Passports are sometimes lost or stolen when abroad. Apart from the inconvenience caused and the related problems for the traveller, the issue of an emergency passport by the Austrian representation authorities may sometimes take longer than the traveller expects. Whatever the reason for such losses – simple misfortune or, for instance, a mugging or robbery – the Austrian representation authority always strives to assist as fast as possible but does of course require the full cooperation of the affected parties.
In many countries (for instance, the EU Member States) a valid ID document can be used instead of a passport for the return trip to Austria. Other countries, especially those outside of Europe, require a valid passport in combination with a declaration of theft/loss made out by the relevant authority in order to be able to check in at an airport and/or embark on the journey back to Austria without any problems. In urgent cases the professional Austrian representation authorities (embassies, consulates-general) are entitled to issue emergency passports (ordinary passports issued in the case of such an event). Such emergency passports are exclusively issued for the return journey to Austria.
When a passport is lost or stolen in a destination in which Austria has no representation authority, travellers may contact an EU embassy to request issue of an Emergency Travel Document (ETD). A direct return journey to Austria is generally possible using such an ETD. Attention must however be drawn to the fact that the issue of an ETD might take some time. It is therefore generally recommended that you make direct contact with the closest Austrian representation authority as soon as possible. In order to enable quick handling of cases of passport loss or theft, travellers are advised to take the following precautions (especially when travelling to non-EU Member States):