27 Responses

  1. Brian
    Brian at |

    Makes the consulate in Toronto sound sane!

  2. Sandeep
    Sandeep at |

    wow….you pretty much accurately described the US consulate in Bombay, India.

  3. Gabe
    Gabe at |

    It’s always pretty crazy – I had to go back a second time because I didn’t have cash for the head-shots or the exact address of my hotel.

    Beijing is a lot like the consulate. It’s a great city, but you’ll be wanting for personal space.

  4. Oliver
    Oliver at |

    Looks like is another business opportunity in offering people to use your credit card in exchange for cash.

  5. Nick M.
    Nick M. at |

    I hope the one in LA is more civilized.

  6. Aaron
    Aaron at |

    I picked up a Chinese visa from Chicago about two months ago and it was fairly painless with no copy of the passport required. Only bad thing was that they just left for lunch – never announced it or closed the doors, the people behind the windows just stopped calling numbers and left.

  7. hola
    hola at |

    anybody know the scene in the San Francisco branch, need toget a visa and need it fast, should i just pay a service? what is the quickest i can get the visa? do they have a 24 hr turnaround. wow this is a really useful post!!!

  8. hola
    hola at |

    is is possible to get it while traveling in third countries? i am running outta time thanks to the slow service in adding extra pages to my usa pass… any experience with that?

    what is the best expediter service to use? and the quickest turn around?

  9. oliver2002
    oliver2002 at |

    Sounds like the US consulate in FRA too. They have terminals to enter the application and submit it, copiers, postal vending machines, photo booths etc etc. You would think people read application forms before making the trip :).
    The indian visa application process has become boring since they outsourced it 🙁

  10. Chris
    Chris at |

    I had to get a Chinese visa when I was living in South Korea and the process was just as draconian. For example, you had to have at least six months left on your South Korean “green card” to be eligible for a visa. You also didn’t have a chance to go through a consulate, all the paper work had to be filled out by approved travel agents that took a healthy commission! And then it took two weeks to get the passport back.

    Regardless of how much of a pain it was, I loved my time in Beijing. I hope you got the double entry (when I filled mine out the double entry visa was the same price as the single entry visa for Americans).

  11. Brian
    Brian at |

    Picked up a Chinese visa last year for a long layover day trip to the Great Wall from Beijing. Researched it heavily, jumped through hoops, and paid much $$$. The embassy told us we definitely needed one to leave the Beijing airport for any reason. At the airport, as we departed to find our guide, everyone there told us that we most certainly did not need a visa, and seemed surprised that we had one as our stay in the country was under 24 hours. We did not need it to leave or enter the airport – does anyone know what the true requirement is? Based on my research, I would not have felt prepared without one, regardless of how it worked out.

  12. hola
    hola at |

    for me the issue is that my pass is stuck in the the mailing sys of pass agency in charleston sc, and its been there since oct 14th, and still usps does not have it…

  13. srptraveller
    srptraveller at |

    hola,

    if you can, fly to hong kong (no visa required), find a visa shop, drop your passport off at 9am and have it back by 5pm. Perfect!

  14. srptraveller
    srptraveller at |

    oh and of course this is hong kong, so they accept cash, take a hand written form, and do any photocopies for you included in the price.

    As for security guard, there isn’t one.

    It’s the only way to get a chinese visa 🙂

  15. hola
    hola at |

    some agencies say that it is still possible to get same day service in NYC, is this true?
    i will be in Porgtual, the website says they will not give visas to tourists there, but u think that in a pinch they would? or should i hire a service in porgtual to do it, that is if i can ever get the pass to get to porgtual first. from porgtual i go to china, so looking like i need a new tkt, if i am not off to china….
    thanks for your help

  16. Million Mile Secrets
    Million Mile Secrets at |

    So this is what I missed out on by using an agency to get my Chinese visa.

    @Sandeep – Ha! This sounds BETTER than the US Consulate in Bombay.

  17. hola
    hola at |

    so only overnight in NYC?
    how about san francisco? plus when does it have to be in to do a same day in san francisco?
    Does anyone know about spain or protugal for non residents?
    what a distaster this is turning out to be, 2 pass mailed at same time for extra pages, one took 2 weeks the other a month plus 1 week mailing delay…

  18. ALCO
    ALCO at |

    Thank God for Visa/Passport expediters. The convenience factor is worth the extra expense in some cases.

  19. hola
    hola at |

    can a expediter do a same day turn around even if its not offered on the website?

    at this point i am paying more for the visa than my MR flight.

  20. hola
    hola at |

    SFO has same day service,
    u can fedex it to a friend and they can have it done for u
    that was close…
    well off my MR to PEK

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