I need suggestions. I filed for Chinese visa which is required by Holland America to take the 70 day Grand Asia cruise Sept 26. All the fare is paid, almost 30K. Holland says no refunds if you show up for embarkation without proper documents. We paid the 2K insurance from Travel Guard, but denied visas are not part of insurance. I booked the trip with a 91 year old friend who I am the caretaker for, and though she received her visa, mine was denied. No reason was given by the Chinese consulate in San Francisco for my denial of my application other than its not available to me at this time. I can only suspect because I filled in the application where it said "any crimminal record" that I said 20 years ago I received felonies inwhich I served no jail time. I'm not on any probation. I tried a 2nd time to go to the Chinese consulate to no avail. Any help with suggestions appreciated.
From your post it sounds like you applied for your visa directly with the consulate. If that is so, you might try re-applying through a visa agency. It would cost you an additional fee but they tend to be quick about turning around applications, and if you speak with someone at the agency about your problem they would have a better chance of knowing how to get around it.
I don't want to sound like a "Donny Downer" but once you are denied and your record is flagged it is EXTREMELY hard to get a visa accepted.
In the 90's I had a co-worker who was promoted to handle a large customer in Shanghai China. Twenty five years before that he had a felony DUI on his record. It was an injury accident and though he did not serve any jail time this offense is what caused him not to have the visa accepted. The corporate lawyers, political connections of the CEO (letter from our U.S. Senator) and multiple re-applications all ended the same, with a denial.
Someone else got the job and he never went to China.
I do hope that you can reapply and have a different result but I would make alternative plans for the strong possibility that you won't be taking the cruise.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
No refunds from HAL and no refund from insurance along w/what Mike said leaves only a few solutons as I see it. If you can leave the 91 yo by herself, skip China by flying from your last stop before entering China to the 1st stop after China and wait for the ship . Otherwise have her fly with you. If not then you will have a shortened cruise ending before China or starting after China.
Whatever you decide, be sure to keep HAL in the loop.
Even though those felonies were 20 years old, they would still be on your record, and I doubt you would be allowed even enter Canada. They stay on your record permanently unless you can get them expunged.
Sorry you didn't think of this before you booked or checked with a lawyer or HAL.
I doubt HAL will even let you on the ship without the VISA just like you have to have a passport to get on their ships now.
I may be wrong but I believe that is the requirement of all countries, not HAL's fault.
For all those who answered my inquiry about my denied China visa, finally Holland has granted me a boarding pass for the Grand Asia cruise 70 day cruise without a China visa, though with a stipulation. I will have to stay on board during the ships visits to the 3 of the 4 ports in China, although I will be allowed to visit Hong, though a visa not required. Consequently, this is fine as I could of lost the entire cost of the cruise, but my travel agent and Holland worked it out. What a relief.
In retrospect, I did get a reply from my inquiry to the Chinese Consulate General's visa office in San Francisco about my denied visa. Although no reason was given to me for the denial they said that they frequently deny visas to felons, or people who owe restitution to the government, back child support, or any threat to China.
My suggestion to Holland and all ship lines is the ships booking agent onboard, or the passengers personal travel agent, is that they inform their customers who sign up with non refundable deposits, or plan to pay for their cruise in full, at the time of booking the trip, that they are fully responsible for attaining visas (if needed) and NO refunds given-verbally or in writing.
I know in the very back of the Holland catalogs they refer to visas in the fine print, but I did not order from any catalog, as there was a one page circular that was delivered to our stateroom advertising the Grand Asia 2011 cruise last December while on another Holland cruise.
The reality of this all, I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else.
It was the (4) Chinese ports of call (Dalian, Xingang, Shanghai, Xiamen)that allowed Holland America to allow me to board the ship and do the cruise. The rule is when in China seas everyone on board must have a Chinese visa. I consider myself very lucky.