Monday, October 20, 2014

Vogons. Stupid, stupid Vogons.

So, Chinese visa. Pretty straight forward process:

  • Step 1: The Chinese employes applies for a work permit license.  It takes 15 working days to process after submitting all the documents, including an original copy of a non-criminal record and a copy of a medical check issued by a medical center and accepted by the Chinese embassy. 
  • Step 2: After getting work permit license, the Chinese employer needs to apply for an authorized invitation letter. The work permit license is necessary in this step. It takes 7 days to get it.
  • Step 3: The Chinese employer delivers the work permit license and authorized invitation letter by express to you once we get them. You can receive both in 3-7 days.
  • Step 4: You apply for a class Z visa at the nearest Chinese Embassy/Consulate, taking along the two certificates sent by the school. It will take one week to get Z visa.
The end. Easy as pie.

Turns out pie is a lot harder to pull off than you'd think.

The first hiccup came with the police check. I got it, no problem - had had it, in fact, for a few weeks so popping it in the mail was no big. Now, I couldn't afford to send it express (the cheapest was $79+tx) so I sent it regular post. On September 25. Last Tuesday (October 14), when it still proved MIA in the mail system, I sent a second one. The mailman hates me. Both are still somewhere in the system, holding the whole delightful process up. Grrr...

The second hiccup came with the medical check. The school says I need the medical check to be a particular form provided by the embassy and filled out by a pre-approved medical centre. No problem. Call the embassy. They tell me I don't need a medical check and thus can provide neither form nor doctor info.  So, I relay this to the school. The school responds by explaining the whole process in detail, telling me the why and how of each step, and reiterate that, yup, they need a medical check carried out with a specific form by a specific medical centre and that the embassy should provide both. So I email the embassy because, hey, maybe I explained it wrong and at least if it's in black-on-white type they can, I dunno, group think the answer or Google translate or something. The embassy emails me back two lines: "You do not need to provide your medical check. Ask your employer for more details." I forwarded this delightful thread to the school's HR chief and screamed into a pillow. *AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!*

So, in exactly one month I need to be standing in my new classroom teaching my batch of munchkins. And my visa process is still stalled on Step 1 thanks to Mr Mailman holding the police check hostage and the medical check being stuck in a bureaucratic logic circle.

Pie. What a bitch.

If you need me, I'll be binge watching Supernatural and ignoring the queasy knot in my stomach.

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