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Useful Information

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Passport tips

Before you travel

  • Check the travel requirements of your country of destination. Countries may, and often do, change foreign entry requirements. If you arrive at the airport without the required documents/visa you will not be allowed to board your flight. Such cases are not covered by travel insurance.
  • Check the validity of your passport. Many countries require your passport to have six to eight months of validity remaining for a visa to be issued. Therefore, for a renewal, begin the process 8 to 10 months before your passport expires.
  • Check the number of blank pages remaining – many countries require from one to three blank pages for their visa. If you plan a future trip during which you will visit various countries, check carefully how many blank pages you will need in total. If you have insufficient blank pages, but your passport has not expired, passport replacement may still be requested.
  • Are you a frequent traveller? Request additional pages (a 48-page jumbo passport). This will allow you to travel longer before having to replace it.
  • Fill out the emergency information on the back page of the passport. Fill in your address and the name of the person to contact in the case of emergency.
  • Make a photocopy or scan of your passport. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen.

If your passport is lost or stolen when you are abroad

  • You should report the theft or loss of a passport to the local police in order to obtain a police report. You will need the report for insurance purposes and to obtain a replacement travel document from your embassy or consulate.
  • The British embassy or consulate will issue a replacement travel document to British nationals. They will need to see some verification of your identity and will need to be satisfied that you are a British national. You will also need to show them a police report and will have to pay a fee. This document may be an emergency passport valid for a single journey, a temporary one-year passport or a standard passport, depending on embassy facilities and your travel needs. They will need to conduct checks before they can issue a passport and this may mean you having to delay your travel plans.
  • You should also consider whether you need to obtain an exit visa from the local immigration authorities. Some countries do not issue such visas outside normal office hours.