Update on visas!

I wish I had pretty pictures to post, but just wanted to give an update on the Chinese and Russian visas that I spent like 6 hours working on yesterday.

Today we dropped off all of the documents for our Chinese visa with an agent in Fremont. By agent, it was a middle aged Chinese woman working at a Kung Fu school, but the reviews are solid, she checked everything over pretty convincingly, and said the visas would be ready for pick up Thursday. I probably can’t get there until Saturday, but still, that’s impressive. All for only $20 additional cost on top of what the Chinese Consulate charges – worth it!

I’m also going to use an agent for the Russian Visas. The timing is tight, so I don’t have room for error, and the process is more complicated than China. Considering the overall cost of the trip and the amount of time we are planning to spend in Russia (doing the TSR with stops, plus time in Moscow & St. Petersburg) I think it’s worth the extra $120 they charge.

The visa is good for 3 years (multiple entry) and you need 6 months additional on your passport past the visa expiration, so the dates are important for me. My passport expires on July 25, 2020. I’ve asked for a visa that begins January 20th, so that means I squeak by with only 5 days to spare. I’m a pretty serious planner, but had I realized all of this like 9 months ago, I would have renewed my passport between the April BVI trip and the September trip to Italy. Oh well, lesson learned.

Tomorrow I started my third-to-last week of work. The last week of work is pretty much a wash because it’s between Christmas and New Years, so really only 2 to go. I wish they’d post my vacancy so we can work toward getting someone picked out to train before I go.