Loss or Theft of Residency Visas or Passports

What to do if your residency or travel documents are lost or stolen and how to go about replacing your documents from inside the country and from abroad...

Note: This page addresses the loss of a Mexican Residency Card and provides general information about loss of passports. For detailed country-specific information on how to report and replace a lost or stolen passport, visit the Consular Services page (found on the left) for contact details of embassies and consulates in Mexico

Mexican Temporary or Permanent Residency Visas (Residency Cards) that are damaged, lost or stolen can be reissued only by the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) in Mexico.

Applications for replacement documents can be submitted via the INM wesbite (Spanish).

  • Under Que Desa Hacer? click on Canjear o reponer document migratorio and then Reposición de document migratorio por pérdida, robo or deterioro.
  • Applicants will be required to pay an application fee, and a replacement fee.

The application form must be printed and taken to a local INM office. Procedures may vary slightly, but in general applicants should bring:

  • All relevant documentation, including proof of residence (combrabante)
  • A photocopy of the lost or stolen card if available
  • A passport and a copy of the first two pages
  • Photographs according to INM specifications.

In the case of loss or theft, the application for a replacement card should be accompanied by a written police report. One or more follow-up appointments or interviews may be required to complete the process.

Loss of Residency Cards outside of Mexico

Mexican residents traveling outside of Mexico must present their Residency Card in order to legally re-enter Mexico.

If Residency Cards are lost or stolen outside of Mexico, an application must be made for a temporary single-entrance ‘emergency’ visa at a Mexican Consulate within 10 days of the theft or loss. It is important to note that entering Mexico on a ‘tourist’ or Visitante visa in this case could result in loss of residency status or charges of visa fraud.

The applicant will need to provide valid ID and a passport, and in the case of a theft, a copy of a police report issued by foreign police. In the event that the passport has also been lost or stolen, it must be replaced, or emergency documents must be obtained, prior to requesting replacement documents from INM.

In the case of a partially-destroyed card, what remains should be brought. Applicants will be required to pay a fee.

After verifying the status of applicant, the Consulate will issue a temporary visa; this could take up to 7 business days. The process to replace the lost or stolen card must be started within 30 days of re-entering Mexico, following the procedure outlined above.

Loss of Passports

In many cases, travelers who have lost or had their Residency Card stolen while outside of Mexico will also have lost their passports. Because passports must be presented in order to apply for an ‘emergency’ visa to re-enter Mexico, applicants must first obtain new passports or emergency one-time use travel documents.

Regulations vary by country; in some cases, new passports can be quickly issued abroad, while in other cases a temporary or emergency one-time use travel document will be issued.

Loss or theft of passports should immediately be reported to the Embassy or Consulate of the issuing country. Note that for security reasons the obligation to report lost passports applies in all cases where a passport is lost or stolen. Most countries will not issue emergency documents or replacement passports unless they have been reported.

Generally, it is the case that a police report will be required in order to obtain replacement passports or emergency travel documents. Note that a police report may be also required to replace lost or stolen Mexican Residency Cards. Therefore it is advisable to make police report after notifying the Embassy or Consulate - even if this is not required to obtain new or temporary identity documents while abroad.

Most countries will immediately and permanently invalidate passports that have been reported lost or stolen to prevent fraudulent use, and will report this to Interpol. Should a passport be recovered after being reported lost or stolen, any attempt to use it could result in charges or heavy fines. Recovered passports should be reported to the issuing Embassy or Consulate.

Applicants seeking replacement or emergency documents must visit the Consulate or consular section of the Embassy of the issuing country. Applicants should bring the police report (if required), 2 passport photos, and secondary identification if available. Photocopies or digital copies of passports and other travel documents will facilitate the process. Applicants will be required to complete forms and in some cases to provide sworn statements. If passports are lost outside of the issuing country, evidence of recent travel history and plans should also be provided if possible.

The timeframe for obtaining replacement passports or emergency documents will depend on how quickly the applicant’s identity and status can be confirmed by Consular authorities. In situations where the applicant has no available proof of identity, personal interviews with the applicant and with people able to verify the applicant’s identity may be required. Some countries conduct their own investigations into the circumstances of lost or stolen passports, which may slow the process.

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