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Are tourists supposed to carry Passports or other documents with them at all times?

Are tourists supposed to carry Passports or other documents with them at all times?

Old Jun 23, 19, 9:56 pm
  #1  
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Are tourists supposed to carry Passports or other documents with them at all times?

My children (boy 18 -- girl 13) are half-Chinese by ethnicity (Chinese mother deceased). We will be visiting Wuhan in a couple of weeks. Have been reading posts about how the government is making it difficult for foreigners. In many past visits, never bothered to carry passport around Wuhan because I would be afraid of losing it. Just kept it at my relatives apartment. All the new stuff going on has got me thinking that there may be a Chinese law requiring me to carry a passport at all times. Is that the case or not?

Second, if there is a law requiring the carrying of a passport, is it currently being enforced?
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Old Jun 23, 19, 10:17 pm
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Yes, the law is that you are required to carry ID at all times. For foreigners, that means passports. Based on what's happening in Beijing and Shanghai, in those places (and anywhere else where organized and random enforcement is stepped up), one should do so. In Wuhan, I don't know about current enforcement patterns. If you are not wanting to carry the original passport due to risk of loss/theft, then at least carry a photocopy of the information page with your photo, your visa page, and page with last entry stamp. So that if stopped, you have something to give the authorities along with a politely stated willingness to get them the original if they need it. This goes for your kids as well.

While it's tempting to tell you to just carry the original passport, dealing with the US Consulate in the event of a loss/theft might be even worse than dealing with the Chinese.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 10:41 pm
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I'd carry a copy of the passport data page, visa, and last entry stamp, maybe even on just my phone. And the phone number and address, in Chinese, of the place where I'm staying.

Worst that would happen, especially with two foreign kids, is that they'd call the relatives to bring the passports.

Unlike the States, the police in China, outside Xinjiang, really haven't adopted a para-military attitude in dealing with the public.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 10:47 pm
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I strongly urge the low-tech hard/photocopy method when handing over any information to Chinese authorities. I would not hand over a phone willingly nor show a screen....it might tempt them to decide to go through your phone just on general principles.
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Old Jun 23, 19, 11:45 pm
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Thanks for the info. I will simply carry multiple hard copies of the required documents. Don't mind losing copies.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
I strongly urge the low-tech hard/photocopy method when handing over any information to Chinese authorities. I would not hand over a phone willingly nor show a screen....it might tempt them to decide to go through your phone just on general principles.
I keep my pp images in my phone. I've never been asked to show them yet, but this would be no problem because I always have my phone.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 7:40 am
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It has always been the law, like in many countries.
The thing is that it is now required in many places to buy entrance tickets.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:46 am
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I never carry my PP around with me in Shenzhen. I've encountered a few ID checks over the years in the metro and when they see my foreigner face, I get waved right through. I do have my NY drivers license in my wallet if they really wanted to see something. It seems they are more concerned about ID checking citizens than foreigners in the past, I don't know if that is changing. If I were an ethnic Chinese foreigner (i.e. looked Chinese but not) I may be more inclined to carry around some ID or photocopy proving my citizenship.

Did you get your children a passport card in addition to regular passport? If so it may be useful to carry that around instead of the regular passport. I wouldn't want to risk losing a regular passport with my visa inside as replacing it would be a hassle.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 12:32 pm
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I would suggest to take it with you just in case or take a copy of your passport to carry around. I never had to show it anywhere in my 6 month stay in China but you never know..
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Old Jul 29, 19, 3:25 pm
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I always carry my passport when I am traveling in a foreign country. When not at the place I am staying, it goes into a pouch like this https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/1161...=203-GN1&csp=f and then the pouch goes underneath my shirt so that I cannot forget it, and it's very hard to steal, but it's with me at all times. If the room I am staying in were to burn down, I wouldn't want to lose the passport in the fire. If the passport is on me on the other hand, and it burns, then I've probably got bigger problems than replacing the passport.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 3:29 pm
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If your kids have dual nationality, aren't they required to enter China on Chinese passports and then to carry Chinese ID? I don't know whether having a Chinese mother means that China can claim them as citizens, but you should make sure about that.
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Old Jul 29, 19, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If your kids have dual nationality, aren't they required to enter China on Chinese passports and then to carry Chinese ID? I don't know whether having a Chinese mother means that China can claim them as citizens, but you should make sure about that.
There is no mention in the post of dual-nationality.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If your kids have dual nationality, aren't they required to enter China on Chinese passports and then to carry Chinese ID? I don't know whether having a Chinese mother means that China can claim them as citizens, but you should make sure about that.
Dual citizenship for children (< 18 years of age) is a recent introduction and based on the stated age of OP's children I don't think they would qualify. For those who do qualify, you would have a Chinese Travel Document instead of a Chinese passport. I don't believe I've seen any requirement that you must carry it with you though as they expire relatively quickly (every two years) and you only have to renew them (or rather apply for a completely different document called the Entry-Exit Permit) just before you leave China.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 10:16 pm
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Kids don't have dual Chinese Nationality. I also checked and they aren't eligible. They do have the right to become dual Italian citizens if I want to go through the hassle of changing my name to that of my Italian grandfather.
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