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Author Topic: From Green to Red  (Read 3235 times)

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2019, 06:16:05 AM »
I knew this application seemed almost too easy.

The requirements got quietly updated a few weeks ago.  It's nothing huge, but will be time consuming, so I wish this had been announced sooner.

It seems I need a shiny new Non-Criminality Certificate from my village (easy) and from the USA (not so easy).  Just like with the US one I got for my green card application, it needs to be notarized by the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC.  It's been 3 years since I did this the first time, so I need to recheck all the procedures and figure out how much this will cost me to get it all done as fast as possible.  Hopefully, a plane ticket won't be required.

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AMonk

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 08:50:58 AM »
plus ticket? yikes!
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2019, 03:06:01 AM »
Looks like I can probably avoid the plane ticket.

I need several services.

Quality fingerprints.  Last time I got a set while on a trip to the USA.  Due to a combination of extremely wet weather and not so perfect taking of the prints, those fingerprints failed.  I then ended up getting a perfect set via a very skilled fingerprint technician in Hong Kong.  Back then, there were some vague rules about who was qualified to take the fingerprints.  The new instructions even allow for self-printing, but I don't want to have to keep sending more and more fingerprint cards, so am looking for someone skillful.  At least one police station my wife called only takes prints electronically, but I need them directly inked on the cards (or to fly to the US to have them done electronically by a certified service).  She's going to check with a few more police stations.  If those fail, I guess I'm doing another Hong Kong run.

Next is an "FBI Channeler" (I believe they sit in a circle with the lights out and commune with the spirits of the FBI's computers to get criminal background checks faster ahahahahah).  Assuming I get the fingerprints right, I mail those (and money) to the channeler.  Within a few days, my background check should be issued (as opposed to MUCH longer if I mail them to the FBI myself).

Then comes the apostille notarization from the US State Department.  Apostilles are only used by countries who joined the "Notarizations sound cooler if we call them Apostilles" club.  Since China didn't join that club, the FBI document needs to be notarized instead.

Once that's done, the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC needs to affix a sticker to the back of the notarization page.

There are services which can take the document to the State Department and to the Chinese Embassy.  Some charge HUGE amounts (over $1000 in one case), so I'm shopping around.

After that, everything gets mailed back to me.  Then I'm pretty sure I need a certified translation of the Background check and notarization.

All I have to do it bring that and a certificate of non-criminality from my village and get them both added to my application and I'm back on track to waiting to see what happens.
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2019, 06:38:30 AM »
Fingerprints are still being checked on.  I've got 3 FBI channeler candidates and will be emailing Candidate #1 tomorrow to make sure there are no issues.

For the US State Department authentication and Chinese Embassy legalization, I've gotten a quote from a service that's reasonable (at least in comparison to their competitors.

What's amazing is the amount of misinformation on some of these websites.  Many of the channelers have out of date info.  Several appears to no longer offer that service at all.  Some of the authentication services have some bizarre claims about how documents should be processed that look like they just made them up for fun.
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AMonk

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2019, 09:07:34 AM »
 bibibibibi
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2019, 05:20:39 AM »
Good news and some almost fatal news:

My village has a new computerized procedure for criminal background checks.  Every item must be done in order, and the photo they have to take of me in the police station is about 3/4 of the way through the process.  It took almost 2 hours (including time to find an old document about me that had been misfiled) to get a check covering from 2010 until present.  This may seem like a long time, but compared to even the simplest version of the FBI background check, it's a shining model of efficiency.  Plus, there's no need to come back to pick it up.

And then my wife and I were almost killed by an angry mob while trying to get me fingerprinted yesterday.

Let me give a little background about how this happened.  After quite a bit of digging, it seems that the Chinese police don't do paper fingerprints anymore.  One online source mentioned being referred to a notary, and that the FBI rejected those fingerprints.

When I needed fingerprints for my FBI background check for for my green card application, I first paid to have them done at a small police station in Florida.  It was some mix of an inexperienced police volunteer taking the prints and the extreme humidity (it was storming) which made that set of prints unacceptable to the FBI.  For round 2, I ended up getting some excellently taken fingerprints at the main police HQ building on Hong Kong Island. (For free! agagagagag)

Since all efforts to locate a good source of fingerprints in DG, SZ, and GZ failed, I had my lovely wife call the HK police yesterday morning with 2 questions.  1.  Do you still take fingerprints for FBI background checks?  2.  Will you be open this afternoon despite the current level of "pro-democracy" protesters trying to prevent their elected government officials from voting?  The answers were "Yes, and it's still free." agagagagag and "Don't worry about it.  We'll be open."

I noticed something strange heading towards the Admiralty subway station exit. mmmmmmmmmm  The people coming in were of mixed age.  The number of people heading towards the exit was much larger and almost all of them looked like college students.  I had a bad feeling about this.  amamamamam

When we came above ground, we were on the edge of  what is most easy described as the mess.  I couldn't see how far it extended, but let's just say there were a lot of them.  At one point, something startled them and over a thousand people started running towards where we were standing.  aqaqaqaqaq

I've seen some scary things in my life, but having 1000+ rioters running straight at me definitely makes my top 10 list. aoaoaoaoao

We retreated, but ended up in a dead-end elevator alcove.  If they'd kept coming, things would have probably ended very badly for us.  Thankfully, the crowd's panic was momentary.

We got some vague directions to the Police HQ building (we'd only been there one previous time and neither of is were sure which building it was) and skirted the edge of the mob.  After a few false starts, we got to the back gate of the correct building.  We got sent around to the front gate (all the while smiling at police and scowling at any protestors we passed), only to find that they had decided to not let anyone in for the rest of the day. ananananan

Considering the huge flow of people coming up through the Admiralty Station's exits, I didn't want to even try to return through an even bigger crowd to get back into that stations.  We walked to Wan Chai to get back on the subway and returned via express train.  Over 8 hours of time, plus train tickets all wasted by a bunch of people who think mobs should set government policy. llllllllll

The only good news regarding the whole incident is that some of the people whose actions kept me from getting fingerprinted received very special gifts from the Hong Kong government.  They got chemical karma in the form of tear gas and pepper spray. ahahahahah

The bad news is that the protestors seem to want to make this an extended thing.  I don't want to spend the time, effort, and money to run to Hong Kong for fingerprints while there's a chance of getting turned away again.  Plus, being in danger of being crushed by a mob of rioters is not an experience I care to repeat.

Angry mobs may slow me down, but they will not stop me.  I'm going to get my fingerprints done one way or another so i can get my FBI background check done and get my citizenship application moving through the system.


So, my current options to get fingerprints are:

1.  Make a special flight to the US just for this.

2.  Do it myself. (Previously not allowed.  Now is allowed, but is strongly discouraged.)

3.  Work with my wife to train her to do it.

Fingerprint ink has been ordered.  Despite the amount of clothing I expect will be ruined in the inevitable ink fight #3 will trigger, that's still cheaper than a round trip flight to the US.

If those prints get rejected, I'll try Hong Kong again in July (assuming things have calmed down there).  In an absolute worst case scenario, I'm planning a short visit to the US in September.  I can get electronically collected prints done to US standards there.
I'm pro-cloning and we vote!               Why isn't this card colored green?
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2019, 09:05:52 AM »
Hat's off, Comrade Sam Shushu. No one will suspect a thing.

» now with New and Endlessly Improving CV 4U  ٩( ᐛ )و

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2019, 12:42:14 AM »
Happily, none of the mob had any idea I was there as part of the process to apply for Chinese citizenship.  I have the feeling that quite a few would not have been very welcoming.

I am deeply impressed by the HK police.  Putting down a riot in a crowd that was in the hundreds of thousands with under 100 people ending up in the hospital is an amazing accomplishment.  I'm not sure how many countries could disperse a completely peaceful protest of that size with so few casualties.


And, back to the main topic.  High quality fingerprinting ink (no clue if this is any different from common black stamp pad ink, but it does cost more) has been ordered and should be delivered today or tomorrow. agagagagag

Thus begins the ink apocalypse. aoaoaoaoao
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AMonk

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2019, 09:00:13 PM »
 bfbfbfbfbf agagagagag
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2019, 03:17:53 AM »
Decided to try this with just one hand.  After all, why get ink on both hands if I can't get the first one right.  It took a couple of tries to get roll impressions to not be giant smears.

Self abuse fingerprinting on my right hand went ok, until I tried for the roll impression of my ring finger.  I could get a simple flat impression of my ring finger and a 4 finger flat impression also looked good.  Somehow, the roll impression kept having oddities.  Some were missing points on the lines.  Others had gaps where a line was missed.

I had my lovely wife try grabbing my hand and doing the same thing.  After a few smeared attempts, the other fingers looked ok, but the ring finger roll print still had oddities.

 llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll

I'll try again after work, but my hopes are not high.  Think I'll monitor the news and see if things are calm enough to try visiting HK later this week.
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CWL

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2019, 09:49:41 PM »
I keep a small stack of completed fingerprint cards in signed and sealed envelopes back in the states.  When I need FBI check, I have someone send one of the envelopes with a pre-completed and signed order form.  No problems so far and I have been doing this for about six years as I have bumped around East Asia.  Just had another background check completed in March and had another card sent recently in anticipation of a delay in my job search.  Some of these fingerprint cards were completed a number of years back.  No channellers sitting in dark rooms, etc.

Good luck.

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2019, 12:52:58 AM »
That's an incredibly good idea.  Now I just need someone who will run the prints on a stack of cards for me.  The problem with HK is that they know they are good at what they do.  It took some effort just to convince the tech to do a second card last time (The FBI requests 2 for a background check).

I'm still going to pay a channeler.  They cost, but they can get the report in both hard copy and PDF within a few days.  I have an authentication company lined up that can print the PDF and then take it to the State Department and the Chinese Embassy.

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AMonk

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2019, 12:17:40 PM »
What a palaver!  I wish you all the very best agagagagag
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2019, 06:08:10 AM »
I've examined the fingerprint cards more closely.  There are definitely someflaws.  He aimed to low on the card for the flat thumbprints (BOTH cards), so the text at the bottom of the box overlaps the thumbprints. kkkkkkkkkk

At this point, I guess I'm going to have to send what I have.  If they fail, then I get a choice of:

1. Trying another run to HK.

2.  Another DIY attempt.  This presents another problem - some channelers are behind the times.  They have rules which are either fictitious or are severely out of date.  Some only accept paper prints done by the police.  Others require that I be LIVING in the USA.  Others have other weird rules not shown on the FBI website.  Finding the right combination of made up and outdated rules severely limits my choices.

2.a.  Skip the channeler with DIY prints - except that the ONLY acceptable payment methods are money order and cashiers check - something I don't have easy access to in China.  I'd have to mail everything to someone in the US who could get the money order and repackage everything to go to the FBI.  Plus, I'm about 80% sure this would result in only a paper copy of the report, which would have to be remailed to the company handling the authentications.

3.  Wait until I can get them done electronically in the US, in about 3 months. ananananan

So, for now it looks like I need to print out a form, fill it out, and send everything to the US via EMS.
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CWL

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Re: From Green to Red
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2019, 02:52:41 AM »
I don't think you can use DIY cards with FBI checks.  I have always had the cards placed in envelopes and signed or stamped in a way that covers the seal and shows that the envelopes have not been opened.  Here is a link to the FBI credit card payment form for fingerprint background checks.  If you plan ahead, the 3 month processing time is not too much of an issue.

https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/idhsc-credit-card-payment-form.pdf

Good luck!