Friend to a Foreign Teacher asks:
You’re the first person I thought of when my fellow foreign teacher told me his problem. He is engaged to the most wonderful woman, and she’s Chinese. In July they applied for her fiancee visa to the States so that she can go back with him in summer 2010. Everything seemed to be going fine, but then last night they discovered that she is certain to get a blue card (which means a delay on the application, instead of a red which means ‘all set,’ but I’m sure you know about that!) because she is a member of the Communist Party. As I’m sure you’re aware, joining the Party is almost required if you want to advance in a lot of careers, and her involvement is basically nil.Apparently there’s still some old Cold War era law on the books making it very difficult for Chinese Party members to get a visa. It seems there *are* exceptions to this rule, but they aren’t certain, they’re hard to prove, and they can take a long time, and my coworker doesn’t know how much extra time it would take. Understandably, he and his fiancee are really worried about this.
When he told me about this this morning, you were the first person I thought of, because you and your husband have been through this process. Did your husband have a Party membership to contend with? Do you know anyone who has dealt with this problem?
Ah, the visa application process. This brings back memories — less of nostalgia, and more of the dread that comes when the government can decide if your Chinese loved one goes to the US with you. :-/
My Chinese husband wasn’t a Party member, so we never dealt with this issue. But, fortunately, a lot of others have, and they share their experiences on a website I discovered during my experience going through the US immigration process — Candle For Love, which has a Communist Party Issues page (among many, many others covering just about every visa problem you can imagine).
Candle For Love is like a virtual immigrations lawyer for any American bringing their Chinese fiancee or spouse over to the US — but better, because A) it’s free; B) the knowledge is China-specific (unlike mass-market books on the subject); and C) they even have a sub-forum where you can actually interact with the immigrations officers at the Guangzhou Consulate.
If your friend is new to Candle For Love, besides reading up on the Communist Party Issues, they should visit the FAQ section — it’s literally a virtual encyclopedia on everything you ever wanted to know about getting your fiancee’s/spouse’s visa (but didn’t even know to ask), from applying to what to bring to the interview (I love their Kitchen Sink approach).
I wish your friend the best of luck! But, then again, with Candle For Love, I don’t think he’ll even need the luck. 😉
UPDATE from Friend to a Foreign Teacher: she got a deferral during their appointment in Guangzhou because of the Party affiliation, but she had quit the Party shortly before and prepared all her documents, so about a month later, she got the red slip. So, happy ending! 🙂 They’re going back down to GZ to get her visa in a few weeks.
Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China (or in Chinese culture)? Every Friday, I answer questions on my blog. Send me your question today.