Forbes just came out with an article, Navigating China’s Visa Problems, on the increasing difficulty in securing a long term China visa and on the impact that is having on foreign entrepreneurs.
The article starts out talking about how in the old days, all one “needed to travel in and out of China for business was a tourist visa,” which enabled you to “live and run businesses in China for decades” by shuttling “back and forth to Hong Kong…every six months or so….” Now, if you are not “appropriately registered, ‘the police could close you down in one day,’ says Dan Harris, an international lawyer based in Seattle who specializes in doing business in China.”
Now here’s the “Finding A Mass Murderer” part of my title. In the Forbes article, the link from my name takes the reader to an article, entitled, “5 bodies, including 3 children, found in northeast Houston,” involving on the scene “Houston police Lt. Dan Harris.” That is not me. This is me.
The article then quotes me as saying the following:
“The Chinese government is pushing to become a nation of laws,” he adds. “One way to do that is by cracking down on foreigners because it increases nationalism, which helps keep the ruling regime in power.”
What I was trying to say here is that China is increasingly becoming a nation of laws and on top of that, it enforces its laws much more strictly against foreigners than against its own people. There has been a run up in Chinese nationalistic sentiment and the government’s cracking down on visa violators is serving them well in winning the hearts and minds of its populace. I see China enforcing its laws to allay the nationalistic sentiments of its people, not necessarily to fan it.
The article nicely sets out the current requirements for obtaining an L or F visa:
Visit the Chinese embassy or consulate-general in the jurisdiction where you live and provide the following information: your passport (with at least six months of remaining validity and at least one blank visa page), a completed application form, one passport photo, round-trip air tickets and hotel reservations. (If applying for an F visa, you must also show your invitation letter.) You could pay a middleman to handle the paperwork, but that would probably take the same amount of time and cost an extra $100 to $200.
Ms. Lindner is right about using middlemen for your visa, but if you live far from a city with a Chinese embassy or consulate, using a middleman is oftentimes well worth it.