Ready for Takeoff and Leaving Wife Behind?

In family friends, travel, vlog by Mike's Blog Team2 Comments

Update- So many people messaging me about the 10 year visa renewal – I had to link to it here –
Here’s the gist:

What is the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS)?
EVUS is the online system used by nationals of China holding a 10-year B1/B2, B1 or B2 (visitor) visa periodically to update basic biographic information to facilitate their travel to the United States. In addition to a valid visa, such travelers will be required to complete an EVUS enrollment to be admitted into the United States.

On what date will an EVUS enrollment become mandatory?
On November 29, 2016, all individuals carrying maximum validity (10-year) B1/B2, B1, and B2 visas in passports issued by the People’s Republic of China must have a valid EVUS enrollment in order to travel to the United States. Travelers who are subject to EVUS requirements but do not have valid enrollments will not be able to obtain a boarding pass or enter through a land port of entry

Ready for Takeoff and Leaving Wife Behind?

Are you Ready For Takeoff? USA Here We Come – well most of us…

Mike’s Blog 161

Last minute preparations. Did we pack everything we needed? Missing anything?

Got both the kids so at least we won’t do another bad sequel to the Home Alone series (but hey, Home Alone: China edition could be a hit!)

Cannot believe its been about two and a half years (October 2015!) since I was back stateside. Time is flying. It will be the first time my daughter has gone to America – in her lifetime! The first time my parents will have met Maggie as well.

That is seriously the hardest part about living abroad, those years away from family and friends back home.  Even these few weeks in America seems not enough. And sadly I can’t risk flying or driving all around America like I have in previous trips – the family is too big and I was close to breaking down last USA trip as it was.

Some of my family, like Uncle Bill and Aunt Barbara, still live up in Northeast USA and can’t travel down. Really thinking how we can make it up with the whole family.

UPDATE during recording – something went terribly wrong

So, I wrote up the blog post for the vlog before recording. The crazy thing that happened is – my wife’s 10 year visa didn’t work. It was still valid, but in November 2016 the US Customs department required visa holders to re-register / re-activate their visa every 2 years. Since she hadn’t been to USA in over 2 years – she needed to do this.

She found out when we went to the airline to check in.


The airline said no problem – you can do it online with the airport free wifi. So we went to the side and opened up a laptop.

Here’s the kicker – her passport is set to expire in less than 6 months – so it is not possible to get this renewal / re-activation on her 10 year visa due to that.

To get a new Chinese passport in the 2 hour window we had before boarding was obviously not possible.

Then we were left with a tough choice – who stays behind? She definitely can’t make it so the choices were:

* Cancel everyone (Wendy, her sister, our 2 kids, and me) stay back in China. But – my parents have not yet seen my daughter, and so many other arrangements. Plus the money lost on all these flights.

* Cancel the kids – and I would go with her sister?

* Cancel everyone but me? I mean, I guess so but ….the whole family part…

So we decided to take everyone except Wendy. Her sister can help on the flight with the kids and it would be her first time to America.

The feeling you get when you’re at the departure gate and need to split up your kids from your wife for a few weeks. Ya, that one.

Kids are still asking me where mommy and grandpa are. Tough for them to understand this stupid immigration stuff.

I mean, how stupid is this stuff? She had the 10 year visa- how are we supposed to know there is some new 2016 regulation that requires her to reactivate it every 2 years? Guess it would have been a non issue except her passport is expiring in less than 6 months.

So – this trip is going to be a lot more complicated and I’m going to miss her too! Still kind of dealing with this situation. More complexities of having a cross-culture family, jeez.

Just need to make the most of the choices we have, right.

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