Don’t let your sin­gle-en­try visa get stamped too early (Cas­sius W)

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - VISTA -

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!

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