Visa Meltdown

On Thursday I took an early morning flight to Hong Kong in order to secure my work visa, which I need to legally work in China. The directions I was given were not accurate of where the office was as I totally missed the sign which isn’t clearly labeled for the visa office in the building either. Which led me to miss getting into the office before their lunch break.

This really pissed me off because I know that had my plane landed on time I would have had an extra 30 minutes to get through the door. I stood there thinking to myself, hey, I really should wait in line here otherwise there may be a lot of people at 2 p.m. when they reopen. Sure enough two employees were walking back to the building and rudely told me, we are closed for lunch. {No shit assholes, I can see that}

So I stormed away and tried to calm down while I was figuring out what to do and decided to grab a coffee. I got pissed off texting someone I know which further aggravated the situation and I begrudgingly walked back to the office at 1:30 where about 90 people were suddenly ahead of me. After going through security and being told to go to the third floor, I stood in line to grab my ticket number to wait in line. Only to be told that I needed to fill out the places that were blank on my application, move you get no ticket, with no explanation as to what to put. This is why I was trying to ask in the first place and I couldn’t even breathe.

So I went cursing over to the nearest table holding back tears of frustration as I tried to figure out what to put in the blank sections. I called the recruiter and she said to text her and I did, but her answers were vague and that I should just write what I need to there. I told her I don’t know what I am supposed to write so a little help would be nice. By the time she did offer to help I had already started to fill it in and she asked me why I didn’t tell the guy I was here to get a work visa. I told her he didn’t even let me talk, so I never got a chance to ask. So back I went to the same man said I was here to get a work visa and he gave me a ticket and shooed me away.

I sat around for about an hour until my number was called and the lady behind the screen was very abrupt with me, and sent my documents back to me telling me to put N/A where the blank spaces were. I had to ask a few questions because some things weren’t straight forward with the language of the application and my passport. I found out in order to get the new visa I had to waive my right to my 10 year tourist visa which cost me $200, which I’m a little irked about that to say the least. Then she told me I needed a copy of my ticket and that my photos were no good and she sent me away. I didn’t get a reason why just told to go do that and come back.

So I made a copy of my stupid paper and waited in line to get my visa photos taken, not that they were very expensive, but they are the shittiest legal photo of myself I have ever had and it leaves me really angry that they are that fucking picky about my photo. Apparently my head was too small and it had to be more close up than the Korean headshots I had brought with me. So I look like shit in my future visa photo, which is fan-fucking-tastic. I raced back over to the lady and handed her my stuff, she handed me a receipt and said I could pick up my visa tomorrow and told me it would be $1400 HKD when I was vaguely told by the recruiters it would be $300 HKD ( which is actually just the rush fee.) US citizens need to pay a fee of $1100 HKD for the visa.

Needless to say I was overwhelmed and had a breakdown walking out of the visa office. I only brought 500 HKD with me to cover the visa and I could only pull another 500HKD out of my bank account which would leave me short the remainder for the visa and my transportation costs to get back. I started panicking and tried to contact a friend who didn’t answer their phone. I told myself its okay I have my debit card with me, I can just use that. I got to my hotel and realized  that I didn’t bring my American debit card with me, but as soon as I opened my wallet I realized I only had my credit card on me because I didn’t anticipate having this problem. So I called my credit card company to see if I could do a cash advance overseas at an ATM, but I would need a pin and I’m pretty damn sure that I never fucking set one up. So I called up and found out that I could do that, but it would take 7-10 business days to have a pin mailed to an address in these states. My other option was to walk into the bank and do a cash advance and take on all of the fees which really aren’t worth it for how much money I actually needed to take out.

I had one last wail until I called my friend one last time to see if I could borrow money until payday. They said no problem and I promised I would pay them back promptly once I received my paycheck. I really did not want to have to call the recruiting company to ask for a money advance to pay for my visa. A lot of this trip will be reimbursed once I give them the receipts (Luckily the flight and hotel are paid for by them) so I do not have to worry about that. I felt relieved to know I had cash to pay for this stupid visa so I hurried to the ATM I was at earlier to grab the rest of the cash before I forgot or something else went wrong.

Luckily I felt a bit relieved knowing I had enough for tomorrow, but not enough to really do anything in the city. So I just walked around meandering until I found a small mini mart to grab some food in and headed back to the hotel. I’m so worn down from today and frustrated by the whole fiasco that I would never ever recommend coming to China the way I did to anyone else. I’d also argue for better instructions from those trying to give them to you when no one else is going to be assisting you through the whole process. Lesson learned is that the Chinese embassy is rude basically wherever you go so you need to be as polite as your hot temper can handle without screwing yourself over.

Today was a rough day. It is once of those days where I really wish I had a friend nearby to complain to or just have a hug. It was also a day where I really asked myself, what the hell am I doing here? I guess if I don’t like it, I just have only 6 more months to wait until I can head home.

Also plan your finances better, don’t get a trainer if you are going to have to get a visa the same month and your balance is off for the next week. It will be a very cheap and boring week for me.

Luckily my visa was processed without a hitch in 24 hours.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Sorry about all the fucken bulls hit you had to endure 🤬, but you did it, even through the frustration and tears, you did it..You are a very strong lady, and with great perseverance you accomplished your goal 😉..Ya know Nina, we all make mistakes, and decisions that turn out wrong, and getting knocked down, BUT !, we get up, brush ourselves off and keep right on going. 🙄 I use to look back at what the hell did I do this or the other for, and I kept falling backwards, 🤕until I realized that past is gone..So, I keep going forward, and you as well, are a far stronger individual then I, and I know you won’t allow anyone or anything to get in your way of your goals or dreams..🤗 I am sending you a bunch of hugs 🤗 🤗🤗, So, be well, stay safe, and know there are many people that are your network and that love you.😘.Me included..
    Love, Aunt Millie 🐾

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