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Chinese-Americans get easier visa path back home

By Bai Tiantian (Global Times)

08:48, August 31, 2012

A consul at the Chinese embassy in Washington said on Wednesday that Chinese-Americans who were born on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan are now able to extend their visa to China to more than two years, according to the Hong Kong-based China Review News.

The new regulation, initiated in August, also applies to the applicant's spouse and children, as well as the Chinese citizen's foreign spouse and children.

"To obtain an extended visa, family members need to provide an invitation letter, a copy of the ID card of their invitees on the mainland, and documents to prove their relationship to the invitees such as marriage or birth certificates," said Chen Xiongfeng, Consul General of the Chinese embassy in US.

The invitation letter can be handwritten, printed, facsimiled or scanned, and must contain the signature of the invitee, according to the website of the embassy's visa section.

Li Xiao, a senior software engineer in Boston who became a naturalized US citizen 22 years ago, told the Global Times that she visits Beijing every summer as her husband lectures in Tsinghua University as an oversea scholar.

"Much as I enjoy my trips back to China, obtaining a visa on a yearly basis has proved to be a hassle," said Li, who usually uses a visa agency.

"It's a strange thing that I can travel to so many countries in the world with my US passport but going home to where I was born now requires a visa," Li added, "An extended period could really help."

Officials at the Chinese consulates in New York and Washington DC either declined to comment on the issue or could not be reached as of press time.

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