You have my sympathy and I wish you luck.
My experience with the visa process in Chengdu has been similar. I, too, am a veteran who served his Country honorably and yet has been totally frustrated by the visa system. I'm not naïve enough to believe that I am owed anything by our government for my service, namely because service people are there to serve and be used and discarded when their usefulness has ended. Just the way the game is played...
A little background... I work primarily in the States in healthcare. I work 8-13 week assignments which allow me to spend the majority of my time in Kunming. We went to the consulate in Chengdu to get my wife (Chinese) a tourist visa so that she could accompany me on one of my assignments. I brought a pile of documents with me to the consulate. My wife is a successful business owner in Kunming. I brought along the licenses for our businesses, deeds for the properties that we own, papers to show that we had a son that we would be leaving behind during our trip, bank account info, etc. They were not even looked at. The consular official told me I could continue to apply and appeal their decision but constantly shook her head in a negative manner to indicate that it would be an effort in futility. She did suggest to me it might be wiser to save my tourist application fee monies and instead to apply to immigrate. I contacted several immigration lawyer in the US about the matter and was told by each that a tourist visa would never be granted to my wife because once in the US "WHY WOULD SHE EVER WANT TO RETURN TO CHINA?". I was told that no matter how much documentation I provided, there was no way we were going to "prove" that she would return to China. We would never get this visa. The whole thing is ludicrous, because we really were not looking to immigrate, just visit. Immigration is something that we might have pursued at a later date, but was not something that we were contemplating pursuing at that moment. Now, almost 2 years and several thousand dollars later, I am still playing the game, jumping through their inane hoops, .sending papers and money to the various agencies that operate under the authority of the Dept of Homeland Security. An incredibly frustrating ordeal for myself and my family, who are seriously questioning why they would want to go to a country which certainly doesn't seem to want them.
To top it all off, on my flight back to the states, I sat next to an Israeli who was heading to the US to visit her boyfriend and then upon arriving home, I was introduced to a friends' new husband (Australian) who was visiting the US on their honeymoon 1 week after they were married (in Australia). Contrary to the Declaration of Independence, whose principals we fought to protect and uphold, not everyone is created equal..
GOD BLESS AMERICA – LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BTW JJ. I'm currently in AZ. Don't know if you've been here lately, but I would definately keep my official US issued ID handy!!!
A man was denied US passport because "image too yellow".
wow, this all sounds horiffic. I'm British and my wife is Chinese. We were considering going to visit my sister in the states some time in the next year. Is there really no point in bothering applying?
To All - - it appears that the "unwritten policy" of visa rejection goes way beyond the Chengdu Consulate. We are looking for a "whistle-blower" who will/can confirm this "unwritten policy" Anyone??
Cheers - - JJ
Suggest you send your application directly to Beijing - it's a rather random process. As you're a British foreigner - you and your Chinese wife may receive preferred status. Our government seems to exhibit a pattern of disrespect for our veterans, as you can see from JJ and Damiao's posts.
@Greg.: Sorry 'Mate' I have both British and Canadian passports, and my wife is Chinese. At one time, we could cross the US border by waving one's driving license through the window (I once waved, successfully, an American Express card). Today, actually, since 9/11, the US (I mean the government) has a phobia of foreigners, and this is also reflected in the US/Chinese border - I could tell quite a few stories of discriminatory behavior in Canadia and US embassies, not to mention the Chinese PSB (but that goes without mention). ;-)
My advice is; Visit Asia whilst you have the opportunity.
@JJ: What a wonderful idea - what reward would you suggest. ;-)
@laotou: Oh my G*d, "... preferred status". I hope that Greg. will keep in touch.
We just sent following e-mail to Chengdu asking them to investigate fraud in their own organization:
Consulate Chengdu Website - - under Visa Interview Procedure: "The Consulate General treats allegations of fraud or malfeasance in visa processing very seriously." If you have specific information about an incidence of fraud or malfeasance, please contact our Fraud Information Unit by email. (Details have been forwarded to various officials. They will be made avail to you by us should you need/desire)
Fraud is generally defined in the law as an intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage. Fraud may also be made by an omission or purposeful failure to state material facts, which nondisclosure makes other statements misleading.
Interviewing officers committed fraud in cases cited in accompanying correspondence. Collecting a fee for a Visa Interview - - and then not successfully conducting that interview, to wit - - not examining documents listed in Visa Interview procedures as pertinent to proving applicant does not intend to immigrate to US.
Charging a fee and then not complying falls in the definition of fraud. Since you view fraud "very seriously" - - please investigate this matter.
Following is letter to Ambassador Huntsman re: this case:
We then copied orig ltr to Ambassador of 21 July.
I hate to let the air out of your sails JJ, but your letter will serve only to entertain the consul's employees over the coffee break. The interviewer is not bound to look at your documents. He is trained to quickly spot irregularities during the interview process. He has supreme power to approve or deny your visa on the spot. He simply has to claim "I felt she was dishonest with her answers and found no reason to waste time examining false documents." Case closed. The interview is not a court room. The interviewer has complete control over the entire process. Your input, other than to answer his questions are not valid or relevant in any way.
That is how the US govt set it up, and they proudly stand behind their policies. They could give a crap about you or your status because they don't have to. Your letter will go on the pile they receive everyday.
My wife's visa was denied the first time because he said she lied and that she is not married to me. A completely insane excuse. But he did not believe the marriage books were real. A phone call to Kunming records would quickly verify authenticity. Not going to happen, we lose.
2 weeks later we changed nothing, just paid again for another interview. The interviewer did not even ask my wife 1 question. He simply said come back at 4:30 to pick up your visa.
have you tried writing your congresscritter?
you're more likely to get a response from
their staff than from the embassy.
To "No Way" and All - - I have contacted 2 Senators, 4 other politicians, State Dept, VA, GAO - - plus CNN, FOX, NY Times, Wash Post (plus threw in Gov of AZ). I am also in contact with 3 lawyers who specialize in Immigration matters.
I ain't going to give up!~!
Cheers - - JJ