|The best gift a passport holder from a country like ours can receive in a lifetime!|
Some time last year, I got a poster of Eva Air (a Taiwan airline) which showed, out of all their possible destinations, the Empire State Building in New York. I took it as a sign to mean that I might be visiting the US soon. But with what visa? Little did I know that I’m about to get approved for one of my own, for a 10-year visa at that, and on my first application! Third time’s the charm? Not this time!
Battle. One does not emerge victorious from a battle without thorough preparation. Have every weapon available in your arsenal. (I am talking about requirements here, if that wasn’t clear.)
A trial. You are guilty (of planning to be an illegal immigrant) unless you defend and prove yourself to be innocent. Or:
A press conference where you are denying all false allegations against you, such as having intent to overstay, in a composed and professional manner.
A debate. You have to build your arguments around your case and stick to them, to win. Make the other party believe those arguments.
An audition, where you’re trying out for the role of a B1/B2 visa holder. To get the part, you have to win the heart of the casting director (the visa officer). Be as charming as possible and rehearse your performance ahead of time. Take out your props (requirements) when asked.
A first date. Make a good impression and make them fall in love with you.
I didn’t feel ecstatic when my visa was approved. Neither did the sky seem brighter or the trees greener when I stepped out of the embassy. Maybe because I never had any doubt I wouldn’t get it. But I did get to appreciate a walking tour of Malate, ironically after undergoing a task which involves leaving the country. I got to check out the grandiose and newly-reconstructed Luneta Hotel. For lunch I avoided fast food chains, which had lots of applicant seamen out and about. Instead I had a good, satisfying meal at a nice Filipino restaurant.
If I can do it by having thoroughly prepared, so can you!