Chinese Embassy in Manila has really made quite a record in denying visas to some applicants for the past year for whatever reason that we know nothing about. At first I didn't understand why and somehow I incorporated the recent hostage tragedy in 2010. But knowing that there are lots of Filipinos rare overstaying in China, I now understand why the need to be strict with visa is implemented.
When my daughter applied for Chinese visa in Manila together with my sister-in-law, we made sure that her papers were all complete, notarized, and authenticated as needed. I even opened a local bank account here in China with a deposit US$ 4,000 so that I can get a bank certificate as one of the requirements. Apart from that, we also banked in 50,000 pesos in my sister-in-law's bank account in Manila as one of the requirements on her part. In the end, they were only given a 10-day Chinese visa. I was disappointed. After all those hassles... my daughter who was intending to stay with us for more than a month was only given a 10-day visa! My sister-in-law asked the one on the counter why they were given that short of a stay, she was replied with "be thankful that you were given a 10-day visa when most of the applicants were denied of a visa". Guess that was enough to shut us all up, eh?
So fast forward... my independent daughter came to Beijing unaccompanied almost 2 weeks ago and the first thing that we did the day after her arrival was to go to Public Security Bureau (PSB) Exit-Entry Department right away and apply for a visa extension. I prepared all the necessary papers, even had her registered in the hotel so we can could get a registration slip (to prove that she's staying with us) as one of the requirements. But we were asked if we have the bank certificate that shows we have deposited RMB 20,000 (US$ 3,000) in my bank account. Unbelievable! Of course, I didn't have the bank certificate at that time and told the guy that I don't have it. He told me straight to the point - "Sorry, no money, no visa". Sigh.
Two days after, I went to the bank and deposited RMB 20,000 into my account just to get a bank certificate with a 3-day validity (that means I can withdraw the money back after 3 days), then went back to PSB. This time, they couldn't find my daughter's name in the registry of Shangri-La Hotel Beijing because of some wrong information. Whaaaat the hell?!? Luckily, we didn't need to go back to the hotel to have it fixed. I just made some phone calls to the hotel and they hurriedly uploaded the updated information into the PSB's database. Soon enough, they gave the yellow receipt with the visa collection date on it... what a relief!
Yesterday was the visa collection day and it was such a breeze. We just went to the cashier to pay for RMB 160 then went to the visa collection counter and voila! Mini-me's visa was extended until April 30. We'd have to extend her extended visa till her departure before mid-May. And so, we now know that they'd be needing the same set of requirements for an extension of a Chinese tourist visa. We know what to do the next time we apply her another extension. As for now, we'll enjoy and savor each minute that she's here with us... indeed worth the hassle! :)