Saturday, January 7, 2012

Visa Issues Resolved

Five days before Christmas, I walked into the Chinese visa office in DC feeling good, ready to pick up my visa.  An hour later, I walked out in a fog of frustration and confusion, with a thousand whirling dervishes of thought coursing through my skull. To make a long story short, I had been granted a visa, but not the one I had requested. When I applied, I requested a multiple-entry visa with 60 days per entry. Instead, I received a single-entry visa good for 60 days. There are two main troubles here. First and foremost, if you go from mainland China to Hong Kong or Macau and then try to get back on the mainland, that counts as an additional entry. With a single-entry visa, then, you would have to apply for a whole new visa while in Hong Kong or Macau, which is both costly and time-consuming. The second issue is that my trip, as a whole, is 90 days. So, with my single-entry 60-day visa, I was left with three obvious options: 1) Leave Hong Kong and Macau out of my journey and book entirely and apply for a visa extension while in China; 2) Include Hong Kong and Macau and have to apply and pay for a new visa each time I returned to the mainland; or 3) Reapply here in the states and hope to get a multiple-entry visa this time around (at the risk of paying for a new visa and ending up right where I started). Though all of the options were pretty unappealing, Option 3 seemed the least offensive of the bunch. I contacted the China Visa Service Center, and they were able to help me reapply for a visa. I just received it yesterday, and all is well--I now have a multiple-entry visa good for 60 days per entry, just like I wanted. Whew! Just in the nick of time. Now I just need to pack before Wednesday...


Haley said...

Hey Frank! So you are leaving on Wednesday? Glad you got all the visa stuff settled. Have an awesome time!!!

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