GLBT Travelers - China Visas-help needed
Dec 18, 11, 6:43 pm
We are completing the Chinese Visa forms for our upcoming trip this spring, and the form asks several questions we all wish were easy to answer, but in this case given that it's China we're talking about, we need some expert advice.
We are US citizens, married in Canada, and traveling with our two adopted sons - all with the same last name. The birth certificates list us both as parents. So, how SHOULD we answer the following questions?:
1. Marital status - we think we should put unmarried/never married/single but anybody suggest differently?
2. The form asks to list "major family members" for which we listed each other and our two kids. For each, it asks about the relationship to the applicant. For my husband, do I put 'husband', 'brother', 'friend' or 'other'??
We have thought that perhaps we shouldn't send them all in together or even list the two kids under one of us and none of the rest under the other one.
Would really like some expert advice on just what to put on these forms so we come across as truthful, yet not raising red flags that would result in a denial of our visas. Thanks!
Dec 18, 11, 9:41 pm
1. You were married in Canada and are therefore married. Why would you list your marital status otherwise? I am going to assume you are a same-sex couple. Even though this is China we're talking about, and I don't have experience directly saying so, I don't think putting anything other than "married" is a good idea as anything else would be lying. If you are _really_ worried, perhaps you should be consulting the embassy since this is a special situation.
2. Answer should follow from #1...
Dec 19, 11, 2:01 am
I'm straight and single.. yet I found the China visa application form more intrusive than most.. certainly much more info required..
(Not complaining, entry to their country is a priviledge etc etc I know.. just stating how I felt)
With your particular situation I'd suggest basing your answers on whether or not same sex marriage is legal or recognised in China...
If it is NOT, then (IMO) you can legitimately omit any reference to your marriage, as they wouldn't recognise it anyway.. (does that make sense?)
I would lean toward the "kids with one" approach... and a separate application by the other partner...
I must admit my view on this is based on a possibly erroneous idea of Chinas views on same sex relationships!
China is not likely to recognize a same sex marriage, even though Canada does (even if Oregon doesn't recognize it) and since (assuming) Oregon is where you live go with "single". I guess the kid thing I'd default to the biological parent, or if adopted to one of you.
Not in a relationship nor do I have children, but I'm curious to see how things work out for you. Keep us posted.
Dec 21, 11, 3:17 pm
Yes, please keep us posted. My partner and I would like to take our kids to China in the (hopefully) not too terribly distant future, and I'll be interested to hear the outcome for you guys.
Dec 22, 11, 4:40 pm
The scenario is a little like filing out your U.S. Federal Tax return - you can put "married" if you want, but it won't be recognized and will just cause confusion. On the flip side, if you put "single", you wouldn't be lying since, in the eyes of the Federal law, you are not actually married.
This is the same case in China - your marriage is not officially recognized by the Chinese government. While China (and the Chinese) are getting better at these types of things, I would simply suggest that you make things easy on yourself and report as 'single'. I also like the idea of the "one child with each" approach. The less questions that are raised, the better.
After your visa is issued, you'll be fine once you get to passport control. I fly to China every month and can honestly say that I don't think I've seen them pull an American aside for questioning in the last year. Part of the reason is because the China visa app is so comprehensive (intrusive?) that they are merely just making sure that your docs are good and that you match the picture on your passport and visa.
Dec 22, 11, 10:47 pm
It may be worthwhile to post this over on the China forum.
May 10, 13, 11:52 am
Does anyone have any updated information on this topic? I'm a US citizen married in a US state that recognizes same sex marriage. I know that China will not recognize this but the visa application form wants to know if I'm married. I don't want to lie but I don't think the visa application reviewer wants to hear the truth. There is now a box for "other" but I'm concerned that this will only draw more attention. Any tips?