Lost Passport and Found it

To prepare the trip to US in Sept, I was looking for my passport for more than one month. My bad – I just forget to put things and always spend pretty high percentage of my life looking for things. This time, I was completely feeling desperate. I don’t want it to be the second time I lose my passport.

The Previous One

I lost passport once at the end of 2002. The re-issue process was a nightmare for me. I struggled for more than half year to get a new one, including visiting many police stations, forced to lie to the stations to get the “lost claim”, paid for classified on Wen Hui newspaper, and waited for 3 months after the lost claim appears on the newspaper, and spent another one month to get a new passport.

I tried very hard to find my old passport, and avoid to get a new one. My experience showed that it may take about one year or so.

The New Process

Yesterday, I went to the Exit and Entry Administration Ministry of Public Security in Pudong. To my great surprise, the process has been simplified so much. Here is the new process:

1. Get the lost claim from local Public Security – you just go there, and claim your passport is lost, and they give you that paper.

2. Fill in a form – the same form for new application of passport, or re-issue, or lost, or damaged passport.

3. Stick a photo and hand in additional two passport standard photo – they have the service at 30 RMB and 1 minute.

4. Prepare photo copy of the Hukou Booklet (a.k.a Residency Registry), and ID card (with original copy)

5. Give all the materials to the official, and you can get your new passport in 10 working days – basically the same day two weeks later.

That means, if I have everything, the new passport is ready on Aug 11, 2008 for me.

Wow. I told the story to Wendy and she said, the society is improving itself, anyway.

I Found Mine

I was unlucky (or you can say, I am lucky from today’s point of view) that my National ID just expired one week ago, so they rejected my application, and my new ID card is available next week. I thought I can get back to them again when it is ready.

But today, I found my passport! It is hidden in the pocket of my suite in my home! I was so happy that I jumped onto the bed – I still have a valid US visa on it. It save me much time. The passport application process is much easier, but the US visa is harder during the last 5 years.

So, my suggestion is:

1. Don’t lose your passport

2. If you lose it, don’t worry, not as big a deal as before.

8 thoughts on “Lost Passport and Found it

  1. martin kellerman

    Haha. That’s a funny post.

    It sounds like a big improvement, but what you say about your expired ID card shows that even the new process has hidden pitfalls in it that can trap the unwary.

    It seems that this application process needs further improvement to take into account people like yourself whose ID card just expired — e.g. accept an ID card that has expired for up to 14 days at the application stage, but the new ID card must be shown to them when you pick up your new passport –or something like that.

  2. TW

    I can imagine how panicky you were when you couldn’t find your passport just weeks prior to your U.S. trip. I keep my two passports and a few other travel documents all inside a bag, which I can wear over my neck so I always have them in one place. My husband says no guys carry bags (that’s not true, but he insists so), and he just sticks his loose travel document either in his brief case or his shirt pocket. And he often fumbles in different places to look for them. One of these days, he’s going to lose his passport.

    Always make extra copies of your passport, carry one with you, and leave them with your wife and secretary just in case you lose your passport while traveling. I had my passport stolen in London one year on July 3rd. I had to wait one extra day till July 5th to go the the American Embassy there for reissurance. Because I had a copy of my passport, I had the replacement passport reissued in one hour.

  3. lily

    I will apply a passport in future and go to foreign country ,I will hold my passport very carefully:)

  4. angela

    Jianshuo,

    Just a reminder, make sure you can still use the passport you have at last found — I mean once you have “officially reported” its loss to the police/exit-entry bureau, that passport is officially cancelled, therefore invalid and any use of it should be illegal. The US visa is valid, you shall have to explain to the US Consulate in Shanghai so that they may transfer the visa to the new replaced Chinese passport.

    All the best,

  5. DC

    you’re lucky that your country is able to issue another passport again. As for mine, it will be one for the life time. If I lost it most likely I am not able to get another new one.

    btw, i suggest you get a safe box for you home. then, you can store all your important documents and precious items inside. And can forget about the seeking high and low again. It is not expensive to get one in Carrefour :)

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