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.

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.

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. 

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.

 

 

Business Invitation Letter for Australian Business Visa

Why a Business Invitation Letter for Australian Business Visa?

There are a number of reasons why writing invitation letters have become increasingly important – besides stating the purpose and intent of the program/or event for which the invitation was necessary in the first place, it aids the process of obtaining a visa (in the event that attending the function would require one).

While the letter of invitation is not a sufficient guarantee for visa qualification, it does offer documentary evidence supporting the case for visa issuance, thus easing the visa application process.

The ideal invitation letter should state the invitee’s name, title and the business or organization they represent, as well as their relationship with the host and the purpose of the visit.

In the event that the purpose of the visit is in fact for business (as in this case), necessary personal data including the person’s date of birth, country of birth, their gender, marital status as well as their passport number would also be required to be reflected in the letter.

Sample Business Invitation Letter for Australian Business Visa

Written Below is a sample invitation letter for exemplary purposes only – if adapted for use, be sure to customize its specific details for the company or organization as required; a company logo or letterhead is often preferred.

Sample Letter

(COMPANY LOGO/PROGRAM LETTERHEAD)

(Date)
John Doe
(Office Held)
XYZ Company
(Company Address)

Dear Mr. John Doe,

Invitation to Attend a Presentation of Machinery – XYZ Company

I would like to invite you (and your staff) to visit our facility as well as attend a presentation of our newly acquired machinery. It is our belief that haven worked with you over the last few years that a presentation of this nature would keenly interest you as it could potentially benefit our companies mutually for the following reasons (state reasons aptly).

The presentation is scheduled to take place at the XYZ outfit, Australia – on (date) at (time). We look forward to your visit and an opportunity to share insights on the machinery as well as other interests.

During your stay in Australia, spanning the period of the presentation – you’ll be provided with the following benefits (state as would be provided) – we will also cover the cost of air travel and accommodation.

A brochure is enclosed for your reference. If you require additional information, feel free to contact our office for a follow-up or if you have queries regarding this visa invitation.

Sincerely,
Mark Caleb
(Phone Number)
(Email Address)

Again for the purpose of the Visa (as would be required in this case) a letter in the following format may also be required;

 

Sample Letter

(Date)

Mark Caleb,
123 (Street Name)
City, Postal Code
Australia
+Tel (in Australia)

 

To Whom It May Concern:

Application for Visa: John Doe; (Birth Date); Passport No: (Insert)

I am writing on behalf of XYZ Company to confirm an earlier invitation to Mr. John Doe of (Insert company name) for the our Machinery presentation scheduled to hold in (address), Australia for ( Insert length of trip).

I am an Australian Citizen and Electrical Engineer Working with XYZ company in Adelaide.

XYZ will be fully responsible for he’s welfare spanning the period of his stay in Australia.

Should you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Faithfully,

Mark Caleb.
(Phone number)
(Company Email, Fax etc.)

HOW TO GET A VISA TO KENYA – Kenyan Visa

Traveling outside you continent is an incredible way to broaden your mind and expose yourself to various people and cultures; and ranked as one of the top destinations for tourism and business, Kenya might be a good place to begin broadening your horizon. Here is how to get a visa to Kenya. The country in itself is a microcosm of Africa.

In order to embark on a trip to Kenya however, there are a few things you’ll need, one of which is a valid physical or electronic tourist visa approved by the Kenya Department of Immigration. While a traditional, physical visa is great, and works just as fine, the process of obtaining one can be more complicated and lengthy thus the alternative electronic visa provided.

Kenyan Visa at the airport

Visas are temporarily available upon arrival at the airport or can be obtained via the Department of Immigration Services eCitizen website. It is recommended that visas be obtained in advance of arrival through the website.

The first thing to consider before obtaining a visa is of course;

What Kind of Kenyan Visa Do You Need?

The type of visa you must have related to the purpose of your travel and is ultimately defined by the Kenyan and Visa Regulations;

  • Single Journey Visa: these are visa’s Issued for Single or Multiple entries to persons whose nationalities require visas to enter Kenya. They can be Used for both business and tourism.
  • Transit Visa: These are issued for periods not exceeding three days to persons whose nationalities require visas to enter Kenya and who intend to transit through Kenya to a different destination – Maybe you’ll stop by and enjoy the scenery at a later time.
  • East Africa Tourist Visa: This type of visa is a joint tourist visa that entitles holders to travel to and within the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Uganda for the purpose of tourism.
  • Diplomatic Visa: This is issued for Single or Multiple entries to holders of Diplomatic passports who are on official duty.
  • Courtesy / Official Visa: These are issued to persons holding Official or Service passports on Official duty and to Ordinary passport holders who are not entitled to a Diplomatic visa; but where it is considered by the Director to be desirable on the grounds of international courtesy.

Things You Need To Apply For a Kenyan Visa

  • a knowledge of the kind of visa you need
  • A Digital Passport Photo of 500px x 500px max.
  • Scanned copy or photo of the biodata page on your passport (the page with your photo, name and biographical data).
  • A credit card for online payment (Visa or MasterCard Credit or Debit card) – Depending on the type of visa, it may cost between $50 and $200 to obtain, however the government of Kenya has been generous enough to wave visa fees of children ages 16 and below.
  • Additional documents related to the trip that may be required by immigration staff to verify the purpose of your trip e.g. Invitation letter, Hotel Booking or travel Itinerary.

An e-visa into Kenya is an excellent alternative for travelers who want to carry less physical paperwork or who want to obtain a visa rapidly. A valid e-visa can be obtained online from a credible visa procurement service like the highly trusted iVisa.com and takes about two working days to process and finally obtain.

Ultimately, the entire process should be over quickly and hassle free soon enough for your trip to the home of than fifty of the world’s most breathtaking national parks that harbors some of Earths most threatened wildlife.

Overall, a trip to Kenya promises an experience that is both spiritually moving and visually luminous – and productive, of course.

K-1 Visa Interview Questions – Fiance Visa Interview Sample Questions

So you fell in love with a US citizen and you are getting ready for your K-1 visa interview? In this article, we present some sample K-1 Visa Interview questions to help in your preparation for the interview. The K-1 visa is also known generally as the fiance visa.

K-1 VISA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS – FIANCE VISA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

You may be asked questions that are not listed here. This list is actually to help you prepare and give you an idea of what to expect during your interview. All you need to do is run over the questions below and make sure that you have an answer to each question. You do not need to memorize your answers. Research shows that when a question is not completely new to you, the level of anxiety is reduced considerably when you are being interviewed.

SAMPLE FIANCE VISA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ABOUT YOU

  • What is your name?
  • When were you born?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • Do you have any brother and sister?
  • Do you have any relatives in the US?
  • Where in US do your relatives live?
  • Have you ever be sponsored for a K-1 visa before now?
  • What happened to your previous K-1 visa application, what happened to your fiancé(e) – this is a follow up to the previous question if your answer was yes.
  • Have you ever been to the U.S?
  • Have you been approved or denied a US visa?
  • If so, on what type of visa did you travel on, how long did you stay and when did you return?  – The Visa officer has access to all these information, so be very truthful.
  • When are you going to travel to the U.S?
  • Why did you opt for a fiancé visa instead of a spouse visa? – The correct answer is that you are not yet married. You may also talk about why you prefer to get married in the USA.

K-1 VISA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR FIANCEk-1 visa interview questions

  • What is your fiancé name?
  • When was your fiancé born
  • What does your fiancé do for a living?
  • Where does your fiancé work?
  • What is your fiancé (e) current position at work?
  • Does your fiancé have any brother or sisters?
  • Where does your fiancé live? How long has he lived there?
  • What are his/her hobbies?
  • Has your fiancé ever been married?
  • What happened to the previous marriage (s)?
  • Does your fiancé have any children? How many? How old? Do they live with your fiancé?

FIANCE VISA QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND WEDDING

  • How did you meet your fiancé?
  • Have you meet in person? Where and When?
  • How long have you known each other?
  • Do you have photos you took together right now?
  • When was the last time you met with your fiancé/where?
  • When did you fiancé propose?
  • What do you love about your fiancé
  • How many times has your fiancé been here to visit you?
  • How do you both communicate with each other (Skype, chat, FaceBook, sms, phone calls, etc)
  • Where do your fiancé parents live?
  • Have you met your fiancé parents?
  • When and where are you going to have the wedding?
  • Did you have an engagement party?
  • Why are you getting married in the U.S. and not in your home country? – Mention the reasons why you and your fiance agreed to do the wedding in the USA.
  • Can you show me the proof of arrangements your spouse has made for the wedding? – You may want to show marriage invitation card, marriage hall bookings, and proof of shopping of clothes and jewelry, guest list etc

K-1 VISA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR FAMILIES

  • What do your parents think of this engagement, do they approve of it?
  • Did you make a formal announcement to family and friends about the engagement?
  • How do your family members feel about your plans to get married?
  • Will your family be there at the wedding?
  • How do you feel about getting married in the US without your family with you?

Many of these questions will not be asked. The interview process is usually very simple. What the visa officer is try to find out is whether you are truly planning to get married to your fiance because you love each other as opposed to doing it just for the immigration papers.

If you are truly in a romantic relationship with your partner, the interview would go very well. I wish you all the best as you prepare for your interview.

What is a K-1 Visa?

A K-1 Visa is a visa issued to the fiancé or fiancée of a UK citizen to enter the United States. A K-1 visa requires the foreigner to marry his or her US citizen petitioner within 90 days of entry, or depart the United States. Once the couple marries, the foreign citizen can adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States (green card holder).   Although a K-1 visa is legally classified as a non-immigrant visa, it usually leads to important immigration benefit and is therefore often processed by the immigrant Visa section of United States embassies and consulate worldwide.

History of the K1 Visa Category

The K visa category was established in the 1970, during U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The U.S military required that Vietnamese citizens who wished to marry a U.S soldier obtain both an exit visa from the Vietnamese authorities and an immigrant visa from the U.S embassy. Obtaining this document was a time consuming process and involved acquiring medical and police clearance for the Vietnamese citizen, and notarized Embassy certificates from the American. Many couples could not complete the process before the soldier had to depart for the U.S.

On April 7, 1970, congress passed Public law 91-225, which amended the immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and created the K visa category.

Documents Required for UK visitor Visa

The United Kingdom of Great Britain commonly known as the UK is a sovereign country in Western Europe. Lying off the coast of north western coast of the European mainland. The UK is the 78th largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th largest in Europe. It is also the 21st most populous country, with estimated 65.1million inhabitants. If you need a visa to visit the UK, here are some documents required for uk visitor visa. (Standard Visa).

There are six (6) types of visas you can apply for, namely;

  • Work visa

This work visa is designed to attract professionals from all industries to occupy key positions or jobs. This type of visa requires an applicant to have a job offer before they can apply. It is important to note that the UK Company offering you a position must have a sponsor license in order to issue you with a certificate of sponsorship before you can apply for the visa

  • Visitors Visa

This visa is required by mainly foreigners who wish to enter the UK for short stays. Generally the visitor’s visas are valid for 6 months. In some cases, they can be issued for longer periods such as 1, 2,5, or 10 years. However, those with longer term visas can still only stay in the UK for a period of 6 months at a time. Almost without question, countries in the Schengen Area – a coalition of 26 mostly European countries as far as north as Norway and as far south as Greece – allow tourist to visit for up to 90days without a visa.

  • Youth Mobility Visa

This type of visa allows young people to come and experience life in the UK for up to 2 years. Successful applicants will be free to undertake any type of employment throughout their stay in the UK with the exception of self-employment subject to certain exceptions. Visa holders may also engage in privately funded studies, voluntary work and au pair placements.

  • Family Visa

This type of Visa allows UK nationals, UK permanent residents and EEA-nationals residing in the UK to sponsor partners, parents and children to remain in the UK. Family members who are successful in receiving sponsorship through a UK family visa will be able to access the same benefits as the main applicant in terms of work rights, and rights to education for the children

  • Study Visa

This visa is for students who intend to undertake any educational program at a United Kingdom institution in a full time course. This student visa is flexible and allows students to participate in both short and long term courses of at least 6 month in duration. To qualify, students must have a confirmed offer of enrolment from a licensed education provider, be able to maintain and accommodated by a host while they are studying and show that they are able to pay their course fees

  • Business Visa

This type of visa includes flexible visa types that permit successful business people and their families to carry out businesses in the UK. Applicants will have to demonstrate that they can establish themselves well in the UK. These visas can lead to UK permanent residence and British Nationality

VISA REQUIREMENTS

  • A valid travel passport

This is a document that shows you are a bonafide citizen of a country with all relevant information of you as a person, which is usually issued by the immigration department of your country.

  • Application form-the UK visa form has to be filled online
  • One passport sized photograph on white background. This must not be more than 6 months old (45mm*35mm wide)
  • Visa fee

Visa applicants, including children, are required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferrable visa application fee, sometimes reffered to as the MRV( machine readable visa). The Visa application fee must be paid whether a Visa is issued or not. The type of Visa for which you apply determines the fee amount.

  • Evidence of permission to be in UK if you are not a national of the UK. E.g. Visa, green card, residence permit etc.
  • Photocopy of passport data page

This is the information page in your passport, which contains your photo and personal details such as your name, date of birth, nationality, etc. This page is traditionally located at the very back of your passport or at the front.

  • Letter of invitation

This letter is given to you by someone who is already a resident or a citizen of the Uk. With this it shows, that you actually have a destination and accommodation when you arrive the Uk

  • Financial proof, original bank statement (at least 6months). This information shows or supports your claim that you will be able to support yourself while in the UK and not be an inconvenience to others around you.
  • Birth certificate for children travelling with parents

This is required so that the ages of the children travelling with their parents can be ascertained

  • Applicants travelling on an official business should attach a letter of invitation/confirmation of training/conference, with full details of the company authorised representative; physical address and phone numbers.
  • Supporting letter from sponsor/friend

This is a letter written by your sponsor to the embassy stating if he/she will be responsible for your accommodation, funding your stay or if you will be staying in a hotel which will involve your sponsor showing evidence of the booking and address of the hotel.

  • Utility bills
  • Details of hotel/flight bookings
  • Marriage certificate if applicable

HOW TO APPLY FOR UK VISA

Step 1: You can apply for your UK visa at any UK Application Centre closest to you in your country of residence

Step 2: Visit the UK immigration and visa website to find out the type of visa you should apply for. From the UK visa and immigration website, you will find out about your application fee and also book your appointment with UK visa Application Centre.

Step 3: After you have filled the form online, you will be given the GWF number, you should take note of this number because you will need it later. You will also receive an email confirming the your appointment date, the location and the required document to take along

Step 4: You will need to register your details after you have booked your appointment.

Step 5: attend your appointment at the UK application Centre, you are required to bring along the following:

  • Printed copies of your online application form appointment confirmation
  • Your passport and other required document such as

-Financial evidence

-Medical report

-Two colored passport

-Birth certificate

-Marriage certificate

-Court records(if you have been convicted of a crime

-etc

There is a gradual process after payment of your visa fees; your photo and fingerprints-biometric will be done at the Application centre. After this has been done, your visa fee will no longer be refundable.

Don’t be late for your appointment. Make sure you arrive at the date and time stated on your confirmation email. If you are late your application process may be delayed as you will have to rebook your appointment

 

APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Applicants are required to submit their application forms after you must have fulfilled the entire requirement as stated by the embassy. This submission is usually done at the embassy application centres. The Embassy expects that all information given is totally genuine else this can lead to denial of such visa application

VISA PROCESSING

Visa application processing can take within four to six working days. However, some visa applications can take more time especially those that have special attention in crime or history of rejection

COLLECTION

You will be informed when the Visa is ready and told when to come and collect it depending on the times the Embassy operate which will be communicated to you as well. You are expected to come with your application check list, original photographic ID and a photocopy of bio data page of passport. You will be alerted for collection when your passport arrives back at the UK application centre

Note: Third party cannot collect your document on your behalf, except you are a government representative, a parent collect for your child or children or you are collecting on behalf of your family if you applied together.

Documents required for US visitor visa – B1 / B2

This post is one of those post that is born out of the need to answer a particular question over and over again on this website. Each time some asks what are the documents required for us visitor visa or what are the documents required for a US tourist visa, i give them the same answer. So here is the answer for all those that have this same question?

Official documents required for US visitor visa – From the government website.

The best place to get an up-to-date information about US visitor visa is from the US immigration department. You can find a list of the required document for US tourist visa by visiting – https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visitor.html

In addition to visiting this website, I will suggest that you navigate from the webpage above to your country specific webpage. I have discovered that the visa office in each country may require a slightly different list of documents. Always check the website for your country to confirm that you have the updated list of required documents. Here is a link that will help you find the website for the US Embassy in your country. https://www.usembassy.gov/

Mandatory Documents required for us tourist visa – All classes of Applicants (B1/B2)

  1. Valid International Passport – Make sure you visa is still valid for at least 6 months after the date you pan to leave the USA after your visit. This means that if you plan to visit the USA from July 1st – July 30th, then your passport should be valid till at least December of that year. If you have Old Passports with visas on them, carry them along with you to the interview.
  2. Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page – When you fill out the DS-160, you get a confirmation page at the end of the process. You will need to print a copy of it and bring it with you to your visa interview.
  3. Application Fee Payment Receipt – If you are required to make payment before your interview, then you need to take the receipt with you. In other countries you may need to go to the interview with a Bank Draft.
  4. Photo – You will need to upload a soft copy of your photo. So get it ready and print a copy to take with you to the interview.
  5. Copy of the Visa Interview Appointment Letter

Supporting documents required for US visitor visa – B1 / B2documents required for US visitor visa or tourist visa

In addition to the mandatory documents, you may also need some documents to support the claims you made in your application form. Here are some of the documents you may need to prepare. Documents that show the following:

  • The purpose of your trip – Although an invitation letter is not mandatory, it is a good document to show the purpose of your trip. If you are going to visit a friend or family, a letter from them is an obvious proof of the purpose of your trip. You may also prepare a document from a tourism company showing the list of places you plan on visiting. A booking of the hotels or places you plan on staying (DO NOT MAKE PAYMENTS to these hotels).
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip – These are documents that show your ties to your home country. Birth certificates of your children, Letters from your employer showing that you are on vacation and all other documents that shows that you plan on returning to your home country immediately after your visit to the USA.
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip – You should prepare your bank statement, pay slips and business documents to show that you have the ability to pay for the trip. If you will be sponsored partially or fully by your host, then you will need those documents from your host. Take note however that if you are being fully sponsored, it will be difficult for you to show that you will return to your home country after your visit.

How do I know which Document to take to the visa interview or not?

The rule of thumb is to take all documents that you think will be helpful to you. However do not bring out any document that the visa officer does not ask for. If you volunteer too much information, you may not have documents on you to support those claims. Now that you know the documents required for a US tourist visa, you can start preparing.

Your Turn

I hope this page has answered your questions. If you need a more comprehensive document in PDF format that you can print out or read on your mobile device to prepare you for a visa interview, then visit our page on visa interview help.

If you prefer to scout the internet to compile your own resources. Here is a list of visa interview questions for B2 Visa

Make this page richer. Add your suggestions of documents required for a US visitor visa. Leave a comment or ask a question.

How to get a US Visa without Invitation Letter

Visiting the US? No invitation letter necessary

Are you planning visit the USA as a tourist, and you do not have an invitation letter? You can apply for a B2 (tourist) Visa without having someone in the USA to send you an invitation letter. We have created a guide that will take you through the entire process of getting a visa without an invitation letter. Although procedures vary in different embassies and consulates, there are a few processes that you need to go through to get a visa.

The Invitation Letter for Visa is not Required

It should be noted that when you are applying for a non – immigrant visa, you will never be asked to show your invitation letter. Therefore, you should not be worrying, because your application won’t be refused if you do not have an invitation letter. There are other more important documents than this letter that you must have with you. Here is what the USA visa office has to say about the invitation letter.

US Consulate on Invitations

Here is the whole process of getting a US visa without an invitation letter

Everyone who wants to enter the USA as a tourist, must apply for a visitor visa. This can easily be done at every U.S Embassy or Consulate around the world. Visit the place and they will provide you with the necessary information.

What documents do you need to get a visitor visa?

First of all, you will need some evidence of a financial support. You will be asked to show the appropriate documentation where the authorities can see that you have enough finances to support yourself during your stay in the USA. A bank statement that shows your current balance would be enough.

Filling out the application form is another important part of the process. You can do this online, or you can go to the USA Embassy in your country and ask for an application form. Once you fill it out, you must provide a suitable photo of yourself which is part of the application documentation. The photos must be in color, taken within the last few months on a white background with your face facing the camera.

Once you are done with the application, you must provide an evidence that shows that you will go back home to your country. Most of the applications get denied simply because the applicants do not submit an evidence of ties to the home country.

Visa Interview

Now, it is time to schedule a meeting with a consular officer of the USA Embassy in your country. Do not forget to take all the documents with you on the day of the interview. During the interview, the consular officer will determine whether or not you are eligible to get a US visa and if you are, they will approve it within the next few days or immediately (it depends from the country you live in).  Once you get an approval, they will give you instructions on how you can get the necessary documents along with the visa. The length to stay will be determined by the officer, but if you are visiting for the first time, you won’t be allowed to stay longer than six months.