A Chronicle of an Elderly Traveler- Part III A 90 day Visa for BIL
As I mentioned in Part I, the loss of a Passport is like experiencing a nightmare. It was after we finally got BIL’s new passport and began to process his China travel Visa that the worse part of the nightmare began to escalate toward an unforeseen climax.
A traveler can go to many places and countries in the world with a Passport, but China also requires a travel visa. You need a Visa to enter China for whatever reason you have to go there, whether to visit, go to school, to work, etc. Also, there are many types of Visas with different lengths of stay from one day to a month, 60 or 90 days with multiple entries.
To process the China Visa we went to a travel agent with all of the ID documents, including a Hawaii State ID with 2 proofs of residence. She told us that BIL could enter China either as a Visitor with 60 day multiple entry or do a Family Visit Visa with a 90 day multiple entry. The 3 year Renewal Visa on his old passport was not going to be even addressed.
Of course, the latter was a better option for BIL which was to go with the 90 day 10 year multiple entry Family Visit Visa. It was definitely NOT what he wanted! It made him a VISITOR to China and not the returning foreign resident he had been for years! It required a family sponsor for BIL and enlisted the help of a close Shanghainese cousin who wrote a letter of invitation including an ID photo and copy of his Chinese citizen identification card as instructed by our travel agent in Honolulu. (All BIL’s immediate family, his four brothers live in the U.S.) It was over a month from the time we got his Passport in early June, to the time the China Visa was appproved by the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles on July 11, 2019. And remember, he had arrived in Hawaii on May 23, 2019 for a 3 week visit.
During BIL’s extended visit in Hawaii, he enjoyed family luncheons and dinners, graduation celebrations of two grandnieces, attended a beautiful garden wedding and reception of another grandniece, and a 4th of July picnic at another brother’s home in the country. He loved our daily walks also. BIL connected with a couple of cousins and an old friend from high school, spending a day with him. There were also outings to Waikiki, an ukulele festival, and drive to the Windward side of our island of O’ahu.
Then there was a visit to a Hospital Walk-in Clinic that accepted non-insured outpatients where he had a check up for his diabetes and given a prescription for medicine he ran out of. Without any dental insurance, BIL also had 6 dental appointments at a free Hawaii dental clinic for indigents. He only had to show his new Hawaii State ID and Social Security card. The kind dentists at the Aloha Medical Mission cleaned his teeth, filled cavities and did extractions. BIL had not seen a medical doctor or dentist since he left the U.S. for China in 2003.
His lawyer and middle brother-in-law had mentioned to BIL about moving into an apartment nearby where they lived, but no arrangements were made for his return rescheduled to August 2, 2019. So for the month of July I looked into a senior care facility where he could live when he returned to Shanghai.
In searching the Internet, I found a website for an organization that operates adult care centers in Shanghai and contacted the administrator. It is affiliated with a U.S. company that has built all levels of senior care facilities in the U.S., China, and India. There is a great need for senior care with the over 2 million elderly population, that is out of a total population of over 25 million people in Shanghai. The monthly rates and residential units are considerably less than what it cost in the U.S. for similar services and living quarters. BIL and I read the description of services and programs in Xuhui, Shanghai where there were vacancies; another adult center in Shanghai was filled. We hoped that the place we found would serve BIL’s needs and provide a place for him to live when he returned to China.
So arrangements were made for BIL to be picked up at the Pudong Airport and taken directly to the adult health care center. Everything went like clockwork in getting him back to his beloved city that he had adopted. It was his wish to live out his years in Shanghai and we were able to get him back there.
VISA EXTENSION. When BIL was settled in, the priority set before him was to get help to extend his 90 day entry Visa and to do it as soon possible. He expected that his lawyer friend and in-laws, who encouraged him to sell his Condo recently would be the ones to help him out. BIL told me that the lawyer told him that she had a contact in the VISA department, but she has not come up with anything yet, only to say that it was not possible to restore BIL’s former 3 year renewable Visa.
PERMIT FOR PERMANENT RESIDENT. The travel agent strongly advised that BIL apply for a permit to be a permanent resident. A long term VISA may be possible if he can get this done.
( PLEASE COME BACK TO FIND OUT WHAT BIL DID!)