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TOPIC: What it Takes to Stay in China

What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #1

  • Leighgion
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I've said very little about recent developments about my Beijing situation on my other thread outside of photography. This is an update.

I'd known spring was going to be my last semester studying Chinese at the BLCU. A job (or winning the lotto) was my only option to stay in China, and stay with my girl. About three months ago, I had done a serious job interview for a teaching job that went well, but it's been such an odyssey wrestling through all the practical issues that I never felt up to posting about it. Even when talking to my family, I felt it much easier to actually talk rather than type. Bureaucracy and visas are a pain under the best of circumstances, and mine were not the best since I wasn't familiar with the various steps necessary to get rubber stamped to be a foreigner legally working in China. The school was making it happen, but I was always half in the dark about how long each step should take and what needed to happen next. Didn't help that I went home in the middle of it and had to wait for papers to be express mailed to me. No papers, no visa, no visa, no getting back into the country.

Long story short, the paperwork is finally just about over and I should get my passport back next week. I actually started work, against my expectations, several days ago, but the regular schedule hits tomorrow. Under other circumstances, I'd be nervous and excited, but nailing what my schedule is down has been its own odyssey. On top of normal organizational issues, one foreign teacher didn't show up at the last minute, causing a scramble of rescheduling to cover the extra class hours. I've been in survival mode just trying to get through knowing where I'm supposed to be when. I may find time for nerves and excitement in a day or so.

So, I got a full time job that'll keep me in Beijing for at least another year. Photography will be a bit slowed at first, but having an income will ultimately make me more mobile (especially once I'm paid and I can replace my stolen electric scooter, but that's another story). China's week-long National Day holiday is in October, and my girl and I may finally have time to take a little side trip.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #2

  • Friendly Photon
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That's awesome news! Believe me, my wife and I are well aware of the challenges involved in getting a visa to work in another country... we're still at it after many, many years, and it's a recurring process that never seems to end. Congratulations on getting through it successfully!
Photons are your friends! :-)
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #3

  • tiffpix
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Wow Leigh, that is great news! I'm glad it's finally working out that you can stay for a while without hassles. With luck you'll be able to get a longer visa at some point if you'd like to stay in Beijing.

There are tons of pitfalls, and it's nice having the school there to back you up. We're somewhat doing it independently, and it can be crazy expensive with lawyer fees. Good luck in this school year!!

And that really stinks about your scooter, I'm sorry to hear that.
Last Edit: 6 years 1 month ago by tiffpix.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #4

  • blackcloudbrew
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Not much one can say here except that I hope some day our obsession with boarders and fear of immigrants goes away. Personally I hope your papers issues are resolved quickly and you can get back to living your lives where you want to.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #5

  • DamnRedneck
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Leigh , no sound advice on the paper shuffle , most of my International expeience was some years back and the world has changed.
In regard to teaching at college level though don't make the common mistake of getting tooclose to your students. It makes it very difficult when you have to grade them objectively.
Good Luck.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #6

  • J.Scott
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Hopefully having the school as your sponsor or promoter it should expedite your visa application. In spite of the uncertainty I sense that you are excited about future. Sucks about losing your wheels.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #7

  • Leighgion
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Thanks for the support, folks.

To be clear though, actual risk of rejection ended over two months ago to give way to risk of delivery timing being a potential problem. Once past that, there were still steps left that were essentially risk-free, but entailed more scheduling. Just happy that's finally going to be over so all I need to worry about is my actual job.

For all my complaining, from what I can tell China has far fewer different kinds of visas than America and while they make you jump through hoops for them, the hoops take a very defined amount of time. They pretty much either grant you the visa or tell you no and to go away (or apply for a different visa) and you know pretty quickly. Far as the Chinese government is concerned, a foreigner is a tourist (L Visa), on business (F Visa), a student (F for six months or less, X for a year) or a "foreign expert" that is legally allowed to work in China (Z Visa).

I once looked at the US State Dept's website about American visas... bizarre variety gave me a headache. Frank, Tiffany, I feel for you two.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #8

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Leighgion wrote:
I once looked at the US State Dept's website about American visas... bizarre variety gave me a headache. Frank, Tiffany, I feel for you two.

Yeah, they've been through hell.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #9

  • blackcloudbrew
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Well I can say that while it might be a headache, it's not like the gift that keeps giving of being here (in the US) with out papers... I happen to know a few folk with that problem. Regardless, I hope for L, FP, and TP it all get's resolved quickly to their satisfaction.
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What it Takes to Stay in China 6 years 1 month ago #10

  • Pablo
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Congrats Leigh, and good luck with your new adventures as a teacher.

Chinese country side in photos sounds very interesting :cam:
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