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Travel & living abroad
Last updated at 10:45 (UK time) 29 Jul 2011

Emergency travel

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We are able to help with a replacement travel document for genuine, urgent or essential, emergency travel or if your passport has been lost or stolen or has recently expired and you need to travel urgently. We will need some verification of your identity and to be satisfied that you are a British national. If your passport has been lost or stolen, you will also need to show us a police report. Our local consular offices can issue emergency travel documents, but you should be aware that background and identity checks will still need to be carried out before we can issue such a document and this may take time.  You therefore might have to change your travel plans and you will need to pay a fee for the document. Please check the Urgent travel section on the regional passport processing centre that will take your application. See the How to apply page.

The replacement travel document will probably be an Emergency Travel Document valid for a single or a return journey to any destination via five transit points or may be an emergency passport valid for a single journey back to the UK . The document you receive will depend on British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate facilities and your travel needs.

You should also consider whether you need to get an exit or entry visa from the local immigration authorities.

Check with the local Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to see what services it offers. Local conditions mean that different emergency passport services are available in different areas.

The following emergency travel documents are currently in use:

  • Emergency Travel Document (ETD): The UK Emergency Travel Document (ETD) is an eight page travel identity document in a passport format. An ETD enables British nationals abroad whose passport is lost/stolen or unavailable because it is being renewed to make a single or return journey to the UK or another country of residence, via a maximum of five transit countries. Although it is designed to meet all international standards for travel documents, some countries will not accept the ETD. Applicants should check the entry or re-entry criteria for their destination and any countries that they will transit. If you are unsure about the entry requirements for countries you plan to visit or pass through, check FCO Travel Advice on 0845 850 2829 or at www.fco.gov.uk/travel or speak to that country’s nearest embassy.
  • Emergency Passport (EP): An Emergency Passport (EP) is usually issued when a standard passport has been declared lost or stolen, or is temporary unavailable, and there is insufficient time to process a full validity replacement and an Emergency Travel Document is not available. It is a one-page travel document valid only for a single journey.

Please remember that regardless of the type of document issued we need to make checks before we can issue a passport and this may mean you have to delay your travel plans.