If you travel to the United States to visit your family members or pursue educational or career opportunities, a visa allows you to legally cross the port of entry. Traveling with an expired visa may complicate your trip and put you in trouble with customs.

While you may have gone through the application process for a visa and received approval, what happens if your visa gets stolen or you accidentally lose it? Your familiarity with the process of getting it back may help you to proceed with confidence to receive a replacement without compromising your reputation or privileges.

Requesting a replacement

As soon as you realize that you cannot find your visa, usa.gov suggests that you report it to the U.S. Embassy. From the start of this process, document all of your efforts and their outcome. If someone stole your visa, contact your local authorities and file a report. Ask for a copy of the report and make sure you know your case number, as well as the name of the individual who took your report.

You will need to apply for a replacement of your documents as part of the process to have them reissued.

Keeping your visa safe

Experts recommend taking a photocopy of your original visa for your personal records. This simple step may save you significant time and stress in the event your visa gets stolen or lost.

Preventing your visa from loss or theft requires you to maintain its security always. When traveling, avoid putting it in luggage that may end up misplaced. If possible, keep it on your person and in a secure location where it will not slip out of a pocket. As soon as you finish showing your visa to the proper authorities upon entry or exit, immediately put it away to avoid forgetting it. Never allow other people to handle your visa documents.