After travelling to many countries and never once loosing my passport I finally managed to in Goa. It must have fallen out of my pocket or from my bag. These details are correct up to Dec 18. Elements of the below may change over time.
Step 1 – Inform the UK Consulate
Very helpfully the UK has an Assistance office in Goa, just opposite the Marriott Resort in Miramar.
- Address: Opp Goa Marriott Resort, Casa Del Sol, 303-304, Miramar, Panaji, Goa 403001
- Google Copy Plus Code: FRP5+4R Panaji, Goa
The FCO have a helpful website where you can report your lost passport and apply for an Emergency Travel Document. You will need the ETD to travel out of India. You will need £100 to be ready to be taken from a bank card when applying.
Someone from the Goa Consulate will then contact you to arrange a time when you can come in (Rebecca was my contact). I would make this as soon as possible as the next few steps can take sometime. You will need to decide if you keep with your current return flight or extend it by a few days to ensure that your Exit Visa comes through. (more on this later)
Whilst performing this first part I stayed at Dukes Villa in Panaji. It is right next to the UK Assistance Office, had good WiFi, cheap room rate and from there you can get onto the main road to go to the Central Police Station if you need to.
Step 3 – Inform the Police
In order to get your exit visa you will need to inform the police in the area that you believe you may have lost your passport. The Panaji Police Station is a 30 minute walk up the road from the UK Consulate. You can always get a tuk tuk or taxi.
- Google Copy Plus Code: +RQ Panaji, Goa
When you go the main entrance you will need to say that you have lost your passport and wish to report it. They may tell you to go to the FRRO office on the other side of the courtyard. You do not need to do this. Stand firm and say you need to report your lost passport and need to fill in a lost passport form (FIR-First Initial Report). After a bit tooing and frowing they then gave me a form to photocopy.
Take the form(s) to the little photocopy porta cabin CP Plus opposite the main police station entrance. Google Copy Plus Code: FRXF+PP Panaji, Goa. It costs a few rupee (100) for the photo copies. They then will write some stuff down and then ask you to take some more paper and your passport to get copied again.
Step 3a – Something important
Once this is done you will need to wait around for about 1 hour while they fill in the forms and ask you some questions about where you think you lost your passport. If they say that you need to “make an affidavit and get it notarised”. Say firmly and polity that you cannot and that the embassy said I just need to come here to get the lost passport form (If the embassy tell you this – again procedures may change over time, but on the FRRO website it doesn’t say anything about an affidavit).
After stating this a few times they relented and gave me my police report, which is one/two sheets of A4.
Step 4 – New photos for your Emergency Travel Document if needed.
If you need to get new ID photos taken then take the opportunity to visit Souza & Paul just to the right of the FRRO. It cost me 100 Rupee for 6 new photos of ID size with face taking up 80% of the picture. Good quality pictures and they know what they are doing. I do suggest getting a bunch of photos for the whole process.
Step 5 – Return to Consulate
I then returned to the consulate where the Emergency Travel Document was issued.
Step 6 – Get a C-Form that covers your stay in your hotel/guesthouse
In order to apply for your exit visa via the FRRO website you will need a C-Form from your hotel that states how long you are staying. More details about C-Forms here. You simply ask your hotel for a copy of the C-form and they can print it out for your. The dates on the C-Form must cover up to your departure flight date.
All of the above I managed to do in one day. It took from 09:30am to 3:30pm going back and forth and getting things signed but I got them done.
Step 7 – Getting your Exit Visa (the long wait)
Next day (Day 1) I switched places and stayed at Menezes House. A little further south near Miramar Beach. The owner was amazing all round and helped me to get my C-Form and conduct other necessary steps. On the FRRO website it does state:-
You may want to go to an internet cafe where you can scan you documents. Your hotel may also be able to scan items in for you if you ask. The documents you will need to upload are:-
- Emergency Travel Document and photocopy of old passport
- e-Visa form that you would have received before arriving in India
- C-Form (from your hotel, this had the full dates covering up to the date I was due to leave on my flight).
- Police Report – 1 or 2 pages
- ID Photo
- Letter from UK (or your own) Consulate
- RC Letter (A letter that states that you are NOT a permanent resident of India Although on the website it states (if any – which suggests only if you already have one but I drafted a short letter stating I was not a resident in India and scanned it in).
- Confirmed Flight details (These were not uploaded or asked for but are needed so you can put down when you will leave India).
- Indian mobile phone number. My guesthouse manager gave me his number to put on the form.
The FRRO needed scanned PDFs and not mobile phone jpg photos so you will need to find somewhere with a scanner, a travel agents (I went to Cozy Nook), internet cafe or your hotel. I did all this between 0930 and 1030 on Friday (day 1).
Step 8 – Waiting around
On the Monday (day 4) I received an email saying that the application was under review. Luckily I stayed in my guesthouse that day as at about 6pm someone from the FRRO/Police in Panaji, came round to check my C-Form and other documents. I would suggest that during the review period you remain in/around your hotel so you can be easily contacted.
On Tuesday (day 5) the guesthouse manager had a phone call saying that I had to go to the police station at 10am and bring all my docs and another photo. This is where you sign an immigration declaration that you are here for tourism and that you have not committed any crimes. It was a very quick process.
On Wednesday (day 6) Just waiting around
On Thursday (day 7) I gave the Goa FRRO office a ring at 10:15am and an official at the other end said that he was sending my details back to Mumbai as all checks had been done.
On Friday (day 8) At about 11:00am I phoned the Mumbai office to enquire about the current progress of the Exit Permit. They stated that it was all done and I would receive and email on Saturday.
I was was a little worried about what was going on, but overall the process was smooth and efficient. It is possible that if I had my flight booked for the Friday my Exit Permit may have been issued on the Thursday (day 7), but there is no guarantee of this. Hopefully you find this article useful if you ever need to refer to it.