China issues new visa rules
The Chinese Embassy in Kigali has announced new stringent measures that Rwandans seeking a visa to China will have to fulfil.
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, the embassy’s Second Secretary, Sun Chenggong, said over 1,000 Rwandans apply for Chinese visas every year, most of them business visas, and about 30 students on government scholarships.
The statement comes days after Police arrested two people suspected of trafficking Rwandans to China for commercial sex on the promise of getting them jobs.
Chenggong said his embassy was shocked by the news which has prompted them to set stricter procedures on the issuing of visas.
Currently, a Chinese visa for a single person costs Rwf 32,000 while double costs Rwf 52,000.
“For one to get a Chinese visa will now have to provide an official letter from a well recognised institution from China and that will also have to go through Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry to ascertain the authenticity of visa application ,” said Chenggong.
This means Rwandans seeking visas to China for business or otherwise will now not find it easy to acquire one.
The official added the embassy had no knowledge of the gangs that traffic girls to the Asian country.
On whether the new measures would apply in other neighbouring countries, where several Rwandans are said to have been acquiring visas, especially Uganda, Chenggong said: “We have already informed our embassy in Uganda.”
He noted there is need for joint effort between the regional countries to stamp out the vice.
Chenggong explained that some alleged human traffickers use China as route to its neighbouring countries, like Thailand and Taiwan, where commercial sex is said to be rampant.
He urged Rwandans to be cautious of people promising them well paying jobs, saying it’s very hard for a foreigner to get a job in China.
“For one to get a job in China, they must possess an alien employment license that is only obtainable from concerned Chinese authorities; and in case you are caught without it, you are immediately deported,” he said.
A Chinese visa lasts one to three months, basing on the visa application.
The Chinese official noted that commercial sex is declining in his country as several measures have been put in place to curb the practice.
It is reported that tens of thousands of commercial sex workers in China are administratively detained each year in female Re-education Through Labour (RTL) centres for moral education and vocational training.
Contact email: fred.ndoli[at]newtimes.co.rw