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Visa Help- For Chinese parents w/ US citizenship

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Visa Help- For Chinese parents w/ US citizenship

We are traveling to China in 2mths and the our travel agent in Chinatown Boston said to apply for our visas middle of July. My dad was born in Canton then moved to Hong Kong then came to the US about 30 years ago. Last two years he became a US citizen but now they need his passport from China which he no longer has. He has his visa from China when he traveled there 7 years ago when he was not a US citizen yet. The agent said he may need to go to New York consulate in person to do the paperwork. Anyone have the same problem recently that can help? He is going to bring whatevery document he has left when he lived in Hong Kong but it may not be sufficient.

If he does go to New York, how long is the process once the necessary paperwork is handed in? I checked their website, it said no appointments just show up before 10:30am to make sure it gets processed that day. Anyone been to the NY agency and knows what it's like?

New York
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1. Re: Visa Help- For Chinese parents w/ US citizenship

I just got my Chinese visa at the NY consulate. I'm not of Chinese descent, so mine was a straightforward application for a tourist visa. I can tell you that the lines are LONG, and the consulate is very busy. The office opens at 9 am, I got there at 8:40 and there were 25-26 people already ahead of me in the line! For most people including me, once we reached a visa officer's station, the process was quick, about 2 mins, they take your paperwork and give you a slip with the date when you can come back to pick up your passport (usually a week from that day). But looking at the web site, it does seem like the paperwork requirements are more onerous for former Chinese citizens. The consulate are great sticklers for paperwork, and I saw a few people being turned away as they didn't have some document or other. There is a copy machine upstairs that peeople can use for a fee.

I would suggest your dad goes early, say by around 8:15 or so so he can be one of the first. And just explain the situation to the visa officer, I'm sure they deal with this all the time.

Beijing, China
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2. Re: Visa Help- For Chinese parents w/ US citizenship

Please read this fairly recent posting, especially #7. Same situation of China-born parent.


This poster's parent was dealing with the SF Consulate not New York, but NYC is reputed to be a bit of a chaotic zoo vs the other Consulates. You might try contacting a reputable agent that has a NY office, such as www.mychinavisa.com and see if you can get further advice on paperwork types that are accepted in lieu of passport, and how long the process takes. Also whether somebody in his situation is required to show in person (I doubt it). If it would be a hardship or more costly for father to get to the NY Consulate (likely), then paying for an agent's services and FedEx back and forth would be well worth the money. The upside is, he may be able to get a 2-year multiple entry visa with long durations of stay such as 120-180 days.

Note that there is a new Q visa type that is for "family visit" purposes which presumably is favorable to Chinese ethnic persons with visa length and duration of stays. Ask agent if this type is now being issued by NY Consulate, which could be an alternative to the L tourist visa (formerly used for family visits also). Right now we are in a transition period on the new China visa regulations and they may still be issuing L's for this purpose.

Edited: 25 July 2013, 17:54
San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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3. Re: Visa Help- For Chinese parents w/ US citizenship

1- Chinese consulate visa offices in major cities are very crowded with long lines, if you are late, wait can be many hours.

2- If visa is successful, you will need to go back there to pick up passport with visa x days later. Plan on this.

3- Never throw away any old documents or IDs.

4- Before going to NYC, try visa agents, search online, prices are all over the places. If this does not work, go to NYC.

5- Eventually it will work out. This is not uncommon.

Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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4. Re: Visa Help- For Chinese parents w/ US citizenship

You can get any and all thrown away official papers (or substitutes) issued by HK government. He came from HK to USA. He likely did not use/have a Chinese passport. He most likely had a HK Certificate of Identity as travel document at the time.

He should use a more informed visa agent with better guanxi with the consulates.

5. Re: Visa Help- For Chinese parents w/ US citizenship

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