Monday, January 14, 2008

Starting the Visa Process

Today, Catherine and I completed the first step towards getting her a Visitor's Visa to the U.S., the application.

The paperwork itself is pretty simple, just a couple pages. The standard passport info along with her relevant activities while here in Taiwan. They also require a brief explanation of your reasons for wanting to visit the States...nothing terribly perplexing.

We completed the entire application online in about 20 minutes and scheduled an appointment at the consulate immediately after submitting the form.

Ya just can't beat doing this kind of thing electronically. No racing mindlessly around the city to find the office only to wait in line for half a day. A half an hour of clicking and typing was all it took.

The American Institute in Taiwan's website is an easy one to navigate.

Our next step is to pay for the Visa, it's not cheap. Taiwan residents pay NT$4,300(130 U.S.). Catherine is not Taiwanese so she has to pay an additional NT$1,000(33 U.S.) to cover the costs of processing her paperwork and mailing it from Burma/Myanmar. I am going to the post office tomorrow morning to pay. You have to bring the receipt of payment with you to your interview.

Before getting a Visa, you have to have a face-to-face interview with an official at the American Institute in Taiwan. I don't anticipate having any problems in the interview. Perhaps being a Burmese citizen is not ideal? Also, he/she may inquire about our relationship. These are questions that Cath and I will discuss prior to the meeting. If all goes well, we will get a stamp of approval from the officer and eagerly await the arrival of her Visa.

One aspect of this that I find astonishing is the amount of time you have to wait for an interview. We submitted the application today and the earliest date we could set for an interview is February 15!! This is a bit unsettling because her Visa is probably going to take about a month to process. The website states that citizens of countries other than Taiwan should expect 3 or 4 weeks processing time because they have to retrieve some certifications from their home country. Normally the Visa is processed in a matter of a few days. If the Visa takes 4 weeks to process, it will be awfully close to our scheduled departure, March 26th.

Wish us luck!

1 comment:

Sundarraj Jayaraj said...

cute album!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good blog nice to go, my uncle back to india through Australian visa welcome to india uncle