Students who are authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT) must have a Form I-20 endorsed for OPT, and apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). When authorized, OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to the eligible F-1 student's area of study. To learn more about OPT, please visit the USCIS Website and the ICE International Students webpage.

If you will be traveling to India to sightsee, visit friends or family, have a casual business meeting or undergo a medical treatment, apply for an e-Visa online on India's official e-Visa website. There are three types of e-Visa: e-Tourist visa, e-Business visa and e-Medical visa. Select the correct type for your trip – probably the e-Tourist visa – when applying.


Complete and submit the DS-160 form on line completely. Again, remember to use the exact same order and spelling of your names as they are found in your passport. There is now an additional question that requires you list any social media accounts you have such as Facebook. Then you will print them out and bring them to the Embassy when you go for your your visa interview.

The first step is to apply to a SEVP-approved school in the United States.  After the SEVP-approved school accepts your enrollment, you will be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.  The SEVP-approved school will issue you a Form I-20.  After you receive the Form I-20 and register in SEVIS, you may apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a student (F or M) visa.  You must present the Form I-20 to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview.

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is for temporary travel to the United States, and for K (fiancé(e)) visas. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the Internet. Consular Officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application and, combined with a personal interview, determine an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa.
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).
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.
Hi GQ! Thanks for the kind words! I understand that your cruise will start and end in Italy. But, are you flying into Italy to catch your cruise? If so, you would need to show the round trip tickets to and from Italy for Schengen visa application. For example, say you reside in India. In that case, you would need show roundtrip ticket from India-Italy and Italy-India.
Visa officers are giving increased scrutiny to all visa applicants. This simply means that you need to make sure you are well prepared for your visa interview. Be sure to follow the suggestions in the accompanying article. You should be able to explain in the very brief visa interview why you want to study in the United States, what you will study and how this will prepare you for work in your country when you finish your studies. You need to be able to explain why you applied to the school that has accepted you and how you will pay for your studies and living expenses. You may also be asked additional questions, including your identity on social networks like Facebook.

1. It doesn’t matter much. I have known readers who have applied for the UK visa first and Schengen later. They had similar itineraries comprising a trip to UK and Europe. In my opinion, going for the UK visa first is better since your passport will be away at the UK consulate for almost 30 days. You can neither track your visa status nor talk to someone at the consulate. It can be annoying if you already had your Schengen visa and the travel dates are approaching.
Students who are authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT) must have a Form I-20 endorsed for OPT, and apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). When authorized, OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to the eligible F-1 student's area of study. To learn more about OPT, please visit the USCIS Website and the ICE International Students webpage.
Sir, thanks for kind word and help. I plan to use travelvisabookings.com to provide an itinerary for my traveling document b/cos flight, hotel reservation, insurance including Free Personal covering letter but what am hearing them brought doubt about them. Please, do you know any genuine site that offers the same service? I think they charge $70 for flight, hotel reservation, insurance including Free Personal covering letter.
Travel Visa Pro also offers a concierge service where customers can have an employee fill out their application. There are many benefits to using the company’s concierge service, including but not limited to being entered into their VIP Program, free insurance coverage on one’s passport and free printing of electronic photos at Travel Visa Pro’s office. Many of my readers who have used the services of this company report that their service was fast, friendly and efficient.
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?
1. It doesn’t matter much. I have known readers who have applied for the UK visa first and Schengen later. They had similar itineraries comprising a trip to UK and Europe. In my opinion, going for the UK visa first is better since your passport will be away at the UK consulate for almost 30 days. You can neither track your visa status nor talk to someone at the consulate. It can be annoying if you already had your Schengen visa and the travel dates are approaching.
After looking at some of the responses, I contacted travelvisabookings in order to get information on the flight/hotel/insurance booking. I wanted to check on how long they can hold the flight reservations once they finalize the itinerary. They mentioned that they will give me a reservation which will be valid for a very long time but they will not be able to provide me with a PNR which I can look up. When I inquired how will the embassy inquire my flight reservations they said that the embassy has access to another database which they can look up even though there is no PNR. When I asked if they could give me a reservation with PNR they said that the PNR will be valid only for 2-3 days. The reservation without PNR option did not make sense to me.
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.
2. I read in one of your earlier responses to show travel itinerary just for only 1 country for the visa (using hotel bookings and flight reservation for 3-4 places in that country) instead of showing many countries. Is this a good option in my case i.e. to show only French hotel bookings and flight reservations. In that case, would there be incentive for requesting multiple entries.
As an international student coming to the United States, there are three different student visas that you could be issued: F1 Visa, J1 Visa or M1 Visa. The F1 and J1 visas allow for the possibility of employment in the US during your stay, while the M1 Visa does not. You need to be familiar with the types of visas, how they impact your financing while in the USA and how to go through the application and arrival processes.

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is for temporary travel to the United States, and for K (fiancé(e)) visas. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the Internet. Consular Officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application and, combined with a personal interview, determine an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa.
Please allow me to ask you for your help solving my queries regarding budget travel without confirmed flight tickets and it’s because this is gonna my first ever visit abroad. My itinerary is something like this -> INDIA-LAOS-VIETNAM-CAMBODIA-THAILAND-INDIA or may be in reverse order. Hence, below are the concerning things for which I need your hep – 

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.
There is a whole industry of visa agencies to help you with the visa process. Some of these agencies are legit and can help you navigate the process. Some may be looking to charge you a lot of money for something that you can do yourself for little or no fee. The key is to do your research before using them though. A quick Google search can often reveal whether other travelers have had positive experiences with specific agencies.
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Last year, Feb 18 I was refused by Netherlands embassy reason 2. justification for the purpose and condition of intended stay was not provided and reason no 9. your intention to leave territory could not be ascertained. Because during the telephonic interview I could not answer the hotel name and address. at that time also not submitted my business license. Applied as freelancer, also no travel history, so refused. Then in a week reapply in Czech republic again refused with the same reason 2 and 9.
Review the ETA visa criteria to make sure it meets your needs. An ETA allows you to travel to Australia as a tourist, to visit family or friends, or to conduct certain business activities. As a business visitor, you can do things like negotiate contracts, make business inquiries, or take part in a conference or seminar (although you can't get paid for your contribution to any conference or seminar).[2]
Gather the required documents. You will need documents to verify your identity as well as documents to support your claim that you are a genuine temporary visitor. These documents could include bank statements showing that you have enough money to stay and leave Australia, a letter from your employer, or proof that you own a home or other major assets in your home country. You also must provide character documents, such as a police report or military service record.[20]

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I submitted my wife’s salary certificate and leave approval latter, children’s school NOC letter, four savings account (16 lac balance), two current account with proper transactions, my wife’s rented income proof (rent agreement), I am doing property dealing business with proprietorship, submitted firm registration, shop establishment license (office), which is only one year old, submitted various 8 property paper with translation, not submitted internal travel tickets (is it mandatory?)
2. I read in one of your earlier responses to show travel itinerary just for only 1 country for the visa (using hotel bookings and flight reservation for 3-4 places in that country) instead of showing many countries. Is this a good option in my case i.e. to show only French hotel bookings and flight reservations. In that case, would there be incentive for requesting multiple entries.
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.
If you will return home to complete university studies after studying English in the United States, bring proof of your student status in your country. A letter from a university professor supporting your study plan can be helpful. Young people around the world are often unsure of their plans. However, in the visa interview it is best to give definite answers. If you seem to be unsure about what you will be doing, the visa officer may believe that you are really going to the United States for reasons other than education.
Some countries also offer an e-visa and/or a “visa-on-arrival” option. Both an e-visa and a visa-on-arrival allow you to apply online before your trip and without having to send in your passport. This is usually the easiest and fastest way to get your visa. Determining which one to get can be confusing. It usually depends on your port of entry and whether you to plan to enter the country multiple times. It’s important to do a Google search on visa options for your destination country as the official websites are not always up-to-date.
Gather the required documents. You will need documents to verify your identity as well as documents to support your claim that you are a genuine temporary visitor. These documents could include bank statements showing that you have enough money to stay and leave Australia, a letter from your employer, or proof that you own a home or other major assets in your home country. You also must provide character documents, such as a police report or military service record.[20]
Hi Rakhi! UK visa application doesn’t ask specifically for a leave approval letter. But I have seen quite a few cases approved/denied based on that particular document. I’m assuming that leave approval letter works as a reaffirmation of strong ties to one’s home country. If you want to have higher chances of approval, I suggest including a leave approval letter from your employer.
Complete and submit the DS-160 form on line completely. Again, remember to use the exact same order and spelling of your names as they are found in your passport. There is now an additional question that requires you list any social media accounts you have such as Facebook. Then you will print them out and bring them to the Embassy when you go for your your visa interview.
Thanks for this article. It is very informative! I have an Indian passport (‘powerless passport- this made me chuckle) but I am currently residing in the United States(work visa). I am planning a trip to the Schengen area – fly in and out of Amsterdam and probably visit Belgium and Germany while there. The documents specify bank statements – do you think online print outs will do fine? I am glad that these online sites that book the flight/hotel/insurance for you are genuine and I plan to use ‘travelvisabookings’. The question I have for you is that Indian passports or maybe it’s just my passport has my whole name listed under ‘given name’ and ‘surname’ is blank. Do you have any suggestions regarding this when it comes to filling out visa applications where they ask for first and last name? Thanks a lot for your time!
Review the ETA visa criteria to make sure it meets your needs. An ETA allows you to travel to Australia as a tourist, to visit family or friends, or to conduct certain business activities. As a business visitor, you can do things like negotiate contracts, make business inquiries, or take part in a conference or seminar (although you can't get paid for your contribution to any conference or seminar).[2]
I have a few questions on my imminent trip to UK and Europe (traveling on Indian passport). I would be traveling with my parents, both retired and live in India. They are not dependents and have their own source of income. My plan is to first visit UK for 4 days, then travel to France, Switzerland and return to India from Italy. I am currently working as a freelance business consultant, so no ’employer’ as such. In the past I have lived in France for 3 years and have traveled to UK from France on a visitor visa.

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. 

Student visas are designated non-immigrant visas because they are issued based on the fact that applicant will not intend to stay in the United States permanently. This means that if students are applying for either an F-1 or M-1 student visa they are telling the United States government that they only wish to remain in the United States for as long as it takes to complete their studies. The U.S. Department of State is the U.S. Government office responsible for issuing student visas. The State Department policy is carried out around the world by U.S. consulates and embassies. For this reason, if students are applying for student visas overseas they will be dealing with a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency with jurisdiction over individuals who apply to change or extend student visa from inside the U.S.
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.
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).
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.
It is important to note that two separate U.S. government agencies are involved with international student arrival and status while studying in the United States. The State Department is responsible for the visa application process and issuing the visa. Once a visa holder arrives in the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security then takes over as the responsible agency for entry into the country, as well as issuing and enforcing international student regulations. Please read information from all three sources above before applying for a U.S. student visa. The sites address employment, maintaining your status, and other vital topics.
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?
The ETA is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can enter and leave Australia as often as you want during the 12 months your ETA is valid. However, you can't stay for more than 3 months at a time. You also can't extend an ETA if it expires while you're in Australia. If you plan to stay in Australia for more than 3 months, you'll have to apply for a different type of visa.
Tickets from budget airlines, such as Airasia cannot be cancelled even when booked on Expedia/Priceline/Orbitz. You must read the fine print on the checkout page carefully to make sure that the ticket can be cancelled for free within 24 hours. For more information, check out my step-by-step guide on how to book flight tickets with 24 hour FREE cancellation on Expedia
I am from India and for the past 5 years, I am working/living in the San Francisco area. I am planning to visit Spain in Sep’19 for tourism. The trip will be for 12 days. I have the Schengen Visa appt coming up in 10 days at the Spanish embassy in San Francisco. I landed on your blog while searching for tips to get required documents for visa appt such as Flight reservations, Hotel bookings, etc. I looked at many of the responses you provided and they looked very precise and very helpful. I want to thank you for the service you are providing to travelers from all over the world especially the ones with “powerless” Indian passport. Kudos to you.
It’s hard to find airlines that offer fully refundable tickets without any fee in this route. But, check Quantas Airlines’ “Flex” fare. It is fully refundable but they may charge a small service fee when you cancel. Check the “Flex” tickets availability on Quantas first. Then call them to find out the exact service fee that they charge for cancellation. If that service fee is negligible, then go for it. Here is more info -> https://www.qantas.com/regions/amadeus/minirules/SGAUFLEXI_SUMMARY/index.html
If you will be traveling to India to sightsee, visit friends or family, have a casual business meeting or undergo a medical treatment, apply for an e-Visa online on India's official e-Visa website. There are three types of e-Visa: e-Tourist visa, e-Business visa and e-Medical visa. Select the correct type for your trip – probably the e-Tourist visa – when applying.
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