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Filing DCF in Guangzhou; description of the process

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#1 Dan de mingzi

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 07:20 PM

4/16/2014 - The information in this thread is about FILING an I-130 with the USCIS office in Guangzhou. The information is still current, except that the consulate has relocated to its new location in Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District - RW

 

 

I filed my I-130 at the Guangzhou consulate (DCF filing) last Friday, and wanted to describe the process/share what I learned for anyone who might be doing it there in the future.

- Where/When: To file the I-130 in GZ you must file at the GZ consulate (5th floor, 136-142, Linhe Zhong Rd) during the public walk in hours; these are only on Fridays from 9am to 11am. Highly advised to arrive early; I got there at about 8:40am, and didn't complete the process until 10am. When I left there were still a good 12 people in line, and at the rate they were going there was no way they were going to finish them all by 11am.

- Finding the office: It was shockingly difficult to find the actual USCIS office inside the GZ consulate. I had to ask three different people and was directed to three different locations before a security guard finally asked around and directed me and another person to the right place. To find it: at the top of the escalator to the 5th floor turn right towards the immigration area (not left towards the US citizen services area). You will go through security, after security turn left and enter the large room with several lines. In the far back corner on the right side there is a glass door; that is the USCIS office and the line formed on the seats outside the door. There is a little paper sign on the door that you can't read until you get close to it.

- Residency: To prove Chinese residency, they required my Chinese residence permit (the visa sticker inside my passport). They did not require any other documents to prove this.

- Address used: Since I was moving back to the US as soon as I filed, I listed my address as my wife's address, which happens to be in Wuxi, which is NOT in the Guangzhou consulate's area (would fall under Beijing). This caused a little confusion, but I explained I did live in Guangzhou but was leaving that address and thus wanted anything mailed to go to my wife's home. They accepted that explanation.

- Original passports: I brought both my and my wife's original passports, and both of our marriage certificates (the little red books). They looked at both of them and verified the copies were legit before giving them back to me. So I believe in GZ it is required (or at least preferred) to bring originals of these docs.

- Notarial marriage certificates/wife's birth certificate: When we got married at the "foreign marriage office" in Nanjing, they told us they dealt with the US consulate all the time and knew what papers they needed, and offered to prepare them for us for an extra 80RMB, which we gladly accepted. These were white books (A4 size), with the original document, translated copy, and a notary statement ensuring these were legit translations. These seemed to satisfy the GZ office, so I would recommend anyone order these if it is an option when you are married.

- G235a: I downloaded what I think are the new (one page) version of this form, but they still required 4 copies of mine and my wife's. This wasn't a problem though since she made the copies for me at the consulate.

- Required 2 pictures: probably goes without saying, but these are passport sized pics. Make sure they are the US sized passport pics; all countries don't use the same specs.

- Pics to prove relationship: she said they didn't need these but I was welcome to turn them in if I liked. I did so; better safe than sorry.

- Payment: after she verified all the documentation she sent me out to the payment window to pay my $355 fee. They payment window accepts US dollars, RMB, or US credit cards (will charge you in USD; a nice option!)

That's it for now; hopefully this info helps out someone in the future going through the process. Feel free to send me any questions if desired.


Edited by Randy W, 16 April 2014 - 05:27 AM.


#2 squirty

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 11:40 PM

Good write-up. Will be helpful to future persons who file DCF in Guangzhou.

#3 captain america

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 03:02 AM

I filed my I-130 at the Guangzhou consulate (DCF filing) last Friday, and wanted to describe the process/share what I learned for anyone who might be doing it there in the future.

- Where/When: To file the I-130 in GZ you must file at the GZ consulate (5th floor, 136-142, Linhe Zhong Rd) during the public walk in hours; these are only on Fridays from 9am to 11am. Highly advised to arrive early; I got there at about 8:40am, and didn't complete the process until 10am. When I left there were still a good 12 people in line, and at the rate they were going there was no way they were going to finish them all by 11am.

- Finding the office: It was shockingly difficult to find the actual USCIS office inside the GZ consulate. I had to ask three different people and was directed to three different locations before a security guard finally asked around and directed me and another person to the right place. To find it: at the top of the escalator to the 5th floor turn right towards the immigration area (not left towards the US citizen services area). You will go through security, after security turn left and enter the large room with several lines. In the far back corner on the right side there is a glass door; that is the USCIS office and the line formed on the seats outside the door. There is a little paper sign on the door that you can't read until you get close to it.

- Residency: To prove Chinese residency, they required my Chinese residence permit (the visa sticker inside my passport). They did not require any other documents to prove this.

- Address used: Since I was moving back to the US as soon as I filed, I listed my address as my wife's address, which happens to be in Wuxi, which is NOT in the Guangzhou consulate's area (would fall under Beijing). This caused a little confusion, but I explained I did live in Guangzhou but was leaving that address and thus wanted anything mailed to go to my wife's home. They accepted that explanation.

- Original passports: I brought both my and my wife's original passports, and both of our marriage certificates (the little red books). They looked at both of them and verified the copies were legit before giving them back to me. So I believe in GZ it is required (or at least preferred) to bring originals of these docs.

- Notarial marriage certificates/wife's birth certificate: When we got married at the "foreign marriage office" in Nanjing, they told us they dealt with the US consulate all the time and knew what papers they needed, and offered to prepare them for us for an extra 80RMB, which we gladly accepted. These were white books (A4 size), with the original document, translated copy, and a notary statement ensuring these were legit translations. These seemed to satisfy the GZ office, so I would recommend anyone order these if it is an option when you are married.

- G235a: I downloaded what I think are the new (one page) version of this form, but they still required 4 copies of mine and my wife's. This wasn't a problem though since she made the copies for me at the consulate.

- Required 2 pictures: probably goes without saying, but these are passport sized pics. Make sure they are the US sized passport pics; all countries don't use the same specs.

- Pics to prove relationship: she said they didn't need these but I was welcome to turn them in if I liked. I did so; better safe than sorry.

- Payment: after she verified all the documentation she sent me out to the payment window to pay my $355 fee. They payment window accepts US dollars, RMB, or US credit cards (will charge you in USD; a nice option!)

That's it for now; hopefully this info helps out someone in the future going through the process. Feel free to send me any questions if desired.

Thank you for the great info.
I dont think I can get reisdence permit on L visa even though I live in China 3 years with wife. Possible BJ or Chengdu would be more open minded if I can prove I have lived in China past 6 months.
Married in States 3.5 years ago immediately moved back to China with wife. She is on B1 and travels back and forth for Business.
Want green card, found some difficulty because L visa. More restriced.
TThanks for all info.

#4 Scott DB

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:15 AM

Hi Dan, thanks for this info.

- Notarial marriage certificates/wife's birth certificate: When we got married at the "foreign marriage office" in Nanjing, they told us they dealt with the US consulate all the time and knew what papers they needed, and offered to prepare them for us for an extra 80RMB, which we gladly accepted. These were white books (A4 size), with the original document, translated copy, and a notary statement ensuring these were legit translations. These seemed to satisfy the GZ office, so I would recommend anyone order these if it is an option when you are married.


I'm curious about these white books. Are they supposed to be the same size as the marriage certificates? My wife found a message on a chinese web site about someone who had to go back and have the translation redone because they weren't.

#5 Kyle

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 09:12 AM

Your notarized/translated documents will all be done by the same office. My wife had her police report, our marriage license, and her birth certificate all done at the our city's notary office which is authorized to do notarizations for foreign consulates. If your wife does a search for "your city, notary, foreign" in Chinese, for example we did this search "武汉公证涉外"

Our city, Wuhan: 武汉
Notary: 公证 gong1zheng4
Foreign: 涉外 she4wai4

The name of the office is probably (your city) gong1zheng4chu4 - (your city)公证处

Yes, all of these will be in a white book. You will need photos for all of these, but the requirements are different in different places. I'm sure once you find the proper office's website, you'll find what they require.

Make sure you go to the above office in your city. Do not go to an alternative notary service, as there are many of them out there. Unfortunately not all services are created equal in the eyes of the Chinese government - thus, not all are qualified for foreign affairs. You're looking for at least a city level notary.

As I mentioned, not all notary offices are created equal, the same is true for websites. Get your wife to migrate on over here. ;)

#6 whome?

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 09:21 AM

Your notarized/translated documents will all be done by the same office. My wife had her police report, our marriage license, and her birth certificate all done at the our city's notary office which is authorized to do notarizations for foreign consulates. If your wife does a search for "your city, notary, foreign" in Chinese, for example we did this search "武汉公证涉外"

Our city, Wuhan: 武汉
Notary: 公证 gong1zheng4
Foreign: 涉外 she4wai4

The name of the office is probably (your city) gong1zheng4chu4 - (your city)公证处

Yes, all of these will be in a white book. You will need photos for all of these, but the requirements are different in different places. I'm sure once you find the proper office's website, you'll find what they require.

Make sure you go to the above office in your city. Do not go to an alternative notary service, as there are many of them out there. Unfortunately not all services are created equal in the eyes of the Chinese government - thus, not all are qualified for foreign affairs. You're looking for at least a city level notary.

As I mentioned, not all notary offices are created equal, the same is true for websites. Get your wife to migrate on over here. ;)

Kyle was your wife born in Wuhan or in another city in Hubei? I was under the impression that the birth and police certificate had to come from your offical city of residence (since many Chinese do not change their registered residence even if they move somewhere else). I also thought that you only could get the Marriage Certificate (and get married) in the FA office of the province capital.

At least this is how it worked for my wife and I - she is from Hubei but not Wuhan.

#7 Kyle

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 10:04 AM

Yup, born in Wuhan. You need to get your police dept cert, birth cert, marriage cert notarizations/translations, from wherever her hukou states she's a resident. We've known several friends who have changed their hukou, but it's not always the easiest to do. Typically, if you move to a bigger city, it can be difficult to do so, so many do not try - many do though - especially if it's a status step up. If you move to a smaller city, most decide not to change their hukou-because it would be a decrease in social status. Thanks for pointing that out. Sometimes because I've been living in China for a while and know the ins-and-outs, I forget to mention things that everyone in China simply "just know". Sorry about that. Scott, go to whatever city is registered for her in her hukou, and use the information in my previous post. You'll be fine.

You get married where ever you are a resident. It doesn't have to be the capital - just the city listed in her Hukou. For example, if Jingjing's Hukou residence was Yi Chong, and not Wuhan, we would of married there, instead of the capital of Hubei. We had an American friend get married in Jinzhou, Hubei.

The current Marriage Law of the People's Republic of China was passed in September 1980 and went into force on January 1, 1981. Under this law, marriage registration procedures are administered by the marriage registration office of the local civil affairs bureau, (Min Zheng Ju) in each jurisdiction. Persons planning to marry should visit or call one of these offices for specific information. The appropriate civil affairs office will be the one in the jurisdiction in which the Chinese citizen is registered (the location of hukou).


http://beijing.usemb...cs_married.html

Edited by Kyle, 02 December 2009 - 12:04 PM.


#8 Dan de mingzi

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 11:55 AM

Hi Dan, thanks for this info.


- Notarial marriage certificates/wife's birth certificate: When we got married at the "foreign marriage office" in Nanjing, they told us they dealt with the US consulate all the time and knew what papers they needed, and offered to prepare them for us for an extra 80RMB, which we gladly accepted. These were white books (A4 size), with the original document, translated copy, and a notary statement ensuring these were legit translations. These seemed to satisfy the GZ office, so I would recommend anyone order these if it is an option when you are married.


I'm curious about these white books. Are they supposed to be the same size as the marriage certificates? My wife found a message on a chinese web site about someone who had to go back and have the translation redone because they weren't.


I think Kyle gave some great info about where to get the books. I know different provinces in China operate differently (surprise, surprise); in our case, Jiangsu province, my wife's hometown was Yixing but the official office for foreigners to marry Chinese was in the nearby major city of Nanjing. The white books we received were A4 sized, with several pages in Chinese and several pages in English, including the notary stating that their translation was accurate. We ALSO received the Chinese marriage certificates; the small red books. Bring all these things to the consulate with you when you file.

#9 Scott DB

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:17 PM

Hey guys, am I the first person here to discover that they changed the day you can go in to file the petition?

I wish I had known that before I traveled all the way from Guilin to Guangzhou yesterday. B)

#10 Scott DB

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Posted 09 January 2010 - 01:17 AM

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Latest Notice

*
USCIS Guangzhou’s public window service will be temporarily unavailable on December 24, 2009 and December 31, 2009.
*
Starting on December 1, 2009, our public service hours will be held from 13:30pm to 15:00pm on every Tuesday and Thursday, rather than Friday morning. Customers can walk in to make inquiries or file petitions during these hours.

http://guangzhou.use...org.cn/cis.html

Edited by Scott DB, 09 January 2010 - 01:18 AM.


#11 Scott DB

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:12 AM

I was finally able to file my I-130 form yesterday (Tuesday), and here's my experience.

Since I live in another province, I had to take a train the night before and then wait about 5 hours before the public service window time (which is now from 1:30 to 3:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays), so I felt exhausted when I arrived.

I went up 25 minutes early and there was already a large number of people waiting on the fourth floor though most of them were visa applicants coming for an interview. I heard one of the guards instructing another one in Chinese that he should divide us up into two lines based on the reason we were coming. When I told him I was going to the consulate to file petition I-130, he had what seemed to be a confused look on his face but then put me at the front of a new line, which thankfully ended up going in first.

After I went up to the 5th floor I turned right and started walking. Another security guard approached me and told me that American Citizen Services was the other way and I should be going that way. I told him I wasn't going to ACS, that I was going to the other place. He asked why and I told him I was going to file petition I-130 for my immediate relative. He then tried to tell me I could only do that on Monday mornings! I almost had a heart attack right there. I just went there last Friday only to find out they had changed the day to Tuesday/Thursday. I asked him if he was joking me and wasn't today the day the public service window is open, and he said "Oh... you're going to DHS," and then let me pass.

When we got inside we were directed to line up on the chairs by room A in the far back corner of the room. I was the first to go in. I had a my passport, Jane's passport, both of our marriage certificates (red books) and a folder containing all the other materials ready to submit. When I said hello to the lady behind the window she asked me if I was here to file petition I-130, and I said yes. She asked to see my passport and looked it over, checking to make sure I had the appropriate visa and residence permit. Then she asked to see the other passport, and when I was I handing it to her she asked me to hand them all over to her, including the materials in the folder.

The folder contained:
- cover letter with table of contents
- I-130 form
- G-325a biographical data forms
- Passport sized photos of each of us
- Notarized copies and translations of our marriage certificates
- Notarized copy of beneficiary’s birth certification letter
- Notarized copy of beneficiary’s police record showing no criminal activity
- Photos to prove relationship over time

She looked over them and asked me to confirm my phone number and chinese address in case they needed to contact me to request more information or documents. Then she made photocopies of my residence permit and one of the red books. When she came back she asked me if I had been married before. Maybe it was because I was so exhausted from traveling the night before (and the week before), but the question kind of confused me at first. Obviously if I'm married now I must have gotten married in the past, and we had just gotten married several weeks ago, but that's not what she meant. I asked her to clarify if she meant before my current marriage and she said yes. Of course the answer was no, I had not been married before, and neither had she.

She then placed one of the white books in the tray under the window. I opened it and saw it was the notarized translation of my wife's marriage certificate. I asked her didn't they need both of these? She looked at it and said that one is not needed.

She then sent me out the window to pay, which I did with my credit card and brought back the receipt. By the time I left only two people had been seen in about a half hour or so and there were still about half a dozen or so waiting. So like others say, arrive early. It's also a good idea to wear a watch, since there are no clocks inside and you can't bring your cellphone with you.

#12 rw86347

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:59 AM

My time line...

Met my wife in shanghai 5-2008
married in Nanjing 12-2009
filled dcf in Beijing 2-2010

很多人说江苏女的是美女。

congrats!

Was your wife ever issued a tourist visa?

My wife wants to know.



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