Travelling overseas can cause a lot of mishaps especially if you are a newbie or novice in this travelling experience. You might make a few mistakes here and there. Sometimes, it is easier for you to be careless when you were in awe with your surroundings instead of being aware of the risk of thieves, pickpockets, or purse snatchers eyeing your bag as their next target.
One of the common mishaps is when a tourist get his or her passport stolen. It is quite a nuisance to lose your passport due to your own clumsiness, but it is quite the shock and nerve-wrecking for it to be stolen away from you. As a consequence, you might be clueless on what to do if your passport is stolen while you’re travelling overseas. So here are the steps that you need to take if your passport is lost or stolen while travelling overseas.
What’s Next? : While Abroad
Ask for help
Asking for help is essentially the first few things you need to do if your passport is lost or stolen while travelling overseas.
Make sure you checked it everywhere first. Ask for everyone in your tour group, or your partner to find your passport. Who knows you just misplaced it somewhere in the hotel. But, if you lost your passport due to unforeseen circumstances like being mugged or stolen while you were awe-struck by the view, get help from the locals. Ask for help from passersby to help you reporting or briefly explain it to the police.
If you don’t know how to communicate in the locals language, head back to your hotel or any hotel nearby. The manager of hotels are usually fluent with more than one language to accommodate the incoming of foreign tourists, and would be glad to assist anyone in distress. Ask them to help you call the police especially if you can’t communicate in their language and help you explain the situation.
Lodge a Police Report
Later, you still need to go to the nearest police station to lodge an official report. You did lose your passport, and your movement is very limited without it. You need to be there in person as the police report should be detailed and police usually do not entertain filing a report through phone calls. Ask the manager of the hotel for directions or arrange a transport for you so that you would not be lost on your way.
The report has to be detailed as possible and informations such as your name, where did your passport was last sighted, the estimated time it was missing, the place it occured, are all vital for the report to be valid. You need a police report so that you can apply for emergency passport from the Embassy of Malaysia, or if you wanted to claim from you travel insurance (if you bought any).
Lodge a police report is a must if your passport is lost or stolen while travelling overseas.
Take Out Your Cash Stash
If you follow the tips on what to prepare before you travelling, you might have secret cash or cards hidden somewhere. It can be hidden in your bags which you left in your hotel room or anywhere you hid them. It is called an emergency cash for a reason and losing your passport is an emergency. Make sure that your cards are activated for the use internationally by calling up your banks.
If you don’t have any cards or cash, the only option you have is to ask your family back home to wire in some money through Western Union or similar services. Spend the money wisely. At this point, you won’t be able to splurge on local food or souvenirs for your friends and family. Think about yourself for once, you don’t want to be cashless and helpless in a foreign country do you?
Inform the Embassy
After lodging a police report, head on your way to the Embassy of Malaysia. This is so that when your passport is lost or stolen while travelling overseas, you can still return home. Since your movements are limited, and you would not be able to pass through the immigration at the airport without a passport, you will need to apply for a Temporary Emergency Passport. You will need a police report, a document or equivalent that proves you are a Malaysian citizen and also an application form which will be given at the embassy.
This emergency passport will allow you to use one time and one way only for the sole purpose of returning home to Malaysia. If you missed your flight, ask whether the embassy can help you in booking another flight or change your current flight. Make sure to keep this emergency passport secured as you need to return it to the Immigration Office when you return back to Malaysia.
What’s Next? : Arrived in Malaysia
Lodge Another Police Report
When your passport is lost or stolen while travelling overseas, you have to lodge another police report locally.
It’s a nuisance to be making the same report all over again, but that’s what you get when you are not careful with your belongings. Take some of your time off and go ahead and lodge a police report of your missing or stolen passport, and again, it has to be as detailed as possible. You will risk the report being rejected by the immigration office if you were lack certain details.
After finishing lodging a report, keep a few copies as a safety measures. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Apply for New Passport
Don’t forget to apply for new passport. You will need to bring the police reports that you had lodged during your stay overseas, the police report you made when you return to Malaysia and also the emergency passport that was given to you by the Embassy of Malaysia. It is best to apply for new one as soon as possible due to the fact that you might risk of losing the temporary one as well.
We all makes mistakes, and that is what makes us human. So, it is wise to be prepared before the unexpected misfortunate events comes along.
As further future prevention if again, your passport is lost or stolen while travelling overseas, Make few hard copies and soft copies in your phones of the documents of proof of your citizenship, your itinerary, your passport, your tickets and so on before you are about to take off for your trip. This is to ensure that if your passport was to go missing, you still can prove that you did not enter the country illegally and helps you avoided from being arrested by the authorities.
Keep in Safe Place
You don’t really need to bring your passport everywhere and every time you go out. So keep it safe in your hotel room. Lock your bags if you feel anxious about leaving it. Or if you still wanted to bring your passport because you feel much secured to have it near you at all times, make sure you keep it in a protected section of your bag – the one that won’t be an easy target of pickpockets.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This is the most crucial part when you’re travelling. Always and we do mean always, be aware of your surroundings. Thieves can be very cunning in stealing gullible peoples’ belongings. They could distracting you by asking you the way around, when they obviously know that you are not a local, while their accomplice goes rummaging through your bag for your valuables like purses, wallets, and passports.
Que sera, sera. Even though you have taken all the safety precautions, but your passport is lost or stolen while travelling overseas, whatever will be, will be. PolicyStreet offers you Allianz 8 Travel Plans for Smart Travellers which you can purchase a premium policy starting from RM16 for 1 to 5 days of travelling. We reimburse your lost passport or personal effects in general for up to RM5,000.
For more information, log onto our website at PolicyStreet.com