Travel Agent Corner
Travel Agent Corner
To encourage travel to the US, we would like to make our rules and practices clear. The following questions and answers may help travel agents and applicants deal with common concerns as they apply for US nonimmigrant visas.
1. The Visa Application Form
- What should we keep in mind as we fill out the application?
Be honest and complete. Include names and information about contacts in the U.S. Make sure that all questions are answered correctly, including those about marital status, previous travel, and relatives in the US. Include English names of applicants (check their passports, business cards, and household registration records).
When assisting an applicant, be sure to indicate that you are the preparer and include your name, address, telephone number, and relationship to the applicant.
- Is anyone ever denied a visa for incomplete information on the form?
Yes. Such denials make everyone lose time and money.
- Does signing the preparer portion of the form make any difference?
Yes, this is required, and it saves time by minimizing confusion at the visa interview.
- How do I make an appointment?
Please visit the Application Processing Center's web site.
- What are the busiest times for visa interviews?
In the summer months (May through August), and holiday periods (December and Chinese New Year), interview waiting times are longer. If clients want to travel at these times, please encourage them to apply far in advance of their travel date
- Can I make group appointments?
No, but if a group wants to target a specific time, individual appointments for applicants can be made throughout that time block. Plan early to easily find time slots open together.
- How can I expedite matters for my large tour groups?
Contact us in advance with the name of the function, names of the participants, and how the list is determined. (For example, does the sponsoring company require incentive sales targets to be met? Do spouses of staff qualify? Or is your own tour company sending several employees and family members?) As participants arrive for interviews we will check them off the list. When AIT knows the applicants’ status in the group, the process is easier for everyone.
- What should my applicants bring to the interview?
Any information explaining their situation should be brought. Examples of evidence include proof of their job, earnings, savings (bank book), tax payments, status, family, certifications, diplomas, grades, etc.
- What are some common problems I could help my clients avoid?
Be prepared; too many applicants arrive unprepared for their interviews, and as a result, some people are unnecessarily rejected.
Apply early! Help your clients understand the rules, fill out the form completely, and arrive prepared to demonstrate their situation.
4. General Issues
- What is the current situation for non-immigrant visa applicants in Taiwan?
AIT issued over 120,000 non-immigrant visas in the year 2012, making it one of our largest issuance offices. Taiwan also is one of the largest sources of foreign students in the US. Most applicants spend less than one hour completing the visa application process at AIT. In the end, most qualify for a 5-year visa.
- What groups exist to help travel agents, and where can I learn more?
Try the Travel Industry Association of America (www.tia.org), and the Discover America Partnership (www.poweroftravel.org). For more information on obtaining visas, consult the State Department web article "Deciphering the Visa Code".
- Who can I contact?
We value your questions and comments regarding tourism to the US. For questions or suggestions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.