What to do if Your Passport was Lost or Stolen

Here is what you can do if your Passport was Lost or Stolen:

  1. File a police report as soon as possible and report your passport as stolen. (Skip this step if you lost your passport)
    • Try to go to the Police Station closest to you. If possible, bring photocopies of your stolen documents such as:
      • Passport
      • US Visa
      • DS-2019 Form
      • Paper I-94 Card
    • Ask for an extra copy of your police report, or make one for yourself.
  2. Contact your home countries embassy or consulate to notify them your passport was lost or stolen so you can apply for a new passport.
    • Once you report your passport as missing, you won’t be able to use it even if you find it later. Make sure you double-check before reporting it!
    • Replacement passports may take several weeks to process at an additional cost. We do not recommend that you attempt to travel internationally while you wait.
  3. If you received a paper I-94 card, replace it as soon as possible. Note that there is a large fee to replace this form. Fortunately, most travelers can access their information online.
    • Additional information on replacing a paper I-94 can be found on the USCIS website here.
  4. Contact the US Embassy or Consulate that issued you your J-1 visa.
    • You cannot replace your US Visa inside the US. In order to replace your visa, you will need to travel to an US embassy or consulate.
    • You most likely won’t be able to obtain a new visa until you have a new passport, but knowing what steps you will need to take for the visa once you have that new passport is good to know in advance.
  5. Contact your program Sponsor to let them know what happened.
    • If your DS-2019 form was also stolen, your Sponsor will report it as “Lost” in your immigration record and will be able to re-issue you a new form. We recommend that you have this replaced as soon as possible.
    • There will most likely be an administrative/shipping fee for the replacement of your DS-2019 form.

In the US without your passport:

It is not a good idea to be in a foreign country without your passport, and without the necessary visa for an extended period of time. However, the Department of State notes that even if you no longer have your visa you can still remain in the US as long as you were originally authorized.

If have already booked travel within the US and planned on using your passport for your ID, make sure you have a form of alternate ID with you, as well as copies of your lost or stolen documents. The TSA has a list of alternate identification they can accept.

Travel Outside of the US without your passport:

In order to obtain your replacement visa you will need to leave the US, but you will need your new passport first. If you have urgent travel and do not have time to wait for a replacement passport, your embassy may be able to issue an emergency travel document. These are usually much more limited than a passport, and may only allow you to return to your home country. Get in touch with an embassy or consulate from your home country for more information.