I Lost an Important Immigration Document. What do I do now?
January 29, 2015
Your passport and visa are two important documents that you must keep secure during your time in the United States. Whether you are traveling or staying around campus, you should keep these documents safe. It is recommended that you also make copies of your documents and keep them in a separate safe place than the original documents. Some students even keep an extra copy with their family back home in case the documents are ever lost or stolen.
In the event your passport or visa is lost, stolen or misplaced, contact your designated school official (DSO) immediately and keep the following in mind:
- Passport — You must immediately replace a lost or stolen passport. Report the loss or theft of your passport to your country of citizenship’s issuing government entity, such as your embassy or consulate. Those officials can give you information on how you can replace it. If someone stole your passport, you should file a police report and inform your DSO.
- Visa — If you lose your student visa while in the United States, you can still continue your course of study until the date listed on your Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record.” However, you must report the loss of your student visa to the issuing embassy or consulate. Visit USEmbassy.gov to find the appropriate contact information. You cannot replace a visa while you are in the United States. To replace your student visa, you must re-apply in person at the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. You should also bring a copy of the police report.
For information on how to replace other lost immigration forms, including your Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” and Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status," read this Ask a DSO post.