Computer Crash Hobbles U.S. Visa, Passport Operations in China (Aug. 1 Update)

errorThe U.S. State Department continues to experience delays in visa and passport issuance due to technical problems. The glitch is with the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD), as reported by the Associated Press. The database is used by the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to approve, record, and print visas and passports to ensure that security checks are conducted on applicants. The delays are worldwide and are not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. At the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, there was a backlog of 60,000 nonimmigrant visas applications waiting to be processed through CCD, sources told our law firm on July 31. 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

Eight Ideas for Reforming China’s Immigration System

npcWith the country’s economic surge, made possible by reform and opening up, China has gone from almost exclusively out-migration to bustling two-way migration. The Exit-Entry Administration Law, enacted in 2012, made strides towards updating the immigration system. But there’s much more to be done. Here are eight ideas for reforming China’s immigration law system in ways that serve the national interest. Some are big, some small. Continue reading