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My mother-in law from China got a tourist visa!

My mother-in law from China got a tourist visa!

Old Feb 14th 2001, 2:15 pm
  #1  
paulgani
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General details:

Submitted to U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China:

1 - passport (new, no previous travel) 2 - payment receipt from bank (for visa application
fee) 3 - single copy of OF-156, in English, typewritten

Relevant details on OF-156:

Age: 61 years old Marital Status: widow Occupation: retired teacher Who will furnish
financial support: myself, my daughter, son-in-law What is the purpose of your trip:
visit daughter, son-in-law When do you intend to arrive in USA: April 2001 How long do
you plan to stay in the USA: two months Are any of the following in the US, status?:
daughter - U.S.P.R.

Questions asked by official:

How long has your daughter been in the U.S.? Since 1998. What does your daughter do in the
U.S.? Study. What does your son-in-law do in the U.S.? Works for a computer company.

Visa was granted. Mother-in-law brought substantial documentation, but CO did not want to
see any of it. The *only* documentation the CO ever saw was her passport and OF-156.

My mother-in-law dressed as "rich" as she possibly could, buying expensive new clothes
specifically for the interview. Thanks, Grinch, for posting an article with that tip.
Two other in-laws she met at the interview did NOT get visas. One was > 70 years old,
very frail looking. The other was a couple from the countryside who looked very poor, in
her opinion.

I believe she got the visa because of how she answered the first question. Had my wife
been in the U.S. only a few months, I suspect the CO would have given her a more difficult
time, and perhaps looked at more documents. It's more reasonable to want to visit your
child after they've been in the U.S. for a few years. A warning to others: once you've
been refused a tourist visa due to 214(b), only 1 in 24 ever get a visa. Don't waste your
"chance" by applying too early.

Paulgani
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 2:38 am
  #2  
mjones
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>(...MIL got a tourist visa!!...)

Paul, I am very impressed. Mind if I archive your post somewhere? Mike
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 12:31 pm
  #3  
Andy Platt
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That's the good news. Now the bad news ... your mother in law's coming to stay

Andy.

--
I'm not really here - it's just your warped imagination.

> General details:
>
> Submitted to U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China:
>
> 1 - passport (new, no previous travel) 2 - payment receipt from bank (for visa
> application fee) 3 - single copy of OF-156, in English, typewritten
>
> Relevant details on OF-156:
>
> Age: 61 years old Marital Status: widow Occupation: retired teacher Who will furnish
> financial support: myself, my daughter, son-in-law What is the purpose of your trip:
> visit daughter, son-in-law When do you intend to arrive in USA: April 2001 How long do
> you plan to stay in the USA: two months Are any of the following in the US, status?:
> daughter - U.S.P.R.
>
> Questions asked by official:
>
> How long has your daughter been in the U.S.? Since 1998. What does your daughter do in
> the U.S.? Study. What does your son-in-law do in the U.S.? Works for a computer company.
>
> Visa was granted. Mother-in-law brought substantial documentation, but CO did not want
> to see any of it. The *only* documentation the CO ever saw
was
> her passport and OF-156.
>
> My mother-in-law dressed as "rich" as she possibly could, buying expensive new clothes
> specifically for the interview. Thanks, Grinch, for posting
an
> article with that tip. Two other in-laws she met at the interview did NOT get visas. One
> was > 70 years old, very frail looking. The other was a couple from the countryside who
> looked very poor, in her opinion.
>
> I believe she got the visa because of how she answered the first question. Had my wife
> been in the U.S. only a few months, I suspect the CO would
have
> given her a more difficult time, and perhaps looked at more documents.
It's
> more reasonable to want to visit your child after they've been in the U.S. for a few
> years. A warning to others: once you've been refused a tourist visa due to
214(b),
> only 1 in 24 ever get a visa. Don't waste your "chance" by applying too early.
>
> Paulgani
>
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 1:49 pm
  #4  
paulgani
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> On Wed, 14 Feb 2001 10:15:28 -0500, "paulgani" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >(...MIL got a tourist visa!!...)
>
> Paul, I am very impressed. Mind if I archive your post somewhere? Mike

Feel free. However, I have written a more detailed post for the China-USA egroups, why
don't you archive this:

My mother-in-law (MIL) went to a CITIC Bank in her home city of Fuzhou, to ask for a
tourist visa application. They won't give you one unless you already have a passport.

MIL's application for a passport took approximately one month. She never had a passport
before. Her new passport also had an "A" exit card attached to it, with the field for
"Reason for trip" stated as "temporary visit" (in Chinese).

She went back to the CITIC Bank, and they gave her the OF-156 applications, one in
Chinese, one in English. Instructions say to fill out both, which she did, with our
help. She also paid the 405 RMB visa application fee at the bank, and received a
payment receipt.

My wife and I collected all kinds of papers to send to her for her visa interview,
including an I-134, invitation letter, itinerary for her trip, boarding passes from when
MY mother and I visited China, and a copy of my wife's green card.

My wife called the Guangzhou consulate to make an appointment to apply for a tourist visa.
They wanted MIL's passport number. Appointment was for one week later, at 10 AM.

MIL arrived at 8 AM. She had to wait until 10 AM to enter. An official then told her
that she used an incorrect form. They gave her a new form (free) to fill out, which was
a combination English/Chinese OF-156 form. MIL went to a nearby company (in her hotel)
and paid 50 RMB to have them type the information from her "old" form on the "new" form
(in English).

MIL was allowed to reenter the Consulate without waiting in line. She waited inside
for 90 minutes before being called. CO was a 35ish year old white woman, who spoke
fluent Chinese.

Submitted to U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China:

1 - passport (new, no previous travel) 2 - payment receipt from bank (for visa application
fee) 3 - single copy of OF-156, in English, typewritten

Relevant details on OF-156:

No prior visits or applications to visit the U.S. Age: 61 years old Marital Status: widow
Occupation: retired teacher Who will furnish financial support: myself, my daughter,
son-in-law What is the purpose of your trip: visit daughter, son-in-law When do you intend
to arrive in USA: April 2001 How long do you plan to stay in the USA: two months Are any
of the following in the US, status?: daughter - U.S.P.R.

Questions asked by official:

How long has your daughter been in the U.S.? Since 1998. What does your daughter do in the
U.S.? Study. What does your son-in-law do in the U.S.? Works for a computer company.

Interview took about 1 minute, and the visa was granted. MIL brought along substantial
documentation, but CO did not want to see any of it. The *only* documentation the CO ever
saw was her passport and the OF-156!

The visa she received was "B1/B2", multiple entries, valid for 6 months.

My MIL dressed as "rich" as she possibly could, buying expensive new clothes specifically
for the interview. Two other in-laws/parents she met at the interview did NOT get visas.
One was > 70 years old, very frail looking. The other was a couple from the countryside
who looked very poor, in her opinion.

MIL noticed that the COs generally did not look at documents from older applicants, but
examined documents from younger applicants very thoroughly.

I believe she got the visa primarily because of how she answered the first question. Had
my wife been in the U.S. only a few months, I suspect the CO would have given her a more
difficult time, and perhaps looked at more documents. It's more reasonable to want to
visit your child after they've been in the U.S. for a few years. It's not absolutely
necessary or normal to visit your child overseas after they just arrived there, since
anyway you just recently saw them. At least, this is my theory.

A warning to others: once you've been refused a tourist visa due to
214(b), only 1 in 24 ever eventually get a visa. Don't waste your "chance" by applying too
early, or by not having an absolutely rock solid purpose for visiting the U.S.

A friend of my wife who is here as the spouse of an H1-B also got a tourist visa for her
MIL. Their first question was also "How long has your son been in the U.S.?" For them, the
answer was 6 years. In their case, the CO wanted proof of the son's legal status in the
U.S., plus the I-134, before they were granted the visa.

Paulgani
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 1:52 pm
  #5  
paulgani
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> That's the good news. Now the bad news ... your mother in law's coming to stay
>
> Andy.

Heh heh, I hope not. Hmm, maybe we should have bought a smaller house.

Paulgani i'll have to remember to warn MIL about packing too much luggage inconsistent
with a short temporary visit.
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 2:20 pm
  #6  
Jonathan_ATC
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If she is like most mothers, she will bring lots of goodies. Che-Ning's mother brought two
suitcases and a box of food from Taiwan last time she came. Of course that would only be
inconsistent with a short visit if she were not a mother. ;o)

I am quite pleased to hear that MIL got the visa. That should really help perk up your
wife's spirits. (not saying it needed perking up, BTW. For I haven't a clue. I just know
Che-Ning gets very excited when her family members come to visit.)

It is probably good that you got the bigger house because she will come to visit either
way. This way, at least you have some room. Anyway, good deal about getting the MIL visa.

--
Jonathan c_/ c_/ c_/ c_/

>
> Heh heh, I hope not. Hmm, maybe we should have bought a smaller house.

>
> Paulgani i'll have to remember to warn MIL about packing too much luggage inconsistent
> with a short temporary visit.
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 2:33 pm
  #7  
paulgani
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> If she is like most mothers, she will bring lots of goodies. Che-Ning's mother brought
> two suitcases and a box of food from Taiwan last time she came. Of course that would
> only be inconsistent with a short visit if she were not a mother. ;o)

During my last POE entry at San Francisco, I met a Customs agent with a dog. I asked him
what the dog was trained to sniff for, drugs? bombs? "Food" was his reply.

I guess that rules out my MIL bringing my wife some of her favorite fresh vegetables!

> I am quite pleased to hear that MIL got the visa. That should really help perk up your
> wife's spirits. (not saying it needed perking up, BTW. For I haven't a clue. I just know
> Che-Ning gets very excited when her family members come to visit.)
>
> It is probably good that you got the bigger house because she will come to visit either
> way. This way, at least you have some room. Anyway, good
deal
> about getting the MIL visa.

Thanks for the well wishes!

Paulgani
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 3:02 pm
  #8  
Andy Platt
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> During my last POE entry at San Francisco, I met a Customs agent with a
dog.
> I asked him what the dog was trained to sniff for, drugs? bombs? "Food"
was
> his reply.

Yes - I asked the same thing at a display booth for the US customs at an airshow and got
the same response - we also got some "Don't pack a pest" luggage tags too ... very groovy!

Andy.

--
I'm not really here - it's just your warped imagination.
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 3:11 pm
  #9  
Alena
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>During my last POE entry at San Francisco, I met a Customs agent with a dog. I asked him
>what the dog was trained to sniff for, drugs? bombs? "Food" was his reply.

After our last visit in Czech Republic, we came back through JFK. I still had AP, so we
had to go through secondary inspection. I was so annoyed about that I was really happy to
get out. I see this really cute dog coming to me, and I start petting it. She jumps at me,
and I am busted. Ham sandwich, which we had leftover from what my mom made for us for the
flight. It was not a big deal, they just made us to throw it out, but I will make sure to
leave any leftovers on the place next time.

Alena
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 9:28 pm
  #10  
Grinch
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>During my last POE entry at San Francisco, I met a Customs agent with a dog. I asked him
>what the dog was trained to sniff for, drugs? bombs? "Food" was his reply.

I trained Otty to sniff for Beer. He is doing really well, he already has learnt to ignore
Budweiser and Miller

Grinch
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 10:24 pm
  #11  
Jonathan_ATC
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Hey! I like Miller. It is the best slug trap bait around!

--
Jonathan _/ _/ _/ _/

> On Thu, 15 Feb 2001 10:33:55 -0500, "paulgani" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >During my last POE entry at San Francisco, I met a Customs agent with a
dog.
> >I asked him what the dog was trained to sniff for, drugs? bombs? "Food"
was
> >his reply.
>
> I trained Otty to sniff for Beer. He is doing really well, he already has learnt to
> ignore Budweiser and Miller
>
> Grinch
 
Old Feb 15th 2001, 11:36 pm
  #12  
Onigiri
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In India ( probably the closest to China in many aspects of consideration for a US visa )
they seem to have the system of a "drop box". This drop box is designed for seniors in the
USA so that they need not stand in line outside the consulate for long hours. The
applicants can drop their petition, passport etc.. in the box, and they ( most often ) get
a visa when approved. No interview. 5 or 10 year multiple entry visas seem to be pretty
common. http://www.sphynx.com/madrasus/wwwhdropbox.html The Consulate facilitates Drop Box
service for applicants via travel agents or others representing the applicant. You may
leave your passport, application, and demand drafts for both the machine readable visa fee
and the issuance fee at the TT Services Drop Box facilities located in Chennai, Bangalore
and Hyderabad. The service fee of (Rs150 Chennai) (Rs250 Bangalore and Hyderabad), payable
by demand draft to "TT Services", will be collected when you drop off your passports.
Normally, all applicants for U.S. visitor visas must be interviewed. However, anyone who:
<<snip = various other conditions for being eligible to use this drop box
system>>
Is the parent (over age 50) of adult children in legal status in the U.S.; or Is over the
age of 55, even if you have never traveled; or <<snip ....more conditions to use the drop
box system>> is eligible to use the Drop-Box: All applicants should be aware, however,
that after reviewing the case the Consular Section may need to ask some applicants to
appear for a personal interview. To apply, please enclose the following for each applicant
(including children): A valid passport for each person applying for a visa The fully
completed and signed visa application form(s) (OF-156) One photograph (taken within the
past 6 months) for each person applying for a visa Demand drafts for the appropriate fees
for each applicant


> On Wed, 14 Feb 2001 10:15:28 -0500, "paulgani" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >(...MIL got a tourist visa!!...)
>
> Paul, I am very impressed. Mind if I archive your post somewhere? Mike
 
Old Feb 16th 2001, 12:27 am
  #13  
paulgani
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

China also has a "drop box" system, but it's not a box - you can drop off your passport
and application at certain bank branches. However, it is ONLY available for people who
have previously (legally) visited the U.S. within the past 5 years. All first time
applicants must show up for an interview, regardless of age.

From casual inquiries from our Indian vs. Chinese friends, it does appear to be easier to
procure a tourist visa from India. At a wedding I attended a few years ago, nearly 40
relatives from India showed up (wedding size of
300). I surmise the number was even larger at the 900 person Indian wedding I attended
(reception dinner had 3 separate seatings). Such would be very unlikely at a Chinese
wedding, even of comparable size.

Paulgani

> In India ( probably the closest to China in many aspects of consideration for a US visa
> ) they seem to have the system of a "drop box". This drop box is designed for seniors in
> the USA so that they need not stand in line outside the consulate for long hours. The
> applicants can drop their petition, passport etc.. in the box, and they ( most often )
> get a visa
when
> approved. No interview. 5 or 10 year multiple entry visas seem to be pretty common.
> http://www.sphynx.com/madrasus/wwwhdropbox.html The Consulate facilitates Drop Box
> service for applicants via travel
agents
> or others representing the applicant. You may leave your passport, application, and
> demand drafts for both the machine readable visa fee and the issuance fee at the TT
> Services Drop Box facilities located in
Chennai,
> Bangalore and Hyderabad. The service fee of (Rs150 Chennai) (Rs250
Bangalore
> and Hyderabad), payable by demand draft to "TT Services", will be
collected
> when you drop off your passports. Normally, all applicants for U.S. visitor visas must
> be interviewed. However, anyone who: <<snip = various other conditions for being
> eligible to use this drop box
> system>>
> Is the parent (over age 50) of adult children in legal status in the U.S.; or Is over
> the age of 55, even if you have never traveled; or <<snip ....more conditions to use the
> drop box system>> is eligible to use the Drop-Box: All applicants should be aware,
> however, that after reviewing the case
the
> Consular Section may need to ask some applicants to appear for a personal interview. To
> apply, please enclose the following for each applicant (including children): A valid
> passport for each person applying for a visa The fully completed and signed visa
> application form(s) (OF-156) One photograph (taken within the past 6 months) for each
> person applying for a visa Demand drafts for the appropriate fees for each applicant
>
>
>
>

> > On Wed, 14 Feb 2001 10:15:28 -0500, "paulgani" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > >(...MIL got a tourist visa!!...)
> >
> > Paul, I am very impressed. Mind if I archive your post somewhere? Mike
 

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