Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Concerning Visas

Perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself here, but I thought I'd be prepared and look at what would be entailed in applying for a visa.

It's complicated. My God, is it complicated.

Firstly, there's a visa fee of about £60 I need to pay at Barclays Bank. But before I pay that, I have to make a mysterious payment of $100 as a SEVIS fee online. Oh, and did I mention the fact that I have to go to London for an interview at US Embassy? Even the phone number you have to call to book an appointment costs £1.30 a minute.

I'm beginning to see why America is the richest country in the world.

This is all before getting onto the forms themselves. I have to fill out three, and they're not particularly simple either. The questions are somewhat strange to my British eyes as well, and perhaps slightly paranoid. Case in point:

Do you seek to enter the United States to engage in export control violations, subversive or terrorist activities, or any other unlawful purpose? Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization as currently designated by the U.S. Secretary of State? Have you ever participated in persecutions directed by the Nazi government of Germany; or have you ever participated in genocide?

That particular question is from the DS-156 form, which can be viewed here, if you're so inclined. Needless to say, the interview, any related correspondence and whatever goes on at the airport will be a totally humour free zone. I don't want this to happen to me. Not that I'm that stupid, but you know.

Right. Back to the personal statement. Thank you to those that have given me suggestions; I'll post the second draft soon. I hope for it to be complete on the third version.