Problem with my visa extension... solved!

The wait is finally over after waiting for my new passport for six whole weeks. As I have previously blogged, I had to renew my 1-year old new e-passport because it got torn. And the Philippine Embassy in Beijing was kind enough to shoulder all expenses in replacing it. They didn't let me pay for it! Hooray! :)

So anyway, already got my new passport and they also gave me back my old passport with punched holes (for cancellation) and was asked to surrender my old passport once my visa has been transferred to the new one. I kept my passports in the safe while waiting for the hotel to take them for our visa extension.

Our lounge manager took our passports on Monday afternoon and gave me a shocking news just before we went to work. There's a problem with my passports and visa! Oh my!!! Apparently, the Chinese government strict rule about renewed passports is that you would have a 10-day allowance for me to transfer my current visa (in my old passport) to my new visa. WHAAAAT?!?!?! Nobody informed me about that!

For the past three nights, Marl and I have been talking about the worst possible scenario that would happen if my problem won't be resolved... that is to go back to Manila wayyyy before schedule when our current visa expires on October 31st. We even contacted our friend who has a courier company in Shanghai and sent couple of boxes of our stuff. And we even have slowly packed our stuff, too. LOL.

Not the kind of star where you
can say, "Look Ma, I got a star!"
Yesterday, we went to the Police Security Bureau (PSB) where we would be applying for our visa extension, together with a representative from the hotel's HR department. And I was told that in usual cases, I'd pay a fine for "breaking the rule" on visa transferring. I told them that it was an honest mistake and I really didn't know about this and had I known about it, I would have gone to the PSB directly after getting my new passport. I gave the certificate that the Philippine Embassy issued along with my new passport. I even wanted to pull a Christopher-Lao and say, "I should have been informed!". But guess my lucky star never left me and was even shining on me even at noon time... the bureau officials just gave me a 'warning'. They made me sign a paper in Chinese character with a big red stamp with a big star. And I didn't have to pay a fine at all! Weeeeee! But I better be careful next time.

Anyway, our visa extension has already been processed and we will have our passports back next week. Thank God! Now, time to unpack again and just cherish my remaining working time here in Beijing while I still can... until the end of December!
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