Work VISA and Residency Permit
We have finally completed the process with the provincial government and local authorities to secure my wife’s alien worker’s permit, health permit, work VISA, and residency permit as a professional educational consultant to Mei Wen, Inc., a fledgling Chinese hybrid social enterprise that focuses on both for profit ventures and nonprofit service to the rural student. My wife’s permits and VISA are good for three years, but renewable in one-year increments. This is the culmination of many letters of invitation, supporting documents substantiating the need for a foreign worker/expert, work vitae and notarized educational diplomas and additional certification of passport and government approval. Each process required different forms and application process, a health screening, and interview. Without the help of our Chinese Mei Wen colleagues, this would have been impossible. Fortunately, only one work VISA is required for a couple. The next step is to change my tourist VISA to a spouse VISA designation. My tourist VISA is valid for 10-years, multiple entries, 60-day durations. This will require additional documentation and application process, without which, I will need to leave the country and reenter after 60-day stints.
We now have permission to travel to Beijing to being our formal instruction in the Chinese language for the next six weeks. We are very excited. The VISAs allow us to enter the country, but language study allows us to enter the culture and make friends.
We have reached a stage of culture shock, after 30-days of being in country during the Spring Festival celebrations, in which we were largely inept in communicating even basic needs because of our lack of Chinese language skills. Now we can attempt to let go of our ethnocentrism and cultural biases and start to embrace a new culture and new way of living and being as we transition through the doorway of language into a new level of understanding and inquiry. (You can only accomplish so much through eating the food).
We leave tomorrow for Beijing!