Integrity Legal

22nd July 2010

This author recently discovered that the United States Embassy in China has announced that those seeking non-immigrant visas to the United States of America may seek such travel documents at any US Consulate in China. To quote directly from the website of the American Embassy in China:

Residents of China may apply for a non-immigrant visa at any U.S. Consular Section in China, regardless of the province or city of residence.  We have Consular Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang.

Although the basic application process is the same, specific times and application procedures at each visa issuing office can vary.  Before applying for a visa, applicants should check each post’s web site for procedures specific to that post.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China provide the following estimates of the next available non-immigrant visa interview appointment date for your reference.  Please be aware appointments are scheduled continuously, and the next available appointment date can change dramatically on short notice.

All appointments must be booked through the Visa Information Call Center at 4008-872-333, which has the most current information about appointment wait times.  Specific appointment procedures can be found here: http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv_appointment.html.

The information below is a rough guide only.  Please note this information was last updated on 21 Jul, 2010.

Business/ tourist visa appointments (B1, B2, and B1/B2 visa classes)

As of the date above, this post is booking… … appointments for the following date:
U.S. Embassy Beijing 3-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Chengdu 19-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou 17-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai 23-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shenyang 31-Aug


Student (F, M, J visa classes)

As of the date above, this post is booking… … appointments for the following date:
U.S. Embassy Beijing 28-Jul
U.S. Consulate General Chengdu 6-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou 27-Jul
U.S. Consulate General Shanghai 19-Aug
U.S. Consulate General Shenyang 4-Aug

Appointment wait times for particular groups such as petition-based employment applicants, group leisure tours, Amcham applicants, and public affairs passport holders may be different.  Please contact the Visa Information Call Center at 4008-872-333 for more information.

If you require an earlier visa appointment for immediate travel for urgent medical treatment, to meet the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019 form, or for another emergency reason, please see our information about expedited appointments http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv_expedite.html.

The information on how to apply can be found below:

The U.S. Consulate in Chengdu:
http://chengdu.usembassy-china.org.cn/appointment.html

The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou:
http://guangzhou.usembassy-china.org.cn/niv-how-to-apply.html

The U.S. Consulate in Shanghai:
http://shanghai.usembassy-china.org.cn/how_to_apply.html

The U.S. Consulate in Shenyang:
http://shenyang.usembassy-china.org.cn/consular5.html

The U.S. Consulate in Hongkong:
http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov/niv_apply.html

It is interesting to note this recent policy shift as most US Diplomatic and Consular missions in other countries require the applicant to apply for their non-immigrant visa at the Consulate with jurisdiction over the place of residence of the applicant. However, these jurisdictional rules may be altered by officials of the Department of State depending upon the prevailing circumstances in the host country. That said, China is a unique country insofar as it has a large landmass as well as a massive population. As a result, special considerations probably ought to be taken into account when discussing those issues associated with optimally serving those Chinese nationals wishing to travel to the USA.

As the economic and diplomatic relationships between the USA and China become increasingly close, Immigration matters will become more important for those conducting Sino-American business or for those from China who simply wish to visit the United States for recreational purposes.

It should be noted that the above announcement would seem to only apply to those seeking non-immigrant visas such as the B2 visa or the F1 visa. Therefore, the above information does not appear, at the time of this writing, to be applicable to those seeking an Immigrant visa such as a CR1 Visa or an IR1 Visa. Furthermore, it would also seem as though those seeking visa benefits under the K visa category (K1 visa, K2 visa, K3 Visa, K4 visa, etc.) will not be able to “forum shop” for the Post of their choice for the ultimate visa interview.

For more information about US Immigration from China please see: US Visa China.


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