Step 1: Apply for a visa

The first question everyone asks me when I tell them that I’m going to China is: “Do you need a visa for that?”

In short, the answer is yes. I have been working on my application for a Chinese work visa for a few months now and I’m about to finally submit everything! After countless documents and signatures, I have compiled everything I need to apply for a visa.

(I guess technically step 1 was getting a job, but since that happened so many months ago, I figured we could skip it. )

Here’s a short list of some of the things that are required to apply for a Chinese work visa: work permits, background check, a bunch of random forms that explain everything you’ve ever done in your life, a TEFL (Teaching

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Getting the actual diploma (instead of just this empty case) on time was one of the hardest part of applying for my visa

English as a Foreign Language) certificate, and a college diploma.

I had to get things checked, notarized, state authenticated, and finally Chinese consulate authenticated. Shoutout to my visa officer for helping me figure out exactly what I needed to do!

After a lot of driving (think something like 12 hours of driving over the span of 2 weeks), a flight to Chicago and back, and months of completing and compiling documents, I am finally ready to leave for vacation.

If you need a better idea of how I handled getting all of this done, here’s what happened:

Did I think that putting together a visa application would be easy when I started this in February? Uh huh

Did I book a flight to Chicago exactly 8 hours before it left? Yes.

Did I almost lose my passport the day before? Also yes.

Did I get lost trying to find the entrance to the Chinese consulate when I got to Chicago? Definitely.

The Chinese Consulate in Chicago

As of today, my visa application is (or will be, once I get back home) officially submitted, and now it’s time to wait! Now it’s time to wait, travel, and get ready to make the big move in August!

Special thanks to: my aunt Lisa for notarizing my TEFL certificate for me, Harleigh for talking on the phone with me while I drove all around the state of Iowa, my parents for listening to me worry about not getting everything done in time, Luther for getting my diploma done early, Evely for allowing me to stay at her house in Chicago when I went to the consulate, and everyone else who has encouraged me (and listened to me complain) during this process.

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