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  #1  
Old 19 Feb 2012
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Stolen Passport in Argentina! Help!

Help!

My boyfriend is on a massive trip biking round South America and has just has his passport stolen in Mendoza, Argentina. He had his bag stolen (including bike keys) but still has his wallet and other documentation, also had a spare set of keys for the bike thank god.

He's been to the police, filed a report, has a document to take to the embassy in Buenos Aires. That's closed till wednesday for a public holiday. Looking at the website he can get a temporary passport that will get him home to the UK, is there any way he can continue travelling in South America??

Obviously he'll need to send away for a new full UK passport, the site suggests he'd have to wait 4 weeks for a new one in Argentina....does anyone have any experience of waiting for a new UK passport when you are abroad?? How long does it take?

He's desperate to keep on riding round, he's on a tight deadline with time and money though so a delay of 4 weeks would be a total nightmare.

Any advice gratefully received!!

Follow Chris 'Tigger' Targett on his 100 day circumnavigation of South America for Charity on: www.tiggerstravels.org
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Follow Chris 'Tigger' Targett on his 100 day circumnavigation of South America for Charity on: www.tiggerstravels.org

Last edited by TripQueen; 24 Feb 2012 at 19:00. Reason: more info
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  #2  
Old 19 Feb 2012
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So sorry to hear of this. I am a U.S. citizen so had to check the UK Argentina site:

Urgent travel

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.

Best luck.

Cheers,
John Downs
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South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
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  #3  
Old 19 Feb 2012
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Scan all your and the moto's docs and having scanned them, e-mail them to yourself is what I've done. Ride safe.
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  #4  
Old 20 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Downs View Post
So sorry to hear of this. I am a U.S. citizen so had to check the UK Argentina site:

Urgent travel

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.

Best luck.

Cheers,
John Downs
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,

Esteban
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  #5  
Old 20 Feb 2012
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Thank you all for your advice, he's on route to the British Embassy in Buenos Aires today, should be there by 9am Wednesday when it opens (currently closed for a public holiday, these things always seem to happen during holidays!).

The plan is if its going to take around 2 weeks he will wait in Argentina and travel a bit (he's already circumnavigated all of Argentina!) if its going to be more than that then he's going to store the bike, fly home, work for a month or so while he waits for the new passport then fly back and finish the trip. He's doing it for charity so feels he has to do the whole thing, one way or another!!

We're hoping they can express deliver it to Washington, process it quickly (seeing as its for charity, but that probably wont make much difference!) then express deliver it back to BA. You never know, we might be lucky! Just a shame they don't issue them in Argentina any more.....cost saving no doubt!

Will let you know what happens....and if he does end up staying I'll pass your details on to him Tobi about meeting in Peru!!

Sam


Follow Chris 'Tigger' Targett on his 100 day circumnavigation of South America for Charity on: www.tiggerstravels.org
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Last edited by TripQueen; 24 Feb 2012 at 19:01.
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  #6  
Old 23 Feb 2012
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Quick update...

The British Embassy said it would indeed take 4 weeks to replace the passport, seems crazy but there you go...

In the meantime the Police have found his bag with the bike keys and his passport! So he's back to Mendoza to collect it and hopefully can still use the passport as he never sent off any paperwork to the UK passport office or informed the UK authorities its stolen....fingers crossed!



Follow Chris 'Tigger' Targett on his 100 day circumnavigation of South America for Charity on: www.tiggerstravels.org
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Follow Chris 'Tigger' Targett on his 100 day circumnavigation of South America for Charity on: www.tiggerstravels.org

Last edited by TripQueen; 24 Feb 2012 at 19:01.
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  #7  
Old 23 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripQueen View Post
Quick update...

The British Embassy said it would indeed take 4 weeks to replace the passport, seems crazy but there you go...

In the meantime the Police have found his bag with the bike keys and his passport! So he's back to Mendoza to collect it and hopefully can still use the passport as he never sent off any paperwork to the UK passport office or informed the UK authorities its stolen....fingers crossed!
Congrats, but confirm it with the Embassy, just in case they took note of the theft or something.

Why? Never ever use a passport/ID that you reported to have been lost/stolen, even if you find it in a drawer at home. You may try to cross a border with it and be stopped by the officials because it was in the system via Interpol. I know of a case, not fun.

(Needless to say, never ever "loose" your passport in order to have a 2nd one; just find the right procedures to obtain the 2nd one, feasible).
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  #8  
Old 23 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripQueen View Post
Quick update...

The British Embassy said it would indeed take 4 weeks to replace the passport, seems crazy but there you go...

In the meantime the Police have found his bag with the bike keys and his passport! So he's back to Mendoza to collect it and hopefully can still use the passport as he never sent off any paperwork to the UK passport office or informed the UK authorities its stolen....fingers crossed!
That is very good news and very fortunate; someone did not realise the price of a passport on the black market!
As per estebangc' post, he will need to ensure that the original passport is not now recorded as stolen/missing.

I have known of "quotes" of 6 weeks to replace a UK passport; there are a few factors involved I believe, including the inevitable enquiries from officialdom.
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  #9  
Old 24 Feb 2012
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Hurray!

All is well, he had the forms to cancel the passport but hadn't gotten round to filling them in when he found the email from the Mendoza police....so binned the forms and headed back to mendoza yesterday....and collected said passport. The police confirmed it was fine to use.

He's just crossed into Chile without any hassle, thank heavens for that!! He's one lucky guy that's for sure!!

This is his website for those that are interested in following his (hopefully uneventful) progress: On the road blog

Tobi where are you headed? Sure he'd like to meet a fellow Hubber!!

Follow Chris 'Tigger' Targett on his 100 day circumnavigation of South America for Charity on: www.tiggerstravels.org
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