think I should even bother going on the France trip.
Apr 16, 2012 10:50 PM
Apr 16, 2012 11:18 PM
2You're seriously thinking of not going because of this "what if..." situation?
Good grief - get a grip! You say you are a "worrier"... well, you are going to severely limit how you live and enjoy life with this attitude. Put in place strategies as to how you can overcome reasonable problems, change the things you can change and put aside those that you cannot.
And wouldn't the best thing to be to ask the visa-issuing authorities what happens if your passport gets lost/stolen? Surely they can give you a definitive answer to that rather than relying on strangers on a message board.
Apr 17, 2012 12:10 AM
3First, when I used to live in another country overseas the cost to me of loosing or having a passport or visa damaged were so high that I would always take extreme measures to protect it and would never leave it out of my possession. This included wearing a passport size wallet on a loop that went about my belt and I kept tucked inside the front of my pants.
Others have mentioned what to do if this occurs. An American consulate will certainly replace your passport, but you'll have to deal with the issue of the visas with the issuing country. They have the right to fine you if they choose to or also to deny you entry.
Apr 17, 2012 12:36 AM
Apr 17, 2012 12:37 AM
5#3- I'm not so sure......
I'd rather advice from people who have thought through what happens should they lose a passport, than some junior level public servant who probably has never even been overseas and has no idea........
PS- people have every right to be concerned about loss of passport.......
Apr 17, 2012 6:16 AM
6Thank you all for your help. I admitted upfront, yes, that I tend to over worry about things, but I didn't think that would attract such...strong(?) responses. However, I do guess I asked for it, so I will take everything you all have said to heart. Regardless, you've all put things in to perspective for me and I do sincerely appreciate it.
Apr 17, 2012 7:13 AM
7It was just a shock, your last option -- seemed rather extreme.
Look, it's reasonable to be concerned about security on the road. Worry often comes from a lack of knowledge and/or a lack of a backup plan AND an active imagination. As someone above suggested, a general strategy for handling your own worries is to take reasonable preventative steps.
To put that general strategy into practice in your case means talking to authorities about procedures. This gives you some knowledge - even a simple question during application or when you pick up visa/passport. Agencies granting passports and visas are based on procedures. They'll tell you ahead of time what you can do - and this knowledge hopefully will reduce the worry.
Making photocopies of everything is the way to go with backups in your situation. Photocopies probably aren't legally binding but, in most cases, cut you a lot of slack with authorities while you're settling matters such as theft.
An active imagination is OK, but everything in its place. ;-)
Apr 17, 2012 8:00 AM
Already useful advices given to you about it. Just use the common sense and you´ll be fine.
Agree about the photocopies of your documents and a file in your mail. Also, it´s a good idea if you want to be even more safe, use an internal money belt to keep your passport or leave it in the hotels in the "safe box" and walk around with the copies. The places to be with eyes opens are the crowdeds: underground, train/bus stations, and things like that, but you´ll be for sure OK, so don´t even think about don´t do the trip for things like that.
This is Europe, to me US looks more scary XD
Apr 17, 2012 12:58 PM
9You might consider having copies notarized--the expense isn't that great and it would be a lot more 'official' than a common photocopy. AAA (Auto Club) provides this service to members, not sure what the cost is--in California it's $7.00...The notary would certify that the photo copy to which his/her seal is affixed is a true and accurate copy of the original document. I would think that having the copy appear more 'official'
I've always scanned my passport and copies of other travel info--plane tickets or booking confirmations, etc. Even though I didn't travel with a laptop, there was always a internet shop someplace to be found.
I would suggest copying a good friend on the email where you have the copies so they can send it to you if needed. I too have been a somewhat anxious traveller (esp first time) and while things became commonplace I still was very vigilant about my passport, etc.
Came across this info about France:
"Q:10- What do I have to do if I have lost or misplaced my Indian passport with a valid Schengen visa?
You are strongly recommended to keep photocopies of your passport’s data pages and of the Schengen visa. A visa is a valuable document. Inform The Embassy / The Consulate from where your visa was issued immediately if you have lost your passport. You must apply for a new visa by submitting all documents and payment of visa fees. You must submit a copy of the Police First Incident Report (FIR) with your application. It is preferable to also submit a copy of the visa and the lost passport for ready reference of the Visa Officer."
So make copies of all the visa paperwork too!
Good luck--it'll get easier.
Apr 19, 2012 5:14 AM
10Make photocopies of the passport, including the visa, and leave the passport at the hotel + a set of copies. If you can, scan them and upload them on your email so you can print then from anywhere. Take the photocopies with you. Take a national ID with you as well. In case the passport itself is stolen, report it ot the police and keep a copy of the police document with you.
France and Italy are part of the Schengen European space, meaning there are no passport controls between the two countries. Even if an Italian policeman asked you for your passport, he would be content with the photocopy + the police file. You would not be the first tourist who's lost his documents.
Jul 31, 2012 12:05 PM
11hello all , please can anybody help and guide me here,i am in big trouble really.my fiance he was travelling from belgium to italy last december 2011 in between he stayed at paris for couple of days.From there he travelled to italy meanwhile train stopped at one station of france,there my fiance went out of train to get some thing to drink,when he came back to train,his documents bag was not there.he was really in big trouble.when he reached italy,he reported to policestation then he lived in Ferrara city of italy for couple of months under police custody,belgium commnue verified that he was legal,fingerprints were done.everything was cleared and fine,only one thing was highlighted,actually when he was in belgium there he had one police case,he had one small quarrel with some one for that he was punished for 6 months,so italy police objected that if you was punished then why you travelled to italy,then for further investigation he was order to send to other city of italy in Sagrado.there he was given appointment to have commision at 14th june 2012.today was the result of that commision and result was negative :((( i just need guidance what can we do now
Jul 31, 2012 12:34 PM
You don't say where you're from or where your boyfriend is from.
It sounds like they've invalidated his permission to be in Italy and he has to leave.
Without knowing what sort of passport and what sort of visa/living permit he or you have,
we're unable to make any suggestions except to recommend you talk with your consulate.
When he lost his original passport didn't he contact the consulate to get a replacement?
Aug 1, 2012 2:05 AM
13#12 I hardly understand the situation as you've left out a few important details as mentioned by sfgirl42.
But even if I (or anyone else) did understand, we aren't the ones you should speak to - contact your embassy or consulate instead.
I doubt you get sentenced to 6 months in jail for just "one small quarrel" in Belgium, by the way.
Aug 3, 2012 1:24 AM
14I don't think talking to me via email would be meaningful, Fatima. You could send me a private message if you are looking for someone to listen to your story, but I won't be able to solve the problem for you - your fiance really has to sort that out with the embassy or consulate of his home country.
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