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    Baby Denied Visa

    July 1999

    I have a friend here, a graduate student from China, whose 18?-24?-month-old daughter was going to be re-united with her here this fall. Well, the American embassy in China has started to deny visas that were once routine ever since the alleged spying incident and the student protests of the bombing of the Chinese embassy. I know it used to be routine because I know others who have done this with no trouble. So the baby's visa was denied and my friend is distraught at the prospect of not being able to see her baby for another two years. I would be too! (Incidentally, having the grandmother watch the baby for the first year or two is standard culturally acceptable practice, but after that it's usually too much for the mother to bear, being separated for that long, so then the baby comes over until the mother is finished with her degree.)

    Does anyone have any idea what to do to get the embassy to grant the baby's visa? I have heard that one might try to write one's congressional representative. I have also heard that there is some INS policy that families should not be separated; does anybody know the policy or how I can refer to it when I write my congressperson?

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