As the leading travel management company to the maritime industry, one of our goals is to provide you with solutions to ensure that every GMT traveler has access to fast, accurate and secure visa and passport information.
We see this situation happen several times a week. Your 10-year validity document is about to expire and you never think twice about it until it’s too late – cue the running in circles.
After that sinking feeling of realizing you have a lost/stolen/expired passport, the best thing you can do is remain calm and take action, but it’s going to cost you. Some common phrases we hear are:
- “I lost my passport and I fly out today – help!”
- “I’m taking the family on holiday and did not realize my son’s passport expires after 5 years, not 10. It technically doesn’t expire until 2 months from now, but St Kitts requires a passport to be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of departure (which is in two weeks). What do I do?”
- “I’m due to start a new temp job on a yacht in South Florida next week, but I didn’t know I needed a B-1/B-2 visa, how can I apply and get the quickest turn around?”
First step? Find your nearest passport agency and make an appointment. Though forewarning, most agencies are booked weeks in advance and you may be standing in line for an entire day.
If you can’t obtain an appointment then you may want to try ordering from RushMyPassport.com or CIBTvisas who can turn around new documents in approximately 1 business day. They even have a digital photo service making it a fast, easy and convenient option if in a hurry and will ensure the photo meets government and consular requirements.
Besides the photo, don’t forget about all the other important documents required. You’ll need:
- proof of citizenship (a birth certificate, an expired passport, or a photo of your lost passport)
- identification (driver's license)
- proof of your flight that day or a travel itinerary
- a DS-64 (statement about your lost or stolen passport)
- and a DS-11 (passport application)
All in all, expect to pay anywhere from $110 - $400 for new and/or expedited documents.
If you’re abroad, find the nearest embassy or consulate and bring all the same documentation with you. It is advisable to always carry a photocopy of your passport information page while traveling overseas. You won’t be able to fly home with just a copy, but it can help state your case in the event your passport is lost or stolen.
Other potential pitfalls include forgetting to ensure six months of validity beyond your scheduled travel dates, not having enough blank pages available, and traveling with a damaged passport, any of which can just as easily spoil your plans.
All in all, GMT is here to help. Our agents will walk you through the process of whatever your situation may be to help get you on your way. Happy and safe travels!