Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Kimi Coming to England

 As I am writing this Kimi (my girlfriend) is on her way to the UK having just departed from Dubai Airport.  This is the second time she has come to England -- the first being last September when we came together for a short holiday.  Although too short, we had a fantastic time introducing her to my family and doing a bit of travelling around Edinburgh, London, The Lake District and of course my home-town Manchester.

This time is only for a short holiday too, but until we are married Kimi cannot leave her job and come and live with me.  The main reason for this is the one and only gripe for her and fellow Chinese citizens travelling outside of China: the visa.  For Kimi to come on holiday to the UK she has to apply for a visitor's visa (sometimes known as a tourist or travel visa).  Now when I, as a British citizen, go to China on holiday I also need a visa.  This consists of travelling to the nearest Chinese Embassy or consulate, paying about £30, answering a double-sided A4 form with questions such as "Do you have a criminal record?" and "Do you have any fatal diseases?" (I've never really seen the point of questions like this, I'm pretty sure they check out all such information regardless of whether you say "Yes" or "No"), oh, and a couple of passport photos.  But for poor Kimi, as a Chinese citizen, she has to compile a portfolio of information just to get a visitor's visa for a short holiday.  Take a deep breath as I list the requirements of her visa application (just remember this is for a holiday, not for emigration):

  • One completed and signed 10 page visa application form
  • A current and previous passport and photocopy of recent passport
  • One recent passport photo
  • Household register
  • An invitation letter from my father allowing her to stay in his house and be responsible for her
  • My father's utility bill, birth certificate, photocopy of driving licence, bank statements, home insurance, and council tax bill.
  • Evidence of current employment status including the organization code of the company and business license.
  • Permission of leave from her boss
  • Certificate of employment and income
  • Evidence of her financial status which meant freezing 50,000RMB (approximately £5,000) in her bank account
  • Bank statements for the last 6 months
  • Evidence of her relationship with me including boarding passes of recent holidays, emails sent between us dating back to 2007, and photographs of us together at various locations and times
  • A photocopy of my passport and Chinese working visa
  • Payment of 715RMB (approximately £70)

Shocking isn't it?  And all of this does not even guarantee a successful application.  Luckily Kimi has received hers on both occasions which should stand us in good stead for the future.  It could be a myth, but I have heard that applications can be rejected on a random basis, they just have to reject some for no apparent reason.  For the lucky ones who are successful in their visa applications, they receive a lovely sticker in their passport saying they can stay in the UK for 6 months -- Kimi only needs three weeks.

After all of this hard work, I hope Kimi is enjoying her 20+ hours of sleepless aeroplane travel from Wenzhou to Manchester....

The joys of travel


IS said...

Now I'm shocked they didn't ask for what your dad had for lunch on July 13, 1978.

Have a great time and looking forward to your update about her visit.

Chris said...

Lol, I know, it's just unbelievable isn't it?

Thank you, and I'll let you know what happens!!

Mabelp said...

Wow, what if a Chinese girl in Mainland doesn't have a bf there? Does it mean she can't go to the UK then?

Chris said...

Hi Mabel! It's not easy, but there are other ways to come to the country for people living in mainland China. I think the most common one is travelling as part of a package holiday with a tour guide. It's very easy to get the visa then as the travel company do it all for them. I suppose other ways would be to try and get a job offer, study, or be very very rich!!

Crystal Tao said...

So... next time Kimi is coming, she will stay forever?

Chris said...

That's the plan!! We're still taking one step at a time, but I think by the time she comes next time it'll be to live with me. That means I need to start making money -- lots of money!

Sunny Sweet Pea said...

Wow that sounds like a lot of hard work. I hope you two have a great few weeks together!

mabelp said...

"By the time she comes next time it'll be to live with me. That means I need to start making money -- lots of money?" Wow, it seems very tough for you, but hope you can finish your studies smoothly first.

IS said...

Where is the update, Chris?

Chris said...

Hey IS, wow, I just don't know where the time has gone. I keep meaning to write a new post but I've been so busy working on other things recently that my blog has really taken a back seat. I'm making a new website and a blog to accompany that too.

Kimi had a great time here and I was very sad to see her go back home again. I will write a full post next week after my exams!!

Hope you're well!

IS said...

Good to hear from you. I like your new look/picture. Very British, and a lot more fashionable.

Chris said...

Thank you :) In fact it was Kimi who really wanted me to cut my hair like that. But I really like it now!

Paul and Dave said...

Hope you can be together in the future! :)
I'm new in the world of blogs, please can you help me by supporting me ? ;)
Very nice blog :D