F1 visa interview questions and answers 2017

THE F-1 Visa

In the United States, the F-1 visa is a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education (academic studies and/or language training programs) in the United States. The F-1 student must maintain a full course of study. F-1 visas are only issued in U.S embassies and consulates outside the United States, although extensions of stay and changes of status may be possible within the United States. Prospective F-1 students must apply at the school and receive a form I-20 in order to apply for an F-1 visa. F-1 students must show that they are able to support themselves during their stay in the U.S, as their opportunities for legal employment are quite limited. Here are sample f1 visa interview questions and answers for your practice.

Sample F1 visa interview questions and answers

 

QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE F-1 VISA APPLICANT(the answers are just to give you an idea of what to say but be truthful when answering any of the questions)

  • Why this particular college?

They want to see how much you know about that college

  • How many colleges did you apply to?

They are trying to see how eager you are to study in the US

  • Which Universities did you apply to?

This shows what you think of yourself and how much you care about your education

  • How many admissions did you get?

They want to know how qualified and academically sound you are

  • Where did you get the admission?

They want to know if it’s the college of your choice

  • Where did you complete your undergraduate/graduate degree?

If you already have a previous degree and pursuing more degrees

  • What is your undergraduate GPA/percentage?

They want to know how well you did in your undergraduate studies

  • Why do you want to study in the US?

The US has some of the best colleges in the world with highly qualified lecturers and professors

  • Can you tell me some details about your university?
  • Can you mention the names of some professors?

This shows your ability to relate well with your teachers

  • Have you ever been to the US?
  • Where and when did you get your bachelors degree?
  • How long will you stay in the US?

I will stay for the duration of my course or if you have any other reason to extend your stay, you explain to the interviewer

  • How did you know about this college?

A friend, from the web, email etc

  • What is your Academic background?
  • Do you plan to study PhD after M.sc?
  • These courses are studied in other universities around the world, why this university?

Because this university has the best professors in the world teaching this courses

  • Who is sponsoring your education?
  • What does your sponsor do?
  • What is your sponsor’s income?

It is necessary you are aware of this information

  • What is your sponsor’s monthly income?
  • What is your sponsor’s annual income?
  • What is your university yearly expense?

Make sure you get all required expenses for your intended university before heading to the embassy

  • Did you get a loan?
  • Show your bank statement
  • How will you finance your education for 2-3 years?
  • Your bank pass book shows recently large fund recently been deposited? How do you explain that?
  • How many brothers and sisters do you have?
  • Do you have any relative in the US?
  • Does your relative work in the US?
  • Since your relative is working in the US, would you like to work in the US too?
  • Where did your brother/parents complete their studies?
  • Where do your parents live?
  • You have sisters and brothers, how do you think your sponsor will pay for your education?

My sponsor is paying for my education because he believes in me and wants to be responsible for my success

  • Do you have a brother/sister or relative already at this university?
  • Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?(if you are working)

Because I want to enhance my skills and improve my productivity in my workplace subsequently

  • Show your work experience letter?
  • What is your current salary?
  • How much do you have in savings?
  • Do you plan to work in the US?
  • Why did you choose US but not Canada or Germany?

I chose the US because it’s a nation that welcomes anyone no matter where you are coming from and it has some of the best universities in the world

  • What type of good things do you know about America?
  • What do you expect after returning back?
  • Why do you plan to do M.sc?
  • Why are your GRE/TOEFL scores low?
  • You look like a potential immigrant, how sure are we you will come back?

I am going to the US just for study to enhance my skills and after my education; I will leave to be able to help my country grow with what I have learnt in the US already

  • What do you know about US education?
  • Why are you applying for fall only?
  • What will you do after completing your M.sc?

I will go back to my country and do the best I can in impacting the knowledge I have acquired in the US

  • Did you get any scholarship?
  • Do you know anyone(in US) in your university ?
  • What will you do if your student visa is rejected?

I will accept it in good faith and apply next time though it would have set me back by one year

  • Will you come home during summer?
  • Why do you think the University is giving you a scholarship?

I got the scholarship because I qualified for with my high grades in the GRE/TOEFL exams

  • Why did you change your field(mechanical or electrical engineering to computer science)

I changed it because at a time like this in my country, ICT is taking over, and I want to be among those to bring the change

  • Why do you think we should give you a visa to study in the US?

I deserve it because I have met the entire requirement and studying in the US will boost my confidence as a person and my academic qualifications

  • Is there any reason why you shouldn’t be given F1 visa?

To the best of my knowledge sir, there is no reason why I should be denied an F1 visa

 

 

Sample K3 Visa Questions

Interviews are an essential part of obtaining a visa to the US. Successful interviews have a much greater impact in the visa grant decision that most of the other application processes.

K3 visa interview questions dive deeper into your history and intention. Because of the predominance of marriage fraud attempts, U.S. immigration officials need to be convinced that the applicant(s) are genuinely worthy of obtaining the visa by merit, as opposed to their union merely being a means to an end. With these in mind, you might consider these Sample k3 visa questions a peek into the mind of your interviewer.

Who Can Apply For A K3 Visa?

An K3 visa entitles visa applicants to enter and reside in the U.S. as non-immigrants until their immigrant visa petition has been approved. Rather than waiting abroad for the immigrant processing, and entering the U.S as an immigrant, the K3 visa entitles spouses of U.S citizen or immigrants to enter as an immigrant.

Quite simply, the K3 visa is for the foreign based spouse of a United States citizen, or a green card holding resident and immigrant. To be granted this visa, the foreign citizen who marries a U.S citizen outside the U.S. must apply for the K3 visa in the country where the marriage took place.

According to US immigration laws, same-sex spouses of U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents are now eligible for the immigration benefits that the K3 visa entitles.

Preparing for A K3 Visa Interview

Typical interviews only last about 15-30 minutes. So, you can rest easy knowing its not an interrogation. It is simply a chance for the interviewer to get to know you, as well as confirm the validity of your application and complete the process.

Here are a few steps to preparing for a hitch free interview.

  • Gather Necessary Documentation

Prepare a folder with all the relevant documents that would be required by the interviewer. This could also include previously file documents and other original documents requested in the interview appointment letter.

  • Review Your Sample K3 Visa Questions

Review your questions with your partner if necessary. There may be no need to memorize your answers, but you certainly need to be familiar with them so that you are prepared.

  • Prepare To be Honest

Nothing ruins your chances at getting your K3 visa like providing untruthful information. False information may even go further and ruin any future chances you have at getting any other similar application approved. Not to mention, the throng of legal actions that often follows will be quite frustrating to handle.

Sample K3 Visa Questions about the Applicant

  • What is your name?

“My name is (Insert name).

  • When were you born?

“I was born (Insert year)

  • What is your nationality?

“I was born (Insert nationality)

  • What languages do you speak?

“I speak x, x, and x language.”

  • Were you previously married? If so, when?

(Respond as appropriate)

  • Do you currently work?

“Yes, I do. I work as (insert position) in (insert company name)

Or

“No, I do not.”

  • Have you been to the United States before? If so, when, why, and how?

Respond as appropriate, indicating the year and purpose of your visit. If you haven’t, answer in the negative.

  • Do you have family living in the United States? If so, where?

State Answer.

  • Have you ever been arrested? If so, for what?

 When providing answers during the interview, remember to keep the responses short and precise. Providing any additional information without being asked may suggest to the interviewer that you are either being untruthful, or nervous. This may spell disaster for any prospects you have.

Sample K3 Visa Questions about the Spouse (U.S. Petitioner)

  • What is your spouse’s name?
  • When is your spouse’s birthday?
  • Where was your spouse born?
  • How old is your spouse?
  • Does your spouse have some favorite hobbies or interests?
  • How did you and your spouse meet?
  • Has your spouse been married before? If so, when and why did he or she divorce?
  • What is your spouse’s ex-spouse’s name?
  • Where does your spouse live?
  • Does your spouse live with anyone?

Sample K3 Visa Questions About the Relationship

  • How did you meet for the first time?
  • Where did you meet
  • How long have you known each other?
  • What do you have in common
  • Who proposed to whom
  • Did your parents approve
  • When did you get married
  • Where was the wedding held
  • How many people were in attendance
  • How long did you live together
  • Describe the place where you’ve both lived together
  • How do you share responsibilities
  • Do you have any children together?

Take note that you may not be required to go into excruciating detail unless your marriage and application is suspected to be fraudulent. In this instance, you will be scheduled for a subsequent meeting with the fraud unit, and you’ll be asked more probing and intense questions.

Sometimes, even actually married couples are suspected because of their differing characteristics or lifestyle choices. It should pose no reason for worry, as long as you have nothing to hide.

Finally, being confident can yield positive results. The judgment of the interviewing officer is profoundly influenced by the way you react to questions, your body language and the authenticity of your answers. And if all goes well, you should have a K3 visa in no distant time. Good luck out there!

De Facto Visa

There are many  reasons why two people may choose to co-inhabit. For individuals in de facto relationships, these reasons are usually bordering along the lines of domestic purpose. For the purpose of Australian Family law, a de facto relationship is a close personal relationship between two adults. In this relationship, two adults care for and/or provide domestic support to each other.

A De facto visa becomes necessary when one individuals in the relationship chooses to invite their  partner to Australia. The invitee must be resident in Australia and capable of sponsoring the other party  on the basis of their partnership.

Applications for a de facto visa is only valid if the couple meets a few conditions. They would have to  demonstrate that they have been in a de facto relationship in which –

  • The couple in the de facto relationship; neither married nor related to each other by family.
  • They have a mutual commitment to a shared life together.
  • The couple are in a genuine and continuing relationship.
  • They live together or do not live separately and apart in a permanent basis.

The application for the de facto visa is a two step process. The process only commences after haven verified and confirmed your eligibility for the visa.

Eligibility Criteria for a De Facto Visa

  • You and your partner must be 18 years or older according to Australian law.
  • Your de facto partner must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. ( Take note that you may still be eligible if the relationship breaks down subsequent to the application)
  • Your partner and sponsor must meet all required visa sponsorship requirements.
  • You meet all the health and character requirements of the de facto visa application process.
  • You haven’t already been refused a visa or had a visa cancelled while in Australia.

The Two Step Application Process

You may apply for a temporary partner visa which allows you travel into and stay in Australia. In the meanwhile, a permanent visa is being processed or a decision is made to reject the application for a permanent partner visa.

  • Applying for a Temporary Visa

    Gather the relevant documents required for the applications and prepare them adequately.

  • Applicant documents include: Identity documents, documents that prove the relationship with your partner; such as a statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a partner or prospective marriage visa application. Documents about other relationships as well as health and character documents.
  • Sponsor documents include: Identity documents, character documents, relevant dependants documents.

             Applications (Online or On-paper)

  • To apply Online: Begin the application by creating an ImmiAccount (if you do not already have one). When done, log in and start the application. When in ImmiAccount, select new application, then prospective marriage visa. Lodge your sponsorship form online and your partner’s details. Subsequently, attach the required documents as required by the ImmiAccount.
  • To Apply On Paper: Complete the 47SP form. The form  is an application for migration by a partner. Subsequently, send the following to your closest immigration office; your visa application form, your sponsors completed application form, your documents, sponsors documents and the correct application fee. Also lodge your sponsorship form on paper. Then give the completed form as well as other relevant documents to your partner.

Wait For Decision on The Temporary Visa

  • Police certificates
  • Biometrics
  • Information on any other changes including the addition of children, or any information added to the application in error.

After the Temporary Visa Has Been Granted

When you arrive and begin residing with your de facto partner, you must;

  • Comply with Australian law and visa conditions.
  • Not get another visa. Otherwise the new visa will replace your temporary partner visa; and you will not be eligible for the permanent partner visa that follows
  • Inform relevant authorities of any changes to your circumstance.

 

  • Applying for a Permanent Partner Visa

In most cases, applications would be automatically granted 2 years after the application has been lodged. Thus, the application is made alongside the application for the temporary partner visa.

The process requires similar documentation and processing as the temporary partner visa. It will automatically materialize following the expiration of the temporary visa.

The permanent partner visa cannot be granted until two years after the date of the application; assessments may begin only after that date. Documentation is required to demonstrate that the de facto partner still wishes to sponsor your stay; but also that you have maintained and will continue to maintain a genuine and continuing relationship; and have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others.

A de facto visa may also be denied individuals without proof that their relationship fits the description required. To further validate the relationship; prior to the application for a de facto visa you may register the relation with relevant authorizes within your state. Currently however, only the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria have laws in place recognising de-facto relationships.

When submitting evidence to validate the de facto visa application process, the applicants must provide evidence of their relationship.

 

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Fiancé Visa Australia

A fiancé visa is regarded as a Prospective Marriage Visa in Australia. The prospective marriage visa or fiancé visa Australia is for individuals outside Australia. A Prospective marriage visa becomes necessary when one individuals in the relationship chooses to invite their  partner to Australia. The invitee must be resident in Australia and capable of sponsoring the other party  on the basis of their partnership.

The prospective marriage visa is a category of Australian partner visas that is a temporary fiancé visa. The visa is for unmarried partners wishing to migrate to Australia.

Eligibility Requirements of the Fiancé Visa Australia

The prospective marriage visa is exclusively demanded from individuals outside Australia. While the individuals can become engaged while they are they are both in Australia; the application for the visa can only be made while the applicant is off shore.

There is no onshore equivalent of the prospective marriage visa.

The applicant and/or their partner must also meet the following requirements:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident with whom they are in a genuine relationship
  • Provide evidence that there are no impediments to marrying your intended spouse including the following;
  • That you are both free to marry
  • That you are of both marriageable age
  • Provide evidence that you have met in person and that you know each other.
  • Provide medical reports that you meet Australia’s health and character requirements.

To fully determine whether you are qualified for the Australian Prospective Marriage Visa, you may undertake an assessment provided by the Visa Bureau here. While it doesn’t guarantee eligibility, it does satisfy basic criteria required by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

How to Apply for a Fiancé Visa Australia

  • Begin with undergoing relevant health checks before proceeding with the application. Take note that health checks are only valid for a year;  if the visa takes any longer to process, you may need to undertake additional health checks.
  • Gather the relevant documents required for the applications and prepare them adequately.
  • Applicant documents include; Identity documents, documents that prove the relationship with your partne; such as a statutory declaration by a supporting witness in relation to a partner or prospective marriage visa application. Documents about other relationships as well as health and character documents.
  • Sponsor documents include: Identity documents, character documents, relevant dependants.

 

  • To apply Online: Begin the application by creating an ImmiAccount (if you do not already have one). When done, log in and start the application. When in ImmiAccount, select new application, then prospective marriage visa.

Lodge your sponsorship form online and your partner’s details. Subsequently, attach the required documents as required by the ImmiAccount.

  • To Apply On Paper: Completer the form 47SP. The form is an application for migration by a partner. Subsequently, send the following to your closest immigration office; your visa application form, your sponsors completed application form, your documents, sponsors documents and the correct application fee.

Also, lodge your sponsorship form on paper. Then give the completed form as well as other relevant documents to your partner.

  • After applications, you may be required to provide:
  • Police certificates
  • Biometrics
  • Information on any other changes including the addition of children, or any information added to the application in error.

Processing Time of The Prospective Marriage Visa

Processing times for the visa depends on a variety of conditions including whether

  • You have lodged necessary documents and completed the applications.
  • How promptly you respond to requests for additional information.
  • How long it takes to receive additional information in relation to health, character, security requirements and/or criminal record.

 

The Prospective Marriage Visa Allows for the following;

  • Travel from or stay in Australia for up to nine months
  • Study in Australia at your own expense

After the Prospective Marriage Visa is granted:

After the visa is granted, the applicant has a duration of nine months within which he/or she must travel into Australia and marry their sponsor. If the marriage does not occur during this 9 month period then the condition of their visa is considered breached and can lead to varying consequences.

After marriage, the applicant and sponsor may apply for an onshore partner visa based on their marriage in a two stage process.

  • The applicant would first be granted a temporary partner visa for a period not exceeding two years.
  • The application for the temporary visa is also followed closely by that of the permanent partner visa.

Granted, the process might seem quite tumultuous, but is often worth the hassle. In the event that it proves any more strenuous than you can handle however, there are a number of independent Australian Visa Advice service providers from which you can choose to provide adequate counsel as well as facilitate the process at a small cost.

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Fiancé Visa UK

The popular saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is a misleading concept of various forms. Distance, in fact puts a strain on any relationship. Even with the plethora of methods which can aid communication; they will hardly provide the sufficient amount of companionship required to sustain any relationship; thus this article on obtaining UK fiancé Visas.

A UK fiancé visa is a category of family visas.  The UK fiance visa is used by individuals engaged to British Citizens or those settled in the UK to enter into the country. The Visa is also used by individuals who; have permanent residence, refugee status or humanitarian protection to invite their fiancé or proposed civil partner into the UK.

Requirements to Apply for Fiancé Visa UK

To apply for a fiancé Visa UK, your partner and/or yourself have to meet these requirements;

  • You must both be 18 years and above:
  • You or your partner must meet either of these invitation requirements;
  • Be a British Citizen
  • Have either refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • Provide proof that you have a good knowledge of English by either; presenting an academic qualification that demonstrates proficiency, or taking an approved English language test.
  • Make evidence availible you can financially support yourself and dependants.
  • Provide proof that you either both marry or enter into civil partnership within 6 months of arriving.

Provisions of the Fiancé Visa UK

The UK fiancé visa has a number of perks as well as limitations –

  • The UK fiancé visa disallows the invited party from engaging in any kind of work. Subsequent to a legally recognized union however; they may choose to engage in lawful business (or otherwise) activity as they so deem fit.
  • The fiancé Visa UK allows for permission to stay for no more than 6 months if applying as a fiancé, fiancée or a proposed civil partner.

Requirements for Application or Extension of Fiancé Visa UK (If the Above Requirements Are Not all Met)

If the above stated requirements are not met, you may be granted the visa or given an extension provided any of the following can be proven –

  • You have a child in the UK who is a British Citizen or has lived in the UK for no less than 7 years
  • The refusal to be granted a Visa would be an outright breach of your human rights.

How To Apply For A Fiancé Visa UK

The requirements for applying for a fiancé visa UK is dependent on whether you are applying from within, outside the UK or North Korea. Regardless of these

conditions

however, the following documentation/details must be provided

  • Personal information: This includes your name(s), date of birth, identification and valid travel ID, previous passports, biometric residence permit (if you aren’t a citizen), passport photograph, criminal history/records, immigration applications, national insurance number, medical records, a blank page in your passport as well as an email address.
  • Proof of Financial Status: Documents that provide proof of your income will be required as well as related material including receipts and tax bills.
  • Personal Information of Partner: Their name(s), date of birth, nationality, passport, any evidence of previous relationships, and details of their dependants.

How to Apply From Within The UK

UK fiancé visa applicants may choose to apply online or send their applications by post or in person at a premium service centre.

You may only apply online as an alternative to the paper forms, but they are not a sufficient means to apply for an indefinite leave to remain.

Applications in person can be done by either –

  • Filling the form and booking an appointment
  • Making an online application and booking a subsequent appointment.

Applications by post are also dependent on whether or not you can already prove your knowledge of English, you can meet the income requirement and already have the permission to be in the UK. Thus, this method of application may only be utilized if you cannot paid the required fee for one of the following reasons –

  • You do not have a place to live and cannot afford one
  • The applicant has a place to live but cannot afford your essential living costs like food or heating.
  • You have very low income and paying the required fee would compromise your child/dependant’s wellbeing.

How To Apply From Outside the UK or North Korea

Applicants applying from outside the UK or North Korea are required, in addition to the earlier listed documents; complete a form, known as appendix 2 which would provide information as to how they intend to meet the financial requirements of living in the UK.

For individuals applying in North Korea however, additional documentation is also required, and a family settlement form VAF4A for North Korean applicants only, is filled as well. The forms are available in Chinese and Vietnamese.

How Long It Will Take To Get A Fiancé Visa UK

Subsequent to the submission a decision to give you the visa or deny your application would be made;

  • Within 12 weeks if you applied from outside the UK
  • Within 8 weeks if you applied from within the UK
  • On the same day if you applied in person and paid the for premium service.

Ultimately, this guide should provide sufficient aid to obtaining a UK fiancé visa. Subsequent to the approval of the visa; partners may choose to apply for an indefinite settlement leave to remain on the basis of their union.

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How to obtain an Australian business visa

How to Obtain a Business Visa to Attend a Seminar, Workshop or Business Meeting In Australia

Australia’s place in world economy is top rank – over time, the country has proven itself to be a formidable force in matters regarding to business, and its little wonder it has over time become a haven for prospective investors, new and old alike.

Australia provides a Business Visa Program which encourages successful business owners, investors and senior executives to travel into and/or settle in Australia while developing new or existing opportunities in Australian business.

In order to obtain a business visa a preliminary tool that may be used to access your eligibility is an online Australian Business Visa assessment that begins the visa application process subsequent to which intending travelers may then apply for the Business Visa ETA or Sponsored Business Visitor Visas.

Whilst staying in Australia on a business ETA Visa, examples of business activities for which the Visa covers includes;

  • Attending conferences;
  • Negotiations; or
  • Exploratory business visits.

The visa does not include acting or music performance or commercial film making.

Individuals from ETA eligible countries may apply simply by completing the Online Application, entering the travel information and passport details, making the required payment after which the application is processed instantly and linked to your passport number and your ETA status is confirmed by email within a few minutes.

The ETA business Visa is perhaps the easiest to obtain provided the required conditions are met adequately.

Alternately, individuals may also obtain Sponsored Business Visitor Visas which are designed to enable members of local, state and federal government and government agencies, as well as specified organizations in Australia, to offer formal sponsorship to short stay business visitors.

The visa is designed for applicants who wish to enter Australia for a period of no more than 3 months for business purposes. This can include activities such as attending conferences and training, but must not include the undertaking of business employment (this could have an adverse effect on the employment and training opportunities of Australian citizens or permanent residents).

An Australian sponsor can vouch for an applicant’s purpose of visit and provide an undertaking that their business visitor will abide by visa conditions, including that they depart Australia before their visa expires.

In this instance, along with other basic requirements for the visa application a letter similar to the one written below is required.

Sample Letter

(COMPANY LOGO/PROGRAM LETTER HEAD)

(Date)

The Australian Embassy

Attention: Non-immigrant Visa Services Section

(Embassy Address)

 

Action Requested: Visa Issuance

To The Non-immigrant Visa Services Section:

The above stated company, XYZ Corporation, designs and manufactures 123 products out of our headquarters in Adelaide. We have been in business for 30 years and currently have 50 employees with annual sales of XXX. Historically, over 90 percent of our sales have been within Australia, but in the last few years we have recognized the opportunities, and necessity, of pursuing international sales. Our current focus is on Latin America.

We have recently signed an agreement with ABC Industries of Managua, Nicaragua. They will be the official representative for sales, technical support, and product distribution for XYZ Corporation in Australia. XYZ Corporation and ABC Industries have a number of mutual customers and this agreement is a natural fit for both our business interests.

ABC Corporation has recently added a personnel manager (personal details below) to handle staffing and recruitment and we would like him to visit Adelaide for intense training on human relations. We also plan to visit a number of our customers in Australia so that ABC Industries can see how our products are used in the industry. The total time for the visit will be 5 days, beginning September 24, and ending September 29, He will be staying in the XXX Hotel located at (full address). XYZ Corporation will be covering all travel, lodging, and meal expenses for the duration of their visit in the Australia.

George CRUZ,

Personell Manager, ABC Industries

(Address)

Managua, Nicaragua

Phone Number:+ 505-5555-5555

Direct Line: +505-5555-5555

Fax: +505-5555-5555

Email: ….

Passport Number: XXX

Gender: Male

Marital Status: Married

Date of Birth: March 05, 19XX

Place of Birth: Managua, Nicaragua

Home Address: XXX

Home Phone: XXX

Thank you for your assistance. I believe Mr. Cruz has an appointment schedule on DATE for his visa interview. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached by e-mail at johndoe@XYZcorp.com or on my mobile at +1 (555) 555-5555.

Sincerely,

John Doe

President

Enclosures: Passports Copies

Financial Statement

Phone: +1 (555) 555-5555 │ Fax: +1 (555) 555-5555 │ Email: info@xyzcorp.com │ Web: www.xyzcorp.com

Sponsored business visas are usually processed and delivered in 5 days from the date of the application, subsequent to which other personal travel arrangements can be made and executed.

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How to Obtain a Tourist Visa to Australia to Visit Friends, Family or Just For Tourism

Ranked as the world’s 13th largest economy, Australia offers visitors a rich culture and diverse geography. Tourism forms a significant part of the country’s economy thus obtaining a tourist visa is not a hassle.

The major requirement for obtaining a tourist visa for the country is that prospective individuals own and hold eligible passport and (in the event that the visit is based on an invitation) that an invitation letter is presented as well.

  1. The easiest way to apply for and obtain a tourist Visa to Australia is to apply through the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which does not require a visit to the diplomatic office, as it might otherwise require.

The ETA is the most commonly used tourist Visa that allows for an up to 3 month stay on arrival, and 12 months from the day the visa was granted – the ETA differs from traditional visas in that there are no labels or stamps in the passport and no applications are required to be filled prior to its collection. It is also only available to passport holders from Australian Government specified countries and regions.

To view countries whose citizens are eligible for the ETA click (here).

 

Subsequent to determining whether or not you are a citizen of 1 of the 33 countries eligible for the ETA, you may proceed with your application for the tourist Visa – choose the application for either short-stay (3 months) or long-stay(12 months) , fill out the necessary information, and the ETA will be automatically linked to your passport. Processing time is usually immediate, following a credit card payment for the Visa.

 

The following are the conditions required for obtaining and retaining the ETA

  • You must not work whilst in Australia. Limited volunteer work may be acceptable;
  • You must not engage in any studies or training for more than three months;
  • If you are at least 11 years of age and you intend to study in a class-room environment for a period greater than 4 weeks, you may be required to pass a chest x-ray examination before commencing your studies;
  • You must be free from tuberculosis at the time of travel to, and entry into, Australia;
  • The holder must depart within the validity of the Visitor Visa (ETA); AND
  • If arriving on an ETA with criminal convictions, you could be refused entry into Australia.
  1. In the event that a prospective tourist either has a criminal record/conviction or is a citizen of a country that is ETA eligible, they may apply for the Australian e600 Visitor Visa.

The e600 Visitor Visa differs from the ETA in that it is not processed as quickly as the ETA is. It is however available to a wider selection of countries and is valid for a longer period than the ETA is.

 

The e600 takes approximately 20 days to be processed from the date that it is applied for. However, additional documentation is required in addition to those required to for an ETA and they include;

 

Medical Requirements:

This would provide evidence that there is a health insurance cover to attend to possible health emergencies spanning the period of your stay in Australia and would also feature a report from a certified doctor stating and proving your fitness for travel to the country.

 

Proof of Funds:

These documents are meant to provide evidence of your access to sufficient funds to cover your expenses while in Australia and include personal bank statements, pay slips, audited accounts or taxation records.

  1. In the event that you are neither eligible for the ETA nor the e600 Visa, then the last resort would be the paper-based 600 Visitor Visa.

The Paper based 600 Visitor Visa differs from the two earlier discussed in that it cannot be applied for online – the process can however be begun using the online 600 Visitor Visa application form, it also takes 20 days from the day of application to be processed and similar documentation to that of the e600 visa is required.

And if all else fails, well – you could always consider asking the ambassador of Australia to your country really nicely; in an elaborate letter that expresses your overwhelming desire to visit the country and you will perhaps find that a trip to Australia is worth any trouble at all.

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How to Invite Your Family to the USA

Why not Invite your Family to the USA

Family is everything.

But, whether it’s due to a new career, love or the need to live somewhere where ‘the grass is greener’ sometimes we have to live apart from those we hold dearest.

However, no matter how many perks await you on the other side, knowing that leaving your family might be only temporary, and that you might soon be reconnected with them may not still sufficiently prepare you for the accompanying grief that is likely to follow.

And, who is to say that anything can quite compare to the exhilaration of being able to invite them for a visit, a life changing event or any reason whatsoever…they are family anyway, why would you need an explanation?

So, how do you go about inviting your family to the US?

Things Required in order to Invite Your Family to the USA

There are many immigrants in the USA whose family resides outside the country, so you are definitely not alone; but as you may already know the first and perhaps most important requirement for an international trip is a visa.

Ultimately, other requirements would aid the family member(s) to obtain their visa –

The following are the requirements for an invite to be valid;

  1. A Knowledge of The Type of Visa Required

Knowledge of the type of visa required by the family is required to structure the invitation and this depends on the length of stay/the purpose of the visit.

 

  1. Official Documents

  • An Affidavit of support form is required an accompanying documentation to obtain a US visa – this is otherwise known as the US visa sponsor form, and can be downloaded on the US immigration website.
  • A Letter of Invitation addressed to the family member(s) is also required; this should include the length of the visit as well as its purpose
  • A Letter to US Consulate is also required and this should request that visa be granted to the family member.
  1. Financial Documents

( Which are meant to demonstrate your financial ability to host said family member)

  • Bank statements: At least your latest two bank statements.
  • Bank account verification letter:  This would prove the state of your bank account and bank balance.
  • A copy of a few recent income tax returns
  • And, if you are self employed or business owner, copy of your personal tax return.
  1. Evidence of Your Residency Status In USA

  • A Copy of passport.
  • Your letter of employment (if the sponsor is an employee in USA).
  • If you are a Visa holder; Copies of your – Visa and approval Form. (If visa has expired but has a renewed petition, a photocopy of the renewed petition would be necessary as well)
  • If you are a Green Card Holder; A Copy of Green Card front and back.
  • If you are a USA citizen; A Copy of certificate of citizenship.

*If Inviting Parents they require;

  • A own copy of your birth certificate. (If  the birth certificate is not available an affidavit may be helpful)
  • A copy of your passport.

 

What Kind of Visa is required to invite Your Family over to the USA?

There are two kinds of visa’s that could be required in order to invite your family over to the USA, the use of either is depends on the length of stay of said invite and your residential status as the invitee;

  1. Visitor Visas

A visitor visa is a non-immigrant tourist visa issued to people entering the US temporarily for pleasure or tourism, medical treatment, visiting family members, attending special events or family functions. The visitor visa is also known as a B2 visa.

These tourist visas are granted for specific purposes as are outlined above, other intentions such as the involvement in study, business and/or work are not covered in the visa requirement; so, if the purpose of the trip is anything order than tourism, medical treatment, visiting family members, attending special events or family functions then they would be required to apply for US Business Visa (B1 Visa).

The maximum length of stay in US on visitor visa can be 6 months or less, which is subject to grant at the port of entry at US airport on arrival. However, an extension to maximum 6 months is possible but subject to approval.

*Citizens of certain countries may not require a visa if the trip is less than 90 days. This is known US Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Steps to obtain a Visitor Visa –

  • Step 1: Get a Digital Photograph of the Family Member:

A digital photograph of the family member that specifically meets the requirements of US visa application is needed for identification – a good photographer or studio can photograph this picture if you mention that it is needed for US visa application.

The digital photograph must meet the following requirements –

  • The digital photograph must be a square.
  • Minimum dimensions must be 600 pixels by 600 pixels.
  • Maximum dimensions must be 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels.
  • Image must be in color (24 bits per pixel).
  • Image must be in the JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg file extension).
  • File size of the image must be less than or equal to 240 kilobytes.
  • Step 2: Complete Visitor Visa Application (Form DS160)

A form DS160 is an online non-immigrant visa application and it must be completed online, over the internet, it is found on the consular electronic application center.

After successfully completing the application, the family member will receive a confirmation with a 10-digit barcode – they are required to take a printout of this page and this will be needed for setting up their visa interview appointment.

 

  • Step 3: Pay The Visitor Visa Application Fee

The fee can be paid either electronically as a bank transfer.

In order to ensure the proper amount is paid and activated in a timely manner, they should first create a profile at US visa Service website and choose the Schedule Appointment option. On the payment confirmation screen they will be presented with payment options and further details of how to initiate payment.

The fee is only valid for a year from the date of payment, so they must take an appointment within a year for their visa interview.

Step 4: Take Appointment For Visa Interview

After payment of the required fee, they will be required to schedule 2 appointments as part of the visitor visa process.

The two-part appointment process consists of an appointment with one of the five Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC), they will be required to give Biometrics information which includes fingerprinting and photograph (earlier obtained), and second an appointment with the Consulate or Embassy for a personal visa interview.

Step 5.Visitor Visa Fingerprinting at Visa Application Center (VAC)

After taking appointment with the consulate or embassy for personal interview, they would be expected to schedule the fingerprinting appointment at least a day or two before the interview at the consulate.

  • Step 6. Go for visa interview at designated US consulate

On the day and time of their appointment for interview, they are expected to go to the consulate where their interview is scheduled along with all mandatory and supporting documents and originals. They include;

  • Their passport (and your old passports if any)
  • Their  photograph
  • The DS160 Confirmation page (stamped).
  • Visa application fee receipts
  • Their Interview Appointment letter
  • Other Supporting documents.

 

  1. Family-Based Immigrant Visas

A green card resident of the United States may petition for certain members to immigrate to the United States as permanent residents; and there are two types of family based immigrant visa categories, including immediate family relatives and family preference categories.

The following individuals may granted the family-based immigrant visa –

  • A spouse (husband/wife of U.S citizen/green card holder)
  • Unmarried children of U.S citizen/green card holder (under 21)
  • Adopted/to-be-adopted children (U.S citizen/green card holder)
  • Parents (of the U.S citizen – who must be 21 years or older to issue invitations)
  • Bothe unmarried and married sons and daughters of US citizens/green card holders with their spouses and minor children
  • Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens/green card holder , their spouses and minor children.

Application Process for Family Based Immigrant Visas

To obtain a green card for your family member, you must:

  • File Petition for Alien Relative
  • Provide proof of your status to demonstrate that you are a permanent resident.
  • Submit evidence of the qualifying relationship such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc. See the form instructions for specific documents required.
  • Submit proof of any legal name change for you or your family member (the beneficiary).

*Note: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.

 

*US Visa Waiver Program

The US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of certain countries to enter into the United States without a Visa for a short business or tourist trip of 90 days or less. There are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled in order to qualify for the program and not all countries participate in it, nor do all citizens of participating countries qualify for the VWP.

Citizens of these countries may be eligible for the VWP –

Andorra, Iceland Norway
Australia Ireland Portugal
Austria Italy San Marino
Belgium Japan Singapore
Brunei Liechtenstein Slovenia
Denmark Luxembourg Spain
Finland Monaco Sweden
France the Netherlands Switzerland
Germany New Zealand United Kingdom

 

Eligibility is further determined a few other requirements of the US Visa Waiver Program , they include;

  • A machine readable passport.
  • A Passport that is valid at least 6 months from the expected day of departure from the United States.
  • That the family member has complied with the conditions of previous admissions under the Visa Waiver Program and has not been found ineligible for a U.S. visa.
  • The family member arrives by an approved carrier (Most major airlines and cruise ships are approved carriers)
  • The family member has a return ticket to any foreign location besides any part of United States.
  • If arriving by land, the family member must demonstrate the intent to stay 90 days or less in the United States and have sufficient funds to support themselves during his/her stay here.

Official Documentation

  • Affidavit of support form for US visa. ( US visa sponsor form)

An affidavit of support form is required to be completed and provided on the family member’s behalf by the sponsor (you). The form is to be downloaded and completed with correct and applicable information.

  • Letter of Invitation addressed to visa applicants

A letter of invitation addressed to the family member is also required.

A sample is provided below, which you may chose to modify to suit your specific purpose. It is advised always better to write a letter that reflects your personal situation

Remember that this is just a sample and we are not in any way connected to the US immigration.

John  Doe
1234 ,56th Street,
New York, NY 78910
1-234-567-8901

29th April 2018

Mr John and Mrs Jane Joe
1234 Name of Street,
Abuja, Nigeria.
234-567-890

Dear Mum and Dad,

This as a formal invitation for you to visit me in the United states for 1 month.  I have missed you both terribly and hopefully at about the time of your arrival, the weather will be nice and warm and we can visit a few of the tourist centers in the U.S.A.

I will be fully responsible for your accommodation, transportation and other expenses within the United States for the duration of your stay. I am sure this will be a good opportunity for you to experience the American culture and meet with some of my new friends and neighbor.

Kindly, take this letter along with you for your visa interview. I look forward to having you with me this summer.

I love and miss you both.

Your son,

John Doe (Jnr).

 

  • A Letter to US Consulate requesting that visa be granted to the person you are Inviting.

Also written below is a sample of a letter – this is addressed to the US consulate and expresses your interest to have your guests come to visit;

April 29th, 2018

United States Consulate General
Address of the Consulate

Dear Honorable Consul,

JOHN DOE- PASSPORT NO AO234567 AND JANE DOE – PASSPORT NO – A02343377

My name is John Doe, and I reside at 1234, 56th  Street, New York, 78910NY . I am a United States citizen (or lawful permanent resident immigrant).

I am requesting that you issue a tourist (B-2) visa to my parents Mr John Doe and Mrs Jane Doe, in order to allow them to visit with me in the United States. I have not seen either of my parents in the last 4 years and I would like them  to visit, this summer.

Mr and Mrs Doe  will be visiting with me from June 1st 2019 to June 30th 2019 . This will be a great time because I will be off work at this time. During their stay in the United States, they will stay with me at my home at the address stated above.

I will be responsible for all of their accommodation expenses while they are in the United States. Upon the termination of their visit, I will personally ensure that they return to Abuja, Nigeria.

My Parents will be presenting this letter to you, together with other evidence to establish their close ties with Nigeria , and to assure you that they will return prior to the expiration of their stay in the United States.

Your kind consideration to this request will be greatly appreciated.

Yours Truly,

David Sunday
1234 56th Street, New York, NY 78910
1-202-123-1234

 

The final phase of the process is the visa interview at the US embassy or consulate where the appointment for the visa would be scheduled. Persons with incomplete applications will not be admitted and persons with special needs who require assistance are required to contact the consulate at least 48 hours prior to the interview to arrange admittance for an assistant.

The interviewer is expected to ask questions and verify the documents of the individual. Advice the invited family member to answer truthfully and confidently, and also to answer only the questions they are asked – The  primary goal of the interview is to verify all information presented in the application and to make sure that they qualify for the desired visa.

If the interviewer approves your application, they will know immediately – their passport will usually be delivered to their mailing address by courier within 3-4 business days. Under some circumstances, they may be allowed to pick up your passport in person. If their visa is denied or put on hold, they will be informed accordingly. They will be able to pick up their passport soon after the interview.

 

Here are a few other things to remind your family member while on a trip to the USA;

Prepare For a Culture Shock; T.V is not sufficient preparation for the realities of living in the USA, especially if they are coming from a more conservative environment.

Their Accent Might Pose a Problem; Their accents may pose a bit of a barrier in communication; reassure them that it’s okay to be a little baffled at this.

Stock up on dollar bills; …Because, there’s no such thing as too much money.

 

And while all of this is wonderful, it is important to also remember to savor the moments spent with family. Family is, after all, everything.

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Grammarly Review – A tool I now use daily

GRAMMARLY – This Grammar check tool has become indispensable!

I first saw Grammarly as an advert on another website. At first, I wondered if it I could afford to install another plugin for my chrome browser. On second thoughts I decided to give it a spin. Wow!!! I am so glad I did. Since then I have introduced it to my wife and other friends. I have also instructed the people that work with me to make sure they have Grammarly installed.

In summary, for those who English is not their first language, Grammarly is a must-have. It does not just correct spelling mistakes, it corrects your grammar. For example, if you want to say “I read four books last month” and you mistakenly write “I red four books last month”, Grammarly would underline “red” to draw you attention to your error. How cool is that? That is not all. It can do more than that. It can also correct punctuation.

Like I said earlier, I literally stumbled onto Grammarly – not that I didn’t need a grammar/spell check program, but I wasn’t actively looking for one when it showed up as an ad, and after a good look at its perks and terms, I figured – I’ve got nothing to lose!

Well, approximately one month into my journey with Grammarly here’s my take on the program. I am an affiliate of this program. I use it and I recommend it highly, my suggestion is that you try it for FREE and decide for yourself. I am sure you would be glad you downloaded it.

But first,

What Does Grammarly Really Do?

The idea behind Grammarly is that  it flags up errors as you type posts in LinkedIn, WordPress, Tumblr, Gmail, Facebook and other platforms – and depending on whether or not you are willing to download the free browser extension that applies for it, it would also flag up errors in Ms Word or alternatively, documents can be uploaded or copied and pasted on your account and reviewed as well and when the Grammarly software finds a grammar mistake, it provides a detailed flash card with explanations and examples of how to improve the sentence.

Another useful accompanying feature in Grammarly is the plagiarism-detection tool; which is ideal for teachers and editors who suspect that their students or writers may have turned in copied material, and a comprehensive dictionary and thesaurus that writers can access anytime – and by simply highlighting a word you are provided with a contextual list of synonyms that could translate your writing to the next level.

How Much Does Grammarly Cost?

It’s free!

Okay, not entirely.

Grammarly offers two different packages – one is the free version and the other a premium version that is accompanied by additional features.

Using the free version entitles you to review of 100 points of free grammar, contextual spelling and punctuation errors – this does not include any features for vocabulary enhancement at all. And although it is free, it can be used anywhere on the web with Google Chrome, Mozilla or Safari browser.

The free version will help you get started immediately. You would get more than enough benefits from just using the free version. If you need more there is always more.

The Premium version includes (along with the features of the free version) 100+ additional advanced grammar and spelling checks, vocabulary enhancement suggestions, Genre-specific writing style checks and the plagiarism detector.

What to Love About Grammarly

I installed Grammarly on my computer and enabled its web browser plugins, and it proved beyond reasonable doubt that when it comes to detecting spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, the software clearly leads the pack.

It flags everything from a passive voice to commonly confused words and makes suggestions for corrections in sentence structure and punctuations in no more than a few seconds.

I suppose the most impressive thing about Grammarly is that it doesn’t flag any errors without providing accompanying reasons. The flashcards provided explain why each error was flagged as incorrect and the most likely alternatives to correct the errors. Not only does the approach elevate the writing of the user, it helps to further educate and strengthen future writing.

Grammarly also recognizes that different documents have different levels of formality, thus reviews are done specifically to the tone of the document concerned – and the ideals of emails, social media updates, blog posts, official documents, academic and technical documents were considered during the software’s design.

And to top things off, you can very easily switch from American to British English by simply clicking on the Grammarly logo and navigating to your profile.

Conclusion

If you are on my website because you are looking to write an invitation letter for someone, and you do not have Grammarly, then download it right now. You will be glad you did. 

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South African Visa – How to obtain one

Why a South African Visa?

South Africa sits at the helm of the list of top tourist destinations in the world. The idea of a visit to the country should typically conjure up images of jungles, safaris and elephants, deserts and adventure; and with the promise of diverse business opportunities, especially in a currency as undemanding as the Rand, it is needless to state the already obvious fact that the country has more than a lot to offer.

There are a few requirements usually demanded of visitors to the country however, one – and perhaps most important of which is a visa.

You do not need a South African Visa

Let’s start with the good news; according to a policy effected 10th May 2015, U.S., Canadian (and a few other citizens of specific countries listed on their visa exempt list) visiting the Republic of South Africa for ninety (90) days or less for tourism/business purposes will not need visas in advance; a visitor’s visa will be issued at the port of entry in South Africa – however applicants for visas will be required to apply in person at the South African mission. No appointments necessary.

If the visits are to exceed ninety days, or the purpose of the visit is for travel or work then, there will be need to apply for a temporary residence visa instead of a visitor’s visa.  Requirements for a temporary residence visa are however, not the same with visitor’s visa.

You need a South African Visa if staying longer than 90 daysSouth African visa

To apply for a visa you’ll be required to furnish particular documentation to meet South Africa’s visa requirements. These include:

  • A passport valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit, and at least 1 unused page for entry/departure endorsements (sometimes referred to as the visa page).
  • Payment of the prescribed fee, if applicable.
  • A vaccination certificate, if required (travel through the yellow fever belts of Africa and South America requires inoculation)
  • Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit. (An invitation letter may help here)
  • Two identity photographs (guidelines on website).
  • Proof of financial means in the form of bank statements; salary advices; undertakings by your hosts in South Africa; bursaries; medical cover; or cash available, including credit cards or travellers’ cheques.
  • If travelling by air, a return or onward ticket; or proof of sufficient funds; or a cash deposit of equivalent value to an air ticket must be lodged.
  • If you have children (minors) travelling with you or joining in South Africa, you will need to provide the following additional documents
  • Proof of guardianship or custody or
  • Consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor
  • Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of:
  • Bank statements
  • Salary advances
  • Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa
  • Bursary
  • Medical cover or
  • Cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques)

Web site to apply for South African Visa

South Africa photoYour passport is also required to contain at least two (2) unused (blank) pages labeled Visa when presented at the Embassy or Consulate; one page is for affixing the visa or permit at the Embassy/Consulate and the other page is for endorsement of entry/departure stamp by the South African Immigration Services. Note: Visa pages referred to above do not include pages reserved for Endorsements, Amendments or Observations.

The application for the temporal residence visa would then be submitted in person to the South African diplomatic representative of your country of origin or at a South African diplomatic representative in a neighboring country if there is no South African diplomatic representation in your country of origin – Applications  may also be made for the extension of a temporary residence visa by applying online, 60 days prior to the expiry date of the visa at http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/applying-for-sa-visa

And after all is said and done, all that is left would be to proceed to the rainbow nation and have the experience of a lifetime.

 

 

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