On August 28th, 2018, the Ministry of Public Security announced 22 new measures regarding immigration affairs for both Chinese and foreign individuals at a press conference. One of these measures that is most relevant to foreigners has officially come into effect on September 1st and is expected to facilitate visa issues tremendously whenever you lose your passport while in China.
Indeed, foreigners who lose their passports can now enjoy preferential treatment for their emergency visa application if they meet one of the three following situations:
1. Leaving China for emergencies.
If you submit your application with the explanation letter provided by your company and related departure flight/ship tickets with the confirmed date and seat, the immigration office will accept your application as priority and handle it timely.
2. Crew members and their family who need a transit visa for their layover in China.
By submitting the application with the guarantee letter provided by the company and related departure flight/ship tickets with the confirmed date and seat, the immigration office will accept your application as priority and handle it timely.
3. Members of a tour group who need a visa to leave China.
Submitting the application with the explanation letter provided by the travel company and related departure flight/ship tickets with the confirmed date and seat, the immigration will accept the application and handle it timely.
The current Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of the Entry and Exit of Foreigners may not meet the emergency need to handle visa issues for foreigners.
According to Article 13, if a foreigner’s visa application for an extension, change of status, re-issuance, or a stay permit meets the acceptance provisions, the Exit and Entry Administration bureau shall issue a receipt of acceptance valid for no more than 7 days, and will make a decision on whether to issue the visa within the validity period of the receipt of acceptance. However, spending 7 days on a visa application can be long for people looking to leave the country, which is why the State Immigration Administration service announced the above-mentioned measures to make it more efficient.
We know how annoying it can be to lose your passport in a foreign country… If this ever happens to you while you’re traveling in China and don’t meet any of the terms listed in this article, here are a few steps you can take to help you with the process:
1. Report it to the police - get a receipt
Image: Report Form
Image: Receipt from the police
2. Go to the office of immigration services to confirm the loss of your passport.
Image: Confirmation of Passport Loss
3. Go to your country's embassy in China and apply for a new passport. Note that some foreign residents may be required to apply for it directly from their home country.
We’ve previously published an article that details what you should do in case of a similar emergency while you’re in China. Give it a read here:What to Do in Case of an Emergency in China.