Visa? You Mean I Need A Visa?

Only three more weeks until I go on vacation to China. Another friend who just happens to be going to China at the same time (on a different trip), called me up and asked how to go about getting a visa for China, and he was a little worried because he didn’t realize he needed one and he was pressed for time. ‘Visa?’ I said,  ‘You mean I need a visa?’

Guess I did not read the fine print on my electronic ticket. After debating the many places to fly into China, and whether to spend extra money or spend eight extra hours flying instead, I was so glad to finally decide on an itinerary that I didn’t take time to read the fine print.

So I called up my travel buddy to ask whether he suggests getting a visa in the mail or visiting the Chinese embassy in N.Y. in person. And he said,  ‘Visa? You mean I need a visa?’

After speaking with several people I determined that doing it through the mail is not risky, despite what my other friend was told. I was going to send it out this past weekend, express. Until I got to section 4, where you must fill in where you are staying, including a letter of invitation from someone in China, or hotel reservations.  I was tempted to leave these sections blank, until I did a quick online search for the previous visa service and by accident found an explanation of each section of the visa application, and read that this section MUST be filled out, or you will be denied. I’m not sure if they actually call the hotel, so for now I’m assuming I have to have CONFIRMED reservations. Which of course, we do not have. We’ve been trying to get into a specific hotel, but it’s packed, so far, probably due to it’s close vicinity to the eclipse on the day we want to book. So, it looks like, when we finally do get a reservation, I’m now going to have to get rush service.

Of the hundreds of competing online visa services, I think I could improve their customer service dramatically, just by my one-time experience as a consumer.  This won’t be the case if you call DDA.  Thank goodness getting the right information isn’t always as surprising, contradictory, or difficult  At DDA, your questions will be answered quickly and intelligently. You can relax and focus on more important things while DDA makes sure everything else is taken care of.