If you want to submit a paper application, you can do so either through the mail or in person at the Australian Visa Office nearest you. To get an address and contact information for the office in your country, go to https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/contact-us/offices-and-locations/offices-outside-australia and select the name of your country from the drop-down menu.
1. My trip will be total 20-22 days, split between UK-4, France-7, Swiss-4, Italy-7. I am going as a tourist but will be also attending an university reunion one full day in France, which is the main motivation for the trip. I want to apply for the Schengen visa first (at the French Consulate), then for the UK visa. Is this a good strategy, considering France is my main reason for the trip. or do you advise to apply the UK one first, then France? My reasoning being, the Schengen visa would increase my chance for the UK one.

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


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.
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]

A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.
Some airlines will let you hold your reservation for up to 5 days if you are purchasing an award ticket or using your airline miles. The held reservation is a printable itinerary that you can use for your visa application. The reservation might say that it needs to be purchased within a given time. But, it is still an acceptable option for visa applications. Few examples –
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.
Nilesh, 3-day hold is perfectly fine for Schengen visa application. Consulates very well know that you cannot hold tickets for 2 weeks. So, my recommendation – go for Emirates. Regarding visareservation.com and other services, I recommend using the airlines’ services first if available. If none of those are available or don’t work for you, then go for visareservation.com, etc.
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.
It’s fine to PURCHASE your flight tickets for Malaysia and Singapore eVisas. These consulates rely heavily on the CONFIRMED return flight tickets rather than on the applicant’s profile such as employment, financial stability, etc. That is the reason they don’t ask your employment proof, bank statements, etc. Therefore, as long as you have your flight tickets and hotel bookings, you will be issued the visa.

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! 

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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.
Another website (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html) can also tell you the expected wait time for a visa in your country. International student visa applicants should receive priority by the embassy or consulate. So, if your academic program begins soon, be sure to explain this when applying for your visa.
Visa rules can be different for nationals of different countries, reflecting the countries’ relationship to the U.S. and their history. Many visa rules are based on the principle of reciprocity. If, for example, the United States requires visitors from a country to apply for a visa a month in advance at a cost of $50, that country is likely to apply the same rules to U.S. citizens traveling to their country. This means that a Canadian and American traveling together to Laos, for example, might receive visas for two different lengths of stay and each pay a different visa fee, even though they arrived in Laos on the same day.
The U.S. government, through the Department of State, provides visa information on its website in the Passports and International Travel section. There’s a page for every country which shows the entry and exit requirements for U.S. passport holders. However, requirements can change without notice, and the Department of State’s website may not be up to date. It is wise to check the website of the country you plan to visit, both before purchasing airfare and a few weeks before departure. The Department of State usually provides links to the relevant websites.

If you want to travel to Australia, whether on vacation or to visit friends or family, you need a tourist visa. The Australian Department of Home Affairs calls these "visitor" visas. To be eligible for any visitor visa, you must be a genuine visitor (not intending to stay there indefinitely) and have enough money to support yourself throughout your entire stay and to return home. There are a few common types of visitor visas (called "streams") that have additional eligibility requirements. You can get a visitor visa online or at an Australian embassy or consulate.[1]

If a travel visa is one of the foreign entry requirements for the places you plan to visit, you need to obtain it from the appropriate embassy or consulate office. Most foreign consular representatives are located in major cities in the United States such as New York, Houston and Los Angeles. There are a large number of embassies in Washington, DC. Some countries allow you to apply for a visa by mail while others require a personal appearance.
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 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.
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Some airlines will let you hold your reservation for up to 5 days if you are purchasing an award ticket or using your airline miles. The held reservation is a printable itinerary that you can use for your visa application. The reservation might say that it needs to be purchased within a given time. But, it is still an acceptable option for visa applications. Few examples – 

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.
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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.
With U.S.-based offices in Washington, DC and New York City, a U.K.-based office in London and a Canadian office in Ontario, VisaHQ is a heavyweight in the world of visa agencies. Even though they’ve been around in the online travel visa business since just 2003, they have grown rapidly and have the cleanest, most user-friendly website that you will find. If you go to the bottom of their home page to where it says “VisaHQ widgets”, you will find a cool tool that quickly shows you if you need a visa for pretty much any country in the world.
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. 
A fax or email from your U.S. school to the embassy or consulate in your city containing details about your qualifications, and requesting reconsideration, can be helpful in pursuing a successful appeal. Faxes should be addressed to the Chief of Nonimmigrant Visas at the Consular post in question. Fax and telephone numbers are available on the page of the Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for the visa on the Department of State web site at usembassy.state.gov. Look under “Contact Us.”
If you’re paying for visa on arrival, it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed to pay with a credit card. In these situations, there will often be an ATM available to withdraw money, so you don’t have to obtain local currency beforehand. Though we highly suggest carrying a debit card like the Charles Schwab Debit Card. The card allows you to get cash from any ATM while being reimbursed for the fees.
After you are admitted to the United States by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in visitor (B) visa status, you must separately apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of status to student (For M) status prior to the start of your program.  You may not begin your course of study until the change of status is approved, and you may encounter lengthy processing times.  You may also depart the United States and re-enter on your student (F or M) 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. 

A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. 
A visa is required for all travel to Spain if you plan to visit for more than 90 days. You also may need a tourist visa even for a shorter stay if your country of citizenship is not covered under the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement allows citizens of covered countries to travel freely among the European member states for up to 90 days for either tourist or business purposes. To get a tourist visa for Spain, you must plan your trip in advance and apply with the Spanish consulate nearest you.[1]
Hello Thirumal. Hope you are doing fine. I am going to apply for a UK tourist VISA and my travel agent provided me an original Emirates ticket hold which will last for three days. My question is whether can I use this flight itinerary for my UK Visa application and I would also like to know whether the UK home office won’t mind even if the flight itinerary becomes invalid or cancelled after the three-day hold since it’s an original reservation.
They sometimes do. That’s why you cannot submit photoshopped/fake flight tickets. They want you to hold the tickets for now and purchase them when your visa is approved. This works if the visa processing takes just a few days (say 2-5 days). Consulates that take longer know that you will eventually get different tickets altogether since your hold/reservation will not be valid for that long.
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. 
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