Wednesday, April 19, 2017

There's probably another me out there or the travails of getting a Chinese Visa

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In this day and age of identity theft I am paranoid of everything. I do the online security thing, I meticulously shred junk mail, I have credit monitoring, and I read Reader's Digest horror stories and quake with fear. When facebook quizzes want all my facebook info, I refuse and resign myself to never knowing whether I was reincarnated based on my profile picture. I have Adblockers and tracking blockers and any other kind of blocker that seems like a good idea, including sun block, but that's a different story. 

From all this, I have a deep seating paranoia about providing too much information to any source. Which is why filling out the Chinese Visa application was really hard for me. They basically want to know everything it would take to create a fake alternative me. I really wanted to say no, but since I've already paid for the trip and the only way I can cross The Great Wall off my bucket list is to be able to get into the country, I didn't really have much of a choice. 

In case you were wondering, or are planning a trip to China and need to complete the Chinese Visa application, you must provide:
1) Where you work, including the address and phone number; 
2) Where you were born;
3) Your driver's license number;
4) All your close family member's names, their nationality, their occupation;
5) An emergency contact;
6) How much education you've received;
7) Where else you've been this year; and
8) Whether or not you have serious mental illness (who doesn't these days?).

Then, you must either be able to go to the Chinese Embassy yourself to complete this process or have a trusted agent complete the process for you, a privilege for which you will pay. 

Despite my paranoia I've sent these details out for my Visa. I just hope she's a nice doppelganger. 


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