HI am grateful for all I was able to achieve today! Several steps closer to obtaining my Chinese visa, and saved both money and time!
Since the FLDOE can't seem print anything faster than 6 weeks out, I sent the official PDF to FedEx, had it sized and printed on nice card stock, then overnighted it to my WONDERFUL Sis in FL, who will take it to her notary friend to get that part completed. From there, I'm hoping the rest of FL Govt has their act together so I can get that apostilled quickly. Let's hope!
I'm grateful that I finished all of my medical paperwork required for the visa today, as well! All I have to do is send that to the school and that is one more step complete!
Luckily, I can get a local police background check and they notarize it right there as well. Wednesday morning, I'll get that done, and then take the documents I have on hand down to the Capitol for authentication by the Secretary of State. I'm grateful that they will basically do it within an hour or so! Two big checks off the list!
The final, last, completing piece will be that stupid FL stuff. I believe that the Chinese Consulate will authenticate my teaching certificate if it is notarized (according to their website). I also have the required signed reference letters proving the 2+ years of required teaching experience, and my contact at school said that those will suffice if I don't get the teaching cert authenticated in time.
I'm grateful that it is all coming together! If I can get all these documents to them by Thursday, (Friday in China), they can submit that day, and I may have the electronic go-ahead to send my documentation to the Consulate in Houston! The Chinese Govt first has to "permit" me to apply for a Visa:
- this entails emailing pdfs of all my docs to my school,
- which they then submit it to the Chinese Govt, who accepts it (almost 100% of the time).
- Once I get through that sphincter, I then receive an electronic Chinese Govt "verification which allows me to apply for the visa.
- I take this electronic "permission slip" and the originals of all my docs down to Houston,
- then wait 4 days for them to issue my visa.
- Once I make it through that last sphincter, I can set a departure date and buy a plane ticket!
...(of course!), when I had my visa photo taken, I went to a specific visa/passport photo place, and found out that they specialize in getting visas and passport paperwork expedited, in addition to taking the photos! So yay! Instead of driving to Houston twice, I give them $100 and they take care of it for me! Whoo Hooo!
I am grateful it's all coming together!
Now, back to my list!