One of my friends (one Irish and one British) are on holidays abroad in Kenya and one passport fell into an open drain while getting out of a car. Long story-short, they are now left without travel documents and their flight back home is on Tuesday 1st August.

Knowing how difficult it can be to get passport/immigration issues sorted with embassies in African countries, what should they do now? I think both are not native born and thus don't have their birth certificates or naturalisation certificates with them on hand.

I hear that emergency passports come quickly but with them lacking any documents, will the delay be long enough that they miss their flight?

  • Do they have a photocopy or scan of the information page of the passport? Even if they don't have it, is there anyone who can get that information or access their birth or naturalization certificates? It looks like the procedure is here.
    – mkennedy
    Jul 25, 2017 at 20:08
  • 3
    Have they contacted police to report the lost passport? Have they contacted the embassy to report the loss? That should have been their first steps, not waiting to see what a forum post will tell them.
    – user13044
    Jul 25, 2017 at 20:25
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    No...they asked me first because they were quite cautious as there is very high corruption among the police in Kenya so it's a bit questionable as to whether anything will useful will happen. Jul 25, 2017 at 21:40
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    The police don't usually do anything about it anyway (anywhere in the world) it is just paperwork the Embassy will likely ask for when they report the passport lost and request an emergency pp.
    – user13044
    Jul 25, 2017 at 23:27

1 Answer 1


The first thing to do is the get in touch with the nearest embassy or consulate and report the lost/stolen passport to the consular section. Whether by phone or in person, let them know the circumstances and when you plan to leave the country, so they know whether to get a limited validity emergency passport or a full validity passport.

In the case of theft, file a police report. If nothing else, it can assist in recouping costs through travel insurance, for example.

Get a new passport photo taken before visiting the embassy/consulate. Fill out the application and a statement about the lost/stolen passport. The latter is to ensure that your lost document is invalidated so that no one can use it (not even you, if you later find a lost document).

It usually requires some sort of identification, and not necessarily birth or naturalization documents: drivers license, picture id, photocopy of missing passport. If they are carrying none of these, try having them sent electronically.

They’ll be expected to pay a fee, or make arrangements for someone elee to pay (e.g., via credit card). An emergency document can be issued fairly rapidly, usually within 24 hours, but the timing will depend on their circumstances and the consulate.

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