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.