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Help with M Visa? Agent trying to extort me?


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Hi, I’ve recently been awarded an M Visa with 90 day duration and multiple entries. As of yet any business interests/contacts I have in China are only prospective therefore to aid on the whole application process and to avoid me having to ask favours from any contacts I have in China, I used an agent to help provide a letter of invitation and associated documents required.


The agent’s rate for helping on M visa differed depending upon validity period of the visa, the maximum being 12 months which cost 10,000RMB, this is the option I chose and paid the mentioned fee.


As promised the agent provided the relevant documents, the letter detailing I would require 12 month visa. I selected a 12 month visa on the application and submitted it at my local CVASC. Now, for whatever reason, the Chinese Consulate has decided to award me a 24 month visa, which I was rather happy with.. (result!)


This has led to the agent contacting me this morning demanding I pay an extra fee of 5000 RMB today or (as they initially said) they will have my visa cancelled, this then changed to they will withdraw the letter of invitation. They have stated they know it’s not down to myself  but have changed from being kind and helpful to using thug-like and bullying tactics.


I was wondering if anyone could offer any help/advice on this as it’s a new venture for myself, what powers does the agent actually have, especially after my visa has been Issued? I understand they can withdraw a letter of invitation but will that actually affect me as it’s only required as part of the application process which is already complete? 


Any insight is much obliged! 





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I wonder why you need a 1-year VISA to start with (?) But apparently you were "happy" paying 10000RMB for 1 year.


Isn't the easiest way to just pay the additional 5000 RMB and enjoy another year of hassle-free traveling to China? I can somehow understand that the fee of this agency is somehow connected to the duration of the VISA and 5000 RMB sounds "OK" to me (the whole thing sounds crazy to me, but if you pay 10000RMB for 1 year, then 15000 RMB for 2 years sound OK to me...).



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I used an agent to help provide a letter of invitation and associated documents required.


Was this an end run around China's visa requirements and therefore somewhat dishonest or fraudulent?  If so, then the agent has you over a barrel and you had better pay.

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In a way, you also have the agent over a barrel. He does not want attention drawn to himself.


In any event, you have already paid him a small fortune. Really harsh bullying suggests to me that that's the only arrow in his quiver.


You are at a fancy restaurant. Before you know it, a bottle of wine you've never ordered has been opened at your table. You've already had one bottle and that was enough. Bully you as the staff might, are you going to pay for the second bottle?


Don't argue with the thug. Just stop contact. And book your flight to China.


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This is an amusing one. 


First, I wouldn't be paying anything. I'd probably just write them a polite email saying that currently, you only need a one year visa, and so the second year is of no value to you and you can't pay any extra for it. Perhaps add that if your plans change and you do use the second year of the visa, you can reconsider. 


If you want to play games with them, and frankly I wouldn't bother, you could also offer to either) go to the embassy, explain the situation and request a shorter visa* or b) explain that you plan to change to a work or student visa in a year's time, and you hold them responsible for any extra costs incurred in changing visa type at the time. 


*Visa agents tend to have (in my day, at least) limited local connections which let them get away with doing what they do. The idea of a foreigner walking into an embassy overseas and explaining their business model in great detail should be a cause of some worry to them. Do not, under any circumstances, actually do this. 

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Think through, from the agent's standpoint, what would happen if you were to head to China and encounter, against all reason and logic, a problem with your visa. Why, you'd explain to the guys in uniform what happened and show them your emails.


This is the last thing the agent wants.


That is, he cannot create problems for you without the risk of creating problems for himself. He can't afford to take this risk, which could put him out of business, or worse. (I'm assuming your agent is in China.)


So he'll bully at first but finally conclude that with 10,000RMB in hand he's still well ahead.

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