Recent developments for international visitors to America include changing visa interview locations and moving away from in-person interviews. With the spread of COVID-19, conducting face-to-face meetings is not advised unless necessary.
Some embassies have found it more efficient to do most things via teleconference or video chat instead of having an in-person meeting. This includes submitting applications, attending appointments at local consulates, and receiving visas.
For those who need a visa but can’t make it into one of these cities, there are options. You may be able to apply online with your smartphone and receive your passport within days. Some people even manage their own personal visa service through Facebook!
We thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about some other helpful tips for traveling internationally. Even during non-pandemic times, staying organized is important to ensure successful trips! Read on for more information.
As you probably know, your visa interview is not held at one location every time! Depending on when you apply for a visa, they may be done in person, via video chat, or both.
If you find out that your visa interview has been moved to online only (no face-to-face), you’ll need to make sure you are able to access this format comfortably.
We recommend doing this about a week before your appointment so you have enough time to prepare.
Many employers offer their employees an internal website where you can view and sometimes even participate in the visa process. This way you don’t have to go anywhere special, it’s usually easy to use, and there are chances of getting some help along the way.
It’s important to be prepared for what to do if you find out that your interview has been moved or postponed. First, make sure your passports are up-to-date and valid!
If your appointment was at the Embassy in Washington D.C., then head over there as soon as possible after hearing the news so that you can confirm that it’s still open.
For those who will be traveling for business, staying connected while away is essential! Check with your colleagues, friends, and family to see if anyone knows of any changes regarding travel plans.
As mentioned earlier, getting invited to an in-person interview is a big deal. If you are not prepared for that, then don’t bother attending!
Interviews with visa officers can last anywhere from one hour to several hours, depending on how many questions they ask. They may also require going into more detail than normally would be about your plans after Canada or traveling during your stay.
If you do not feel confident leaving home without at least a few days notice, then don’t attend your interview. You could end up back where you started if you don’t know what you are talking about.
We recommend bringing a close friend or family member who will watch your house while you are gone. This way, you have someone to help you find out when you arrive whether there were any developments with your application and what their next step is.
Not only does this help you prepare for the visit, but it also helps reduce stress as you await the results of the meeting.
When traveling for work, your dress code can have an enormous impact on how you are perceived. If you’re not sure what to wear, we have some tips for you here!
Whether you are attending a conference in Las Vegas or New York City, having correct business formal attire is key to making a good first impression. While it may sound excessive, buying smart will save time in the long run.
There are several websites that offer professional looking business clothing from brands that cost less than $100. By investing in this appropriate clothes, you will look more professional and convey this to potential employers.
Conversation tip: Even if you don’t think you need to dress up for the interview, try to put on at least a jacket and tie.
Why? Because people who dress professionally show up prepared and self-confident, which makes them seem more competent.
After you have received your visa, you will need to decide where you are going to live while on holiday! Most countries require at least six months residency before they issue a passport so it is important that you pick somewhere you feel comfortable living for this time frame.
Recent changes to immigration procedures require that you, as an applicant, be aware of where your visa interview will take place. This is not only important for you in terms of knowing when it is scheduled, but also because there are some locations that are much more comfortable than others.
If possible, you should try to choose your location based on how close you live to the embassy or consulate, as well as what kind of transportation you have access to. For example, if you live far away from the consulate, then using public transport may make sense.
Some consulates allow you to pick up free food at their office before taking the tour so you should consider this when choosing where to do your interview.
Chances are, if you are reading this article then you have already wasted enough time getting ready for your next trip outside of the United States. If you need to visit during low season (winter or fall), then it is possible that none of these steps will be needed!
If you are traveling in high season (spring, summer, or winter break) though, then you should start planning early as potential changes could happen at any time.
We recommend doing this up to two months prior to your travel date to give yourself plenty of time to make necessary adjustments.
Why? Because while not common, the US State Department does change visa interview locations from year-to-year. This can occur due to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, or political reasons like protests or conflicts.
Making appropriate preparations ahead of time will help ensure your stay and return is smooth and easy.
Changing your visa interview location is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it can be done if you stay motivated and organized!
It’s important to remember that as long as you are one week before your scheduled appointment, you don’t need to worry about being too early or too late. You only have one chance to impress the consulate officials, so make sure you are fully prepared for your visit!
If possible, try to do some research online or through friends to get familiar with the area. This will help you feel more at ease when you arrive there.
Some things to consider include how public transportation works in the area, whether or not restaurants and attractions are accessible, and what time of day is most convenient for you and the potential employers.
We recommend doing this several days ahead of time to avoid any last minute stress. It may also give you enough time to find a place to relax after arriving at the destination.