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THIS IS IT! You have your US Visa in hand. You’ve booked your plane tickets. You’re singing “Leaving on a Jetplane” in your head… or quite possibly out loud. The only thing left to do now is fly to the US, into the arms of the one you love. <3
Have you made the necessary preparations though? Checked all your documents? Preparations are not just the clothes you’re going to wear, or the documents you’re supposed to bring. Are you ready to leave your home country?
You will need this for AOS and other future processes. Plus, it’s always good to have extra copies.
For those leaving the Philippines: If you’re busy with work, you can order it online and have it delivered to your house / office. After getting your NSO Birth Certificate copies, you may opt to have a copy authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (This is not required but it might be a lifesaver). If you’re already abroad, You can also order NSO copies online and delivered to your US Address but it will be costly.
*Country-specfic article coming soon!
Request it from your University Registrar. Request multiple copies if you wish.
For those leaving the Philippines: Have them authenticated by DFA too.
*Country/University-specfic article coming soon!
– Request one from the company/ies you’ve worked for. It might be handy when it’s time for you to look for work in the US.
Bring the actual photos. Or Scan them. Whichever you prefer. There’s always social networking too, anyway.
Note: I do not know why I was wearing a Bat Suit. On Christmas. Also, We never celebrate Halloween. I don’t even know why I was wearing a Russian Hat. Or why I was wearing a plaid vest. I should ask my mother about it. That’s my brother in the clown suit, by the way.
External Hard Drive (for your files)
If you’re like me, and you have a lot of documents, digital photos, digital design work and portfolio, you might want to invest in an external drive for safekeeping of your files. Or there’s always DropBox.
Go get a full (or at least major) dental work done. Trust me, it will probably be cheaper in your home country. It’s cheaper in the Philippines.
I needed to do this because I always get tonsillitis and/or laryngitis. If you think you don’t have allergies, think again. I learned it the hard way. See an Allergy Specialist. See your family physician.
My then-fiancé-now-husband put me on his life insurance, why not update mine too, right? Plus you would have to meet with your agent to discuss how to go on about future payments.
Do not forget to attend the Seminar and acquire the Certificate and Sticker ahead of time. You will not be able to board your plane without it.
If you can’t meet face-to-face, give them a phone call. Skype with them if you must. It will probably be a long time before you can go back home to see them again.
Bring some of your favorite snacks and candies. But make sure you’re allowed to bring it inside the US. Check CBP’s guidelines for their Customs and Declarations form.
Do a quick search on Google about your airline’s baggage allowances. Determine how much you will need to pay for extra baggages. Don’t forget about your connecting flights and their rules with baggages too.
Do a quick search on Google about your country’s airport / terminal fees / travel taxes. Determine how much you will need to pay for them.
To those from the Philippines: On January 7th 2015, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) announced that the International Passenger Service Charge (also known as the Terminal Fee) will already be integrated into the airline tickets starting February 1, 2015.
These are just some things that I thought was important and were worth sharing. If you have more suggestions, please comment on the form below.