Our family is really learning to go with the flow during the process of moving abroad. Our original plan was to have our 19 year old (soon to be 20 year old) son travel with us on my work visa. I didn't see a problem with him applying for a family visa since I would be residing in China. BUT, since my son is over the age of 18, he doesn't qualify to travel on the family visa. The university tried, but they were not able to include him on my invitation letter. So, what to do next?
Luckily, the university I work for offers a Mandarin language learning program for foreign students. As of now, my son has applied to be admitted to the university where I am teaching. We hope that his application will be approved soon. Once that happens, he will be able to obtain a student visa and travel with us to China using that visa. Also, he will get to attend a great Chinese University, bonus!
Slight COVID-19 Hiccup
Because this is the time of COVID-19, we could run into another hiccup. If China decides to let in new work visas, but not student visas, then we will need to adjust our plan. I am very determined for our family to travel all together. Even though my son is an adult, I don't want to leave him behind, even for a month or two. I don't want him to have to navigate flights and travel alone. Even though I know he is completely capable, I would rather have him travel with us.
We began this journey because of the dream to spend more time together as a family. For me, it is imperative that we all travel together and arrive in China at the same time. Part of the moving abroad experience will be traveling and seeing the country for the first time together. During normal times, we would not have as much of an issue, but since COVID-19 has changed everything, we have to be extra patient and open-minded.
Grow with the Flow
I have hope that all of this will fall into place as we get closer to the travel date. I have been talking to people who have experience living abroad to come up with ideas for our family to be able to travel together. As of now, we are hoping to travel in January of 2021. Our new motto is to "Grow with the Flow", we will stay positive and flexible! Thanks for following our adventure! -Michelle