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Denied visa application due to depression


chinniefei

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So recently I was denied by the local government because I have depression and anxiety under control (for years). Now I’ve spent over $700+ on authentication through my state and US government as well as medical checks. Sigh. Has this happened to anyone else and what could I do to move forward on this now I know I have to omit certain things on my medical check? How long do the authentications last for the local (my state) and the US/China embassy one last? 

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I am not sure where you live.  There are some travel agents that specialize in Chinese visas - have a long history doing so, and good relations with the local consulate or embassy.  One idea might be to talk to them. 

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陳德聰

It sucks that it costs you so much to do the relevant tests.

 

Frankly I would just lie about having mental health conditions when applying for a visa for China, and ask your doctors not to disclose in the routine physical exam needed for the application. The only confounding factor I can think of is getting your medication in with you.

 

I would think if you can get new exams done up and apply again, it should work as if you’ve been suddenly “cured”.

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I was angry about the outcome but they wouldn’t even approve of the visa application even if I redid it. I’m definitely looking at other offers that previously wanted me and will see how it works out. The medication I’m not worried about. I knew the instant my doctor had that on there it would be denied. Sigh.

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Who denied your visa application?

 

Was it:

 

1. the school who just decided they didn't want to issue you the visa paperwork after they found out about your condition?

2. At the embassy/consulate counter where the person behind the desk looked at your documents and declined it because of your condition?

3. After submitting all relevant documentation to the embassy, and then coming back to pick up your passport but found your application was denied?

4. Some other situation.

 

If it was 1 or 2 then you can probably apply again somewhere using your existing $700 worth of medical checks.  If it was 3, they'll have a record of it, and you'll probably be denied for any applications within some timeframe.

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I think 陳德聰's and imron's comments/questions really hit the nail on the head.

 

For anyone applying in future, though, or yourself applying/re-applying for a visa, the following points might help navigate the process:

  • The Visa Application Form only contains one yes/no question relating to mental health [3.4 - "Are you experiencing any of the following conditions ... 1) serious mental disorder?"], which is incredibly vague and a definition which typically does not include many less-severe forms of anxiety/depression.
  • The Foreigner Physical Examination Form only specifically asks about the following mental illnesses: "toxicomania"; "mental confusion"; and "[manic/paranoid/hallucinatory] psychosis."  This, to me, provides the best working definition of what the Chinese government would consider a "serious mental disorder."

    So...
     
  • IF your depression is mild to moderate, even if medication has been prescribed to manage it, and IF you do not experience any of the specific disorders/symptoms listed on the physical examination form, then tick "no" on all related boxes on both forms and simply omit any mention of the diagnosis.  This is not a lie.  This is a good faith and truthful answer based on the best working definition provided on the forms, themselves.
  • IF your depression is severe, frequently debilitating, requiring significant medication quantities/adjustments for management, and especially if you experience any of those symptoms listed on the examination form, then you'll probably be stuck ticking a "yes" somewhere, a selection which will likely impact any visa application.  That said, if this is the case, I would recommend against moving to a part of the world where awareness/understanding of, and easy access to treatment for, mental illness is limited, at best.

Assuming a visa has been obtained, the challenge then becomes obtaining a prescription, having it translated/notarized, and finding a Chinese pharmacy which won't be too nosy when attempting to have it filled.  Whether said process, and whether the possibility of going without medication while abroad, are too much of a hassle/risk is really your discretion.

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abcdefg
22 hours ago, chinniefei said:

what could I do to move forward on this now I know I have to omit certain things on my medical check?

 

Are you wanting to teach abroad? Or simply come as a tourist? If the former, apply to a different country: Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, etc. 

 

Bear in mind that a move to an alien culture where you don't understand the customs, don't speak the language and have no support system (family and friends) is exactly the sort of thing that can destabilize your psychiatric condition. Could proven very detrimental to your health. Could be a disaster. Having a "mental health melt down" a million miles from home is a messy business. 

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mungouk

Great answer @AaronUK

 

Not entirely unrelated: Does anyone have experience of how easy or not it is to access prescription or over-the-counter medication in PRC?

If you have a prescription or note from your doctor in your home/previous country, can you even just go into a pharmacy and buy your normal meds? 

 

I've found that in countries like Cambodia and Vietnam (for example) you can more less just go in there and get what you need, which is very convenient (although open to abuse of course).

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, mungouk said:

Does anyone have experience of how easy or not it is to access prescription or over-the-counter medication in PRC?

I struggled to get antihistamine cream when asking from a doctor. She asked me if I had any friends in Thailand who can give it to me.

 

I think it really comes down to the medication you are requesting and it is authorised for the same use you require it for. Perhaps others have different experiences but I feel that you need to get everything via a doctor.

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker

I am always in two minds of this one

Perhaps taking a chance might be a breakthrough you need, coming to china is really a journey of self discovery

However, very wise words by @AaronUK and @abcdefg above.  

 

Personally i fit into the "sod it,  take a chance and see what happens" kindof person but I should say even after being to a LOT of countries, China was probably the toughest! i can say though from my own personal experience i have zero regrets and its a positive life changing experience no question!

 

Does this help with mental health issues i really have no idea!

 

 

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mungouk
2 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

sod it,  [...]  Does this help with mental health issues i really have no idea!

 

No disrespect mate, but I suspect not.

 

When you've had students who are manic, suicidal or otherwise scary-as-hell, you have to take this seriously.  

 

And the problem is growing incredibly quickly, world-wide.  In Asia, it's even more of an issue. 

 

 

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker
6 minutes ago, mungouk said:

No disrespect mate, but I suspect not.

 

When you've had students who are manic, suicidal or otherwise scary-as-hell, you have to take this seriously.  

 

And the problem is growing incredibly quickly, world-wide.  In Asia, it's even more of an issue. 

 

 

Indeed, i don't know much one this area so please no one take what I write as "advice", just my thoughts on a website!

 

Aarons experience is very interesting

 

 

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abcdefg
21 hours ago, mungouk said:

Not entirely unrelated: Does anyone have experience of how easy or not it is to access prescription or over-the-counter medication in PRC?

 

China is pretty cautious about psychotropics. You might sometimes be able to get Ampicillin for an ear infection just by asking in a pharmacy, but you won't get Paxil for your depression the same way. 

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