4. Finally, I know it takes approx. 15-20 days to get Schengen visa and another 15-20 days for UK visa. If I start with Schengen in last week of April, with travel dates July 1 to 15, and then apply for the UK, do you think I’ll have enough margin between getting the passport back and travel as planned? I can move my travel dates to July 15 to 30 if I don’t get the UK visa in time. But then my Schengen visa will show the validity of July 1 to 15!! Again confused with validity.
The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

TraVisa is a company that specializes in issuing passports and visas to travelers quickly and easily. A service they offer that many other similar companies don’t is the ability to save an electronic version of one’s passport or visa on your smartphone. They have a mobile application that for Androids, iPhones and iPads let people get all the necessary information about their passport or visa. The company also allows its customers to register their travel with the U.S. Embassy. They even have an instructional video on their website that tells people everything they need to know about how to use their services.


There may be special passport requirements when entering a country. It’s common for countries to require one to two pages free in your passport. Also, many will countries require that your passport isn’t expiring within three to six months of your trip. We also recommend carrying spare passport photos with you when traveling. For more information, see our post on doing on your own passport photos.
Failure to depart the United States on time will result in being out of status. Under U.S. law, visas of individuals who are out of status are automatically voided (Section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act).  Any multiple entry visa that was voided due to being out of status will not be valid for future entries into the United States. 
While in US and since I’m travelling solo, I have a special interest to visit these places for 3-4 days each – Anchorage in Alaska, El Salvador & Trinadad (as you know, for the last two, Indians don’t need visa). But, I’m thinking how to plan my trips wisely and from which part of US to fly out and back in in order to save on air fares. Any pointers?
Our vision is to be the company that best recognizes and serves the needs of international students around the world. We strive to provide students world-class resources to help them investigate and pursue an international education, through relevant content, custom online tools and engaging websites that offer only best in class products and services.
2. Go ahead with this option if you can wait. This is a much better option. Your GCC visa renewal is three and a half months away. I am not sure how long the GCC renewal will take, but I assume 2 weeks. Overall, you have to wait for about 4 months. You will then have GCC visa valid for 2 years. The German embassy may even issue a 30 or 90 visa this time.
With offices in San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Seattle, Travel Visa Pro is superb. I’m a big fan of these guys. I did business with them in the past when I had to get a document legalized at a consulate in Washington D.C. They were super responsive and got back to me on any query I had in well under 24 hours (normally within the hour). If you are trying to get a document (such as a transcript or proof of employment) legalized, these guys are the ones to go with.
Collecting passport stamps is favorite pasttime of many travelers. Some passport stamps indicate that a visa has been granted. Sometimes visas are added to the passport in the form of a full-page sticker. Passport stamps and visas not only indicate someone who is well traveled, but someone who has been to countries further afield, since travel to Canada, Mexico and Europe generally doesn't require a visa.
It’s not uncommon to have “surname” left blank in Indian passports. First thing I would suggest is to get that fixed the next time you renew your passport. And for visa applications, fill your actual surname in the “surname” field and actual given name in “given name” field in any visa application. I know it would be different from what you have in your passport. But, most visa applications would need “surname” field to be complete and it cannot be left blank. For example:

4. I suggest two things – (1) move your travel dates to July 15-30 and (2) apply for your UK visa first. UK visa takes about 30 days. Your passport will be at the consulate for those entire 30 days. There won’t be an option for you to know your visa status during those 30 days. It can be very stressful if you apply for your UK visa after your Schengen visa.
Failure to depart the United States on time will result in being out of status. Under U.S. law, visas of individuals who are out of status are automatically voided (Section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act).  Any multiple entry visa that was voided due to being out of status will not be valid for future entries into the United States. 
(travel reservation to and from Schengen area in your name, not a ticket), so does this mean I have to show the itinerary only to port of entry and departure country, or also for all the other countries I will be visiting in the Schengen area? My itinerary looks like this Budapest-Vienna-Prague-Paris-Amsterdam, and I plan to use road/rail transport for a few of the places, so please let me know how should my air itinerary look.
The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
Even for seasoned travelers like yours truly, visas can be incredibly frustrating. You have to get this document and that document; and often, despite having all of the necessary documents and fees in place, the consulate or government agency never fails to find a reason why they cannot process your visa.  If you have any questions on visas, good luck getting anyone to answer the phone….consulates and embassies are notorious for not picking up the phone. Many consulates would rather provide you with an e-mail address that gets you a short, uninformative response in three business days or more.
4. Finally, I know it takes approx. 15-20 days to get Schengen visa and another 15-20 days for UK visa. If I start with Schengen in last week of April, with travel dates July 1 to 15, and then apply for the UK, do you think I’ll have enough margin between getting the passport back and travel as planned? I can move my travel dates to July 15 to 30 if I don’t get the UK visa in time. But then my Schengen visa will show the validity of July 1 to 15!! Again confused with validity.
Yes, to add credit, top-up your account via an iDEAL or Sofort transaction. After your first top-up with iDEAL or Sofort you will also be able to do a bank transfer. Please note that the name registered on your pay2d account must match the name registered on your bank account. If they don’t match, we won’t be able to complete the transaction. If you want to be able to receive transfers from a bank account under a different name, please upgrade to pay2d pro.
Thailand – India passport holders can get VoA for 15 days for 2000 THB. Thailand is waiving the VoA fee until the end of Jan. So, if you go before the end of Jan, the fee is 0. After that, it’s 2000 THB. You can also apply for a pre-approved visa from Thai consulate or VFS. It’s free of charge through Thai consulate and VFS changes some fee. More info at Thailand Visa Guide.

The visa officer needs to know your specific objectives, both academic or professional, for studying in the United States. Be prepared to explain why it is better to study your specific field in the United States than to study at home. Be ready to say exactly what you will study and for what career your U.S. studies will prepare you. Calmly state your education plans concisely and clearly.


4. As a self-employed person, I have bank statements, last tax return and invoices for my income. I do not have any leave approval or salary slips. What else can I provide to strengthen our application and prove ties to India (It might be worthwhile to mention here that I am not going for any professional reason, although my primary client now is a French one). I was thinking of showing my family’s property ownership in India, Aadhaar card for all family members (my brother and his family who are not traveling with us, niece’s school ID etc).
The M-1 student visa is for students who enroll in non-academic or "vocational study". Some examples of "vocational study" are mechanical studies, technical studies, cooking classes, a language program, flight school or cosmetology program. Unlike the F-1 visa, the M-1 visa is valid for only one year. Students may apply for cumulative extensions for up to three years.
Also, a cool feature of TraVisa is their visa “pre-check.” A visa pre-check is when a TraVisa Visa employee reviews a customer’s visa application to be sure that it was filled out properly, and the customer has all the necessary documents in place to get the visa approved. Once customers have ordered their visa they can keep track of their application by logging onto the TraVisa website and getting updates on their application status.

Now that I have an advantage that I have all necessary documents ready (employment, financial, travel insurance, etc), I also have a plan to apply for a Canada visa (after Schengen is stamped and I get my passport back) to make a short visit to my family friends in Vancouver while I am in the US. For this, I am deeply researching the articles in your Blog. Any other websites you can recommend, please do. Very long time back, I was issued with a Canada visa, but unfortunately I couldn’t travel at that time. Mr.Thirumal, is there any new info or advice or rules that I should be careful about while making the Canada visa application?


My question is of all the travel agents I have inquired for Singapore tourist visa said they need a CONFIRMED return flight ticket and they will only send the application for visa ONE month prior to the departure date. But if I wait for that long the flight prices already start soaring high. And if I book a flight early then I am in dilemma if my visa is rejected I will lose all my flight booking amount.
A common question for those traveling abroad is “how to get a travel visa?” Travel visas are documents that allow you to enter a specific country for a certain period of time in order to study, work, or just tour the country. Governments use visas to verify who is visiting the country and for what purpose. It’s essentially a way to get official permission to enter a country.

Pick any two countries. Say Hungary and Netherlands. Show a flight itinerary to fly into Budapest and out from Amsterdam, but also another itinerary for Budapest to Amsterdam. You will basically provide two flight itineraries. Plus provide hotel reservations in 2 or 3 cities in Hungary and Netherlands. After your visa approval, you can purchase your actual tickets to fly into Budapest and fly out from Amsterdam.


If you are going to the USA to learn English and then earn a degree, be able to explain your complete program of study. Remember, it is not enough to just say, “It is better to study in the United States.” Give valid reasons why it is better for you. Visa officers like to hear honest, direct responses to questions. They generally react poorly to applicants who give vague answers, memorize a speech, or make overly solicitous comments about how great and wonderful the United States is.
ALERT: On May 3, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued an injunction (PDF) regarding PM-602-1060 and PM-602-1060.1, policy memoranda titled, “Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants,” issued on May 10, 2018, and Aug. 9, 2018, respectively. Due to the nationwide preliminary injunction, USCIS is preliminarily enjoined from applying the policies in these policy memoranda to F, J, and M nonimmigrants. Until further notice, USCIS will apply the prior policy guidance in AFM Chapter 40.9.2, issued on May 6, 2009: Consolidation of Guidance Concerning Unlawful Presence for Purposes of Sections 212(a)(9)(b)(i) and 212(a)(9)(c)(i)(I) of the Act (PDF, 2.90 MB).
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