RFA: Current Officials and Immediate Family Members of Communist Party’s “Powerful Departments” Denied Access to U.S.

Secretary of State Blinken suspends visas for some Chinese citizens in Section 243(d) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. Brinken Twitter Photo

Radio Free Asia’s investigation found that the Internet rumor that the U.S. denied visas to four categories of Chinese deputy bureaucrats and their spouses and children for business, tourism, study, and exchange is true, including visas for four categories of active duty personnel and their immediate family members in China: immigration, state supervision, national security, and public security. Some study abroad consultants disclosed to us that relatives of some grassroots Public Security Ministry personnel are affected even though they are not on the prohibited list. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing has not yet responded to our inquiries. The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded on Thursday (13) that the U.S. denied the visas for political reasons.

The U.S.-China political tug-of-war has affected Chinese citizens who plan to study abroad. Beijing-based study abroad consultant GW Education posted a message on its WeChat website on Thursday (13), revealing that a Chinese undergraduate student was denied a visa to study in the U.S. because the student’s father was a public security officer.

Our correspondent contacted Beijing GFE’s study abroad consultant Qiao Xiangdong as a consultant. Qiao pointed out that in previous years, they have also handled visas for children of the Ministry of State Security and public security personnel to go to the U.S. without encountering visa obstacles, and he was not sure whether this incident was an independent case or a beginning.

Qiao Xiangdong said: in previous years, we also have some Ministry of Security, or sensitive, but also public security, this is not affected, but this year …… because we determined that I the student is the first to get this note, so I also wonder if he is an isolated case?

The student’s father was only a grassroots traffic police officer, Qiao Xiangdong also revealed, and he believes that the U.S. move may be a countermeasure to China.

Qiao Xiangdong said: Our student’s father is actually a grassroots traffic police, does not belong to the public security, but the U.S. visa officer, he may mistakenly think you are the public security system. He gave me a note in English and Chinese (note), I just want to tell you a message, I also did not interpret ah, also afraid of causing ambiguity, is just to put the information here. The United States may be a countermeasure to some of China’s policies, it may say it is only a moratorium on issuance. If there is no compromise on its side, it will probably keep suspending it.

The note from the U.S. Embassy to the applicant indicated that the denial was temporary under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The note further states that China refuses or unreasonably delays accepting Chinese nationals who have received a final order of deportation from the United States. The Secretary of State has therefore ordered a suspension of the issuance of B1, B2, B1/B2, F1, F2, J1, and J2 visas to officials of the Chinese Immigration Bureau (including the Exit and Entry Administration) of the rank of deputy director (or equivalent) and above, their spouses and married or unmarried children under the age of 21, and active duty personnel of the State Supervisory Commission, the Ministry of State Security, and the Ministry of Public Security, their spouses and children under the age of 30.

The response from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to GFE states that regular visas will be reinstated when China accepts its nationals at the request of the United States. At that time, consular officers will review the undergraduate student’s application and reassess his or her eligibility for the type of visa requested.

On Thursday (13), Beijing GW Education released a news release stating that an undergraduate student applying for a U.S. student visa was denied because his father was a public security officer, and that the embassy sent the student a note reminding him of the reasons. (Beijing Gwai Education WeChat)

At a regular press conference on Thursday, the Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on online rumors that the U.S. Embassy has denied visa applications from active duty personnel and their families from four categories of Chinese agencies: immigration, state supervision, state security, and public security.

Hua Chunying accused the U.S. of disrupting normal personnel exchanges between the two countries for political reasons. She rhetorically asked whether, according to the U.S. logic, China should deny visas to U.S. intelligence service personnel and their families to come to China. However, Hua evaded that the reason for the U.S. visa denial stems from the Chinese Communist Party’s refusal or unwarranted delay in accepting Chinese citizens who have received final deportation orders from the United States.

Zhou Fenglock, a former student movement leader and president of Humane China USA, said the visa suspensions include the most serious human rights persecution sectors, although under the terms of immigration law, and he called on the United States to consider this as a long-term policy under the Magnitsky Human Rights Act.

Zhou Fenglock said, “Since these departments are the most involved in the CCP’s repression of these specific perpetrators, these people are the CCP’s persecution of human rights, persecution of Chinese political prisoners, ordinary people’s fighters, they should be punished, now there is this of course is happy to see, we hope that this is a permanent policy. Still reminds me of the Magnitsky Act, if sanctions are more powerful according to the sector than against individuals.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing has not yet responded to our inquiries.

We refer to Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which provides that when a country refuses or delays in receiving back a citizen of that country who has been served with a U.S. deportation order, the Secretary of State is authorized to order an officer of a consulate located in that country to cease issuing immigrant visas or nonimmigrant visas, or both, to a citizen, dependent, national, or resident of that country until the country has received the citizen who has been deported from the United States.