Shedding Light on the Visa and Immigration Process

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By Kevin Harris

AmCham China is dedicated not only to helping its members resolve questions within the workplace, but also with daily life abroad as well. Many of these questions deal with the visa-related issues member families face in China and the US. To shed light on these issues, on July 6 AmCham China hosted James Chiang, Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Beijing Field Office, and his colleague Cara Davis for an informative discussion on the US visa application process and how their office could help.

Chiang’s Beijing Field Office has jurisdiction over Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and Mongolia. Despite serving a large population and area, Chiang was adamant about his office’s commitment to customer service and a simplified application process. For example, the Beijing office provides an online platform available for scheduling informational appointments and visa interviews.

Attendees presented Chiang and Davis with a number of their own visa issues. Many were US citizens with spouses who were Chinese nationals. Others had been lawful permanent residents in the US who had been away for some years and wanted to know how retain (or renounce) that status. There were also questions about how visa decisions today would impact pending applications and future immigration or business travel to the US. Chiang and Davis were happy to offer their insights and also explained that the necessary information and forms covering a range of visa-related hypotheticals are available on the USCIS website.