EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products PO Box Zone
Over The Network Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Am I being too thorough?  (Read 8700 times)

derbyflan

  • ---
  • Posts: 25
Am I being too thorough?
« on: June 08, 2008, 04:59:52 AM »
I've been compiling a letter to send to the US Embassy outlining our plans to visit there and Canada in the New Year during a proposed 18 month tour. More on that here.

Although the plans are in their infancy, I've included as much background information as I possibly could.  This includes taking our pets across with us for upto 18 months, buying an RV and shipping it back at the end of the tour, how the tour will be financed etc.

In hindsight I think I may be in danger of giving them too much information and highlighting myself unnecessarily.

I realise that we'll need a B2 visa (plus an extension or a second B2) and the information provided on the application and possible interview will determine wether or not we're granted our wish to stay, so now I'm questioning if is there any need for me to write at all?  I'm just trying to give the clearest of possible pictures of our intentions to hopefully increase our chances of suceeding with our applications.

What did you do (if you've toured extensively)?

Thanks again.
[edit]Activated link.[/edit]
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 08:00:19 AM by Tom »

UK-RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 815
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008, 07:24:43 AM »

Don't bother to write - I dont think you will get a reply personal to your situation - they will probably (after a lengthy wait) just outline their rules as they stand at that time. Anything (either their rules or your personal situation) could change so it's a bit pointless them giving you too much info other than current stuff.

Once you have completed the B2 and got your interview date, you will want to compile the information in a concise format to hand to them at the interview (the checking clerk takes it all and then you will sit for upto 6hrs whilst they have a look and do lunch etc etc).

HINT: Try to get an interview time for when they open and then get there 2hrs early, with flask of coffee and bacon butty.

Most of their checking is (I imagine) done between the time you apply for the interview and actually arrive.

One of the key things, it seems, is to show proof that you can support yourself whilst you are in the US and that you have a home to return to (or funds for one) in the UK.

I know of people who have taken a copy of the deeds for the house they've just sold (to fund trip etc) and simply left the clerk to think they still own the house. :o

I would think your key issue would be to get the pet thing sorted. You seem to have researched that side of things and perhaps a letter from the US and Canadian Embassies simply confirming you can take the pets into their Country (as of current ruling) would be a handy thing to carry with you.

I'm sure a few forum members could confirm if they had any issues with their pets at border crossings. As many people seem to smuggle weapons across the borders you would think your pet would be OK  :)

Paul



Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 07:53:38 AM »
Good advice Paul. I agree that there would seem to be no reason to write an open kimono letter in advance, but to be prepared at the interview. I'd just add that the same information should be available at the port of entry because, irrespective of the visa, it's still up to the immigration officer at the airport to decide if someone should be allowed in and how long to give them on the I-94 he/she stamps. (I-94 is the landing card they hand out on the plane and tell you to fill in before arriving at US Customs.)
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60421
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2008, 08:02:56 AM »
I don't have any experience wit that you are doing, but my general experience with gov't agencies is that too much information simply raises questions and seldom has any benefit. I would not write anything not specifically requested and answer any questions concisely without extra details.  But do carry with you to any interview all kinds of supporting documentation that might be relevant to the sort of questions you may be asked.

We've had no difficulty at all taking our pet across the US and Canadian borders - seldom were asked even for the required papers. But our pet is a cat and they seem to not pay much attention to cats, while dogs get a lot of scrutiny.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

UK-RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 815
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 08:37:36 AM »

Quote
....the same information should be available at the port of entry...

Yes - I missed that bit, thanks Tom

I would just say, that whilst the wait at the US Embassy was really boring (other than the game of watching other people and wondering if the guy looking like a tramp would get his Visa or the sharp-suited ones would be declined theirs), we actually stood in front of our interviewer for less than 2 minutes and he just wished us a great vacation.

As he was in the process of going thru someone elses paperwork, I got the impression he just wanted to give us the "all clear" and then for us to "clear-off".

Paul

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 09:38:43 AM »
There's a plan afoot to put immigration officers at the Severn Bridge. That will hopefully keep out some of these folks who cross the Severn with their caravans and clog up the roads down the Gower Peninsula. Class A motorhomes (aka American RVs) for sure won't be allowed.

Visa applications will be in Welsh only, but translators will be available for a fee.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 09:44:16 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

derbyflan

  • ---
  • Posts: 25
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2008, 10:02:27 AM »
Visa applications will be in Welsh only, but translators will be available for a fee.

A bluddy huge fee but! ;D

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 10:41:06 AM »
It might even control the type of Derby County supporters who travel down for games against the Swans. They'll probably have an immigration stop at the Severn tunnel, and maybe sheriffs on the trains  ;D
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 10:44:05 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

derbyflan

  • ---
  • Posts: 25
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2008, 12:58:20 PM »
I can't imagine there'd be that many Derby fans going to Swansea.  They only go to the games that are difficult ::) ;) ;D

Ian H

  • ---
  • Posts: 248
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 02:18:53 PM »
Derbyfan
You will only get one B2 visa per person valid for 10 yrs and imigration will only give you 6 months on your I-94 upon arrival
you will have to apply for an extension whilst your there, cost $300 per family i think you will only get another 6 months .

Personaly I applied for an extension because i made a boob in return flight dates ,I only wanted 5 days over the 6 months my I-94 ,paid
the $300 sent off our I-94s they cashed the cheque within 7 days but never recieved anything from them to this date after 3 months.
No one asked for or questioned the absence of our I-94 on departure,although I do expect questions when we return the end of the year.

Something that i have noticed with the rules on some campgrounds we visited was the ban on dogs of  certain breeds and wieght

Good luck with your tour Ian & Doreen
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 02:37:23 PM »
Quote
They only go to the games that are difficult

LOL, I'm glad I'm not a Swans supporter. Only ever went to the Vetch field once, and that was years before John Toshack became a player/manager, attracting a number of his first division buddies. I suspect they're all long retired by now.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

derbyflan

  • ---
  • Posts: 25
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 03:28:51 PM »
By the way,thanks for all the replies guys.  It's all very much appreciated.  I probably am being too thorough it seems.  Only because I'm worried about being turned away or them not allowing the dogs in at the POE.

Can I ask, what sort of questions am I likely to be asked when interviewed for the B2?  Are they generic questions?  We'll need to get our story straight form the outset.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 03:33:30 PM »
I haven't been through an INS or visa interview for over 25 years, but hopefully Paul and Ian can recall what they were asked.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Ian H

  • ---
  • Posts: 248
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2008, 03:33:36 PM »
I went to the interview with all the associated paperwork ie old bank statements (not showing house sale) letter from employer stating i would get my job back after 6 months,proof of house ownership etc ,the main one in my case was a letter from the local magistrate (yes i have been naughty yes he is a mate ).
Anyway off we go Cornwall to London waited from 9 am i think it was finaly got seen 4.30 pm had to see a special guy because of criminal record,I was straight up with him on all his questions ,only a couple at that, he never looked at any paperwork thanked me for being honest on the criminal record and granted my visa.

As for the dogs i havent a clue

By the way my criminal record was for something i did 26 yrs previous
Ian
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9658
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2008, 04:59:19 PM »
I haven't a clue about what you might be asked, but a general rule of thumb is to never volunteer too much information.  So, yes, I do believe you're being too thorough.  Forget about writing that letter.  But do go prepared to your interview (and it sounds like with a good book to read!) with documentation that proves your status.  If they ask for it, you'll have it.  But if they don't, then keep it in your pocket.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 05:01:04 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
:D :D

derbyflan

  • ---
  • Posts: 25
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2008, 05:42:01 PM »
Cheers Ian and Ardraf.

Will all family members be interviewed or just me as the 'head of household' (better not let the long haired colonel hear me call myself that!!! :-X)

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2008, 06:21:14 PM »
Quote
Will all family members be interviewed or just me as the 'head of household'

Here's some information on the interview on the web site of the US embassy in London. Looks like you and your wife have to attend, but children under 14 do not.

Note also that mobile phones or any electronic devices, such as blackberries, IPods, or PDAs are not allowed within the Embassy.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 06:23:42 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2008, 06:29:45 PM »
No one asked for or questioned the absence of our I-94 on departure,although I do expect questions when we return the end of the year.

Ian,

You might want to read this before scheduling your return to the US.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

derbyflan

  • ---
  • Posts: 25
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2008, 06:35:06 PM »
Here's some information on the interview on the web site....

Erm... It pays to look! :-[

Ta Tom. :)

UK-RV

  • ---
  • Posts: 815
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2008, 12:25:02 AM »

Quote
hopefully Paul and Ian can recall what they were asked

Now that we think of it, we weren't asked a single question when we got to the Embassy.

We had a long wait to hand the documents to the front desk clerk.

He thought our passport photos may be rejected as we printed our own and they were a bit grainy, but they were OK after he checked.

We then waited an hour or so and were called to the actual "Interview" (no chair or anything, just stand in front of bomb-proof screen).

We confirmed our RV toiuring plans and he wished us a great vacation.

That was it.

Ann-Marie had been worrying for weeks as she was scared of saying the wrong thing when they carted her off, shackled her to the chair and put the light beams in her eyes.  ;D

Paul

Ian H

  • ---
  • Posts: 248
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2008, 03:12:03 PM »
Tom

I read that link several times before we left

We have everything to prove we left the on 28th April,copy of the check they cashed,return flight tickets,hertz hire car reciepts  for Orlando & Gatwick  etc.
To date we still havent had any response from immigration ,im'e fed up emailing them
Ian
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Am I being too thorough?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2008, 03:37:19 PM »
You should be OK then Ian. If not, we'll take turns to visit you in Mexico  ;D
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

 

Hosted by Over The Network