Getting U.S. Visa in China

This is part of a series article: From Shanghai to US – A Handbook. These articles are to help my friends (obviously in Shanghai) to plan their first time visit to U.S. To be concise, I only outline information that I think helpful for this group of people. So don’t be surprised if it left some important information outside the scope.

The most critical, and troublesome step to go to the States is the Visa application and interview process. Let me break it into short sentences.

Disclaimer: I don’t want to appear as object. It is just my personal thinking about my personal experience…

  • The U.S. Visa office is at the 8th floor of the Shanghai Westgate Mall at 1038 West Nanjing Road.
  • The first time visitor must leave fingerprint there. (I hate it)
  • People have to line up very early in the morning outside the shopping more in the morning for the appointment – the application letter states that you must be at the gate before 8:30 (I remember). I mean wait in the rain, in the sun, in the wind, or whatever weather outside the mall.
  • No bag can be brought about. No mobile is allowed. There are many people there charging 10 RMB for deposite bags for you. That means, it seems everyone need to pay 10 RMB additionally to get interviewed.
  • All first-time visa applicants are required to call the China-wide Visa Information Call Center at 4008-872-333 (for dialers within China) to make an interview appointment.
  • The Visa Information Call Center operates Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • You will need to purchase a pre-paid PIN card in order to use this service. Users can pay 54 RMB for a 12 minute PIN card or 36 RMB for an 8 minute PIN card. PIN cards can be purchased at China CITIC bank locations or online at: Please note, this additional fee is charged out of the visa fee they change.
  • You need a completed DS-156 application form in English. (I filled it before)
  • You need to wait at the visa office to get a visa (my experience in 2004)
  • Sometimes, they pause their visa services completely no matter how important meetings you have.
  • Yesterday, the American Chamber of Commerce issued a white paper. The report said about half of American Chamber of Commerce companies in China complained the high rejection rate of U.S. Visa program, and the average waiting time to get interviewed for visa for the year 2005 is 34 days. That means you typically need 2 months in advance to prepare an U.S. trip.
  • For normal people to attend meetings in U.S. is almost impossible. For the last Microsoft MVP Summit in Seattle, many MVPs in China was invited, but almost none of the more than 10 people get rejected for interview. This time, the eBay community members attending eBay Live, as far as I know, were all rejected to get a visa.
  • You can typically apply a multi-entry visa, which makes it much easier.
  • The most ridiculous interview I heard with my own ears: Interviewer: “What did you have this morning as breakfast?” Applicant: “Bread.” I: “Nothing else?” A: “No.” I: “According to American law, we cannot grant you a visa.” A: “….”. I was sitting beside the person when he was rejected. You know, it is funny to reject someone according American law just because he only had bread in the morning.
  • Feeling of insulting. I know a friend who is a high-rank official. He told me he refuse to go to U.S. for any reason just because he felt insulted during the visa application process.
  • I feel very bad to be inspected and get shoes off, and even belt off and inspected as a terrism when entering the room.

63 thoughts on “Getting U.S. Visa in China

  1. jianshuo,

    Do you think America Consulate is having the attitude problem? On contrast, Chinese Consulate has the similar problem. Indifferent attitude, odd office hours and charging c$50 per applicant, wish to register a complaint?…………………you are standing on Chinese soil!

    I guess all government bureaus are the same! no satisfaction!

  2. Or you could just buy a plane ticket to somewhere in northern Mexico and walk across the border.

  3. Jianshuo:

    Good points. Here’s a couple of fixes to your original points, plus my own idea based on my March experience.

    – “Getting U.S. Visa in China”, I prefer “Getting U.S. Visa in Shanghai”

    – “outside the shopping more”, guess you meant “mall”, and by saying “terrism” you are actually saying “terrorist”, right? :)

    – “No mobile is allowed.” No MP3 player as well, but watch is OK, and this is sooooo stupid, since the smallest MP3 player with voice-activated recording function can easily fit in a watch, and to make it even scarier, a remote-controled bomb can be of the same size. The US consulate really need some dogs to sniff around.

    – Bring some food and water, it can take up to 7 hours before they pick your number.

    – If you bring bottled water, they will ask you to open the bottle and drink, just to make sure you are not bringing something that’s not water – you know what I mean, the dearest peace lover will want to blow up the place after being insulted like that.

    – The DS156 English form is required, and you have to fill in Chinese content in the same form as well.

    – Nowadays if you get a F(student) or B(visitor, business or just touring), you will get a multiple entry one.

    – The Chinese workstaff working for the US consulate is even worse – not as bad as those in Beijing though, this is exactly why Chinese people hate dog’s paw more than the dog itself.

  4. Yeah my dad complained about this too…… He had to go up and down the whole building three times (2 times to deposit his bag and handphone in his car; once to the CITIC Bank to pay the visa fee: yes they don’t even accept CASH or credit card or cheque or anything — you have to go to the bank and pay into their account!!) just to get to the security check. US is probably among the very few nations which require visa interview for ALL applicants, even business travellers. I got my UK student visa without interviewing, and they would even want to interview business travellers?? And then all the security checks and waiting…

    And they call their country the beacon of freedom… Which free nation would impose such restrictions on foreign entrants?

  5. The solution to this is very simple… don’t go to the U.S. Why would anyone want to visit that terrorist country? Don’t waste your time… there are a lot better places in this world. Land of freedom and opportunity? LOL… China is better. Grass may look greener over there but believe me, it’s smoke and mirrors.

  6. “I feel very bad to be inspected and get shoes off, and even belt off and inspected as a …”

    You are required to do this whenever you travel by a plane, or enter a government building in US. And Americans have been used to it for some time…

  7. Jianshuo,

    Regarding your point of “For normal people to attend meetings in U.S. is almost impossible.”, I think it depends. Depends on the company that you serve. My experience is: When I applied for a B-2 visa 2 years ago, it was just two months after I joined this company, and you know being a single lady indicates a potential rejection.. However, I got it finally. The interviewer asked me about the meeting purpose, and also my experience in this company, of course he asked about why I was invited for a meeting given I have such a short service period in this company. While I was waiting for interview, I also witnessed two applicants from same company, finally one got the visa, but the other rejected. So the result really depends on multiple factors: reputation of company/Inviter, interviewee’s confidence, etc..

  8. As an American, I’m really sorry to hear how bad this process is. Getting a visa for any country (including China, but especially for Russia) is a major pain, but it sounds like getting a U.S. visa is a nightmare.

    I hope that people will see beyond the Consulate. Most regular people in the U.S. are really nice and will go out of their way to help you. And most of us (according to recent polls) want a new administration to take over our government in the upcoming elections in 2006 and 2007 — hopefully one that thinks more globally and understands that the visa process is critical to America’s success. After all, the co-founders of Intel, Google, and Sun were not Americans and had U.S. visas!

  9. Hi,

    I know this is a totally different topic but I tried to find a dancing school (for ballroom dancing, Waltz…etc.) in Puxi, Shanghai through the internet but to no avail. Can you recommend? Thank you.

  10. To passer-by:

    maybe I can help you, check the website below, hope you could find your interest. It’s a good school, and I attend ballet class for years.

    or to search the school name “上海文广国际标准舞培训中心”

  11. Hi Julia, you have been such a great help, so kind of you. Many thanks in return!!! =)

    Hi JS, your blog has help foreigners like me, who are new in Shanghai to get information in a fast and effective manner. Hope you will maintain this blog for many years to come. Thank you for blogging!

  12. Kevin, well said!

    And, Jian Shuo, on those days when you may wonder whether it is worth your time and energy to continue this blog, think about passer-by being helped by Julia, and the young woman waiting for a kidney transplant who was put in touch with my young friend through you. Your site brings people together all around the world, and I feel sure it is doing much to reduce the barriers between “regular people” that our governments both seem to be so intent on maintaining.

    So, “Yay for you!” I say :-)

  13. interesting topic…

    my Prof. father applied for U.S. visa for a conference and a visit to a school last summer, and his passport is today still in the consulate, they say that it’s still under processing ;-)

    this is a real life joke at home, I am not exaggerating… just imagine that my father had worked 2+1 years in the States during ’80s and paid many short visits there afterwards…

    rumours ==> they withhold quite many applications for people with profession close to physics lately (or since last year)

    There came the invitation for the same conference again in summer, hehe, my father decided not to have that exercise again

    I’d better spend my summer holidays anywhere but U.S., until such situation changes…

  14. The problem with the visa application process is that the conusular officials processing the applications are required to regard any potential applicant as someone who will stay in the US and not return. The burden of proof is on the applicant to show beyond a reasonable doubt that they have existing ties in China that will guarantee their return. Unfortuneately, there is a high proportion of Chinese individuals who do not return, even when passing the requirements. I tried to get a tourist visa for my wife (who is Chinese) and got rejected. This is why snakeheads can get 30-50K dollars to smuggle in a Chinese national into the US.

  15. ask yourself why there is such a huge “chinese demand” of wanting to head to the us, australia, new zealand and canada? i don’t see no lines at the south african embassy in beijing or the indonesian consulate in shanghai.

    should the us just allow everyone in? what if all the residents on the african continent suddenly wants to come over to china? will the chinese embassies in the african countries allow this?

    i doubt it.

    lets not play the game of blaming the country that won’t allow someone in. if anyone feels that, then they have all the right of not to go there at all. go where u are welcomed, but i have a feeling thats not where the chinese wants to go.

  16. Some of what you state is accurate and some is not. Some of your claims are silly – no one believes that anyone was really denied a visa because of their breakfast. – but the visa process is frustrating on both sides. The US visa interviewers have an impossible task of interviewing hundreds of applicants each day. You couldn’t do that everyday, listen to so many lies, and still be able to be courteous to each person and be fair and accurate.

    A better job could be done I’m sure but you need to point the finger of blame where it belongs; the (*&^&% terrorists that make security at gov’t sites necessary and your fellow citizens that don’t obey the laws and immigrate illegally. There are 40,000 Chinese citizens currently detained in the US because they overstayed visas or immigrated illegally. Your country refuses to take them back. What would any country do in a similar situation? Just let everyone in? Those who have ignored the law have made it difficult for us all.

  17. People going through those interview process Just do not understand. The interviewer

    wanted Honesty above anything else.

    Interviewer: What did you have for breakfast?

    Applicant: Bread.

    Interviewer: Just bread? Anything?

    Application: No.

    To the interviewer, the applicant does not seem to want to talk. You are kidding me? anyone who eats bread is going to need something to drink. should responed.,

    with.., Yes., I also had a glass of water to wash it down. :)

    Have to be more friendly., and show that you are just a normal person with nothing to hide.

    and most importantly., honesty.

  18. Well, i am suffering from it these days, too.

    Honestly what after all these you won’t like to any place except staying home.

  19. Bush has done untold amounts of damage to the goodwill of the usa. it used to be so fine… my kids are afraid to return home for their ssafety

  20. hey dudes.

    i read out all your comments and felt bored reading that anyways all time feel positive and it doesnot matter either you didnot get visa for usa you know all things happen on right time so wait for that..

    anyways friends i hope you guys are helpful so can any dude kindly tell me how a foreign citizen can get visa to usa from china?????????

  21. Well, I got my US visa today~~~ Really unexpected. Because I heard from too many people that a single lady is almost equal to REJECTION, especially in China! All that I can say now is So Good Luck I’ve Got, which saved me from suffering from the 1st experience……so, cheer up……all those Chinese girls who are expecting a US visa.

  22. Why Singaporeans do not require Visa to visit USA?

    Firstly, all citizens are bilingual or English speaking.

    Secondly, all citizens (SIN) found breaking the immigration laws of USA can be extradiated to SIN. no questions asked.

    Thirdly, all Singaporeans will prefer to stay and work in Singapore. Jobs is availabe.

    and lastly, there is nothing better than your own home even home could be shit.

  23. If you are working in an American company, you can also apply for a US visa through the American Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Visa Program. I got my visa pretty quickly, because my company had already been approved by the Consulate (after the 6 months that my U.S. Company had been a member of the Chamber). It seems this way is pretty good, if you work for a US company, because it is faster than going to US consulate by yourself and more chance of getting accepted, because you have the “backing’ of your company. I think their site is ..i think Beijing AmCham does it,too and maybe other Chambers for european countries

  24. My girl friend is trying to get a tourist visa to usa , she is chinese, qualifies , mba, teacher, has paid vacation this summer, ownes 2 properties. Will they hold it against her that she is single and that we met online? Wish they were more open about the amount they wanted in the bank to cover travel for 5 weeks. I have vacant properties , transportation , da da da – but dont want to get pegged in the fiance visa cuz we want to be together this summer and travel the usa .She only has 6 weeks off from teaching. Does any one know ?? How much is the interviewer personal views a factor?

  25. hi every one i jjust came across this sight and was interested and yes i am too an american born and raised and not of chinese decent but none the less i love china so much i am currently living here in hefei,anhui capital and damn there is far less attitudes laws and crime ( far far less than that of america )

    by the way i am planning to marry my g/f and would like to know would i be able to have a multible entry to china and america? my g/f never wanted and never wants to live or become an american citizen and personally i would never allow her too or if i could i wouldn’t want any one too anyways why not australia canada germany atleast whats the big hype about america?

    oh yea propaganda lol!!!!!!

    thanks anyways for you’r time i will be back on this sight in the near future

  26. wow yr blog entries are really really helpful and informative. Thumbs up! I found yr blog when i was looking for the reason of people with china passport not getting US visa approved. I’m having a msian passport myself, but a friend of mine is holding a china passport with australian PR. She got invited for a machine learning conference in the states, and we suspected it’s because it has to do with security issues which is very sensitive to the states, her applications is still ‘under process’ after a few months!

  27. Wow….2

    You site is very nice and incredibly helpful. Thank you for taking the time to do this. My friend wants to visit me in the states and said that Visa’s were hard to come by, you site has shed some light on everything.

  28. Maybe because American officials are not corrupt like chinese officials and you cannot bribe them. Also they will hold your personally accountable for your actions, something most Chinese people really hate. You have to accept order and regulations in an American office…something the spoiled children of China do not understand. You cannot just break in line and do whatever you want to do. The questions are viable…and most of the so called english speakers here really are not that good. So deal with it, or go to another country. Your crying and pouting is typical Chinese infantile response….but you will not change it. Everyone is treated like a terroist going into and American government building…it is call security to idiot…like all the supermarkets in China have you have your reciept stamped upon leaving to show you did not steal items…not everyone here is a thief..but enough chinese people will steal to create a problemmmso I am treated like a thief too. Get over yourself…stay out of America…we do not need you there.

  29. hmm actually american officials are as much corrupted if not worse than any other nation besides north korea or maybe columbia how ever there is a fine line when it comes to chinese authority i dont concider it a bride i concider it to be a more of a chinese business custom that goes thousands of years back the chinese people and government doesnt woant any problems so what they do is allow certain but controlled risk involvements such as the person and depending crime onwhich it allows unless you kill or like the guangzhou people do esp the rich ion which they eat baby dumblings then yes they the government has the right to increase such attitudes how ever in american a cop will just bang ur head against the wall even for looking at him the wrong way

    so as an american/expat i suggest stay away from the american soils and property plus there is far more addictions/drugs gangs and crime why bother with a useless way of life

  30. Hi Timothy – I’m not sure where you get your information from. I am based in SG and am responsible for dealing with government officials from many countries around the world on a daily basis. There are very stringent policies and rules now, that failure to adhere will lead to imprisonment for a very long time – many officials and company directors are sitting in prison as a consequence of the legislation. There are a list of countries that are considered ‘high risk’ and the USA is certainly not one of them.

    Any favours or kickbacks from govt officials in any country is regarded as breaking the law under US legislation, and it is no good anymore for one to say it is just a ‘business custom’ – certainly not when dealing with any multi-national organization.

    Remember, China are now playing in the global economic community, and will be the economic super-power in the future. Corruption cannot and must not be tolerated… and I am not American, but you should not be so intolerant or single-minded – “useless way of life”?? Very harsh words indeed. We are a global community.

  31. hi everybody,

    i am a cameroonian residing in Donguan, Guandong Province. i thing all these complaints about the US empassy not issuing visas, cruel behaviour or whatever is only coming from unscrupulous chinese who want to migrate to the US and escape the lawlessness in their country.i think they have no reason to complain coz china is infested with the highest level of cruelty and inhuman activities cauesd by chinese themselves against is almost impossible to ask for a six month, let alone z visa now in china which i think is really bad.chinese police will come to your house to find out if you have a visa and where you got it from. they should just shut up and learn from the US…………

  32. Tim, you were born in America and live in China now? Where were you educated? Were you educated? Your writing indicates to me that either you are from Apalachia (a poor area in America where education is poor, to say the least), or you are Chinese and pretending to be American. Any 3rd grade child in America could write better sentences with better spelling and grammar.

    I have a friend in Shanghai who goes through this process every year to visit me, and I know it is a disheartening and degrading process. However, as stated earlier in this blog, the people who are interviewing are required to start out with the assumption that you want to come here and stay forever. Why? Because history has unfortunately proven that to be true for many. Unfortunately, as with most of life, the good have to suffer along with the bad because there is no good way to weed out the bad.

    It has been suggested that acceptance/denial should be sent by mail to relieve the burden of telling the person face to face that they have been rejected. I can’t even imagine the stress these interviewers go through on a daily basis! How would you like to be the person to tell someone ‘no, you can’t go where you wanted and planned to go to’? They are the recipients of everything from crying to verbal and sometimes physical assaults on a daily basis. Not a job I’d want! If you’re poised, confident and cheerful, you will get an extra 20 points to the good in the mind of the interviewer. Of course there are failures in the system and everything will not go as it should every day, but that’s the nature of governments, nothing you can do about that, I’m afraid.

  33. Hmmm… I sort of stumbled upon this blog by looking up articles on how difficult it was for foreigners to enter my country as a tourist. I know by reading some of the comments made that we (Americans) are seen as ignorant by many in the world community and there is a bit of truth to that I will admit. However, the world is just as ignorant of us. How many comments about crime and gangs have been posted here?? Yes, no matter where you go in a large city, you’ll encounter unfavorable types and discretion is highly advised. I hear a lot of stories about how much “safer” it is in developing countries. Maybe true in the sense you’re thinking but I beg to differ. I’ve spent enough time traveling around the Middle East and Asia being constantly bombarded by someone wanting to sell me fake coins, take me to the hotel that didn’t burn down, or over charge me for a taxi ride. This is something you never find happening in America and if it did, you could take action on them. Oh they’re just making a living and they’re poor you say. Maybe so but I do not appreciate being harassed and cheated when I want to enjoy the world’s wonders. So saying that America is unsafe period and that we are terrorists are inaccurate assessments made by disgruntled people on the hate trip bandwagon. Take a good look around your house and find something that’s not an American product. You may hate us but you love our iPods! Our way of life is infectious and in some ways its sad, but many take a liking to it and live the dream. China is growing to be a big player in world economics but several challenges will prevent that from gaining is full potential. Many political, economical, and environmental issues are afoot.

    As far as obtaining a visa into the US, don’t make it harder than it has to be. Realize that the interviewers do this day in and day out and are not into funny business. Most customs agents are humorless and will not hesitate to have you on the next plane back to where you came from if you even make it to the US. Just be as honest and normal as can be during the process and it will go well. It’s like going to a job interview. Sometimes less is more meaning keep it to the point and try not to over elaborate your point. They’ll assume you’re lying and are trying to cover it up. They’ll ask you strange questions to see what your reaction is like. Be friendly and answer accordingly. Try to keep your hand gestures to a minimum and maintain composure. Dress neatly and appropriately. Under no circumstances do you offer a bribe of any kind, you will be immediately denied. They’re really looking for reasons why you need to return to your homeland. The more you can provide (like you own a business, have a large family to tend to, property), the better your chances. Adequate funds are also a big one. If you’re a single person living at home in a less affluent family, it’ll be difficult because it looks like you’re jobless. In America, it’s not common for young adults to continue living at home with their parents unless they are the ones helping out or going to college (note: People who do this are often teased because it’s not socially acceptable in most cases. Independence is the American way and living with mommy and daddy makes you look loserish in American culture :-/…). Be sure to state what your reason is for visiting the US. Don’t elude that you may be staying permanently. Any hint of that and you get the dreaded denial stamp. Any answer you give that supports the idea you’re returning home in the end will help you.

    Ultimately, your fate is in the hands of the interviewer. Remember that though it’s a bureaucratic mess to go through, these things are quite common in America especially during tax time. I was speeding to work one day and got pulled over. My insurance card expired the day before so the cop sent me to third circuit court and fined me. I never had to file so much junk in my life just for messing up on an insurance card! Everything was in order so I went in, showed them proof, and I was let go. Had I not corrected the error, things could have been much worse. The officials here insist on keeping order and rightly so. We cannot have anarchy.

  34. I am an Indian citizen currently working in US. I am coming to Shanghai & plan to go to US embassy there to get my H1b visa re-stamped. I am confused about the following & wondering if you can help?

    -till what time is the CITIC bank open? I plan to go to the one on west nanjing road to pay visa fees.

    -what time should i expect to pick up my stamped passport if my appointment at the consulate for stamping is on May 6 at 8am?


  35. Hello everyone! I’m an American citizen, and was just reading some of your comments. Like all great nations(including China) there has to be alot of security, laws, and patience when dealing with the embassy. When you get to the US, it’s different. My girlfriend lives in China, and is trying to come here for a visit. I hope She will get Her B-2 visa. Then maybe I can one day bring her here on the Fiance visa.Everyone be honest, and keep your chin up.

  36. Today, Apr.17th, 2008. My wife and I were both passed the visa interview and got the travel visa successfully. At the beginning, I am afraid of that my wife will be rejected, because it is not only her first time to attend the interview but also she cannot speak any English. In addition, We are both middle thirty years old, have married almost 10 years but no children.

    In contrast with the two front rejected applicants, the questions and answers for my wife and my interview were not concise and quick:

    “Good morning Mr. and Mrs. Shen.”

    “Good morning madam.”

    “You are going to visit friends?”


    “You are working for a same company?”

    Yes, It’s my own company.

    “Good. A consulting company? What kind of consulting?”

    “Yes, Our major consulting business is Executive Search, providing the recruitment services to MNC companies in China.”

    “Find good talents?”


    “How many people working for you?”

    “10, one in Beijing, one in Guangzhou, the others are in Shanghai.”

    “OK. Have you ever been to US? When?”

    “Yes, 7 years ago once I worked in an American company.”

    “Good. Mrs. Shen, Can you speak English?”

    “No, My wife only can speak Japanese” She glance at my wife’s embarrassed face.

    “Do you have Children?”

    “Not yet”.

    “Any plan?”

    “Yes, if my business getting stable”

    “Have you bring your marriage certificate?”

    “Of course, yes. Here it is.” I passed to her.

    “Good, if you wife cannot speak English, how does she face to client?”

    “Oh, my wife is a Financial Supervisor, she is responsible A/R only. Usually, she needn’t communicate to customers directly.”

    “OK. I understand.”

    “You’ve got the US degree?”

    “Yes, I did”

    “But not study in US?”

    “Yes. It’s correspondence course”

    “I see. You’ve both passed!”


    “Good Luck!”

    “Again, Thank you madam, Have a nice day!”

    That’s it.

  37. I really could use someone’s help and guidance. My girlfriend (32-year-old, single, Chinese) has been rejected twice for a visa to come visit me in the U.S. In the last year I have visited her once and plan to go again for 5 weeks this coming January, 2009. She has a good job (in the middle of a 2-year contract), but it is not clear to us why she has been rejected. I understand from reading this blog that there is a high rejection rate and we are joining the throngs of people who have been rejected and are frustrated.

    Does anyone have a suggestion how we can get her approved for a U.S. visa? At this rate, if we want to spend our lives together, we will have to live in China. That’s not a bad option, but for many reasons, we would prefer to live in America.

  38. People are always complaining about how the American Embassy sucks and they feel very bad that they had to be inspected with their shoes off, and a times even belts off because of the metal buckle that will trigger the detector device.

    But before critizing others, they should also look at their own because the Chinese Embassies abroad are not any better especially with their attitudes. Sometimes even with a no-reason-at-all reason to refuse a person’s visa application and that one doesn’t even have the chance to appeal. You can only live according to their words, is this what you call Communism – the China Spirit? Good grief!

  39. Maybe if you knew how to speak proper English, you’d get a visa! I’m Chinese, and i’m embarassed to read your angry almost non-sensible rant about how hard it is for you. Why don’t you think about all the people who DID get a visa and how they’re different/better than you. Then you will be heading in the right direction. I really despise people who blame the system for their own failures.

  40. Kevin,

    well, getting Russian or Chinese visa is pain – in countries that have silly procedures for their citizens.

  41. The United States is a good place. It is the beaurocrats that need to go. I can’t stand their attitutes. They act like they are gods. I dread going into government offices and I used to work for them. Mentioning the post by Barack Ussein, It is true, many Americans forget they are Immigrants and their arrogance proves it. I have to fly up to DC to get a Visa so I can Visit China. I hope they are not as bad as American Consulate workers.

  42. I am an American citizen… and I agree with you, this is silly. Believe me, American people themselves also have trouble when they have to deal with the US government to get a driver’s license, apply for unemployment benefits, go through customs to enter the US, etc. The government fails to operate anything efficiently, and workers often have bad attitudes or abuse power.

    With that said, you oughta know that China is really no different for a foreigner. While it’s true that visas are easier to get, I can’t tell you how much of my time and money has been wasted by inefficient and ridiculous rules. Examples: not being able to live in the first two apartments I wanted to live in because foreigners are not allowed to live there. Having to register at the police station to live in my own apartment, and having to re-register within 24 hours every time I leave and then re-enter the country. Getting charged extra to fly on China Airlines when my girlfriend and I travel overseas.

    Argh. I have total sympathy for what you’re saying, because I’ve been through this kind of annoying stuff too, just as an American facing the Chinese system rather than the other way around.

  43. Hi,I hope someone can help me.I am trying to help my girlfriend figure out everything she needs to apply for a tourist visa.Right now she is a student,but she will get a job later this month.I want to be pay for all her expenses.We are trying to get her a visa for October,but we know it is difficult to get one and with me wanting to pay for everything will that be a big problem?She won’t stay here because her family is in China.What all does she need in order to have better chances to get the visa,and how early should she apply?With her being a student how much money will they expect her to have and at the interview if they ask her reason for coming should she tell them to see her boyfriend,or should she just tell them her friend?Why must all of it be so confusing?It was no problem at all to get a Chinese visa.Thanks for any help i can get.

  44. ,I hope someone can help me.I am trying to help my girlfriend figure out everything she needs to apply for a tourist visa.Right now she is a student,but she will get a job later this month.I want to be pay for all her expenses.We are trying to get her a visa for October,but we know it is difficult to get one and with me wanting to pay for everything will that be a big problem?She wants stay here and get married but her parents will stay in China.What all does she need in order to have better chances to get the visa,and how early should she apply?With her being a student how much money will they expect her to have and at the interview if they ask her reason for coming should she tell them to see her boyfriend,or should she just tell them her friend?Why must all of it be so confusing?It was no problem at all to get a Chinese visa.Thanks for any help i can get

  45. I hate when really uneducated Americans bash America. Don’t you twerps realize that it makes you look really weak to Chinese if you badmouth your own country?

    Your value as a foreigner is that you have a different and unique perspective. I disagree with a previous poster that you’re a Chinese person pretending to be an American because I’ve met idiots like these before.

    So ok we get it, you like your chinese girlfriend and the attention you get as a foreigner. That attention is based on the fact that you come from a good and respectable country and because you’re different.

    While there is a lot to like about China you don’t need to choose sides.

    I’m glad you like China and if you plan to stay in China forever I hope you alert the embassy so that they can grant a chinese person a visa so they can visit your country.

  46. 90% of everything said on this site is bs, for one going into china as a american is extremely simple, it takes only 24 hours to get the visa, n whatever you pay for the plane ticket is your’ own deal. Getting into he U.S. is no harder, this sounds like the whining ex gang members spew out at the dmv or trying to vote. If you are a chinese citizen in good standing , no criminal record, follow the rules, be punctual and on time to all meetings etc., it’s not difficult to get in either. None of it should be a surprise whatsoever , you can kinda you know, read the rules and instructions on the procedure before hand.

  47. Hmm, so if an American person actually feels that the process is silly, they’re not supposed to say so to a Chinese person? For what possible reason? Life isn’t, like, the military or something, where everybody has to obsessively respect authority and pretend that mistakes are never made. Also, using racial discrimination when deciding what you’re going to say to a certain audience is frankly pointless and dumb.

  48. hi,

    respactable friends, may i have your help if you know in shanghai is there any agent who can help to make proccess for usa visa?

  49. Hi,

    I know guys this is totally out of nothing..I seem to be lost.. I dont know where should I start from and how should I begin with the process…of the US visa….

    I am a Dental masters student(international) in the Huazhong university of science and technology-Wuhan,in my first year.I want to visit my first cousin in October 2011(this year) who is in Chicago.Can you guys suggest me the better place for US visa application? and the documents required.I live and study in Wuhan…

  50. China has 1.3 billion people and the USA is the most developed country in the world – of course all Chinese want to go there, and when they get there, a lot of them disappear and stay for good. We have the same problem in the UK. As for American Consulate procedures, I once had to get a visa for China in Dublin. I have never met ruder, more ignorant staff anywhere in my life. They’re so unpopular here that the Chinese embassy doesn’t even have a sign outside. Quit whinging.

  51. I live in Ningbo & someone told me that there is one agent have office in Ningbo to apply or to get the appointment fixed in Shanghai for interview, could anybody can help me to give his contact number & address.

    This agent is appointed by US consulate of Shanghai.

    Thanks in advance.


  53. I am a Bangladeshi national living in China since three months. Can I apply for B1 VISA to attend a conference in USA? However I have one year residence permit in China.

  54. I met a female on Plenty Of Fish who is a Fillipine citizen who lives in China. She wanted to come to visit me for 6 months to a year so I sent money to a travel agent to help her get her Visa and travel arrangements. She started the process and told me that she needed $8,040 USD to be allowed to get her Visa. She then said she would give it back to me when she got to America. This made no sense to me and I told her “why”. Is the rules of the Chinese goverment so or is this a scam in the making?
    Thank you

  55. I am 100% sure that it is a scam. That is the mostly used method on online dating site. Don’t send any money and stop talking with her (maybe a man behind the scene)

  56. You are aware that it is the Chinese government that’s denying your EXIT from China, and not the U.S. that is denying your entrance. Yes?

  57. I went through getting my wife and her daughter to the US from Chengdu, Sichuan. Dealing with the US consulate and application process was unbelievably annoying. The consulate was disrespectful and slow beyond belief. I have traveled extensively in Europe and other parts of Asia.
    There are about 60 US visa types. Student and work visas are easiest to acquire. Fiance visas usually take about 7 months for approval. Spousal visas take about 9 months. My advice to anyone considering a spousal or fiance visa is employ a lawyer.
    For US citizens going to China, visas are quite easy. I use A Briggs passport service in Washington, D.C. They can get US citizens a China 90 day visa in as little as 48 hours. I usually get a mainland visa at the train station in Hong Kong, which takes about 24 hours.
    Good luck to anyone trying to obtain a US visa, my experience indicated the US consular officials should have pursued a career in food service or sanitation.

  58. Hi … I am a student in china and by nationality em Pakistani .. I want to apply for USA visa to visit my friends there .. Kindly I need a bit help … I just want to know the Visa application center’s Number where I can contact and ask for their requirements ….. means what documents and about fee and all stuff .
    Please do help me … I’ll be thankful …

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