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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Return to China | Mission Accomplished

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

In September 2010, we moved from the United States to Canada, as Alex is a Canadian citizen. He got a job there and we decided to move back. However, I had to complete the immigration paperwork in order to gain Permanent Residency as a spouse of a Canadian citizen. Part of the paperwork included having a police report from any country that you resided in for more than 6 months. In 2005-2006 I had lived in China as an English Teacher for 10 months; however, I hadn't been able to obtain the paperwork from abroad for the police report. I went ahead and submitted it along with a note to explain the situation, but unfortunately in January 2011 we got a letter in the mail saying they couldn't proceed with the application until the Police Certificate was included as part of my package. So off to China we went with the mission of obtaining the Chinese police certificate from the Shijiazhuang police department for my Canadian immigration application.


THE MISSION:

The first morning we were in China we were determined to tackle the task of obtaining the police certificate in Shijiazhuang, the city I lived in China. Normally when we took trains in China while we lived there in 2005-2006, they were the older ones, so we were surprised to see that we were getting on a very modern train to Shijiazhuang -- almost bullet train-like. It was really nice, comfortable, and fast, which also helps explain the increased ticket fare. Instead of taking 3-3.5 hours to get to Shijiazhuang from Beijing it only took 1.5 hours.


When we arrived in Shijiazhuang we went straight to Middle School No. 42, where I had worked as a teacher and had contacted my old boss to ask for his assistance with the translation at the police station. We weren't able to reach anyone at first, so we explored the area and visited some of the markets I used to frequent. As we walked through the street market, I recognized several of the vendors -- they were as I remembered five years.


We were later able to reach my old boss, Mr. Dong. He took us to the Lian Meng Police Station. However, when we arrived we found out the policeman we needed to seal the document wasn't there and wouldn't be back for a couple of hours. So we walked around the waterpark located nearby, that I ran at several times a week when I lived there.


I have to admit, I was a little paranoid that we wouldn't get what we needed that day. When we came back, the policeman still wasn't back, so we waited a little longer. He soon arrived and we took the paper my Chinese employer had provided and he stamped it with a seal and a signature. Once he arrived, the whole process of sealing it only took about five minutes. The purpose of our trip to China was accomplished in the first day! Much faster than we expected. We were very grateful Mr. Dong came with us, if he hadn't been there I think we would have had a very difficult communicating what we needed.

What the significance of the seal? Everything in China is about getting a red seal. Each business, school or association has their own specific stamp they use for all important documents. Even the grocery stores stamp your receipt before you leave the store.


We took several photos at the police station to prove that we went over there to get the police certificate -- in case there is any doubt of authenticity. Including this gem....ha ha!


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

Next steps...before sending off to the immigration office we just have to take it to a certified translator in Calgary to get it translated and notarized. Once this is done, we send it to Canadian Immigration.


We celebrated with some beers at the pub where we met 5 years previously. It is crazy sometimes how everything comes full circle.


Now Time for the Holiday Portion....

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