Becoming Professional: A Blog

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

getting a visa

By kalleboo (Karl Baron)

If you’re new to this blog, you might now know that I am moving to the UK in about a week for a Masters in Digital Marketing from the Hult International Business School. I’ll be there for a full year(12 months). There is only one way to do that legally: Get a Visa. This is the second post in the Getting a Visa blog series where we explore the insanity of legal immigration. Today’s contribution is about paper work.

I got my UK Student Visa a little bit ago. My estimation of the process? My God, how many trees must I kill? You guessed it, it is amazingly bureaucratic.

Of course, the Visa process will be different depending on the Visa you are after and the country. The UK has at least 4 different types of student Visas alone. Just figuring out which type of papers to fill out was something of a head ache. When you start reading the appendices you start wishing you were staying at home. Still, in comparison to getting a French Visa, it wasn’t so bad.

I had to take a day-trip to L.A. for my French Visa, and just a drive downtown for fingerprinting to get the UK Visa. In the “going inordinately out of my way” category, the UK Visa was nothing. Perhaps that’s why in the “read that form over 50 times and still be worried you miss-understood a crazily detailed question that will derail your entire application” category, it was off the charts. I can’t tell you how often I reread the same two forms. They asked for everything, including the details from all old, legally destroyed passports. Luckily my father never throws any important document away and I had my childhood passport on hand. Doubly lucky since they wanted me to include it with the application I mailed to LA.

UK Visa Process

Old photo of the Tower of London

This seems to be a standard with the UK, at least. As Johnny Smith’s account illustrates, they do ask for a lot of details in their paperwork. But other than that, the UK Visa application is smooth sailing. Now, just imagine what this would be like if it was highly rated on the “going inordinately out of your way” category as well. Yeah, makes it seem less rosy, doesn’t it?

The key with paperwork seems to be that you have to have all your information on hand, and to give yourself lots of time to fill it out, in case you accidentally are missing something. It helps to have someone you can ask questions, of, too. While filling out my UK paperwork, I constantly got confused about what a word meant, or if I was affected by some passage or other. This is why I love my school. Hult helped me out a ton by designating a gentleman to answer all my questions about the visa process and by providing a step by step guide to filling out the forms. With all the things they’ve done for me, please don’t get annoyed if I keep singing the praises of my school!

As always, what are your thoughts or experiences in getting a Visa? Any particularly easy experiences? And if something was hard, what made it difficult?

Also, please spend less than 5 minutes of your time taking this survey: Avatar – Identity vs. Perception. John Antonios and I are studying whether or not avatars show what we want them to show about ourselves. We’re hoping for 500 respondents, so please help us get there!


Getting a Visa, Work Visa, Immigration

by Heidi in Cleveland

As the business world becomes more and more international, more professionals are traveling, taking them abroad for everything from conferences to two year stints in foreign countries. Besides dealing with the logistics of hotels and currency conversion, these professionals are going through the visa process. I’ve done it once so far, am working on a second time, and have seen my brother do it twice himself. We’re an international family, and being one gets me some insite into the schizophrenia of visas.

Welcome to the first post of the Getting a Visa Blog Series.

Besides relying on my own experience, part of my preparation for this blog series was asking a Question on Linked In about what people thought of the visa process and doing general research. This is not a step-by-step guide to how to get a visa but rather an exploration into what the process is like. I would love to do a step-by-step guide, but the process varies tremendously depending on your country of origin, destination country, and the time of the month (this last might be an exaggeration, but I’m not sure).

This time, we’ll cover one aspect that seems particularly burdensome in getting a French visa, but can also nip you in the bum with other countries: documents.

To get my French student visa, I had to have my documents, including my birth certificate, translated into, yes, French. This ties in to a little bit of French law many Americans at least might not realize–all contracts must be written in French when they are with a French company. I had to get a bunch of documents, too, each translated into French by a certified translator. Everything from my birth certificate to my college transcripts. I even seem to remember my high school records getting caught up in that. If you don’t believe me that the French are document prone, Maggie Kim, a writer and musician who moved to Paris from New York to be with her husband, had a similar experience. After my list of documents was acquired and translated (my translator was in Florida. I did a bit of mailing), I had to then get to a French Consulate and submit them for inspection.

French Visa

by Reinante El Pintor de Fuego

Maggie lived in Manhattan, so when she got turned away because she didn’t have the right documents, she could go back without being tremendously put out. I live in Arizona, so my nearest consulate was in LA. Those plane tickets aren’t bad, but I am not made out of money. I had to get everything right the first time. I made my appointment and showed up. Surprisingly, I thought the people working at the consulate were kind, though I don’t doubt that my ability to actually speak French had something to do with that. A nice little note to all folk thinking of going to France for anything: at least try to speak French. The French people will love you for it and then whip outtheir (generally) amazingly good English.

No one will say that this love of documentation is a French monopoly. Other countries can be just as insane. My mother and brother once almost got turned away from getting an Italian student visa because the woman behind the counter didn’t like the type of paper the photocopies were on. To hear my mother tell the story, the only reason my brother was able to legally immigrate to Italy for his bachelors degree was that Mother glared at the consulate worker with enough passion and threat of imminent danger that the woman meekly took the documents and issued the visa.

If you have any of your own stories, please share them in the comments. I don’t know how long this series will be, but next up, I tackle paperwork!

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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog ( and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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