Don’t let your single-entry visa get stamped too early (Cassius W)
It was May 2014, and I was about to begin my first job in Beijing to teach English. With my invitation letter and entry certificate in my passport, I decided to visit my friend in Japan for a few days, flying from London to Osaka via Beijing. This was my first flight out of Europe, so I was understandably nervous. My plane from London arrived late in Beijing, and I hadn’t the slightest clue how to ask where I should go to transfer planes, which added to my sense of helplessness. A flight attendant told me that I needed
to collect my luggage at
the Beijing airport, despite the fact that I would be transferring to Osaka.
So when I arrived, I headed straight for the luggage collection area. Because I had a Z Visa, somebody stamped my single-entry visa and I was allowed to go through immigration and pick up my luggage. I then left China about an hour later, bound for Osaka. As we crossed the Sea of Japan, I thought it was a little strange that somebody had stamped my visa, but I hoped for the best. I visited my friend in Osaka for five days and had an amazing time, but when I tried to fly back to China, I was barred from leaving.
I was told my visa had been made void by the stamp it had received.
I was told I would have to fly back to the UK and reapply for another work visa.
So, I had to fly all the way back to my home country, reapply for a visa, work three jobs to make up for the lost money and rent a new apartment.
It was the biggest, most painful visa run that I’ve ever had to do. Three months later, I made it back.
At my English school, I became “that guy” who took eight months to start his new job. Poor preparation, poor Chinese and lack of sleep can cost you thousands of pounds!