January 12, 2017 12:49
People applying for visas to China must remove their glasses when posing for ID photos starting this year. Already a number of people have had their visa requests denied because they wear glasses, hats or scarves in their pictures.
The Chinese Embassy in Seoul said the measure "is being applied at all overseas diplomatic missions starting Jan. 1 of this year."
The notice was put on the embassy website here on Dec. 15, but it only mentioned horn-rimmed glasses and sunglasses.
Many applicants are unaware of the changes, and applicants wearing wire-rimmed glasses are also being turned down. This has given rise to suspicions that the move is part of a bigger campaign of subtle and not-so-subtle pressure on Korea over the decision to station a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here.
A travel agent said, "We're seeing instances of visas applications being rejected not only because of glasses but for other reasons as well. Applicants need to be more careful when submitting photos for Chinese visas."
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