Originally Posted by John Downs
So sorry to hear of this. I am a U.S. citizen so had to check the UK Argentina site:
to see what the solution involves. Looks like they will issue emergency travel documents that will allow your boyfriend to travel to up to five countries until his duplicate passport arrives. So all is not lost. Checking further on their site it looks like they no longer issue passports at the Buenos Aires embassy but handle it through the regional center in Washington DC.
These things work out in the end. Your boyfriend isn't the first traveler to have his passport stolen. It is worth 5000 on the black market. Which is why it is important to carry it concealed in a moneybelt under your clothes at all times. He won't make the same mistake twice I assure you.
Also for other travelers, it is always a good idea to have photocopies of all your travel ID and credit cards hidden on your bike.
Good on him for having a spare key.
John, read other posts from you and have to say that your opinions/advice are always full of common sense; nice to learn that about ETDand your research in this case.
Tripqueen, in other countries, the usual case is as follows (options):
a) You get a temporary document from your Consulate/Embassy to be able only to come back home (UK). In Spanish it is called Salvoconducto (safe conduct), can be obtained pretty quickly, just prove who you are.
b) You wait for a new regular passport (usually valid until the date of validity of the lost/stolen one), which in your case may take long. A British friend of has had 5 weeks in Thailand, the passport being issued in Hong Kong (it seems that Washington in your case), so they even had to leave to Burma and reenter to renew their Thai visa (not visa, I know).
c) In other countries (Spain), you may have a temporary passport, which won't be biometric though, usually limited to 6 months to allow you to keep on. It's a completely valid document... except for the US (as any old/non biometric passport). This may be the UK ETD, I guess (and hope).
So, I guess there are three possibilities:
a) If the ETD works as John said (and I understood skimming the site), no doubt, GO FOR IT. In Iran we "adopted" a British guy who got his passport stolen and took him in our car for a long time (did not have much money left either). If I recall, it was a yellowish document which looks a mixure between a passport and the WHO Immunization record card. So, he could keep on travelling though Iran after the Embassy informed the Iranian authorities. Quick to obtain, but pretty expensive, and only valid until getting back to the UK. Don't know about crossing borders (the Spanish one works, at least). I forecast it may be a problem if you need visas, but this is not the case in South America for him.
b) Wait the 4 weeks travelling around Argetina. Time being the problem.
c) The "safe conduct" to come back home, and then get the passport issued in London very quickly/expensively and fly back to Argentina to keep on (money being the issue).
So, get info about ETD, go for it and tell us!
Good luck, we cross fingers,