Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Lost, stolen or damaged passport

The loss or theft of a passport is a serious matter. The replacement of a passport may take some time while enquiries are made.

Standard New Zealand passports are only available through the Department of Internal Affairs passport offices in New Zealand, Sydney and London.

In the event you need to travel urgently, and you are not in New Zealand, Australia, or the United Kingdom, a New Zealand Embassy or High Commission may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document. Please note this service is not available through our offices in Austria, Niue, New Caledonia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Barbados or Poland. People requiring assistance in those countries should go to for further information on applying for a standard New Zealand passport.

If your passport has been lost or stolen overseas, you should:

  • obtain a police report, then
  • decide whether to apply for a replacement passport or an Emergency Travel Document.

What is an Emergency Travel Document?

As its name indicates, an Emergency Travel Document is for emergencies. You will need to decide whether it is better for you to wait a little longer for a standard passport, or whether you need an Emergency Travel Document.

You need to be aware of the following:

  • an Emergency Travel Document is valid for a period of one month. Dependent on travel circumstances validity may be extended at the time of application.
  • problems can occur if an Emergency Travel Document is used for anything other than returning to your place of residence. If you plan to travel through several countries, it may be better to obtain a standard passport
  • you need to return your Emergency Travel Document when you apply for a standard passport. This, as well as any visas in the document, will be destroyed. Therefore, if you need a long term visa (eg a residence visa), it may be better to obtain a standard passport
  • multiple entry visas, residence permits and other “long-life” endorsements should not be entered into Emergency Travel Documents.

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