A passport is an important document for travellers — still, it is often forgotten or lost
Are you planning to travel abroad? The Foreign Ministry’s Consular Services want to remind travellers of the importance of a passport. This letter gives tips on what to do if you lose your passport during your journey.
Remember that a passport is an extremely important document for you during your travels. You must always have it with you and make sure it is up to date. As a passport holder, you are allowed to move from one place to another and prove your identity. This may seem even too obvious. The 24/7 Service Centre of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is daily contacted by many travellers who happen to realise that their passport has expired or that they have lost it somewhere.
When on holiday, you should be able to use your time for recreation. It is important to plan and find out about matters in advance to make sure that your holiday proceeds as planned. Before travelling, check the validity of your passport. Take a photograph of the passport’s personal data page on your mobile phone and send it to your own email.
Before travelling, always visit the website of the local Finnish mission in your country of destination to check the rules concerning travel documents and entry into the country. A valid passport for the duration of the journey is not always sufficient. In some countries, the authorities require that the passport remains valid for several months after the journey. If you are a multiple national and leaving a country, local authorities may require that you present your second passport, too.
Take good care of your passport. Keep it in a safe place. Never leave your passport — or any other valuable items — in a car, for example. A car is an easy place for pilferers to steal a passport.
What should I do if I lose my passport? I cannot find my passport anywhere and, should it have ended up among the luggage of someone else, there is no chance of getting it back. My return flight is approaching. Can I make it in time to the flight?
To prevent unauthorised use of your passport, report its loss to the local police of the country where you are staying. Additionally, report an offence concerning a lost passport via the online service of the Finnish Police or, if this is not possible, file a notification to the police in Finland.
In the EU area, you may be able to return to your home country on a return flight by presenting a copy of the police report and lost passport (practices vary from one airline to another). First contact the airline and find out what is required for you to get on a flight home. Ideally, a solution may be found quickly.
If, however, only a valid travel document is acceptable to the airline and the local authorities, you need to apply for a new passport at the nearest Embassy of Finland to do so during its opening hours. Contact details of the Finnish missions abroad on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
There are also many countries where Finland does not have an embassy. Outside the EU, Finnish citizens can then turn to a mission of another EU Member State. A mission of another EU Member State may issue an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) for your flight home.
In practice, acquiring a new passport or travel document may mean a long trip from the holiday resort to the capital of the country. Prolonged stay easily generates extra trouble and additional costs, such as travel to the mission, accommodation expenses, purchase of new return tickets, obtaining a COVID certificate, and a passport fee.
Avoid all such unnecessary fuss and hassle and take care of your passport during your journey.
We wish you safe travels,
Consular Services of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs