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:
Provide your flight itinerary as is (into Budapest and out from Amsterdam) and provide hotel reservations in all the cities you are planning to visit (Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Paris, Amsterdam). When submitting your application, just let the visa officer know that you will purchase rail/road tickets later since you are still researching cheaper options.
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.

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.


Easy and free online registration, quick access to a pay2d prepaid VISA virtual card, accepted by millions of merchants worldwide and with high security standards: these are the features of pay2d virtual, the clever prepaid internet payment service. After completing the online registration and making an initial deposit to the credit balance, you will receive a pay2d virtual card immediately. The pay2d virtual card contains all the VISA card data required to make online or telephone purchases:
Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20 – Your school will send you a Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20.  All students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend live in the United States with you, will each receive an individual Form I-20.
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]
Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20 – Your school will send you a Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20.  All students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend live in the United States with you, will each receive an individual Form I-20.

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.
Review what travel the eVisitor visa covers. You can use the eVisitor visa if you're traveling to Australia as a tourist, to visit friends or family, to study or train, or to conduct business activities. The visa is valid for 12 months and you can enter and leave Australia as often as you want during that time. However, you can only stay in Australia for 3 months at a time.[9]
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 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]

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Whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa, you will use the same application process (please review How to Apply, above). Some applicants seeking to renew their visas in certain visa classes may be eligible for the Interview Waiver Program (IWP) which allows qualified individuals to apply for visa renewals without being interviewed in person by a U.S. consular officer. Review the instructions on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply to determine if the IWP is available and if you qualify.
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.
Be prepared to give your information quickly and completely. If you are unable to answer the questions in English, and the visa officer does not speak your language, you can ask for an interpreter. Speaking English is not a requirement for a student visa. In fact, thousands of students come to the United States each year to learn how to speak English.

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.

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!


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.
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.
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?

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.


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.
Hello brother. I am Deepak. I am planning to apply for a Schengen visa to Iceland. I am first time to apply for Schengen visa. I have a small travel history. What do you think? And any experience about Iceland visa process? Should I use a flight reservation/dummy ticket? Any guidance? How much gap I should keep from applying to traveling? Means aise aaj apply krna hai.. toh kitne din ka gap rakhu jab mujhe flight ticket or plan apna embassy ko show krna chahiye? I hope you got it!
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.
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.
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.
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. 

Foreign governments issue visas to travelers to show that the traveler has permission to enter that country under certain circumstances. Tourist visas generally restrict visitors from doing business or earning an income while in the country, and generally prescribe a maximum number of days for the stay. Fees and even imprisonment are consequences of overstaying a 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

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).
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 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.
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