Monday, April 02, 2007


In a couple of weeks Jodi is going to the consulate to apply for a tourist visa to visit soon-to-be grandparents with me this summer. I've downloaded the forms and made of a list of the documents we need to collect, but I'm still very nervous because of our experience last time.

When Jodi went to apply for her visa last year, she was turned away at the door because her forms were "not right". She was guided to a visa agency where the staff pointed out all sorts of niggling errors in the way we filled out the form. Now, I freely admit that the photos were not the correct size (a very bad mistake on my part) but they also redid our forms and I'm very unsure if some of the things they changed were extraneous and it was simply a way to charge us more money, or if the forms truly need to be formatted so exactingly to a set of standards which is not clear at all from the publicly available instructions.

I think I need to do some research on Chinese language sites but that takes forever, and I've found that the signal-to-noise ratio is very low on the BBSs. I'm not looking forward to it.

The other recourse I have is the Citizen Services Q&A session on Friday afternoon at the Consulate, which means I'll have to leave early from work. If I do, I'm going to ask about:

  • How being pregnant affects one's chances of getting the visa.
  • To what degree of carefulness the forms need to be filled out.
  • Whether a previous success affects ones chances when applying again.
  • Whether the CITIC expedited visa application is worth using.

Like I said, I'm not looking forward to this.

(UPDATE: I got home and found that Jodi was looking this stuff up too. She found what I was trying to find, actual first-hand accounts and not just straight translations of info off the consulate website. Both of us concluded that the CITIC Prior Travel Expedite Program (中信银行代传递服务 or 赴美签证免面谈) looks like the most judicious option, pending a phonecall to the embassy for more info.)


At Apr 2, 2007, 11:29:00 PM, Blogger Käthe said:

As awful as that all sounds, all the effort will be worth it. You have NO IDEA how much those grandparents-to-be want to see that baby. (And the two of you.)

At Apr 3, 2007, 12:48:00 AM, Blogger Brian Heung said:

Glad to hear you're trying to make it Stateside this summer. Ani's going to pretty excited to hear the news! The process does sound horrible, but it would make a lot of people happy at the end.

At Apr 3, 2007, 3:30:00 AM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

Oh, I would not in a million years consider *not* going through with it. It's just the bureaucracy makes the process so much more painful than it should be.


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