Chinese Visa

Old Aug 8th, 2013, 09:09 PM
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Chinese Visa

Just went to the Houston consulate to get a Chinese visa. I expected bureaucratic bedlam and that's what I received. First, be prepared to wait behind people who thought they could just turn up and get a visa. Second, apparently you now need a photocopy of your photo page of your passport. Conveniently they have a copier. That will be 25 cents please. Too bad our website which definitely does not list that little requirement.

Sigh. Why is China so crazy about the visa? It's all for show anyway. The hotel reservations are just formalities. They could only be on paper for all they know. Just a giant waste of time.

Oh, and you can't get rush service unless it's a true emergency and you can prove it. Because if you flew here from out of town and thought you could get a visa overnight, well then whoops.

Sorry. Rant over.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 03:06 AM
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Imagine yourself being a Chinese and trying to get a visa to the US. We've got it easy.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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So very true, rkkwan, it took years for my sister in China to get a visa to visit me in the US for a few weeks.

interestedparty: If one doesn't want to go thru the bureaucracy, just pay a visa service to handle it.
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Old Aug 11th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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On the other hand, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the number of Americans illegally immigrating to China is pretty much zero. It's true I could avoid the bureaucracy by paying someone, but I'm not sure about their reliability. If I had realized I couldn't do it in one day, I might have done it, but it's water under the bridge now.
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Old Aug 11th, 2013, 03:45 PM
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Have you ever gotten a visa from an embassy before? In my experience, embassies are not set up to give same day service unless it is an emergency. In the future, you might do a bit of research ahead of time on what is required to get a visa so you are prepared and can make a good decision on whether to utilize a visa service or not.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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Well, first I did do research. Heaven forbid the Chinese consulate have information on its own website. That would make too much sense. Second, I have gotten a visa at an embassy, in another country no less, in under a day (i.e., a Jordanian visa in Tel Aviv; I had to cross the one border crossing where they don't give visas on entry). In any case, I would have been fine with next day service and I was wiling to pay the fee as listed on their own website. It's not like they actually check any of the info in the application anyway. I know they didn't call my employer to verify that.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 01:23 PM
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When I went to the Chinese Consulate in NYC for my Visa I took what they required plus anything else I could think of..copies of everything pertaining to the trip. They didn't ask for all that was stated as required but did ask for other things that I had luckily brought along. It depended on which clerk you had taking care of your case. I thought it went well. Lots of people were using the copy machine by the way.It was so much cheaper than using a VISA service company that it didn't bother me.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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Well, all told it ended up going rather well. It's that I drove to Houston and wasted a hotel stay for no reason and then had to drive back for a very brief collection and payment procedure four days later. Would it kill them to just update the website? When I was first there a guy behind me flew in from Alabama and was similarly misinformed. I don't know how he dealt with it, but I'm sure it wasn't as easy for him as it was for me.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 04:59 PM
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The Houston consulate's English website does say expedited visas are "approval required". You could have asked them or here what that means before going. What other countries' consulate do is irrelevant.

But I hope you do get from the visa process that Chinese are not good at updating their websites (or making websites work with all browsers or mobile devices), especially their English page. And they can always change info/detail/policy as they wish. That's China, unfortunately.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 05:06 PM
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It wouldn't kill them to just update the website, but it obviously is not on the government's list of priorities. Note China is so different than any non-Chinese country culturally and politically, a place that marches to its own beat. Keep an open mind and enjoy your trip.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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Thanks Shanghainese. I did see it says "approval required" but that's kind of vague. I have a friend who got the visa the same-day at the same consulate just two years ago. So I knew they used to do it. In any case, they gave me what I wanted. I even got multiple entries, which was nice.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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"...I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the number of Americans illegally immigrating to China is pretty much zero..." You are almost wrong. They do not immigrate illegally but they move there and work illegally. Lots of them So many that last year the Chinese police had a big campaign to find them and ditch them out of the country. All the problems created by your fellow Americans (and other nationalities) overstaying their visas and working illegally is the reason why visa requirements are now tougher.
Consider yourself lucky as once you apply for the visa you will nearly always just get it. Chinese get turned down most of the time., need to show up for an interview and need to provide all kinds of personal information such as bank statements.
All the requirement are clearly stated on the embassy's website (http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/visas/adr/) including stuff like needing a photocopy). It is also mentioned on the Consulate website (scroll down: http://houston.china-consulate.org/e...qz/t674824.htm)
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 07:40 AM
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I just got my China visa at the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles. It was relatively painless. I showed up with passports (no copies of face page), copies of hotel reservations and plane tickets, took a number at the door, waited about an hour, approached the window when my number was called, gave the very professional and courteous lady behind the window my documents, she told me when to pick up our passports with visas, gave me a receipt, and I was out of there. It seemed to me they were processing a lot of people efficiently while being very courteous. A nice start to my upcoming trip.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Oh, I forgot. The visa application looked a bit confusing but I found a great You Tube video to walk me through the process.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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We used a visa service in New York. Had the visa back within 1 week. it was well worth the $50 per visa fee to avoid any long wait or other hassle.
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Old Sep 30th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Hey interestedparty, check out VisaHQ, mychinavisa, cibtvisas, abriggs (all with dot com after the name). They all offer full service China visa service to save you the hassle of going to the consulate yourself. You'll pay for it though, but may be worth the $$$ to not have to deal with the mainland Chinese bureaucracy. Good luck.

JPDeM: Would you upload a link of your source showing illegal Americans working in China. When I google'd "illegal Americans working in China" only turns up articles of illegal Chinese immigrating to the United States. Plus I find it hard to believe that an American would go to China to earn a lower paying wage to reside in lower standard of living.

The opposite, unfortunately, has been a reality for some time of illegal mainland Chinese working in other countries. And that is probably why mainland Chinese has such a hard time getting visas to other countries. Too many incidents of pregnant illegal mainland Chinese trying to have their babies internationally getting citizenship, & too many mainland Chinese on tour groups just disappearing at their destinations.
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