It's crucial to keep your visa safe at all times as your visa is an official document that can prove that you are legally permitted to be in the United States. If your visa has been stolen, you'll need to take several steps in order to rectify your situation and to meet your legal obligations as a visa holder. For detailed information on the steps that you should promptly take if your visa has been stolen, simply continue reading.
Inform Your Local Police Station About The Situation
Your very first action should be to contact your local police station, to report your visa as being stolen. Keep in mind that a police report will be created to document the potential theft of your visa. So be prepared to provide your local police with as much valuable information as possible. Do keep in mind, that you'll be able to request a copy of this police report, for your own records which will serve as evidence that you followed your legal obligations and immediately reported your visa as being stolen. Also, keep in mind that you may need to have a copy of a police report in order to apply for a replacement visa.
If you are about to contact your local police station, it's a smart idea to look for any copies which you may have made of your stolen visa. Such as photos of your visa which you took on your smartphone or photocopies of your visa. If you don't have any copies of your visa, ensure to immediately take photos and copies of your replacement visa, when it arrives. As you should always have backup copies of your visa available, in case your visa is stolen or misplaced.
Contact The US Consulate Or Embassy That Inittialy Issued Your Visa
Unfortunately, if your visa is stolen you'll need to inform the overseas US consulate or embassy which initially issued your visa, that your visa has been stolen. One of the most efficient ways to do this is by email. Simply look up the website of your consulate or embassy to find their email address. If you're curious about why it's best to email your consulate or embassy instead of ringing them, it pays to have a paper trail when you report your visa as being stolen. That way, if the consulate or embassy in question later denies that you reported your visa as being stolen, you'll have evidence to the contrary which supports your record of events.
Some US embassies and consulates that are located overseas offer online forms which you can also use in order to report your visa as being stolen. So it's worth checking if your particular consulate or embassy offers an option to fill out an online form to report your visa as missing, instead of sending an email.
Key Information To Provide To The Consulate Or Embassy Overseas
When you contact the foreign-based US consulate or embassy which processed your visa for you, ensure that you provide them with your full name, your full date of birth, the city in which you were born, your primary email address, and your postal address in the United States. Also be sure to specify that your visa was stolen, if you are certain that there isn't a possibility that you simply misplaced your visa.
If you have a copy of your stolen visa such as a digital photo or photocopy of your visa, also make sure to attach it to your email. Alternatively, if you don't have a copy of your stolen visa specify the type of visa which you had stolen and quote your passport number which is associated with your visa.
If You Were Able To Find Your Visa
Once you have contacted the US embassy or consulate which issued your visa, to report it as being stolen, your visa will be canceled. So if you later find that your visa was not stolen after all and was just misplaced, you will not be able to use it to enter the United States again. Instead, you will need to apply for a replacement visa, if you plan on leaving the United States and returning to the United States again.
Applying For A Replacement Visa
Unfortunately, if you would like to replace your visa you'll also need to apply for a replacement with the same foreign-based US embassy or consulate that issued your visa. In order to ensure that your visa is replaced as soon as possible, make sure to upload your police report with your application. As you'll need to prove to the embassy or consulate that you genuinely had your visa stolen.
Make Sure That Your Passport Is Valid Before Requesting A Visa Replacement
Before you try to replace your stolen visa, it's important to check the expiry date on your current passport. As in order to successfully apply for a new visa, your passport needs to be valid for an extra six months, from the date that your visa is issued.
Ensure To Report Your Passport As Stolen
As US visas are usually kept in your current passport, if your visa is stolen it's highly likely that your passport has also been stolen with your visa. So, it's a great idea to report your passport as being stolen at your local police station, at the same time that you report your visa as being stolen. As in order to get your passport replaced, it's also helpful to have evidence that you reported the theft of your passport on hand in order to expedite the replacement of your passport. Especially if your passport and visa have been stolen when you're outside of the United States and you want to ensure that you'll be able to legally enter the United States again.
If your visa or your passport and your visa have been stolen, it's important to report your theft to the police as soon as possible, in order to obtain a police report which you'll need to replace your stolen documents.