Destination – Indianapolis, Indiana

Hi, my name is…

Donna

I’m from…

Indianapolis, IN

My hometown is known for…

the Indianapolis 500, which is a 500-mile open wheel car race that takes place each year in May. The drivers regularly compete at speeds of over 250 mph.  The track is 2.5 miles in circumference. The racetrack is so big it has a golf course in the middle, as well as a museum. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway seats more than 250,000 spectators for the race.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. More than 250,000 fans go to the Indianapolis capital on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May to watch the famous Indy 500 race competition. (Photo credit: discoveramerica.com)

My favorite thing about my hometown is…

seeing live sporting events with my friends. Sports are a very important part of Indianapolis. We have the Indianapolis Colts NFL team, which won the Super Bowl in 2006. In addition, we have the NBA team Indiana Pacers (named after the pace car from the Indy 500), the Indiana Ice hockey team and others.  Tickets to games are not very expensive, and it is always fun to go to a game and then go with friends to have a late dinner or a few drinks.

If you came to visit me, I’d take you…

walking on the Monon Trail. Indianapolis has a walking trail that goes across the entire city.  Not only is it a peaceful trail used for exercise, but there are art installations, cafes, city parks and historical locations to see along the way. You can rent a bicycle for a long ride, or rent a paddle boat to go on the canal.

We would also go to my favorite restaurant, Bazbeaux’s pizza, which is located along the trail, for a large Bayou Chicken pizza and a Blue Moon Beer (my two favorite treats).

Things you have to try before you leave…

Duck pin bowling (which is like regular bowling but miniature in size), a pork tenderloin sandwich, a ride on a tractor at a local farm and an ear of Indiana sweet corn straight off the grill!

Notice to K Visa Applicants —Remember to Bring your Application Forms!

The Immigrant Visa Unit only accepts K visa applicants (K1, K2, K3, and K4) who have completed DS-156, DS-156K (for K1 applicants only), DS-157, and DS-230 application forms. Application forms are available at http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwh3224.html and should be completed in advance of the appointment. Any K applicant without completed application forms who appears for an interview will be referred to nearby internet cafés to complete the application forms. For your convenience, applicants who can complete the forms and return to the Embassy by 10:00 am will still be interviewed that same day. Applicants who cannot or choose not to return to the Embassy with the completed forms by 10:00 am will be advised to reschedule the interview by visiting the online appointment website at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph or by calling the Call Center at (632) 982-5555 or (632) 902-8930.

Making Travel Plans (NIV)

Have you ever been in the US? Did you prepare an itinerary for your trip before you left?

Before you travel, it is important to create a detailed plan that will outline where you’ll go, when you’ll arrive and how you’ll get there. Depending on the kind of trip you are taking, planning a trip can be simple or may require a lot of attention and concentration to organize your air and/or land travel, hotel reservations, car rentals, visas, passports, and other travel documents.

We do not, however, recommend purchasing tickets before being issued a visa. If your travel depends on a United States nonimmigrant visa, please don’t make irrevocable travel plans until your visa is approved and your passport with the new visa affixed is returned to your possession. Continue reading

Length of Stay in the United States

“I was issued a tourist visa that is valid for 10 years. I was excited and had planned to stay at least one year in the U.S. However, I was surprised that I was only allowed to visit for six months. I thought I could stay ten years because of my visa validity. Please help me understand how long I can stay in the U.S.”

There is a difference between visa validity and the length of time you are allowed to visit the United States.  You are not authorized to stay in the United States for the entire time that your visa is valid.

Visa validity is the time between visa issuance and expiration date. It is the length of time when you are allowed to travel to a port-of-entry in the U.S. The length of stay in the U.S. is determined by a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration Officer.

At the port-of-entry, usually an airport, an immigration officer will determine whether or not you will be allowed to enter the U.S. and for how long. The officer will also provide a stamp and will record either an admitted-until date or duration of status (D/S). This notation is the official record of how long you may lawfully stay in the United States. Continue reading

The Visa Hour: Blog Edition!

This Thursday, join consular officers Luke and Luke for a discussion of visas, social media, and how to get the best possible information about travel to the United States. We will answer your questions live with a special focus on questions posted to our visa blog, Visatisfied Voyager.

Tune in LIVE on Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 3:00pm – 4:00pm (Philippine time).

To join, start sending in your questions now. You can respond directly to this post, or send your questions using the hashtag #TheVisaHour and post on our Facebook page or on our Twitter account @usembassymanila. We can’t answer personal questions on the air, but will do our best to get you the information you need.

See you THURSDAY at 3:00pm!

Visa Validity and Reciprocity

Visa Validity and Reciprocity

“When I first applied, I got a 5-year visa with multiple entries. Why was I was only issued a 3-month visa with a single entry this time?” a Taiwanese applicant once asked me. 

The applicant’s country of citizenship determines the visa’s validity period. In most cases, visa validity is  determined bythe applicant’s purpose of travel and by the Reciprocity schedule.  The latter term means that if country “A” issues a 5-year valid visa to an American citizen, the same length of validity will be given to the citizens of country “A” when they apply for a U.S. visa.

The longest validity is up to 10 years with multiple entries, including for Philippine nationals. This is an effort to provide reciprocity to the Philippines that do not require visas from American citizens. Continue reading

Multiple Appointments Made Easy

We have good news for travel coordinators who book interview appointments for clients applying for nonimmigrant visas. You can now create a travel coordinator profile in our online appointment website.

This feature allows you to manage and track all your clients under your profile. You can schedule, reschedule, cancel or confirm multiple client appointments from one screen. This eliminates the need for creating new profile for each applicant or multiple profile names, passwords and external tracking of your clients’ appointments.

You can find instructions on how to create a travel coordinator profile and manage multiple appointments at our appointment website.

Are you a travel coordinator and have tried this new appointment feature? Share with us how it went and if this feature was useful to you.

Human Trafficking: Rights, Protections & Resources

If you arrive in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa to work, please remember that you have rights and you can get help if mistreated by your employer. 

Human traffickingalso known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery. It refers to the recruitment, transportation, harbouring, or receipt of people for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking occurs when a victim does not feel safe or free to leave a situation because of physical or psychological abuse.

Rights, Protections, and Resources

The U.S. reaffirmed its commitment to fighting human trafficking and labor abuse through the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (Public Law 110-457). This law was passed to ensure the dignity of those who visit the United States. It also mandated that information be given to all nonimmigrant visa holders in certain categories. Continue reading

Process your papers with The Visa Hour!

Get Your Visa Questions Answered LIVEThe Visa Hour: “Completing Forms and the Application Process”

The Visa Hour proudly presents an hour with U.S. consular officers to answer your questions in Tagalog and English.

You told us on Facebook that you want to hear about the forms, processes, and documents necessary for a U.S. visa. A group of four consular officers will help take the mystery out of the nonimmigrant visa paperwork LIVE on Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 3:00pm – 4:00pm (Philippine time).

The Visa Hour is a monthly broadcast – check our YouTube channel for previous episodes. This episode will be livestreamed on Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 3:00pm – 4:00pm (Philippine time), but we need your questions. 

Does something confuse you? Having trouble with the application? Don’t know what to do with your 221g letter? Drop us a line on twitter, Facebook and Google+ using #TheVisaHour hashtag. See you Thursday!

Applying for a Non-Immigrant Work Visa?

“Faster deployment process!” “ No fees charged!” “Guaranteed employment!” These are common phrases to hear from people offering overseas jobs, but it’s also important to verify these promises.

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), about 4,500 Filipinos leave this country everyday to work abroad and the United States remains one of the most popular destinations. Continue reading