Monday, February 25, 2019

How to Get a Tourist Visa for Japan in the US

Japan Visa
Philippine passport holders get a 15-day tourist visa in Japan, US passport holders get 90 days.

We write…

The upcoming spring makes us think of the Japanese song about sakura that depicts cherry blossoms “in fields, mountains, and villages as far as the eye can see.” We could only imagine that the composer wrote this song between March and May when these blossoms, considered to be one of Japan’s national flowers, are in full bloom.

When you hear the cherry blossoms a’calling and you are wont to wandering, you can apply for a visa in any of the 18 Japanese embassies in the US. While the Philippines is not among the 68 countries with visa exemption arrangements with Japan, a Philippine passport means an exemption from visa fee, which amounts to $27 for single entry and $55 for multiple entry.

Monday, February 18, 2019

USCIS Digitizes the Immigration Experience

USCIS virtual assistant
Virtual Assistant Emma is available to answer all US immigration-related questions all day, every day.
We Write…

You know the immigration application drill if you’ve done it before. First, you download the appropriate application forms, complete the forms along with required attachments, print the documents, write a check, and then mail it to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) Lockbox Facility assigned to your geographic location.  

Monday, January 28, 2019

How to Manage Extensions For CR-1 Visas

The visa extension is a stamp on the passport that looks like this.
We Write...

There was a time when filing a petition to remove the conditional status of the CR-1 visa took between six months and one year. With changes at USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) and within immigration policy altogether under the new administration, the waiting time is now longer.

Monday, January 14, 2019

May Your 2019 Goals Lead to Happiness and Contentment

Here's hoping 2019 will be kinder to our health and yours. 

She Writes…

It’s 2019, how are you?

January is the perfect time of the year to think about what we want to achieve in the next 365 days.  New beginnings, like the new year, offer opportunities for a do-over, a fresh, unsullied slate that seem to hold the secret promise of success.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Renewing Ph Passport at the LA Philippine Consulate

The LA Consulate usually sends the new passport in 3-4 weeks. 

She writes…

If your holiday plans involve traveling abroad, it’s best to make sure that your Philippine passport does not expire in the next 6 months.

There are 13 Philippine Consulates in mainland U.S. where you can renew your passport and one of the perks of living in Los Angeles is that one is located in East LA.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Driving 101 for California Immigrants

Almost every person who was either born or raised in California grows up embracing the concept of driving. 

Living in one of the areas outside of the densely-populated downtown area of Los Angeles makes owning and driving a car a necessity as much as a way of life for mobility to work, school, or just getting around town.

The steps for getting a driver’s license can be lengthy and quite involved, but they are comprehensive to ensure that all drivers know what to expect via the “rules of the road” that are aimed at ensuring safety and enjoyment for all.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Commuting in LA One Tap at a Time

Los Angeles Commute
To go around LA without a car, you will need a phone, tap card, power bank and other essentials. 

She Writes…

Los Angeles abounds in charm and character but it has a flaw when it comes to getting around town—you need to drive.

LA’s public transportation has an interesting back story. Taking the LA Conservancy’s historic Downtown LA walking tour, I learned that it once had an efficient streetcar public transportation system until the arrival of bus and car companies that led to the former’s demise in the 1960s.