Hi everyone, this is my first time to speak up in the Cranfield blog and I am glad to share my experience losing my passport. You might say, wait a sec! Why would you be so glad about that? I just thought, since a passport and visa loss is irreversible, why not just take the lesson and share with the others and hopefully it would help!
First of all, the story is my whole bag was stolen when I was having a meal in fish market in Bergen, Norway. Just imagine, when you are enjoying the delicious local dishes and suddenly, puff, your bag is gone? Like magic. Nobody actually sees the suspect. But anyway, after 15 mins of my mind being blank with panic, myself and my friend started to cope with the disaster gradually. And the steps are listed as follows:
- Report to the restaurant owner and ask him if he saw any suspect and ask whether he has any CCTV
- Call the police rapidly and get a formal police report, which will help to prove that your bag is stolen. I filled in two forms, one of which was a passport loss report and the other one was a bag loss report which will assist you to claim with your insurance company
- Check the rubbish bins nearby to see whether the bag has been left somewhere after the suspect has taken the valuable things away
- Remember to report to Biometric Residence Permits home office to cancel your card. Here’s the official link to tackle this: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/lost-stolen-damaged Or alternatively, you can write an email to BRPLost@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk and report the incident
- Contact your national embassy to ask about the emergency measures
- Email to your course director and lead to tell them what happened, and keep them updated (big thanks to Denyse and Mel for all the help!)
- Call the bank to cancel your card to prevent further loss
These are the things I first did after I realised my bag was gone. Let me introduce myself a bit. I am a Chinese student holding a Biometric Residence Permit and a UK visa, and losing them means l cannot either come back to UK or China. Thus, the following article might apply to most of the non-EU students.
Afterward, l found out the Chinese Embassy only opens two hours in every morning, and UK visa application center only opens two mornings per week in Oslo. Considering the efficiency and high cost of living, l decided to fly back to Shanghai and reapply for everything. Here are the following measures I took to come back to the UK.
- Applied for travel documents in Chinese embassy, which meant I could fly back to Shanghai and start all the procedures
- Applied for a new passport and use priority service (cut time from 10 to three working days)
- Applied for new replacement BRP visa and definitely use priority service (cut time from 15 to 5 working days) NB, this visa only allows you to come back once and as soon as you come back to the UK, you need to apply for a new BRP. The process is almost the same with the T4 visa application process except that the visa type is other (replacement)
After l got both a new passport and visa, l flew back to Cranfield immediately, and I am currently in the process of a replacement BRP application, which costs £56.
Overall, it’s obviously an unpleasant experience and hopefully you will never need to take this article as reference! But sometimes things like this happen and if you are overseas it is useful to know that someone has been in the same situation! So, if you are unlucky like me and lose your travel documents, my advice is do not panic and solve the problems step by step. If you have any queries about this, please feel free to contact me. My email address is Tony.firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, l want to thank all my friends who supported me in the past month. It is your continuous efforts and caring that make me strong.