Getting my old passport returned to me.

Usually, if you lose your passport, you would report it to the police as missing or stolen, and they'd give you a document stating that fact. You can't get a new passport, from the consulate, without that document, and you can't get a replacement visa either. Well, I had a new passport, but without my old passport, or that document saying it's missing, I'm in an odd position.

Because not having my old passport makes big, big problems for me, I have tried everything to get it returned to me. I called the State Department, at least 50 times (most of the time, I got a machine, but eventually I got a human). I explained that I really needed my old passport returned to me. I contacted my congressman's office (who never replied to me), and I contacted the state, where the original mistake was made, and asked them to contact the State Department. Eventually, after a few days of trying, I just gave up. I'm thinking by now, they probably destroyed my old passport anyways.

The consulate gave me a document, saying they're revoking my passport, but it makes me look like a criminal, and I did nothing wrong, so I asked them for a new document, that doesn't make me look bad. The consulate wrote me a vague letter, as not to make themselves look bad, simply saying they sent my passport back to USA. I took that document to the PSD (Public Security Bureau), several times, and they didn't know what to do, because it's not the normal process.

I got to thinking, maybe I should report my old passport to the police as missing, so I can get that document, and make things more normal for them. I didn't have my old passport, so technically it was missing. I definitely don't want to do anything illegal, and I want everything to be honest, truthful, and aboveboard, so I decided to contact the consulate and ask for their advice. Before I could even ask my question, they informed me, much to my shock, that the State Department had decided to return my old passport, and if I could wait, that might be the better choice. The consulate contacted the PSB in Shenzhen, through their official channels, to make sure they understood the situation, while I wait for my passport to be returned to me. The only problem was, my passport allows me to stay in China until December 15th, before I have to leave. But I can't leave, without some type of documentation, because I don't have my old visa; all I have is a new, blank passport. Fortunately, the PSB told me, if I can get my old passport, after the 15th, they would not fine me for overstaying my visa.

My passport was shipped out to me, via UPS Express service, which is how all passports are sent from USA to China, on December 9th. I opted for them to send it to the consulate, since I figured there would be less chance of UPS making a mistake. Once I had UPS deliver a package to me, that wasn't for me. When I explained that it wasn't my package, they insisted they are right, and I am wrong. Apparently I'm too stupid to know what my name is. I did not want this same type of mistake to happen to my old passport, so I asked them to send it to the consulate. The consulate gave me the tracking number, and I kept a close eye on it. It arrived in China on Thursday, the 11th, and was then delayed in customs. I expected it to be delivered on Friday, or Monday the 15th, at the latest. I UPS said it was in customs, and customs releases all packages on Tuesday. They said it should arrive on Wednesday, the 17th. It didn't arrive. Then the UPS website said it would Arrive on Thursday, then on Friday the 19th. Apparently customs wasn't releasing my package, because of some missing paperwork.

Eventually, all the paperwork was straightened out. On December 24th, the consulate called me, about 11am, to inform me, that my old passport arrived, and I can go pick it up, but I needed to be there before 3pm. I had checked the train times, from Shenzhen North station, to Guangzhou South station, the night before, and had 2 potential trains picked out, depending on what time they contacted me. I arrive in Shenzhen North station about 11:45, but the lines for the tickets are so long, I couldn't get the train I was hoping for. People at the head of the line, were getting tickets to Guangzhou South station, that would just barely give me enough time to arrive at the consulate before they closed. By the time I got to the ticket window, the earliest ticket I could get, wouldn't leave until it was too late. Fortunately, my friend has a friend in Guangzhou, who could pick up my passport for me, and just by chance, she happened to be very close to the consulate when my friend called. So, late in the evening, I finally got my old passport returned to me. The next day, on the 25th, I went to the PSB to complete the process of getting the paperwork I need, so I can leave China, and go apply for a new visa. The took both my old passport, and my new passport, and told me to go back on January 6th, to pick them up.

Now I'm waiting to get my passports back, so I can continue the process.


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