“Use Science to Fight Ebola”: Guangzhou Policy Towards African Migrants

West African Passengers OnlyFew places in the world display greater diversity than the district of Xiaobei in Guangzhou. In the local mosque, founded by a Silk Road trader who was Prophet Mohammed’s uncle, Friday prayers bring together Muslims from China, Central Asia, the Middle East, and West and North Africa. On Sundays, a dozen informal churches run by Africans promise congregants eternal salvation and this-worldly wealth. Believers and non-believers rub shoulders as they barter in Xiaobei’s busy alleys and trading malls. I have done research among African traders here for five years, and the area still fascinates me greatly. Continue reading

U.S., China Agree on Longer Visa Validity (Updated)

crowded-air-space The U.S. and China have mutually agreed to increase business and tourist visa validity to 10 years and student and exchange visa validity to 5 years. That according to President Obama’s announcement (video)  on November 10 at the 2014 APEC summit in Beijing.

Both governments put the policy into effect immediately. But China hasn’t even fully implemented its prior 2005 agreement to increase visa validity to 1 year, creating a question as to whether most Americans will get the new long-term PRC visas. Continue reading

Why Aren’t Immigrant Visas Issued at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing?

New U.S. Embassy in BeijingCurrently, only nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) are issued by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Guangzhou is the only U.S. consular post in China that issues immigrant visas (IVs). Why?

The decision to stop issuing immigrant visas in Beijing was explained during a 1989 interview by Elizabeth Raspolic, Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing from 1986 to 1988: Continue reading