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Tourist visa for my Chinese girlfriend

#1 kerry_and

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:57 AM

Hi Guys,
Quick background, my girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years. I want her to visit my 98 year old grandma and 88 year old grandpa in November. We are applying for a tourist visa, with the intent on staying in the states for approximately 3 - 4 weeks.

I am currently living and working in Hong Kong. I am a US citizen an have a HK ID, with a valid working visa
My girlfriend is a Chinese citizen, and works in Shenzhen, and does not make much money at her current job (nor does she have much saved)

I have a few questions:

1 - I will be paying for the trip, and I was wondering if she should bring some of my US bank statements with her to the interview? I have a significant amount of money in the bank for savings (more than a high end sports car). My parents are much wealthier than myself, so should she also bring bank statements of theirs? Do you guys forsee any issues in the visa approval process?

2 - The guangzhou visa waiting time is approximately 2 days, according to their website. How much time can we expect it to take from having the interview to receiving the visa?

3 - are there some practice interview questions on this forum for a tourist visa? I just saw for the K1 and such.

4 - in the section "People traveling with you", i listed people that we will be seeing and spending time with in the states... should I have not listed them there?

5 - anything I need to know? I have been browsing this website, and with a lot of the info, it makes me very nervous... all she wants to do is visit...
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#2 JohnR!

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:30 AM

I am currently living and working in Hong Kong. I am a US citizen an have a HK ID, with a valid working visa
My girlfriend is a Chinese citizen, and works in Shenzhen, and does not make much money at her current job (nor does she have much saved)

I have a few questions:

1 - I will be paying for the trip, and I was wondering if she should bring some of my US bank statements with her to the interview? I have a significant amount of money in the bank for savings (more than a high end sports car). My parents are much wealthier than myself, so should she also bring bank statements of theirs? Do you guys forsee any issues in the visa approval process?

2 - The guangzhou visa waiting time is approximately 2 days, according to their website. How much time can we expect it to take from having the interview to receiving the visa?

3 - are there some practice interview questions on this forum for a tourist visa? I just saw for the K1 and such.

4 - in the section "People traveling with you", i listed people that we will be seeing and spending time with in the states... should I have not listed them there?

5 - anything I need to know? I have been browsing this website, and with a lot of the info, it makes me very nervous... all she wants to do is visit...


1 - Your bank statements, or that of your parents' will not help. For tourist visa purposes there is no such thing as a 'sponsor' at any level, and she has to stand on her own financial feet. She can bring her bank statements to the interview if she should have anything in savings, to help her show evidence that she can pay her own way.

2 - It depends on the delivery method. Someone else in this forum might have better insight.

3 - The interview questions for K-1 and tourist visas are completely different. She will most likely be asked why she wants to come to the US, for how long, where she will stay and they likes. I find that her answers will be more credible if she answers them without practicing. Even the truth has a phony ring to it when it is rehearsed.

4 - She should list you only, if you are traveling together. The people with whom she will stay will be covered in the 'where/with whom you are staying' part of the interview.

5 - For better or worse, the interviewing officers are very suspicious of anyone with a solid relationship with an American citizen. Ironically, 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' is not recognized by the USCIS as a valid relationship supporting of an immigrant visa. In some cases, that she has an American boyfriend might be a red flag, ironically. Since you are traveling together, she will most likely be asked details as to who you are and where you fit in her life. The one thing she can do, to mitigate the consular paranoia that she will somehow remain in the US, is to bring along a copy of your HK ID and your resident visa. In that manner when she tells them that she is traveling to the US to meet her boyfriend's family, she can also show that her boyfriend's life is in HK, so there is little risk the two of you are planning to stay in the US together.

It will be a fine balancing act for her but I believe that she has a shot, considering your ties with HK, which in addition to hers might convince the interviewer she does not pose a risk to enter the US with the intentions of not returning to China.

Keep an eye on this thread, I am sure others will have more suggestions!

Good luck!!
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#3 Ning

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:56 AM

Hi Guys,
Quick background, my girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years. I want her to visit my 98 year old grandma and 88 year old grandpa in November. We are applying for a tourist visa, with the intent on staying in the states for approximately 3 - 4 weeks.

I am currently living and working in Hong Kong. I am a US citizen an have a HK ID, with a valid working visa
My girlfriend is a Chinese citizen, and works in Shenzhen, and does not make much money at her current job (nor does she have much saved)

I have a few questions:

1 - I will be paying for the trip, and I was wondering if she should bring some of my US bank statements with her to the interview? I have a significant amount of money in the bank for savings (more than a high end sports car). My parents are much wealthier than myself, so should she also bring bank statements of theirs? Do you guys forsee any issues in the visa approval process?

2 - The guangzhou visa waiting time is approximately 2 days, according to their website. How much time can we expect it to take from having the interview to receiving the visa?

3 - are there some practice interview questions on this forum for a tourist visa? I just saw for the K1 and such.

4 - in the section "People traveling with you", i listed people that we will be seeing and spending time with in the states... should I have not listed them there?

5 - anything I need to know? I have been browsing this website, and with a lot of the info, it makes me very nervous... all she wants to do is visit...

These things always come down to the same thing. The persons ability to comply with the strongest ties rule. She must prove beyond a doubt that she MUST return. If she doesnt understand how to do that she wont have to worry about the questions at the interview.
# 1 Displaying your wealth may work in China but is a bad idea at her interview. Just shows reasons for her not to need to return. Actualy you and your parents have zero to do with the tourist visa process.
#3 The interview is about her reason to travel and her reasons for returning. These are case specific so there is no list.
#4 This will be a huge red flag when they realize she is traveling with her USC B F of 3 years. She must make sure to tell them you are living in HK and will return. The question is will they believe her.
#5 All people with any type of visa are considered intending immigrants. She must offset that concept or be denied. She may be a victim of the history and on going fraud related to her country. You should be nervous.
#6 Keep in mind she could be denied entry at the POE even though she has a visa. She would be questioned again there. It is there that her time in the USA is granted.
If she is granted the visa please post the experiance here so others may understand how she did it. It doesnt happen often.
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#4 kerry_and

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:04 AM

1 - Your bank statements, or that of your parents' will not help. For tourist visa purposes there is no such thing as a 'sponsor' at any level, and she has to stand on her own financial feet. She can bring her bank statements to the interview if she should have anything in savings, to help her show evidence that she can pay her own way.

2 - It depends on the delivery method. Someone else in this forum might have better insight.

3 - The interview questions for K-1 and tourist visas are completely different. She will most likely be asked why she wants to come to the US, for how long, where she will stay and they likes. I find that her answers will be more credible if she answers them without practicing. Even the truth has a phony ring to it when it is rehearsed.

4 - She should list you only, if you are traveling together. The people with whom she will stay will be covered in the 'where/with whom you are staying' part of the interview.

5 - For better or worse, the interviewing officers are very suspicious of anyone with a solid relationship with an American citizen. Ironically, 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' is not recognized by the USCIS as a valid relationship supporting of an immigrant visa. In some cases, that she has an American boyfriend might be a red flag, ironically. Since you are traveling together, she will most likely be asked details as to who you are and where you fit in her life. The one thing she can do, to mitigate the consular paranoia that she will somehow remain in the US, is to bring along a copy of your HK ID and your resident visa. In that manner when she tells them that she is traveling to the US to meet her boyfriend's family, she can also show that her boyfriend's life is in HK, so there is little risk the two of you are planning to stay in the US together.

It will be a fine balancing act for her but I believe that she has a shot, considering your ties with HK, which in addition to hers might convince the interviewer she does not pose a risk to enter the US with the intentions of not returning to China.

Keep an eye on this thread, I am sure others will have more suggestions!

Good luck!!


Thanks for the prompt response

1 - Do you think that it would benefit to have me dump some money into her bank account before she has an interview? Do they just need an "overall balance" type of bank statement?




based on the responses thus far... it doesnt look good in my opinion. Do you think it is a better route to go? We will probably get married sometime in early 2013...
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#5 kerry_and

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:15 AM

These things always come down to the same thing. The persons ability to comply with the strongest ties rule. She must prove beyond a doubt that she MUST return. If she doesnt understand how to do that she wont have to worry about the questions at the interview.
# 1 Displaying your wealth may work in China but is a bad idea at her interview. Just shows reasons for her not to need to return. Actualy you and your parents have zero to do with the tourist visa process.
#3 The interview is about her reason to travel and her reasons for returning. These are case specific so there is no list.
#4 This will be a huge red flag when they realize she is traveling with her USC B F of 3 years. She must make sure to tell them you are living in HK and will return. The question is will they believe her.
#5 All people with any type of visa are considered intending immigrants. She must offset that concept or be denied. She may be a victim of the history and on going fraud related to her country. You should be nervous.
#6 Keep in mind she could be denied entry at the POE even though she has a visa. She would be questioned again there. It is there that her time in the USA is granted.
If she is granted the visa please post the experiance here so others may understand how she did it. It doesnt happen often.


The only reason I would "display my wealth" is because I was under the impression that the US Gov would want some sort of proof that there is somebody in the united states who can help her in case she were to run into some sort of health problem... nothing else was meant by that.
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#6 JohnR!

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:16 AM

Thanks for the prompt response

1 - Do you think that it would benefit to have me dump some money into her bank account before she has an interview? Do they just need an "overall balance" type of bank statement?




based on the responses thus far... it doesnt look good in my opinion. Do you think it is a better route to go? We will probably get married sometime in early 2013...


I would not do that. Normally if they want to see bank statements they would ask for at least three month's worth and would compare those to her income to assess if her bank movements are in agreement with her declared income. Your deposit may raise a red flag. Worse than that is that anything out of the ordinary - as such a deposit would be - might end up creating unnecessary suspicion in the minds of the interviewers. The reason sometimes they get fixated on bank statements is to avoid individuals coming to the US to launder money for criminals. However, there is no problem in her disclosing that you are going to pay for her airfare. You need not provide evidence of that and her word should suffice.

IMHO, you will never know until you try. I would count on the fact that you are a resident of HK and that your trip would be to introduce her to your family. Truth is that if you wanted to bring her into the US to stay. all you would need do is marry her and get her an immigrant visa. You would not need to go through the ringer to get her a tourist visa.

If this fails and if you do get married next year, than you can apply for an immigrant visa for her, in which case, she would enter the US with a green card in hand, or if you are planning to marry in the US, you could apply for a fiancee visa, so that she can travel to the US with the intent to marry and stay. Considering the two of you will have been in a relationship for four years in 2013, you should have no problem getting her an immigrant visa.

Again, it can go both ways but IMHO it is worth a shot.
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#7 kerry_and

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:28 AM

I would not do that. Normally if they want to see bank statements they would ask for at least three month's worth and would compare those to her income to assess if her bank movements are in agreement with her declared income. Your deposit may raise a red flag. Worse than that is that anything out of the ordinary - as such a deposit would be - might end up creating unnecessary suspicion in the minds of the interviewers. The reason sometimes they get fixated on bank statements is to avoid individuals coming to the US to launder money for criminals. However, there is no problem in her disclosing that you are going to pay for her airfare. You need not provide evidence of that and her word should suffice.

IMHO, you will never know until you try. I would count on the fact that you are a resident of HK and that your trip would be to introduce her to your family. Truth is that if you wanted to bring her into the US to stay. all you would need do is marry her and get her an immigrant visa. You would not need to go through the ringer to get her a tourist visa.

If this fails and if you do get married next year, than you can apply for an immigrant visa for her, in which case, she would enter the US with a green card in hand, or if you are planning to marry in the US, you could apply for a fiancee visa, so that she can travel to the US with the intent to marry and stay. Considering the two of you will have been in a relationship for four years in 2013, you should have no problem getting her an immigrant visa.

Again, it can go both ways but IMHO it is worth a shot.


Thanks for the reply gegel,

My thoughts were pretty much what you said. However, I worry that if she gets denied for the tourist visa, that it will significantly complicate things when we get married, and apply for a visa in the future. I have heard that once you get denied once, that it is really difficult to get one after that.

As for next year, we will get married in china. Is it easier or harder to get a visa if we get married in china?
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#8 Ning

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:36 AM

The only reason I would "display my wealth" is because I was under the impression that the US Gov would want some sort of proof that there is somebody in the united states who can help her in case she were to run into some sort of health problem... nothing else was meant by that.

Your understanding of the process causes you to think in these terms. You make these statements about how much you and your parnets are worth. Nothing wrong with that but it hasnt got anything to do with her getting a tourist visa. In fact its not desired because it appears that you and the parents could make it possible for her to stay in the USA and not worry about income.
What you meant as opposed to the way it sounds may be exactly why she is denied. She will be asked and must know exactly what to say.
You posted the questions and we have to assume you are looking for helpful informed answers. Thats what I meant in my responces.
I see in another post you again bring up money. If you were to " dump " money into her account it would serve as a huge red flag. I know these ideas seem valid but you must proceed with caution in your actions. Keep in mind they have seen it all and know how to figure out what is going on. As far as I know the U S govt could care less about her health.
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#9 Ning

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:40 AM

Thanks for the reply gegel,

My thoughts were pretty much what you said. However, I worry that if she gets denied for the tourist visa, that it will significantly complicate things when we get married, and apply for a visa in the future. I have heard that once you get denied once, that it is really difficult to get one after that.

As for next year, we will get married in china. Is it easier or harder to get a visa if we get married in china?

If she were denied for a tourist visa it will not affect her ability to be granted a different type of visa ( C R 1 ? ) in the future. I was denied 3 times for a tourist visa and had no problems with my immigrant visa. One has nothing to do with the other.
If you were married in China she would have little problem getting a C R 1 visa. In fact you as a legal resident could use the DCF method saving a lot of time. Check here on VJ in the China portal for Chinese related info. There are many members that have done what you want to do.

Edited by Ning, 23 July 2012 - 11:48 AM.

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#10 JohnR!

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:46 AM

Thanks for the reply gegel,

My thoughts were pretty much what you said. However, I worry that if she gets denied for the tourist visa, that it will significantly complicate things when we get married, and apply for a visa in the future. I have heard that once you get denied once, that it is really difficult to get one after that.

As for next year, we will get married in china. Is it easier or harder to get a visa if we get married in china?



The main issue with getting a tourist visa, is that all applicants must prove they possess ties strong enough with their home countries, which suggests to the interviewing officer that they will return home after their visit to the US.

The implications are that were she coming to visit you in the US, as a boyfriend, she would most likely be denied, regardless of her situation. As it stands, the fact that you live in HK should help, because there is no reason for her to stay. The fact that you reside in HK should also suggests that as you need to return to HK, as does she. All the more reason for her to be upfront in her interview.

Once you get married in China, if she needs a tourist visa, so long as you stay posted in China, the same restrictions would apply.

The only way she can immigrate to the US is through you, and as long as you remain a resident outside the US, that will be her strong tie to her home country.

Having said that, if she is denied a visa now, it should have no impact on any future applications, so long as the reason for her denial is not something that should be considered of a moral nature - i.e. lying to the officer, misrepresentation, etc..
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#11 jlcandrlf

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:48 PM

**Just my experience, in Brazil...maybe not the same in China :)

I just went through this process with my boyfriend. I live and work in Brazil and have a contract here until June 2013. My boyfriend does not have 'strong ties' to Brazil (money, great job, real estate) but was approved based on the packet we created. His strong ties to Brazil ended up being me since I had to return to complete my contract.

He went with the following to his interview:

*all of his bank documents, job info,etc.
*Letter from my parents inviting him to visit and promising to pay his room and board (we stayed with them) - the letter was mailed to us in Brazil from their address in the states. He brought the letter and envelope with postmark.
*Letter from me stating that I live in Brazil, work here, have a contract until 2013, information about how we met, how long we have dated, that I wanted him to meet my family, that I will pay for things in the states if he needs me to, etc.
*3 months paystubs from me
*my Brazilian Bank account for 3 months
*my US bank account for 3 months
*my Brazilian Car loan
*my Brazilian tax doxument for 2011 (Brazilian W2)
*Offer of contract extension and original contract (I have been extended two times)
*Copy of Brazilian driver's license
*Copy of Brazilian Vehicle Registration
*Copy of US Passport with Brazilian work visa
*Copy of Brazil Identification Card
*Resume (to show history of continuous work - not proof, I know :)
*Pictures of us from various times in our relationship (4 or 5)
*Copies of some chats we had (4 or 5)

I think that is all! The interviewer looked at his bank information and pay (not enough to support a trip to the US), asked about what he did for work, read the letter from my parents, read the letter from me and looked at a couple of the other documents (I think the contract for Brazilian work) and then gave him a Visa :)

I know this is a ton of information to gather, but even though the interviewer did not look at everything she could see that there was significant supporting evidence.

Good luck!!
Jaime
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#12 Mike and Lily

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:12 PM

Guangzhou is really tough. If she's going to visit her boyfriend and family, she doesn't have a chance. If her family has money and she goes as a tourist, maybe she has a chance. Or maybe as student if she were qualified. My in-laws were turned down twice there for tourist interviews so we gave up. I wouldn't even waste your time and money trying to get a tourist visa for her as your girlfriend. They would never grant it on that basis. If you want to get her here as your girlfriend or wife, you'll need to go K1 or K3. Sorry to be so negative but they are very strict.
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#13 selina2010paul

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 09:09 PM

Good luck to you and your fianc嶪's efforts to get a B2 Visa. My wife and I tried twice to get B2 Visa for her to come to the US to see my father who became seriously ill in December, just after our marriage. In spite of a letter from his doctor telling all family members to come "before it is too late...", her bank statement and proof of her employment as a health professional, proof of home ownership and young son and other family members in China, she was turned down on both occasions -- considered as a high risk for not returning to China. On the other hand, a retired woman with a high school education (who is a friend of my wife's and attended our wedding) with no young children, renting her home recently married a gentleman from central Florida. She was given a B2 visa with no trouble. Perhaps she was considered a low risk because she has few marketable skills for employment and does not speak English. So, you won't know unless you try.

Your fianc嶪 has to prove to the officer that she is a low (or no) risk to stay in the U.S. ilegally. Documents showing current employment, bank accounts, property and business ownership, young children staying staying in China are things that help. You should also pray that the officer assessing her application is not constipated or recently had lost an argument at home or some other reason to feel grumpy and push an arbitrary decision in the wrong direction. Again best of luck.

P.C.

P.S. fortunately my father rallied somewhat and is still with us. We both hope that her Visa journey be completed in time for her to meet him. Perhaps that will happen...
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#14 alex_dc4

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:39 AM

Well let me Ask you that , does she have very strong ties to her own home country ? I mean can sh proof that she will be going back to her country after her visit is over .. If she can proof this then she will have a good chance of getting the visa .. Also they want to see that she has enough money for the trip .. And when they ask who is travling with her .. It means who is travling with her .. It does not mean who will she meet and spend time with in the states .Good luck ..oh one more last thing brother .. If u r planning on getting married soon .. I recommend that you applyfor a finace visa/ k1 visa as soon as you can .. Good luck
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#15 bt1

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:14 AM

Thanks for the reply gegel,

My thoughts were pretty much what you said. However, I worry that if she gets denied for the tourist visa, that it will significantly complicate things when we get married, and apply for a visa in the future. I have heard that once you get denied once, that it is really difficult to get one after that.

As for next year, we will get married in china. Is it easier or harder to get a visa if we get married in china?

NO, this should have no impact on immigrant visas down the road. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) applied for a tourist visa twice to come and visit and was denied both times. The following year we applied for a K1 visa and had no problem getting it. I would say your chances of getting the spousal or fiancee visa are much higher than getting the tourist visa.
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