You know the drill when travelling abroad: Pack your bags, make transport arrangements, organise and safely store your travel documents, check that you have your passport, check again, and again…
The care we take to secure the safety of our travel documents, especially our passports, is certainly justified. After all, a passport is vital as proof of identity. By presenting your passport at border control, you are providing your destination with concrete proof of who you are. This means of identification is so important that all national passports come in a uniformed format, as issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. As an added anti-fraud measure, many countries are now issuing biometric passports. These passports contain an embedded contactless chip that is considered virtually impossible to replicate. Even down to the font (kept quite literally under lock and key for security reasons), your passport is tailored specifically as irrefutable evidence of your identity.
So, if your passport appears to have fallen off the face of the earth whilst you are abroad, you would undoubtedly become quite unsettled. Without a passport (or even an alternative to one), passage through border security would be impossible. For business travellers, this would spell disaster for your schedule – not to mention your travel plans.
Despite the bleak possibilities facing any international traveller without a passport, there is hope: For British nationals, there is the option of an Emergency Travel Document (ETD). With an ETD, you would be able to travel to any destination that is consistent with your travel plans, including your return to the UK.
There are drawbacks to acquiring an ETD, however. To name a few, it costs £100 to make an application for an emergency passport. This fee is non-refundable. Upon application, you may be asked to attend an appointment at the nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. The list of documents you would need to bring with you when arriving to your appointment is quite substantial and would include a police report, should your passport have been stolen.
In the face of a complicated and daunting process that could take days to reach a conclusion, the prospect of losing your passport appears to be a nightmare. For unexpected events such as this, ConsularAssist is there: From issuing ETDs, to providing expert advice and guidance to aid your way through a seemingly endless maze of red tape and uncertainty. With former diplomats among their staff, ConsularCare provides travellers with consular assistance that provides assurance during even the most stressful of situations.
Want us on your side if your passport is lost or stolen abroad? Call ConsularCare on 020 3198 1890 to find out more about ConsularAssist, or visit http://www.consularassist.com/