Parent Visit

Visa Application

The visa type is B2. Need the following:

  • Invitation letter from you.
  • Form I-134 from you indicating your willingness and capability to support them financially in the US. This form needs to be notarized.
  • Letter showing your status in the US, from your school or employer.
  • Photocopy of your passport and visa.
  • Evidence showing your parents' connection with China: other children in China, ownership of a property in China, employment information (for those who are not retired), etc.

For those who have been to the US and have returned to China before their visa expired, they can get visa to the US through the local office of Zhong1 Xin4 Bank, by simply providing passport, visa application fee, and an additional processing fee.

Sightseeing

If you parents don't understand much English, then the guided tours will not be pleasant for them. One thing you can do is to do as much research as you can beforehand to get background information. Then you can be the tour guide. Some places, such as the United Nations headquarter in New York, offer guided tours in Chinese. Other places, such as the Pentagon headquarters in DC, and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, offer a brochures in Chinese.

Many places have discounts for senior citizens for admission.

Everyday Activities

Things that can make your parents' stay more interesting:

  • Watch Chinese video tapes if you can borrow or rent them.
  • Get Chinese newspapers from local Chinese stores.
  • Get online to read Chinese news etc.
  • Get involved in a local Chinese church.
  • If possible, purchase a satellite dish that can receive CCTV international channels. You need to live in a place where there are no tall buildings or trees that block the signal from reaching the dish. You need to know the angels (vertical and horizontal) of the sattelite relative to your area. The other challenge is to get the cable from the outdoor satellite dish to inside your house or apartment. You may be able to use an existing hole in the wall originally for the electric power line. You may be able to squeeze it through the space around a door or window. Or you may have to drill a hole (not a good idea if you are renting).

Visa Extension

If for some reason your parents want to stay beyond what their current visa allow, they'd better apply for an extension to their visa:

  • I-539. One form for both parents, because one can be claimed as the dependent of the other.
  • A fee ($200 in 2007). Only one fee is needed for both parents.
  • Reason for extension.
  • Evidence for planning to go back to China, including photocopy of return flight ticket with return date, and similar evidence as those used when applying for the visa.
  • Original I-94 forms.

Application for visa extension should be filed at least 45 days before the visa expires. It may take INS a long time to process the application. If by the time your parents are ready to go back to China and you haven't heard from INS (thus the I-94 forms are still at INS), don't worry. The airline will provide I-94 forms for your parents to fill out when they leave the US.

 
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