Going to China isn’t all that easy. Visa policies change ever so often, and the application forms are getting longer every time.
I was lucky in the past, but when I wanted to meet up with friends in Beijing this May, I learned how difficult it can be to get a tourist visa (Read more about the adventurous tale of the China visa).
Clearly, I was expecting some hoops to jump through, in order to get the work and residence permit. I provided university degrees, a reference from my last employer and even a confirmation, that my resignation had been accepted. Hunter and Great Wall then took care of the formalities.
Still, I did not hear any news about the visa by mid-July, so I figured it might be best to get a normal business visa to make sure I could be in China in time to start working on August 1st. With a proper invitation letter from Great Wall and a savvy visa expert from Asienvisa.de (I can highly recommend Mr. Seidel for any visa issue!) it was easy to get a multiple entry visa within a week. In order to switch from business visa to work/residence permit later on however I would have to leave the country and re-enter with the proper work/residence permit. Not a problem.
All set, and ready to go. I asked Hunter to book a flight on Sunday, 27th. That would allow me to register my new residence at the German embassy in Beijing before going to Baoding. For some strange reason, Hunter didn’t answer directly, as he usually did. When I asked about the flight a two days later, he asked me to be patient.
As it turned out, Great Wall did manage to get my work permit papers ready just a bit later than the 27th. A few days before the planned departure, they asked me to wait and fly in with the proper papers in order to avoid the hassle of exiting and reentering the country.
So here I am, waiting for the papers to be sent over by courier. Information on the procedure is scarce, but it seems I ‘just’ need to pass by the Chinese consulate with passport and papers (and certainly with a 6-page visa application form and 2 ID pictures etc.) in order to get the permit glued into my passport.
Let’s see how that works in the next few days – as of now, no flight is booked, and I don’t know exactly how long it takes to get the work permit from the consulate.