Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Visa Woes

I was finally able to apply for my Visa so that I can stay in Japan longer than 90 days. This has been a somewhat frustrating experience. First of all you have to figure out which Japanese Consulate takes care of your area, so in my case it was the one in San Francisco. Then you have to fill out a fairly complicated application that asks about why you are going to Japan, where you are staying, who your contact is and a lot of other questions. Thankfully the USAC program provided me with a sample answer sheet so it was a lot easier to fill everything out than it could have been. Then you have to attach a photo, copy all the documents, include your flight itinerary and then ship it to them.

But here is the kicker! You have to send your actual passport to them, and include a self addressed stamped envelope. This is a big deal because without my passport I can't even board the plane, and with only a month to go before I leave that is totally freaking me out. But of course there is no information on any of the paperwork or website about how you are supposed to mail your documents, or what kind of return envelope to include.

I did give them a call and the lady I talked to was really nice about giving me information. But I still managed to send a USPS Priority envelope instead of the Express envelope they require. Needless to say I got a call today telling me that they can't return my passport until I mail them the correct envelope...sigh

So, the moral of this tale: If you are applying for a visa, call and make sure you know EXACTLY what you are supposed to send and how you are supposed to send it.

No comments:

Post a Comment