Quick Takes on U.S. and China Visa Law News


Number of Immigrants Smuggled from Shenzhen to Hong Kong Soars (SCMP, Aug. 18): A people-smuggling operation used Shenzhen as a staging area for hundreds of undocumented immigrants–mostly from Bangladesh and Pakistan–to enter Hong Kong by boat in the last year. Some of the arrested migrants have filed claims for asylum.

Random Urine Tests Now Part of Beijing Night Life (ABC News, Aug. 16): As part of a crackdown on illegal drug use, police conducted urine tests on customers at Beijing’s Dos Kolegas bar on Aug. 8. Several foreign nationals were among those detained. They were told they would be detained for two weeks then deported. “No lawyers. No right of appeal. No telephone calls allowed.”

Hidden Refugees (Karoline Kan, That’s Beijing, Aug. 2014): Profile of Ahmadi refugees in Beijing, waiting for UNHCR to place them in a third country, since China doesn’t enforce its constitutional and statutory provisions on refugee resettlement. / For more on Ahmadi refugees in China, see Pak Muslim Minority Seek Refuge in China (Daily Star, June 20). Kan’s article also includes links to other profiles in the That’s Beijing “New Global Migrants” series.

Backdoor Entry Past China’s Visa Barricades (Forbes, Aug. 14): “Last month I discovered a backdoor to the usual Great Wall of visa barricades. Those landing in China en route to a third international stop can stay for 72 hours, I learned… no consulates, letters, questions or payments.” / A journalist discovers China’s 72-hour transit visa waiver program.

Chinese Immigration Officers Study Document Fraud, Identification of Trafficking Victims (International Organization for Migration, Aug. 12): IOM is hosting a workshop for immigration officials from the Ministry of Public Security on how to detect fraudulent documents and how to identify victims of trafficking, especially women and girls from Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia being trafficked for pruposes of sexual exploitation and forced marriage. Continue reading

H-4 Spouses Waiting for Employment Authorization Rule

housewifeThe Obama Administration wants to grant work authorization to some H-4 spouses of H-1B temporary work visa holders, according to a May 12 proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security.  Nearly 13,000 people submitted comments during the 30-day comment period, mostly arguing that the proposed rule should cover all H-4 spouses. Now, we’re waiting for the interim or final rule to be published and go into effect. Continue reading

Computer Crash Hobbles U.S. Visa, Passport Operations in China (Aug. 10 Update)

errorDue to technical problems, the U.S. State Department is experiencing delays worldwide in visa and passport issuance. Visa applicants should be prepared for delays between their interviews and visa issuance. The glitch is with the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), which is used by the Department to ensure security checks are conducted prior to approving, recording, and printing visas and passports. Continue reading

Is China Mulling a Points System for Work Visas?

points systemThere are signs that China is considering adopting a points system for foreigners applying for work visas. Zhang Jianguo, head of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, in a June speech, said SAFEA may introduce a points system to evaluate applicants for foreign expert licenses. Similar proposals have circulated regarding the separate employment license track for foreigners. Continue reading

U.S. Visas for Medical Treatment

medicalMore Chinese patients are checking into travel abroad for healthcare needs, helped by a rising demand for better quality medical care and sophisticated treatments, according to a recent article by Caixin. Below, I look at the driving forces behind the increase in so-called medical tourism, some differences between the U.S. and Chinese health care systems, the doctor-patient relationship in the U.S., and the U.S. visa requirements for healthcare visits. Continue reading

Top 11 Ways to Prove a Valid Marriage for Immigration

Do you have an immigration case which will require you to prove the validity of your marital relationship to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or to a U.S. Consulate? For example, are you seeking to (a) immigrate based on a spouse’s Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, (b) get a K-1 visa based on a fiance’s Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance, or (c) file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence? This article describes 11 things you can do to better document your relationship. Continue reading