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Travel on a temporary passport

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Hangzhou, China
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Travel on a temporary passport

Hi All,

My actual passport is being processed so I can get the work permit (I'll be teaching here). I had the PSB Interview yesterday and they gave me a temporary passport which is merely a piece of paper. My question is, can this be used to travel within China? I've heard you need a passport or temp passport to travel on trains and also to book hotel rooms. Should I bring a copy of my scanned passport page as backup? Anybody been in a similar situation? I am looking to travel during the Tomb Sweeping holiday and am hoping to get out of Shanghai and see Nanjing. Thanks!

Hong Kong, China
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1. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

I assume you got that piece of paper which confirms the passport is with the authorities for the residence permit application (for the work permit they do not need the passport for more than one day).

Yes, you can travel with tis piece of paper within China, but you cannot leave China.

I never had problems with it. Sometimes I had to insist, but at the end it always worked out.

Hangzhou, China
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2. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

Hi Cookie, that's correct, it's the confirmation paper for the residence permit. Thanks for the reply, I'll use it to travel around!

On a sidenote, I also tried to use it to send a Western Union, but the employee at China Postal Bank didn't accept it. But, I understand to a non-NES it looks like a hairbraned form of ID, so they don't want to accept it since it's not an actual passport. But, I can keep trying around and also print off a copy of my passport page for the Western Union.

Hong Kong, China
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3. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

Western Union might also want to check your visa and could be the reason asking for the passport. If you change money and send it out of the country, restrictions apply.

Also you would not be able to open an bank account with that piece of paper and might have problems getting money at the counter.

Anyway, you will get you passport back in less than 7 days already.

Hangzhou, China
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4. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

Hi, thanks! Okay then, if I need to wait 7 more days it wouldn't be a huge deal. I'll wait until I have the passport back then send it out. :-)

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

You cannot fly and I don't think you can buy train tickets with this slip of paper, so you would be limited to road travel. It is not a temporary passport and it is inaccurate to think of it that way. How long it takes to get your passport back depends on where you live but it has to be processed within a month.

Hong Kong, China
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6. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

For sure she/he can fly with it! Where did you get your information from??? Also the regarding processing time, it is printed on this piece of paper. I bet 7 days.

By the way, at SZ airport it was easier when a passport pic was attached to it and to have an other kind of ID with you. BJ stamped the pic on the form upon request. BJ, SZ, GZ, SH and Xian airports had no problem accepting it.

NNJ
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7. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

I'm a little confused; which country's passport is being processed, or just your working permit is being processed (holding your passport)?

The best way to find it out is to go to a train ticket booth to buy a ticket.

But if you will stay some hotels not in big cities, the front desk staff may not take it, since it's not really a temporary passport.

Shanghai, China
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8. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

Cookie is absolutely right! You can fly domestic and check into a hotel! And as he/she said: "Sometimes I had to insist, but at the end it always worked out."

Hangzhou, China
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9. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

Hi, sorry about my late reply! I have an American passport and I think they said it can take nine business days to process it until I get it back. I was told by my job supervisor that it shows that your passport is being processed and serves as ID. I have a copy of my passport page, too. He said too that people may say it's not valid, but I must insist (I know this is a great reason to learn the language of whichever country you are in; If I spoke Mandarin it'd be much easier to explain, but I just moved here). Others have said they may not even ask for ID if on the train.

They are currently processing my residence permit, so that's why they've had my passport for a bit of time. I plan now on going to Suzhou, so hopefully it won't be a big deal buying a train ticket. Plus, I can go to the train station and book a ticket and if they stubbornly refuse, to hell with it, I can just stay in Shanghai and sightsee. On that note, can I buy a return/round-trip ticket in Shanghai to eschew the need to buy two tickets?

I don't understand the need to see a passport if I'm on a train. I lived in Thailand and Vietnam before and never showed any ID when buying a ticket. But, their trains are slow and outdated, so maybe that was why. I'm excited to travel around China though! --James

Edited: 4:34 am, April 02, 2014
Beijing, China
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10. Re: Travel on a temporary passport

Hmm..., three question marks and an exclamation mark along with the challenging comment, cookie. I hope you're not still smarting from the last time I contradicted you back in June of last year. I shall be quite happy to be proved wrong about flying and may well be relying on old information. I don't think the OP will be travelling by air, though. I trust you didn't wager any cash on the 7 day processing-time bet

Hangzhou29, photo ID is required for purchasing fast-train tickets (not sure if this has been extended to all trains) and you will need to have your identity verified at a station. See http://www.travelchinaguide.com/china-trains/ for information. This is why I am uncertain as to whether or not you will be able to buy. It is usual to have your ID checked when entering stations and sometimes on the train itself.

If you can buy tickets, they are single-journey only. However, there is nothing to prevent you from buying both the outbound and return legs at the same time (two separate tickets) providing neither date is too far ahead (20 days ahead online, 18 days in person, I believe). There will be a 5rmb surcharge for tickets not purchased from the departing station.