Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Processing my Visa辦簽證/Medical Forms Update

Making more progress with my visa! I was discouraged last time when the Walgreen's people were somehow unable to take a sufficient visa picture of me in after 30 minutes ((shakes fist)) so I just got a refund and left... I have pulled about my visa form once again!

So I've mentioned before, but the Chinese visa application is complicated, and the "instructions" are not much of a help. I have it mostly sorted out now, thanks to MIA!!, but I just wanted to point out a sort of interesting feature, Part D of the Supplementary Visa App Form. This section says, "If you are applying for a visa in a country or territory other than the country of your nationality, please fill out the following." That seems pretty straightforward, like this box would apply to everyone. Then in box 2 asks "What kind of visa or residence permit of this country or territory do you hold?" This question seems irrelevant  because if this visa application is for a country other than that of my nationality (as stated above), wouldn't the answer be "none" ?? THEN it asks for the "number of your visa [for this territory] and its expiration date." Well that just takes the cake because if I already had a visa, why would I be applying for it here with this form??

After talking this over with my colleague, she had the idea that this portion might be relevant for residents of special economic zones like Hong Kong or Taiwan, who might have two passports or something like this. I think that this weird visa app is really an artifact of the incredibly complex resident situations of the area. It only happened just a few years ago that direct flights from China to Taiwan were established, and China still sort of considers Taiwan its territory, and what is HK even?? These issues make answering questions like "have you visited China before?" much more difficult on paper.

Also, just an update about the medical procedures. I found a city run clinic that will do a TB Test for almost half the price of the on campus health center!! The SF CDC&P has a travel clinic that will do the test for only $40 (SFSU Health Center charges $70). They do a drop in clinic which is open M-W&F (not available on Thursdays). Of course it is downtown, and you will have to go down there twice to get it read, but for that price I think it is worth it. Click this link to go to their website and check it out.