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  1. #1
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    Default The visa question

    Hi

    I was wondering if anyone could help with a visa question. Im British therefore will have to apply for a visa in-order to get the time for a thru-hike next year but i dont know when to apply. I want to do it sooner rather than later so i can start buying all my equipment but due to my personal circumstances dont know if i should wait. I have a few thousand in saving but i live with the parents (to save up), im single and have only been in my current job for a month. Should i wait until ive been working a bit longer and have more money in my account to show i can support myself while in the US, and show i have a job to come back to or just apply now? I want to start getting my stuff together but dont want to buy all this equipment, book flights ect just to have my visa application turned down.

    Any advice would be great

  2. #2

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    Not sure about British requirements, but I believe it's similar to other countries in that you also have to show them (US consulate) why you would return to your country after the visit. (hence the job you would be going back to is very important)
    Too many staying illegally.
    I certainly would not buy any ticket before I got my visa.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  3. #3

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    Hello mate

    You can get a free online US visa waiver for 3 months, but this will not be practical on an AT thru hike unless uou hike very quickly. Suggest applying at least 3 months out, now is too soon IMO. Providing that you do not have a criminal record and you are not a terrorist (they will check), you should be ok. The embassy's biggest concern is you not returning and you need to provide proof of this. Being single and living with your parents does not help you. A letter from your employer stating that you have a job to return to will help. Any ties to the UK will help.

    You need to apply for a B2 Visa. You can download the forms from the US embassy's website. You will need to pay in advance, mine was about £150, visit the embassy in London for an interview having taken all the required documentation. If you are successful, you will be issued a 10 year visa which should allow you visits for up to 6 months. Check out the US embassy website which has all the info thst you will require.

    I booked my flights via Ebookers. As a Sobo, I arrived in Bangor, Maine and had a return ticket for Atlanta for exactly 6 months later. I brought this forward at no cost when I finish sooner than I expected.

  4. #4

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    One other thing mate Its good to be able to prove to the embassy that you have money to support yourself, but even more important to really have enough money to support yourself. Lots of potential thru hikers have to sack their hike due to lack of funds.

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb Here's the horse's mouth

    https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/touri...red-documents/
    The decision to approve or deny your application will be based on the interview and information provided orally. However, the consular officer may ask for documentary evidence of the following:
    Funds sufficient to cover all expenses while in the United States;
    A residence abroad to which you intend to return.
    Myself, I'd stick around for a couple years until I could show I had EXTREME incentives to return to the U.K. -- like a job open for you, and a place to stay OTHER than your parents' home. Also make certain you can show that you've done careful planning on the cost of hiking the A.T., like a book detailing expected costs.

    If you just can't wait, you may want to simply visit on the visa waiver program, and do just under 90 days of backpacking. Remember that the clock starts ticking the day you arrive in North America, and you must be back in the U.K. within the next 90 days (NOT three months!). Don't leave on the 91st day, or you will NEVER be allowed to use the visa waiver again!!

    I should mention one thing that you didn't ask, but is EXTREMELY important: answer all questions 100% truthfully, but don't volunteer information not asked. For example, if you are asked about drug ARRESTS, be truthful about these but don't admit that you use drugs but have never been arrested.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Given the state of our total apathy towards the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, the worst you would suffer is loss of the use of the visa waiver program (VWP) again if you were to overstay (91 days). What you could do is hike for 89 days, fly back to Europe (need not return to UK but must leave No.America - called "running around the flagpole"), and come back in a few weeks time for another 90 days.
    Be Prepared

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    Given the state of our total apathy towards the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, the worst you would suffer is loss of the use of the visa waiver program (VWP) again if you were to overstay (91 days). What you could do is hike for 89 days, fly back to Europe (need not return to UK but must leave No.America - called "running around the flagpole"), and come back in a few weeks time for another 90 days.
    Interesting point. Start NOBO or SOBO get to Harper's Ferry before 90 days. Bus in necessary. Icelandaire has cheap flights to Iceland from Washington DC. Hike around Iceland for a few weeks while the next visa is processed. Then back to the AT. Gez! this sounds to easy, Can this be done successfully?

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb In answer to your question

    > Hike around Iceland for a few weeks while the next visa is processed.
    > Then back to the AT. Gez! this sounds to easy,

    > Can this be done successfully?
    Probably not.
    The 90-day clock does NOT reset simply because you fly back to Europe
    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-ad...y-requirements
    If a US immigration officer thinks you’re trying to ‘reset’ the clock by making a short trip out of the US and re-entering for another 90-day period, you can be denied entry.
    The obvious question is, "How long must I stay in Europe before the 90-day clock resets?" The answer is that it's up to the immigration officer. A week is certainly too short, six months is certainly enough, a few weeks is questionable. Myself, I'd hate to have a paid ticket in hand, get within a few hundred meters of the plane, and then be told, "Sorry -- you're denied entry under the visa waiver program."

    Either get a B1 visa or do a 90-day visit, but don't try to do two visa-waiver trips within a few months.
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 06-18-2016 at 11:21.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGuyOne View Post
    Hi

    I was wondering if anyone could help with a visa question. Im British therefore will have to apply for a visa in-order to get the time for a thru-hike next year but i dont know when to apply. I want to do it sooner rather than later so i can start buying all my equipment but due to my personal circumstances dont know if i should wait. I have a few thousand in saving but i live with the parents (to save up), im single and have only been in my current job for a month. Should i wait until ive been working a bit longer and have more money in my account to show i can support myself while in the US, and show i have a job to come back to or just apply now? I want to start getting my stuff together but dont want to buy all this equipment, book flights ect just to have my visa application turned down.

    Any advice would be great


    Further to my earlier responses. I read this article which may be of value reference home country ties:


    Applicants can provide information about their elderly parents and tell the interviewer that they need to take care of them and that they cannot permanently stay in America. Applicants can make use of their property documents, trust accounts and assets, to prove that they will not overstay their non-immigrant visas.

    People who have family businesses in their home countries can convince the consular officer by telling him that they need to return to their countries of citizenship to take care of their businesses. Standing job offers and reference letters from previous employers, also can be used to prove that they will not abandon their home countries and make America their permanent home.

    Proof of relationship between the applicant and his/her dependents like the applicant’s spouse, children or fiances, can be submitted to establish that the applicant has loved ones in his/her home country and that he/she cannot leave them in their countries and stay in America. Applicants must bring supporting documents to the interview and establish that they have reasons to return to their home countries.

  10. #10
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    Default

    i sorted my Visa last year, was supposed to go this year, but had a death in the closest part of my family,

    so planning on going at the end of March next year

    from what i understand it will expire after 10 years, but the border control, is the ones that actually gives the permission on how long you can be in the country

    which on the tourism visa should be 6 months in most cases, if you can give the reasons for it

    i had zero trouble getting my tourism visa, he got so interested at my interview when i said what it was for, and started talking about it like he knew it good

    he mostly wanted to know if i could pay for myself and i will leave after again

    which the letter from my work showed

  11. #11
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    Default

    Hey I'm British currently hiking the AT on a B2 travel and tourism visa (420 miles in so far!). I had no trouble getting the VISA with limited funds (I had around 2-3000 on a bank statement when I went to the interview). My recommendation is to do it as soon as possible because there are things that might hold up the process, but as long as you start working on it 3 months before you're planned departure date you should be fine.

    The reality is, because you're coming from the UK, they are far less likely to consider you to be a potential over-stayer than if you were to come from other countries that they consider to have immigration issues with. As long as you can tell them, at interview, about the AT, how much money you will need, how long you think it will take and how long after and before you will be in the US, then you will be fine.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Thanks for everyone's advice ect. I finally got my visa application accepted today so I can finally walk the trail

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGuyOne View Post
    Thanks for everyone's advice ect. I finally got my visa application accepted today so I can finally walk the trail
    Excellent!

  14. #14
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    Default

    When you apply for a visa to visit the US they ask for an address that you will be staying at for the duration of your visit, what do people put when they're through hiking and don't actually have a fixed address?

  15. #15
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    To get mine I used the Hiker Hostels address and told them at the interview. They were fine with that, they realise that you have no fixed address.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer." Plato

  16. #16

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    Just as an FYI there is also another kind of visa that is available for 6 months. My step-mom has it for when her and my dad come to the US every summer for usually around 4 months.

    It is something you need to start working on now as there is an interview process that is required.

  17. #17
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    I applied for a for a B2 - which is usually a year at first but often 6 months according to the website. I was asking for the full year at the interview for the walk and travel afterwards.
    After looking through my paperwork and asking a few questions I was offered a 5 year visa for an extra $25. I must be a good bet in their eyes.

    It doesn't really matter how long a visa you get because, according to the people at the embassy in Australia, it is up to the person on the border how long you are initially allowed to stay. Look out of the ordinary, give them lip, getting angry and they can give you a month or put you back on the next flight. That being said the advice I got was be nice, explain what you were doing and how long you wanted, have a return ticket and they will usually give you up to a year on your first entry.

    There are different conditions depending on your country of citizenship. Australians being a friendly bunch of people, allies for a long time and living in God's country (Australia) seem to be welcome every where.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer." Plato

  18. #18

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    You mentioned you had a few thousand saved up. Please do more research on the cost of a thru hike.
    You have plane tickets, gear which can run you $500 and up, and the cost of your food etc. on the trail.
    Some say $1.50 per mile or more and others say from $3,500.00 and more for supplies during a thru hike.

    Have a good hike.
    Rolls
    Rolls down the hill, Kanardly hike up the other hill
    May all your hikes have clear skies, fair winds and no rocks under your pad.

  19. #19

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    Love that Aussie brew!
    "Adam & Eve are the first two persons who failed to read the Apple Permissions & Exclusions."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjozgrunt View Post
    ...There are different conditions depending on your country of citizenship. Australians being a friendly bunch of people, allies for a long time and living in God's country (Australia) seem to be welcome every where.
    While I'm sure you are a friendly lot, from our INS point of view, it's your likelyhood to leave that's most important.

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