Steve's China Blog

Friday, February 22, 2008

Three Years in China

A few days ago was my third anniversary of coming to China. Sometimes it's hard to imagine that I have been here for three years. Time flies when you're having fun (and when you are confused alot. Haha!). Actually, I had arrived in China earlier but I was not officially in China until the paperwork was done. As mentioned in an earlier post I had to get my work visa renewed, so I thought I would post what I had to go through to complete that...

Usually the first work visa is the hardest one to get, and then the subsequent ones are not too difficult... fill out a form, pay the fee, and it gets sent off to the government for approval. Since I moved from Dalian to ChengDu there was more involved than normal to renew my work visa.

First off, I needed a Proof of Residence document from the police station near where I live. Foreigners are suppose to do this within 24 hours every time they move, but for some reason both my landlord and I forgot about it when I moved to ChengDu. Oops. No problem... I got that document and the police didn't give me a rough time about being 7 months late.

Next, I needed to get some passport-sized photos. This should have been easy, but there are no photo places near where I work, and when I went looking for photo places downtown after work they were all closed. I ended up walking around town in the cold and the rain until I finally found one that could take my picture and process the photos that evening.

After that I needed to go get a physical exam. I don't like going to hospitals, and have always tried my best to avoid going to a Chinese hospital. When I arrived in Dalian in 2005 and got my physical I had gone to a local clinic, and like most places in China, it was very crowded. Luckily, my HR here in ChengDu sent me to a hospital for foreigners, so it was not too crowded. This should have been a quick process, but I did not bring some things I needed (photos and passport), so we wasted a lot of time getting those items.

After a few days the hospital had my results, so we took that along with my other documentation and headed down to the local immigration office and gave them all of that. They took all of that stuff, had me fill out yet more paperwork, and that was that. A short wait of 5 days and I got my passport back with my new visa. The whole process took about two to three weeks (not including the holiday).


  • Overall, that sounded like it was a lot easier than trying to get anything done at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. They would have made you come back several more times with documentation that didn't exist or had nothing to do with the paperwork.

    By Anonymous Les, at 12:51 AM  

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