Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Foo Off-Topic chit chat with no general subject.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-29-08, 03:56 PM   #1
Snicklefritz
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Snicklefritz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In the middle of horse country, in The Garden State
Bikes:
Posts: 3,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Obtaining a visa for travel to china

Foo has never failed me yet, so here goes...

My sister and her family are living and working in China for a couple of years. They invited me for a visit this summer, in either june or july. The problem is that the Chinese government has put major restrictions on visa applications. My brother in law has a lot of business associates in the US who were supposed to travel to china for business meetings but had their visas rejected.

I'm going to apply anyway and see what happens. The problem is that the application says you are supposed to show your ticket when you apply? So who wants to pay $1000+ for a ticket not knowing if the visa will get rejected or not? An alternative would be to buy a refundable ticket but those cost a lot more.

I tried calling 4 different offices for the Chinese consulates today to ask about the whole ticket thing and was not able to get through to a live person on any of those lines.

Does anyone have experience with this? If I merely print out a proposed itinerary, how likely is it that my visa will be rejected just from that? On a related note, my sister provided me with a letter she wrote and signed (official invitation) and also gave me a copy of her passport along with copies of her kids' passports.
Snicklefritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 05:08 PM   #2
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
Posts: 11,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
Foo has never failed me yet, so here goes...

My sister and her family are living and working in China for a couple of years. They invited me for a visit this summer, in either june or july. The problem is that the Chinese government has put major restrictions on visa applications. My brother in law has a lot of business associates in the US who were supposed to travel to china for business meetings but had their visas rejected.

I'm going to apply anyway and see what happens. The problem is that the application says you are supposed to show your ticket when you apply? So who wants to pay $1000+ for a ticket not knowing if the visa will get rejected or not? An alternative would be to buy a refundable ticket but those cost a lot more.

I tried calling 4 different offices for the Chinese consulates today to ask about the whole ticket thing and was not able to get through to a live person on any of those lines.

Does anyone have experience with this? If I merely print out a proposed itinerary, how likely is it that my visa will be rejected just from that? On a related note, my sister provided me with a letter she wrote and signed (official invitation) and also gave me a copy of her passport along with copies of her kids' passports.
I would recommend going through a visa service that is familiar with the rules/procedures. If you don't know what you are doing, you could be overcome by red tape.

Years ago, I got my Chinese visa through visaexpress and the process was fast/effective and service was good. That was definitely money well spent. I don't know who's best nowadays. You might try to find someplace that specializes in Chinese visas.
banerjek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 06:16 PM   #3
msincredible
crazy bike girl
 
msincredible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: CA Central Coast
Bikes: '07 Orbea Onix, '07 Birdy Yellow, '06 Cannondale Bad Boy (stolen)
Posts: 3,325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
I would recommend going through a visa service that is familiar with the rules/procedures. If you don't know what you are doing, you could be overcome by red tape.
Excellent advice. I use Visa Network, two years ago they got me an emergency business visa to China in less than a day.
msincredible is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 06:19 PM   #4
Snicklefritz
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Snicklefritz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In the middle of horse country, in The Garden State
Bikes:
Posts: 3,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That sounds like good advice from both of you. I'll try one of these services. I still have a concern the agency's website says that you have to show your ticket. so am I really forced to pay up front ($1000-$2000) and then lose the ticket or pay a higher price for a refundable one if the visa doesn't come through? What did you do about that?
Snicklefritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 06:25 PM   #5
msincredible
crazy bike girl
 
msincredible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: CA Central Coast
Bikes: '07 Orbea Onix, '07 Birdy Yellow, '06 Cannondale Bad Boy (stolen)
Posts: 3,325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did get my ticket in advance (was less worrisome since it was paid for by my company anyway). I'd ask the visa agency for their opinion.

If you do get a ticket in advance, get it with an airline that goes elsewhere that you might want to go, as even a non-refundable ticket can be changed to go elsewhere for a fee ($200 for United international tickets) and any difference in ticket price.
msincredible is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 06:54 PM   #6
skinnyone
Dude wheres my guads?
 
skinnyone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Guess
Bikes: Not enough
Posts: 2,680
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
normally countries need itinerary's (which are easy to obtain through a travel agent for no straight up cash) and advice you NOT to get a ticket till the visa gets approved. China's rules seem to be in reverse. Weird..

Link to the requirements?
skinnyone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 07:44 PM   #7
nekohime
I... Don't care.
 
nekohime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sunny SoCal
Bikes:
Posts: 1,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, just go through a visa service--it'll save you the trouble! I didn't have to show a ticket when I applied for my visa though.
__________________
Wanna join my charity folding bike ride? Sign-up here!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p
nekohime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 09:39 PM   #8
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
Posts: 11,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
That sounds like good advice from both of you. I'll try one of these services. I still have a concern the agency's website says that you have to show your ticket. so am I really forced to pay up front ($1000-$2000) and then lose the ticket or pay a higher price for a refundable one if the visa doesn't come through? What did you do about that?
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about that. As a matter of fact, tomorrow I will be buying 3 tickets to India to the tune of $5500 and must get the visa later. Same schtick occurred when I traveled in the East Bloc and China.
banerjek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 09:50 PM   #9
skinnyone
Dude wheres my guads?
 
skinnyone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Guess
Bikes: Not enough
Posts: 2,680
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about that. As a matter of fact, tomorrow I will be buying 3 tickets to India to the tune of $5500 and must get the visa later. Same schtick occurred when I traveled in the East Bloc and China.
That blows man.. I woulda thought with the amount of international travel these days, getting a visa would be easier. I apologize for my people.

Well on the positive side, be happy that you didnt pay 2300 bucks for ticket like I did for mine next month!
skinnyone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 09:52 PM   #10
gbcb
J3L 2404
 
gbcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Shanghai
Bikes: 2007 Jamis Nova
Posts: 1,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There have been a lot of changes to visas in the last few weeks. It's now quite a bit more of a hassle to get a visa than it used to be. The general understanding is that this has a lot to do with the Olympics, and that they'll relax a bit after August. However, this means that a lot of the visa services that people used to use don't work anymore.

That said, while the process has become more bureaucratic, I would be *really* surprised if they rejected an application by a tourist for a tourist visa (unless you've been hanging out with Tibetan separatists or Falun Gong types). A lot of the new toughness has been directed at people violating the terms of their visas, like working on a tourist visa. If you're coming as a proper tourist, you shouldn't encounter many problems.

This is all based on my general understanding of the situation — I'll try to get some real information from a friend who works at the US consulate here. His brother's family just flew in from the States, and none of them seem to have had any visa problems.
__________________
gbcb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 09:54 PM   #11
gbcb
J3L 2404
 
gbcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Shanghai
Bikes: 2007 Jamis Nova
Posts: 1,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Question: Do you plan to stay at a hotel, or at your sister's place?

Edit: Oops, I see you have an official invitation from her. Never mind...
__________________

Last edited by gbcb; 05-29-08 at 10:05 PM.
gbcb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-08, 11:16 PM   #12
gbcb
J3L 2404
 
gbcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Shanghai
Bikes: 2007 Jamis Nova
Posts: 1,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's what my friend said about his family's visa application process:

Quote:
They used one of the services that comes up when you google China visa USA. I sent them an invitation letter and they included it with their application form and passports and that was it. What is required seems to be changing daily. No idea what their refusal rate is but I'm sure including additional info wouldn't hurt.
Not sure if that helps very much — unfortunately, it's next to impossible to get clear information about this. Good luck!
__________________
gbcb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-08, 09:43 AM   #13
Snicklefritz
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Snicklefritz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In the middle of horse country, in The Garden State
Bikes:
Posts: 3,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
Here's what my friend said about his family's visa application process:



Not sure if that helps very much unfortunately, it's next to impossible to get clear information about this. Good luck!
Thanks for checking with your friend about this. That was very nice of you.
It sounds like there is some unpredictability here, but I'll include some extra info since it seems it can't hurt.

Bikeforums/Foo has never ceased to amaze me with the answers you can get and so quickly!
Snicklefritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-08, 09:09 AM   #14
Snicklefritz
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Snicklefritz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In the middle of horse country, in The Garden State
Bikes:
Posts: 3,159
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Success!!! Many thanks to everyone who offered suggestions. I used Visa Network's office in S.F. and they got me an L visa in 2 days. It's good for 90 days so I have plenty of time to schedule my trip and can have a maximum stay of 30 days. This will work out perfectly!!! thanks again everyone
Snicklefritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-08, 09:24 AM   #15
gbcb
J3L 2404
 
gbcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Shanghai
Bikes: 2007 Jamis Nova
Posts: 1,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great! Glad to hear it worked out, and have a good trip. And hey, if you're coming to Shanghai drop me a PM.
__________________
gbcb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-08, 10:20 AM   #16
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
Posts: 11,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnyone View Post
That blows man.. I woulda thought with the amount of international travel these days, getting a visa would be easier. I apologize for my people.

Well on the positive side, be happy that you didnt pay 2300 bucks for ticket like I did for mine next month!
The sweetest thing about this is the routing: Portland, OR -- Frankfurt -- Kolkata. International travel has never been so easy.
banerjek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-08, 09:13 PM   #17
msincredible
crazy bike girl
 
msincredible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: CA Central Coast
Bikes: '07 Orbea Onix, '07 Birdy Yellow, '06 Cannondale Bad Boy (stolen)
Posts: 3,325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great, glad it worked out! Have fun.
msincredible is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:42 PM.