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So I was in Beijing a few weeks ago and I lost my passport... crazy. I know. Im a US citizen so whoever found my passport is one happy person.
If you find yourself in the same situation I was in here are a few easy steps to take to get back home. This assumes you're a US Citizen and you need a China visa to exit the country.
1. As soon as you figure out you've lost your passport for sure, go report it to a local police station. I lost mine at the Forbbiden City so I had to go to the police station near there... they won't write a police report unless the station is close by the place you lost it. Sounds stupid... but that's the way it is. So once you get your STAMPED police report....
2. Go to your hostel/hotel and ask for proof of your residency STAMPED!!!!! Everything is official for these guys... so yea... make sure it's stamped/notorized.
3. Get passport pictures. The website says 2, but I say get 8-10 because you need it for the visa application AND emergency passport AND new passport for when you get home. These can be done a block away from the US Embassy. It's right next to the Lady Street market place, also down the street form US Embassy. You should have 3 things by now... pictures, proof of residency and police report. If you're lucky like me, your hostel or hotel made a copy of your passport so you can use it to get around... so 4 things in total if your have the copy of your passport.
4. Go to the US Embassy and get your emergecy passport. Takes about 2-4 hours. Simple.
5. Go to the PSB (Public Securities Bureau) and apply for exit visa. Takes about 3-4 days... try to get them to expidite, but I couldn't so good luck with that.
6. Reschedule flight if you need to
7. Have fun. There's nothing more you can do but wait. Don't let the bad luck spoil your trip :)
8. Get yourself one of those strap on purse things that go under your shirt... don't say you don't need it cuz you obviously do.
Good luck. Hope this helped someone.