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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. 

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!
The EVUS website is now open to the public for enrollments at www.EVUS.gov.  CBP will not collect a fee for EVUS enrollment at this time. CBP anticipates the eventual implementation of an EVUS enrollment fee, but does not have a time frame. Until the implementation of a fee, travelers can enroll in EVUS without charge.  The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will keep visa holders informed of new information throughout the year. For further information, please visit www.cbp.gov/EVUS.‎ 

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Very good article. I am in a complicated situation at this point in time. I have booked tickets From Chicago – Frankfurt – Chennai through Lufthansa. My H1 stamped visa is expired on December 2016 but I have a valid visa extension approved until Jan 2020. After going through a lot of forums I see that the airline would need a Transit Visa for the itinerary even though I am traveling to my home country. For apply Transit Visa to Germany, I do not have the appointments online before my travel date. So I thought I could apply for a tourist visa to Japan so that I won’t need a transit visa. But Japan visa condition say I would need an itinerary for visa application and a valid ticket to pick the visa for approval. What should I do? Please help!


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.
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.
An M1 visa is issued to a student who is going to attend a non-academic or vocational school. M-1 visa holders for technical and vocational programs are not permitted to work during the course of their studies. The M-1 student visa applicants must have evidence that sufficient funds are immediately available to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of intended stay.
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).
A Turkish airline reservation with a 3-day hold is perfectly fine for your Spain visa application. The good thing with Schengen visa application is that if the consulate has a question, they will contact you and ask you. They won’t deny the visa just because your reservation is not valid anymore. If at all the Spain consulate thinks that your flight reservation is not valid anymore, they will contact you and ask you for a new one. Just get another reservation from Turkish airlines and sent it to them. You will be fine.
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?
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 –
Tips for Schengen: Add buffer days to your itinerary for visa purposes. I had made flight booking just a day before the appointment and cancelled it a few hours after the appointment, cancelled hotel bookings only after getting the visa. All my real hotel bookings were done in anticipation of getting visa on exactly the dates I had mentioned on the application, so it is going to work out okay!! Europe here I come 🙂 GOOD LUCK to everyone! And THANKS AGAIN for your timely response and valuable advice!
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]
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]
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.
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Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at laura.mohammad@creditcards.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.
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