dear china, let me in, please please please!
April 19, 2006 6:47 AM   Subscribe

remember that time i was going to china? i need to pick up our visas (which are ready), but it looks like the visa office is closed (for 'office overhaul') for the next 2 days, and our flight leaves before the office opens friday! help!

the SO is going to the embassy itself (the visa office is separate) to plead with someone to get our visas, but we've got no clue what she should do besides tear up and beg beg beg.

we booked through expedia, and they're telling us the next flight out is about 7 hours later in the day, and puts us there sunday evening instead of saturday afternoon. lame!

i guess not much can be changed about the second part, but does anyone have any suggestions about if there's a way to get our visas?
posted by soma lkzx to Travel & Transportation around China (10 answers total)
Sorry, there's little to be done. Did you intentionally leave picking up visas until the last minute?
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:41 AM on April 19, 2006

Does the Chinese embassy have your passports? (my Chinese entrance visa is pasted into my passport). What is your port of entry? At Hong Kong Intl., you can get an entrance visa with about five hours wait.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2006

Go through a consulate instead. For example, assuming you're in the US, if you're in Washington, there's a Chinese consulate in New York and in Chicago.

Ask for rush delivery. The consulate here in LA will do 2 to 3 day turnaround for $20.
posted by maschnitz at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2006

Also, make doubly sure you have all the requirements ready before you arrive: the passport photos, a hotel name to list, etc.
posted by maschnitz at 10:06 AM on April 19, 2006

oh, totally misunderstood, sorry...

The Chinese government shouldn't be detaining your passport unnecessarily. Maybe your government or embassy can help?
posted by maschnitz at 10:08 AM on April 19, 2006

BTW what airline are you flying? I know you booked through Expedia which is telling me "DANGER DANGER! Non-changeable non-refundable booking code!". You'd be well advised to call the airline(s) and start begging.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:19 AM on April 19, 2006

Best answer: This got resolved! Let's hear the story: chinese embassy not so helpful. apparently the gf couldn't get past the Level 1 Boss who had very bad english and couldn't understand the situation. Time for her to change gears!

What about the visa office itself? It's closed! But if you think an "office overhaul" sounds like something where there'd be someone inside, you'd be right! He hears the story and sadly states there is nothing he can do to help out the situation, they're closed blah blah.

Aaaand then comes the tears.

Aaaand then comes the guy dialing a bunch of numbers, talking to a bunch of people, punching in a couple passcodes, and getting the visas.

The Crying Girl defense may be hackneyed, but it's apparently pretty damn successful.
posted by soma lkzx at 10:30 AM on April 19, 2006

posted by luriete at 10:34 AM on April 19, 2006

Hurrah! Go crying girl go!
posted by maschnitz at 10:46 AM on April 19, 2006

I was going to suggest to have the girlfriend start crying. Don't know why, but that always got things moving in my travels in China (sadly, I had to rely on female co-travelers for this to work, but work it did).
posted by qwip at 2:02 AM on April 20, 2006

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