Getting a passport for Scott

This afternoon I went to the Dutch consulate to apply for a passport for Scott. Finding out exactly which information we would need to apply for the passport was a bit difficult. When I called the consulate last week at 10:30 AM I got an answer machine saying that the consular section would only be open between 9:00 and 11:30. Huh? I was calling in that time frame.

The information available online did not answer all my questions, but the next day I reached their receptionist who gave me a list required documents. Quite some information, but we had all of it readily available, except for the required baby passport pictures.

So the next hurdle was to get these passport pictures made. There are quite some restrictions for Dutch passport photos, which is fine for adults, but a hassle for little babies. The consulate gave us the name and address of a Kodak outlet that would know how to do this. But when we called there to check they said they had no experience with babies. Because there is no way you can ensure that the baby will be awake when a picture will be taken, and you cannot wake a baby up without causing inconsolable crying, we decided to take some pictures ourselves and bring it to the Kodak shop to make them into the right format to fulfill the requirements. So finally we had our pictures and this afternoon we went to the consulate.

In order to apply for a passport for your kid, both parents and the baby have to come to the consulate together. This caused some logistic issues in between nursing times, but because it’s almost Chinese NY I had a very flexible schedule today. Things went very smoothly there, we were the only visitors at the consulate, and they helped us quickly and efficiently. In two weeks Scott will have his own passport!

The only thing is that he does not have a Chinese visa and residence permit yet, so that will be the next problem to solve. Not sure how that works yet, but knowing Chinese bureaucracy that might take a bit more time. I am also not sure if I still need to officially register Scott in the Netherlands – I tried to do that at the consulate right after he was born, but was told that this was not necessary (or even possible). Any suggestions are welcome, otherwise I will spend some time online during Chinese New Year to figure it out.

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  1. For us (American citizens) it was like this:

    1. Charlotte (our baby) did not need a visa nor residence permit as long as she stayed in China.
    2. Before she left the country, she had to apply for an Exit Permit (???) from the visa office in Pudong. It’s a little blue book that looks like a passport. This will require a few documents, most importantly the baby’s birth certificate and her mother’s hukou book.
    3. Once abroad, we got Charlotte a tourist visa to come back to China.
    4. In China, we had to immediately (24 hours? 72 hours?) register at the local police station to get her a temporary residence permit.
    5. Then my company helped me to add her to my own work visa.

    As far as I know we could not add her my visa without leaving the country. Of course it is best to call the visa office in Pudong and get the story straight from the horse’s mouth. My company’s HR department contacts them regularly and seems to get very good results.

  2. Thanks Micah, very helpful! Will check with visa office as well to confirm if this is still the procedure.

  3. Hi Marc,
    Did you managed to get a visa?
    I (Dutch) have lived last year in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Zhuhai, and notice different fulfillments of the PSB’s. In Hangzhou it was pretty easy to get the right information and to act on it. In Shanghai and Zhuhai the PSB was not that cooperative. At the end I got a tip of one of the officers to go to the visa office on the border of Zhuhai and Macau (nobody’s land). And indeed, the visa office there managed to get me the proper visa within an hour. Great.

    Ok, Let me know if you need more info.