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Lost, Missing or Stolen Government Documents

If you are a current Tufts student or Tufts visiting scholar or employee, it is important for you to have valid immigration documents while you are physically present in the US. In addition, valid documents may be needed for international travel or to apply for employment, Social Security Numbers, or other benefits. Please read below for information about what to do in case you lose any essential documents.

International students and scholars should have a valid foreign passport when entering the US and while inside the US. If your passport is lost or stolen while you are inside the US, take these steps as soon as possible once you have discovered your passport is missing or has been stolen.
  • Contact your local embassy or consulate to obtain a replacement passport.
  • Report your lost / stolen passport to your local police or to the Tufts University Police Department. Obtain a receipt that confirms you made a report.
  • While you are not required to leave the US if your passport is lost or stolen, you will likely need to apply for a new entry visa before you can return from your next international trip. Please talk to an International Center advisor about your specific travel plans.
  • Produce a new Form I-94, which reflects your legal status in the US, by going to

Note: the International Center may have a copy of your passport ID page and visa on file. We recommend having a copy of your lost documents if you do not have your own. Contact us at if you need a copy.

Replacement Visa: As indicated above, you are not required to have a valid visa while physically present in the US. A visa is required, however, to re-enter the US following a trip abroad (exception: Canadian citizens are not required to have entry visas). If your passport is lost or stolen, and your entry visa is no longer available, you will need to get a new visa at your next trip outside of the US. We strongly recommend including extra time in your next travel plans to allow for a new visa to be issued.

If you cannot find your Form I-20 (F-1 students) or Form DS-2019 (J-1 students and scholars), you can request a replacement from the International Center. Please email us at with your name, ID number, and details regarding whether the I-20 is missing, lost, damaged, or stolen.

Please note that Form I-20s may now be delivered electronically so all requests may be handled via email and replacements sent to you via secure electronic transmission. However, Form DS-2019 must be delivered in paper (hard copy) format. Your International Center advisor will coordinate delivery details.

If you are an international student, scholar or employee and you have lost your Social Security card, you can apply for a replacement if you meet the Social Security Number application requirements for F-1, J-1, H-1B, or other related visa classification. Please read through Social Security Number (SSN) application information on our web site. In most cases, you will need to show evidence of your identity as well as evidence of current US work authorization (e.g., on-campus employment, practical training, or H-1B work authorization).

The SSN is a permanent, lifetime number. In many cases, you will not actually need to show the actual SSN card and will only need to report your number.

Identity Theft

Because the SSN is an important number used for personal and private transactions, you should take steps to report a lost card to minimize the chances of identity theft. Identity theft may take place when your number is used by other individuals to make unauthorized transactions, such as purchasing items or opening credit card accounts in your name. Please read through these resources:

H-1B employees should have the original or photocopy of the I-797A approval notice confirming employment authorization with Tufts. In the event the I-797A is lost or missing, contact the International Center with details regarding when the document was identified as lost or stolen. If needed, the International Center can work with the department to apply for a replacement I-797A.