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LaoDing

Problems with family overnight stays

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LaoDing

My daughter is a university student, majoring in Chinese culture. I'm a public uni teacher, living in a one-bedroom apartment owned by my school. I have a Z working visa, my daughter has an X student visa. My daughter wants to live here half the time and in her dorm half the time, but my FAO is freaked out about it. Is it because of police registration rules regarding overnight stays?

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roddy

Ask him, but that'll be part of it. It's a situation which doesn't fit into how things work currently (so where's her permanent address?) and the FAO could bear the brunt if the PSB decide they don't like it (say it turns out your daughter hasn't been going to classes as she's been working illegally). I'd sit down and explain why you want to do this, show your daughter's paperwork, and ask if it's possible and if not, how can you make it possible.

 

Also, and forgive me - does the FAO know you actually have a daughter? If you're a man in your 40s and you've casually mentioned to the FAO your 18 year old daughter will be staying over a lot in your one-bedroom apartment, some incorrect assumptions may have been made.

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Shelley
1 hour ago, roddy said:

 If you're a man in your 40s and you've casually mentioned to the FAO your 18 year old daughter will be staying over a lot in your one-bedroom apartment, some incorrect assumptions may have been made

This is what came to mind immediately i read your post.. Would things be different if you had a 2 bedroom apartment?

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yueni
13 hours ago, roddy said:

Also, and forgive me - does the FAO know you actually have a daughter? If you're a man in your 40s and you've casually mentioned to the FAO your 18 year old daughter will be staying over a lot in your one-bedroom apartment, some incorrect assumptions may have been made.

 

Double confirming this one. When my parents went to China (they went to study Chinese after they retired), they wanted to share a one bedroom in the dorms, and they had to turn in a copy of their marriage certificate to prove that they were actually married.

 

My mom: "What they heck kind of hanky-panky do they think two 60 year old married people are going to do?!?!?!" :P

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LaoDing

 

14 hours ago, roddy said:

Ask him, but that'll be part of it. It's a situation which doesn't fit into how things work currently (so where's her permanent address?) and the FAO could bear the brunt if the PSB decide they don't like it (say it turns out your daughter hasn't been going to classes as she's been working illegally). I'd sit down and explain why you want to do this, show your daughter's paperwork, and ask if it's possible and if not, how can you make it possible.

 

She lives in the dorm. That's her address. It's official and not in doubt. She's an American citizen. And she's 高级 and no. 2 in her class with a perfect attendance record and a 94% score on her finals and has not worked a single hour on any outside jobs because she wants to devote her time to study. She has an X1 visa. My daughter looks like me, my FAO has met her and she's been a guest at a couple of my classes. There is nothing weird about living with a parent especially in China, and my Chinese colleagues all react with shock as well when they hear the school has not allowed her to live with me. That goes against Chinese family values. Living in China can be extremely frustrating at times. 

I'll try again when school begins. 

 

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Jim

I'd be tempted to say nothing more, go ahead and do it and let them worry. Suspect their approach is one of minimising any potential hassle, and getting rid of you and getting someone else in over this would count as bother they don't want too. Obviously you're in a better position than me to judge whether you'll get away with that with the people you're dealing with.

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DavyJonesLocker
3 hours ago, Jim said:

I'd be tempted to say nothing more, go ahead and do it and let them worry. Suspect their approach is one of minimising any potential hassle, and getting rid of you and getting someone else in over this would count as bother they don't want too. Obviously you're in a better position than me to judge whether you'll get away with that with the people you're dealing with.

 

I agree, your daughter is visiting your and staying overnight. I never heard of  any police registration rule that disallows that. A large number of foreigners are staying at their partners place every week . Your daughters residence is still at her uni. 

 

 

4 hours ago, LaoDing said:

There is nothing weird about living with a parent especially in China, and my Chinese colleagues all react with shock as well when they hear the school has not allowed her to live with me. That goes against Chinese family values. Living in China can be extremely frustrating at times. 

 

Indeed, it's almost a given! I think  you might have been unfortunate in dealing with the wrong person at your school. 

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roddy

Assuming they know everything you've told us - yeah, I'd go ahead and start doing it and see what happens. But bear in mind that you're stepping outside of how China likes to arrange its foreigners (a place for everyone, and everyone in their place) and could potentially cause problems for the people in charge. EG, your daughter registers for too many stays at yours, and the PSB give your FAO a talking-to about letting people who should be staying over there move in semi-permanently over here. It might not be likely, but it could be the FAO's concern. A lot of 'no' responses are about minimising potential future hassle.

 

It doesn't even have to be any concerns about you. Some other foreign teachers or students somewhere get caught doing something they should be, the PSB gets a rocket from their superiors, and they all get sent out to check everyone's where they're meant to be. Or maybe there have been internal disputes at the school about who pays for foreign teacher housing and it's not a good time to have random visitors on extended stays. 

 

Are we at the same university, in the same city? 

 

Edit: We're not talking about 'overnight stays' - from the OP: 

"My daughter wants to live here half the time and in her dorm half the time"

 

That goes beyond the usual family visit.

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889

There's a good rule to follow: if someone who can make life easy or difficult for you is waving a yellow flag, however needlessly, you don't drive through it without accepting some consequences. That is, there has to be a pretty important issue on your plate, one worth risking those consequences.

 

Is this all that significant an issue for the OP?

 

Remember, too, that Chinese hotels and dorms often have a "no unregistered visitors after 10pm" rule.

 

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anonymoose

Would the school offer you a housing allowance instead of providing housing? You could rent your own place and then it would not involve the school at all.

 

Bear in mind, though, that your daughter in theory would have to register with the local PSB every time she stays at your place.

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LaoDing

Thanks everyone for all the help. Obviously registering with the police every day my daughter stays here would not be feasible. I'll think we'll just continue what we are doing now and see how it goes. One way or another it will work out. I'm determined to be with my daughter through her graduation and probably beyond. We're a family. 

I did find this interesting page:

https://answers.echinacities.com/question/what-are-consequences-not-registering-police-station

I believe for now, with my daughter duly registered at her dorm, that the chances of anybody caring about or even noticing my daughter staying at my apartment is remote. Probably the best thing to do is keep it the way it is for now and not cause a fuss. If it does become an issue, I suppose I'll find an outside apartment and get us both registered there. Maybe I'll have to even change jobs, but I really don't believe either my FAO wants that, and I certainly do not. Both my daughter and I chose to live in China, knowing that, like so many other countries, there's plenty of xenophobia and double standards when it comes to foreigners. It's not something I complain about as I am not ignorant. But when your FAO, who has been very kind to you otherwise, is clearly uncomfortable with you sharing your apartment with your own child, it's pretty deflating.

 

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roddy
2 hours ago, LaoDing said:

But when your FAO, who has been very kind to you otherwise, is clearly uncomfortable with you sharing your apartment with your own child, it's pretty deflating.

What's his actual reason? The fact he's usually kind, but is unhappy about this, indicates to me that there might actually be a solid reason somewhere. And you are putting him in a somewhat awkward position - your daughter doesn't register. Someone notices an unaccounted for foreigner*. Local police station turn up. University gets a bollocking for not keeping a close enough eye on their foreigners. It's an entirely plausible scenario.

 

Honestly, having someone, even a family member, moving in half-time in university-provided accommodation, when you aren't able to properly register her, seems to me to go beyond 'entirely reasonable' into 'asking for a favour'.

 

*I don't know what your set-up is, but this does happen - happened to me actually, just after my mother had visited. Phone call from the police station saying they'd heard I had a guest and I should bring her down to register. You might not see the 居委會, but they see you.

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LaoDing
7 hours ago, roddy said:

What's his actual reason? The fact he's usually kind, but is unhappy about this, indicates to me that there might actually be a solid reason somewhere. And you are putting him in a somewhat awkward position - your daughter doesn't register. Someone notices an unaccounted for foreigner*. Local police station turn up. University gets a bollocking for not keeping a close enough eye on their foreigners. It's an entirely plausible scenario.

 

Honestly, having someone, even a family member, moving in half-time in university-provided accommodation, when you aren't able to properly register her, seems to me to go beyond 'entirely reasonable' into 'asking for a favour'.

 

The expectation that a family member should be allowed to stay with you is not 'entirely reasonable?' IF the law puts our mothers, elderly couples, and intimate friends in such unwarranted suspicion that everyone needs to be put under tabs 24 hours a day, but Chinese citizens are not, then the regulations are obviously highly xenophobic. That is a objective observation, not a criticism. 

I don't know Roddy if you are taking the side of my FAO as the right one, or just trying to see things from her perspective, but as my FAO I think she should help me take care of this instead of avoiding it. I have no idea why she didn't anticipate this- she knew my daughter was living with me. I brought this up from the very beginning and was not told that my daughter couldn't stay here. There is nothing in my contract about this and I would not have signed a contract that prohibited family stays. When I registered with the police I registered my daughter as a co-inhabitant. The police had absolutely no problem with that. But when the paper got back to my FAO, she told me to undo it. She said, 'what you do in your apartment is your own business, and your own responsibility. We are not responsible. Actually, I'm not even comfortable talking about this.' That makes pretty hard to discuss or find out her reasons.

The dorm has gone through changes and the situation is complicated. My school leased it out to another school. That school and my school made a contract that stipulates a one-bedroom apartment be made available for any foreign teacher and that 'one person' would reside in it. So there is the problem; the 'one person' clause. However, since January 1st, the dormitories' ownership has gone back to my school and it appears my FAO will be changing. So I'm not sure what is going to happen. And THAT seems to the one constant fun variable in wild China- uncertainty. Definitely keeps you on your toes. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic or bitter. Every time you make a move here it's a big roller coaster. 

Anyway, I don't like complaining but I don't how to respond in any other way. I want to cooperate and be up front with everyone with all good intentions. But if my school is not willing to get us reasonable housing where we can be registered, or raise my salary so I can actually afford living off campus, then I guess I'll have to start looking for a school that will. 

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Angelina
5 hours ago, LaoDing said:

everyone needs to be put under tabs 24 hours a day, but Chinese citizens are not

 

They (Chinese people) are, if it makes you feel better. Ask your students how free they feel living on campus. 

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LaoDing
1 hour ago, Angelina said:

They (Chinese people) are, if it makes you feel better. Ask your students how free they feel living on campus. 

 

Of course that does not make me 'feel better.' I'm not trying to get into a debate about surveillance, and without more details I'm not sure what you mean. But just about every foreigner, wherever they live, is bound to face situations that are frustrating. But I have gotten way off track here and apologize if I've ranted or touched any nerves. Best intentions I assure you. If I could help anyone living in GZ, I'd certainly like to try.

 

I for one leave the discussion and will report back when the matter is resolved and with any legal info I can find. All I can say is the last school I was at (in Henan), teachers were living with their spouses, their kids and their dogs and cats with no problems at all. Suddenly I move here and find there are a lot more hoops than I imagined there would be. My only purpose for posting in the first place was to get some ideas, which I have. Thanks everyone.

 

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