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UPS lost my passport, can I get a new Chinese visa while at SFO

UPS lost my passport, can I get a new Chinese visa while at SFO

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Old Feb 27, 19, 7:44 pm
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UPS lost my passport, can I get a new Chinese visa while at SFO

I'm scheduled to do SEA-SFO-PEK tomorrow on UA, but my passport, due back from the visa service Monday, has not been seen since it entered the UPS facility in Seattle at 4am Monday. UPS has "begun an investigation" and stopped talking to me; only to the sender (the visa service, A Briggs).

I can get a new passport tomorrow in Seattle, but I think I need to go to the Chinese Consulate in SFO to get a new visa (I do need one; I am traveling out of PEK, and even my shortened trip will be more than a week). Any tips on getting a Chinese visa while on a long layover at SFO? Talking UA into allowing it as part of SDC (or two)? If I can make Saturday's flight, I can recover this trip; otherwise, I might bag it. Good news is I can move my entire ticket to Saturday for $500.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 7:48 pm
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I've gotten same day visas several times in DC, Singapore, and Bangkok (the latter two were very fast). At PRC consulates in the US, I believe this service depends on how busy they are. Plus, applying in the morning is necessary.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 7:57 pm
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This may not be the right forum to specifically address your question real time.

Sorry to hear about the missing/lost passport. It is frustrating!

To get Chinese visa in one day may require you to submit all the required documents before certain time deadline.

There are third party services providers that charge you a service fee to get visa in one day but I am not based in SFO to know who they are.

You may explain to UA the situation and sometimes you may get your change fee waived to get on a flight at a later date when you are able to secure your visa. This may be better than doing SDC.

You can definitely get visa in a few hours in Hong Kong but that require rerouting and even overnight, so may not be practical for you.

moondog, FT member with more China travel experience than anyone I know, may have more to share. Perhaps PM him for advise.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by PVDProf View Post
I'm scheduled to do SEA-SFO-PEK tomorrow on UA, but my passport, due back from the visa service Monday, has not been seen since it entered the UPS facility in Seattle at 4am Monday. UPS has "begun an investigation" and stopped talking to me; only to the sender (the visa service, A Briggs).

I can get a new passport tomorrow in Seattle, but I think I need to go to the Chinese Consulate in SFO to get a new visa (I do need one; I am traveling out of PEK, and even my shortened trip will be more than a week). Any tips on getting a Chinese visa while on a long layover at SFO? Talking UA into allowing it as part of SDC (or two)? If I can make Saturday's flight, I can recover this trip; otherwise, I might bag it. Good news is I can move my entire ticket to Saturday for $500.
As it stands, UA is going to ask for your Chinese visa at check-in in Seattle. If you explain the situation, you might be able to talk your way onto the SEA-SFO flight, but there are no guarantees.

If you do an SDC to create an overnight transfer before you get to SEA, however, you won't have any issues during check-in, as UA's computers will treat the SEA-SFO flight as independent of SFO-PEK. This probably won't show up on the app; you'd probably have to call.

Unfortunately, SFO-PEK leaves way too early to be able to get to the consulate and get a visa. So, after departing Seattle, you're looking at doing another SDC -- something like SFO-ORD-PEK or SFO-EWR-PEK. (You won't be able to SDC to the following day's SFO-PEK because it's once-daily).

If both of these SDCs are successful, you might be able to SDC back to Friday's nonstop SFO-PEK flight sometime after 10:55 AM Thursday.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 27, 19, 8:03 pm
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It depends on how important it is to travel to China next week, but it sounds as if it's important. So, in your situation, I think I would (1) call UA and explain UPS lost my passport so I would like to have SFO-PEK only moved to Saturday, hoping they might waive the fee; (2) plan to arrive Friday either 8:15a [wait in line] or 9:30a [wait out the initial rush] at the consulate and request a same-day visa, with extra care to bring all the documents.

I think you'll have trouble with SDC since there's only one daily SFO-PEK flight.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
moondog, FT member with more China travel experience than anyone I know, may have more to share. Perhaps PM him for advise.
Thanks for your kind words, UA_Flyer. Unfortunately, I don't have any current contacts at the PRC consulate in SF, but unless they are super busy, I am guessing they will help out the OP with same day service.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Thanks for your kind words, UA_Flyer. Unfortunately, I don't have any current contacts at the PRC consulate in SF, but unless they are super busy, I am guessing they will help out the OP with same day service.
Sorry, I guess I forgot to refresh my page while posting my reply and missed your post. :-)
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Old Feb 27, 19, 9:04 pm
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I would just change a ticket to SEA to PEK to HKG/TPE/any third country to SEA and utilize the visa free transit unless you are staying over the limit.

edit: didnít read correctly that itíll still be more than a week... can always buy and nest a ticket to hkg and back and still be considered stopover. The SF Chinese consulate lines start an hour before opening so itíll be a while.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 9:09 pm
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
Sorry, I guess I forgot to refresh my page while posting my reply and missed your post. :-)
All of us have that problem at times.
@PVDProf: I honestly do give you high odds of pulling off same day service if you go in with an extremely friendly attitude, explain your case, and show them your onward plane ticket. While many consular employees are extremely "by the book", they can make exceptions in situations such as yours if same day service is not officially offered on they day you visit them.

As a backup option, a quick round trip jaunt to a third country (HK counts; Korea is usually cheapest) during the middle of your stay would permit you to avail of TWOV two times. In fact, I would book this in advance (refundable, of course) if I were in your shoes because it will ease your anxiety, and ensure that the SEA checkin people don't mess with you.
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Last edited by moondog; Feb 27, 19 at 9:14 pm
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Old Feb 27, 19, 9:17 pm
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Can you change your routing to make the trip TWOV eligible? Maybe a double transit? Makes it a pain ... but perhaps over a weekend? Via NRT then HKG and back? Major issue for sure
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Old Feb 27, 19, 9:47 pm
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Had A Briggs already processed a Chinese visa and was sending it back to you?

Perhaps that fact could streamline the replacement request? Does A Briggs have any bright ideas???? Id have A Briggs be paying for someone to stand in line at SFO and expedite.... hold a place, grease the skids, whatever...so that when you arrive it isnt from step one
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Old Feb 27, 19, 9:49 pm
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Another option to consider is to drive down to the UPS Hub in Seattle and talk to someone at the Customer Center. I suspect you'll get a better response than calling the 1-800 number and talking to someone who is hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the facility. If you explain the importance of the package to the person, they may be able to do a quick check to find your package. The address of the hub is : 4455 7th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108, USA and they open at 8:30 AM.

One thing to keep in mind: the moment you declare your passport as being lost/stolen it becomes invalid as a travel document. I'm unsure what other Visas you possess in your passport but different countries have different rules as to whether the Visa carnets in passports can be accepted for entry into the country if the passport it is in is no longer valid.

Regardless of which approach you take, you'll want to make some change to your flight. The only pertinent question is to do you sit and wait at home for it to recover or do you get moving towards your final destination. The argument for staying at home is you have everything you need at hand (i.e. additional identification, documentation, etc. that may be required by Visa/passport authorities).In addition, if UPS is able to find your passport today then it's just a matter of SDCing to the next day's flight. On the other hand, the argument for getting close to the final destination (i.e. flying into HKG) is that you won't lose the day or two travel required to get to the Asian city in question. I'm unsure how US passports work, but I suspect a lost passport combined with an urgent passport request may result in the US State department issuing you a limited passport (i.e. one that expires sooner than normal) requiring you to renew sooner and go through all that paperwork. This has been my observation in Canada although the States might do things differently.

Hope that provides some insight.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Feb 27, 19, 10:16 pm
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Twov is now 144 hrs. Just buy a cheap one way to a 3rd country.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by geminidreams View Post
Twov is now 144 hrs. Just buy a cheap one way to a 3rd country.
The OP mentioned that he needs to spend more than 7 days in China, but assuming he has some free time during his stay, a side trip to ULN could be cool...and, he wouldn't need to bother going to the PRC consulate in SF.

@op My revised opinion is to simply resolve on doing a side trip in the middle (i.e. don't even contemplate the SF consulate uncertainty).

Last edited by moondog; Feb 27, 19 at 10:39 pm
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Old Feb 27, 19, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Another option to consider is to drive down to the UPS Hub in Seattle and talk to someone at the Customer Center. I suspect you'll get a better response than calling the 1-800 number and talking to someone who is hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the facility. If you explain the importance of the package to the person, they may be able to do a quick check to find your package. The address of the hub is : 4455 7th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108, USA and they open at 8:30 AM.

One thing to keep in mind: the moment you declare your passport as being lost/stolen it becomes invalid as a travel document. I'm unsure what other Visas you possess in your passport but different countries have different rules as to whether the Visa carnets in passports can be accepted for entry into the country if the passport it is in is no longer valid.

Regardless of which approach you take, you'll want to make some change to your flight. The only pertinent question is to do you sit and wait at home for it to recover or do you get moving towards your final destination. The argument for staying at home is you have everything you need at hand (i.e. additional identification, documentation, etc. that may be required by Visa/passport authorities).In addition, if UPS is able to find your passport today then it's just a matter of SDCing to the next day's flight. On the other hand, the argument for getting close to the final destination (i.e. flying into HKG) is that you won't lose the day or two travel required to get to the Asian city in question. I'm unsure how US passports work, but I suspect a lost passport combined with an urgent passport request may result in the US State department issuing you a limited passport (i.e. one that expires sooner than normal) requiring you to renew sooner and go through all that paperwork. This has been my observation in Canada although the States might do things differently.

Hope that provides some insight.

Safe Travels,

James
If you have proof of immediate travel (ticket and itinerary, preferably with hotel confirmation), usually defined to be within two weeks or a need to apply for visa(s), a USA passport office can issue/renew a passport on the same day and for their expedite fee you would get a regular ten year passport with no limitations. They say that an appointment is necessary but they seem to also take same day walk ins.

You should also be able to apply for a second passport and then still use the first one if it shows up if you travel extensively or tend to need visas.

I don't know how a lost passport would factor in, but once when I thought that mine was stolen and called, they discouraged me from officially calling it stolen immediately on grounds that it would be a major and unnecessary inconvenience if it were found as once reported as lost or stolen, this cannot be undone if the passports turns up: it has irrevocably been cancelled.
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