passport lost with valid usa visa stamp
USA Visa

I Lost My Passport With Valid USA Visa. What’s Next?

What do you do when your Passport with Valid US Visa stamp is lost while you are in the USA? That’s exactly what happened to a couple of students on F1 Visa while they were studying in the USA.

Hi, my room got robbed all my educational certificates, passport, SSN, everything are lost. Can anyone please suggest me how to proceed further for the passport and visa stamps.

It’s unfortunate to get things robbed. Now, he has to go through the process of getting a new passport and getting Degree Certificates back. Another reader wanted to know about Visa stamp in the lost passport.

I am a regular follower of your blog. I do read all the topics posted and I thank you for directing me in my American dream. I am right now in US doing my masters program. Recently I lost my passport with USA visa. I have got my passport applying it at the Indian consulate in United States. I was wondering how to apply for the lost visa(F1). I know that I have to apply it from my home country, India. But can you throw a light on the process of it? Is it the same as applying the new visa?

Dear Reader,

I am sorry to hear you lost your passport. Someone in this situation should consider taking the following steps:

  1. Report his lost passport to the police.  Ensure he has a copy of the report for his records as he will likely need it at the embassy later.
  2. Apply for a new passport immediately.
  3. File a Form 102, Application for Replacement/Initial Non-immigrant Arrival-Departure Document (or I-94).  (When the new automated I-94 rule is implemented at the end of April 2013, obtaining a replacement I-94 will hopefully be instantaneous).
  4. He should then take the above, and current school information to his home country embassy to obtain a new visa.

The procedure is likely similar to how the first visa was obtained. It is important to note that there is always a risk of the embassy denying a visa. However, should the background check clear, one should expect to get a visa again.

Tahmina Watson is an immigration attorney and founder of Watson Immigration Law in Seattle, Washington. 

So, that was the answer from Immigration Attorney.  I’m sure you are going to have additional questions. Here’s a few more I can think of.

1. What precaution should I were to run into similar issues?

Always have scanned copies of all your  immigration documents accessible via a cloud drive. After every time I re-enter USA with new entry, exit stamp on the passport, I would scan the page and update my online copy. It takes less than a few minutes of work, but saves a lot of time in future.

2. Should I leave the country immediately to get Visa Stamping?

According to this link from the University of Chicago, replacing lost and stolen documents

You do not need to have a visa when you are in lawful status in the U.S. A valid visa is required only for entering the U.S.

3. Should I inform the U.S. Embassy that issued my visa that my passport is lost or stolen?

According to Missouri State University’s information page on lost documents

Go to the Embassy Consular Section Website to locate the Fax number and contact information. Specifically state whether the visa was lost or stolen. Be sure to include your full name, date of birth, and place of birth, address in the U.S., and an email address (if available). If you have a copy of the passport or visa, fax this to the Embassy or consular section. Otherwise, if known, report the category of visa and the passport number from the lost/stolen visa. If you have already reported your visa lost/stolen to the U.S. Embassy abroad, and then you later find your misplaced visa, please note that the visas will be invalid for future travel to the U.S, and you must apply in person at the Embassy or Consulate abroad for a new visa.

4. What to expect in the Visa Interview?

You may be applying for a visa for the same type or different type depending on when you chose to travel. For instance, if you are F1 Visa, lost your passport with F1 Visa. But, you decided to travel only after your status changes to H-1B or you may be visiting your home country after your new passport is issued and while you are in the same F1 Visa.

I would say interview for the same visa type would be as as first time interview and expect additional questions about lost or stolen passport. Take copies of previous passport, police report and other relevant documents.

While completing the DS-160 Non-Immigrant Visa application, be sure to list the about previously lost or stolen passport.

5. All my documents got robbed. What should I do next?

First, you should stay calm. I understand that you have to go through a process to replace all the lost documents. Most documents that was issued within the U.S. can be replaced easily.

Make a complete list of documents you need to to replace. Arrange them in Priority Order. The passport should your first document you need to get it replaced. If you lost your I-20, then talk to your DSO to get a replacement copy. Then find the procedure to get back each document.

If you are a student from India, replacing the Degree Certificates is possible, but you may have to ask someone to visit the University (multiple times) on your behalf to get the documents replaced.

Based on my personal experience, I had to show my original degree certificate (Diploma) from my Bachelors degree only at the University to remove the conditional admission status. Since then I never had to show or send the original Indian documents anywhere. So, having a scanned copy will get you through for immediate needs, but in the long run, you have to get it replaced.

Over to You:

Have you lost passport and other document? What steps did you go through to get them back? If you have a checklist or procedure (with timeline), please share it with us, your experience will help others.

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  1. Hi, one of my friend lost her passport which had valid student visa on it, now she is staying in usa on i-94 basis. Apparently she cant come to pakistan as she isnt willling to take risk whether the embassy might or might not issue the visa. But when she will be applying to convert into H1b visa, if she gets a job, even then she would require to have a visa to visit pakistan and then go back to America? Or she can get her H1b visa stamped in usa ?

  2. Hi, I have lost my Passport with F1 visa, I’m currently on STEM extension. I have reported my passport stolen and have applied for a new one. Will my f1 visa be cancelled as I have reported it lost? I do know that my status is valid till the actual visa expiration date but will I face any problems while applying for h1b next year or if decide to travel to India on approved h1b (do I still need to reapply for the lost f1)?

    Your help will be much appreciated.

  3. Hi , I lost my passport and original documents in home robbery, I was come India from Canada at 7 days leave , now I have new passport but not valid Visa on it ,, what I do now plzz suggest me .

  4. I also lost my passport that I used when I applied for F1 here in the US. My school said that’s fine, I’ll just give them a copy of the new passport when it comes.

  5. I have lost my Indian passport with Valid F1 Visa. Also I will be graduating this Summer ,so how do I go about the Of getting new one . Also will I be able to apply and get selected for jobs with existing Visa which is lost or Do I need to get it stamped before that

    1. I am in same situation.can you please tell me what is the procedure and did u go back to india for visa stamping?

  6. First dig your copy of Passport, And Visa Page And All pages with Port of Entry Stamping’s.

    Obtain Complaint report at Police Station in USA by submitting above as proofs.

    Inform to the USA Consulate, where you obtained your visa along with Police Complaint copy, Passport 1st and last page and Visa stamping page along with any document as proof of your present status like I-20 i-797 etc.. (This is mandatory and your duty too.)

    Apply for fresh passport in USA in Indian Embassy.

    You won’t be having any big problem with passport stolen or lost.
    Whenever you are leaving mainland of USA, you need to apply for visa again in your country of origin.
    Most of the time with proper documents in hand, you will get your visa stamped. Visa denial chances are almost nil.
    Ganapathi Raju Kalidindi.

  7. I lost my passport with visa not I-94. I’m going to India this month for Visa Re-stamping.

    I don’t know if I need I-94 as no we can get it online, but yes I will be issued new one when I come back to india after visa re-stamping.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.


      1. DEAR RAGHU
        I Have come to get my India to get my Counsular Processing of my H1 B, with all documents, However at my point of exit in Dec 2015, my I- 94 m which was issued on May 2013 during my student Visa was not taken on the port of exit. Will it cause a problem for my H1 B stamping ( have approved I 797B). I have the I 94 with me. Please guide.

        Rgds Vignesh

        1. Don’t worry about not taking your I-94. I-94 is electronic these days. CBP wil get your info from flight records. Good luck with your interview. Could you share your H1 interview experience after the interview?

        2. When your passport with F1 Visa was lost/stolen, did you have any issues with filing H1b Visa? As you must have reported that the F1 visa is stolen and it must have been made invalid by the US consulate. So was there any issue with H1B process when your F1 visa is invalid?

          1. UPDATE: I have filed for H1B visa. I did not face any issues of F1 Stolen Visa as I had the soft copy of all documents.

          2. Thanks for the update. Getting a new passport and applying for a new visa type is not an issue in general.

  8. Hi . I lost my passport too with valid F1 student US visa . And I’m gonna travel in Bangladesh this month for getting a new visa . I have I -94 valid I-20 all paper I have but my question is that I have changed my college . Is that any problem for getting new visa ? Does anyone help me out please and how much possibility on that for getting visa . ?Thank you

  9. You have already received sound advice from People who know the procedure for obtaining replacement documents. I would, however, urge all foreign students to keep a scanned copy of the relevant pages of your passport and store it in at least a few places – pen drive, external hard disk, your computer and a DVD. The scanned copy is not a substitute for the original, but it would be easier to apply for a replacement if you can attach a printout of the original along with your application.

  10. Hi,
    Even I lost my passport. Is there risk of denying VISA? Background check in the sense any sort of criminal cases rite?
    Is Canada a better option?
    Also, I am planning to go INDIA or canada this july, so is it mandatory to apply for replacement of I94, since we a get a new one when we return.

      1. Incase we doest get I94 by the date we plan to leave USA, what should we do??
        And are there chances of rejection of VISA? I am much worried about it

          1. What should I do if I doesnt get I94 by the day I travel?
            I have a copy of I94 and police report are they sufficient to depart

          2. My Friend lost his Passport too and he got his I-94 within 2 weeks of applying. So you can probably get it before you leave USA.

          3. can you email your frnd number to me please?i would like to know how he had his visa experience

    1. Hey bro, I am a student from India. Even I lost my passport in USA. I wanted to know all the procedure that you went through to get a visa. Can you please help me out

      1. Hey, I am in the same situation. What have you done? Did you go back to India to get your VISA done?

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