I have made my application (through marriage to a local). It remains a torturous and costly process. Once the application was finally completed I was told there was absolutely no guarantee it would be successful (processed in Beijing) and I would only hear back from them if it WAS successful (ie no notification if it failed). They estimated 10-12 months to process. My fingers are crossed, but, if I knew before I started what I know now, I don't think I would have tried for one.