Monday, 28 March 2011

Paperwork

The word everyone despises - paperwork. I think I hate the answer "it's there for a reason" even more. I'm quite used to it actually and find it bearable - just.

However, this past week I have learnt a new meaning to the word. The USA has one of the strictest boarders in the world, and rightly so. It also has one of the most strictly regulated airspaces in the world. Again - rightly so. On Friday I received all the information I would need to gain access not only to the 'land of the free' but also the skies above it.

We use the word 'paperwork' now more as a term for administration; after all we now live in the age of the internet. The first step I have to take is to apply to fly within the USA. This is focused solely online giving quick turnaround times - great! The second stage however (student visa) is somewhat more drawn out.

When the millions of people from across the world descend on Florida, and Orlando in particular every year, a significant number are usually able to take advantage of the American 'Visa Waver Programme' in force for certain countries which is usable throughout the country. This allows them to access the US for up to ninety days on business or pleasure and avoid the hours of paperwork associated with visas. A fantastic tool for encouraging both enterprise and tourism. However as I'm due to be studying in Melbourne for approximately ten months the government want to know a little bit more about my time in the sunshine.

The process now involves collating all the paperwork needed (thanks to the fantastic people working behind the scenes at the training college it's all brought together for me) and booking an interview at the US Embassy in London. This will then hopefully lead to the country offering me a US Visa for my time in America.

However before all this can take place I still have the small task of completing my medical in Dublin.

One by one I'm knocking down the barriers.

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