Lost your passport? How the save your trip or stay

Lost your passport? How the save your trip or stay

In some countries, losing your passport is the start of a horror story. The shock and the distress is one thing, but you may have to go to great lengths to get the problem sorted out. That is certainly true for China. Club China asked the China business support experts of Maxxelli to shed some light on what you need to do after the panic fades away.

Well actually: don’t panic. You may not have lost your passport at all. It may just be in a different place that you would expect it to be in. Ask your friends, check your steps and the places where you have been, you may even post the news of your loss in expat WeChat and Facebook groups. If this does not solve your problem, your passport is definitely lost. Here is what you do.

Go to the nearest Public Security Bureau to apply for a confirmation of reporting the loss of passport. You need to get the lost-passport report paper there. Go to your country’s nearest embassy or consulate and apply for a replacement identification document or replacement passport and for a visa. It may take one or two days to get the replacement passport. The document is only valid for a month. You will also receive an identification document with your original passport number and information from the embassy or consulate.

Originals and copies

What do you need to take with you? First: the original and copy of the receipt of a report from the local police station where the passport was lost or stolen. You need two recent photographs and a receipt of the photographs. A report form with the complete statement about the loss or theft of the passport. You are required to leave the name and contact details of your contact person in the city along with this report. You also need a photocopy of documents which establish your nationality or citizenship in a foreign country. This can be an ID card or driver’s license. Registration form of temporary residence (if studying/working in China). If you are a Foreigner’s Residence Permit Holder, then bring a photocopy of the Foreigner’s Residence Permit. Do you have a work permit? Bring it, with documents issued by the company. In fact, bring any other document that may be necessary and required by the public security authority.

Apply for new visa

If you are a tourist and do not travel with a China travel agency, you cannot travel without the Chinese travel visa. You will need to apply for a new visa in the Public Security Bureau Exit-Entry Administration as soon as possible. Without the new visa, you won’t be able to pass through security on the airport on the day of your departure. Some advice: apply for the most urgent visa against a higher price. You may get it in one day. If you need to travel within China, go to the police station or Public Security Bureau. There you can apply for a valid document with which you can travel by train/airplane/bus within China.

Going to the embassy or consulate of your country to get the replacement document or new passport? Here are the five things to bring:

  1. Lost passport report of the Public Security Bureau
  2. Certifications of China travel agency that services you (if tourist / traveler)
  3. Residency / work permit documentation (if studying / working) 
  4. Scan copy of your original passport and visa 
  5. Passport photos

One more step

With the replacement document or new passport safely in your hands, you need to take one more step. Apply for a new visa or residence permit at the Entry and Exit Administration Division of the Public Security Bureau. And do it soon, as the replacement document is only valid for 30 day. From the 31st day onwards, you will be treated as illegally staying in China!

So if you do lose your passport in China, don’t panic. You will get a replacement document, a new temporary or new passport and a new visa. The takeaway of this story is though that it is handy to carry several copies of your passport, visa and other important documentation with you when visiting China.

Maxxelli (South-west China, Central China, Greather Shanghai) delivers business support solutions throughout the Maxxelli network in China. The company forms a bridge both from the international community to China, and from 1st to 2nd Tier China.

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