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January 7: Check Your Passport Visa Page
I learned the hard way today that there is a difference between having empty pages versus empty “visa” pages in your passport. I went to get my Chinese visa with 1 full and another half empty pages in my passport. Unfortunately, I did not think to check if the empty page was marked “visas” on top. Upon submitting my application, I was told I did not have any empty visa page and would need to renew my passport before I could apply.
Unfortunately for me, my trip is in less than 3 weeks, which means the only choice I have to renew my passport in time to obtain my Chinese visa, is to make an in-person interview at an U.S. passport agency. In other words, stressful, expensive and time consuming (how ironic). So, my two cents to anyone who will be traveling soon or have been traveling a lot, don’t let a similar situation sneak up on you. Go check your passport and ensure you have enough correct empty pages. And if it’s time for a passport renewal, get the 52 page option (no additional charges).
Safe travels, everyone!