Time goes so fast! Before you know it, it’s almost April and things need to start getting done soon. This week I finalized the invitation for the visit, and guess what? Changing it again and again was not fun.
Well, maybe you start thinking why would you concern about getting this invitation done so desperately? It is because that’s what the government needs to issue these “visitors” passports. Maybe you guys don’t know about this, the Chinese Red Cross is actually government controlled, so anything they do has to follow what the government says instead of American Red Cross which is donation and non-profit based. This is kind of an exchange trip between two counties, so now you know how big of a deal this visit is.
Today I want to talk about how different it is for us to come to America as an international student.
There are about 8 different categories getting a visa, they are Business & Tourism (B1/ B2 visas), Studying in the U.S. (F and M visas), Exchange Visitors (J visas), Employment (H, L, O and P visas), Dependents (F2, m2, J2, L2, and H4 visas), Press & Media (I visas), Transit (C visas) and others. Different types of visa will require different types of documents and in terms of how to apply and how long it will take it varies as well. Today I just want to share a little bit about my own type of visa, which is the F-1 student visa.
As an international student, as soon as we got accepted to a University, the school will issue us an I-20 form, and that will be our legal document. It will by legally allow us to stay in the United States during the school year, which normally will be up to 4 years. After getting the I-20, we will start first by making an appointment with the American Embassy in China. (There are only 6 place you can go get your visa interviews in China, Beijing, Shen Yang, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Hong Kong) Because of the limited places can issue visas in China, so lots of people from other parts of the country will always have to travel long hours to get to the Embassy.
As everyone probably knows, there are 1.3 billion people in China, so you can imagine the vast of people trying to do their interviews. According to the Embassy five years ago (the first time I went for my visa interview), every day they have around 800 people trying to get an American Visa. As the relationship grows between China and America, you can just imagine how many people each day were there for the interview then. Normally for business or exchange purpose, the interview should be scheduled one month earlier, and for student visa like I have, two month ahead is recommended. You can tell how hard for us to get this interviews now, and because of the mass amount of people try to come, so normally there is about 50% chance for you to get denied. However you can always re-apply, but it just takes time again. True story, because of the visa got denied, one of my friends’ brother end up lost his chance to study at UCLA with full scholarship. So for us, getting visa is super important.
I am just pray to God that things will work out that the Chinese delegates can come here on time! Wish us luck guys~~~
Word of the day: 签证 （Qian Zheng）. This means Visa in China!