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Q: Indonesian travelling to USA for vacation ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Indonesian travelling to USA for vacation
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: johnfrommelbourne-ga
List Price: $3.50
Posted: 03 Jul 2002 06:12 PDT
Expires: 02 Aug 2002 06:12 PDT
Question ID: 36173
I am Australian but my wife is an Indonesian citizen. We would like to
visit her brother in North Carolina but I am worried that although we
only want to visit for a couple of weeks, three at the most, that the
911 aftermath may have put so many restrictions on travel to the US
that my wife would not get a clearance or visa to go. Can someone
advise please. In replying could you advise if there would be a
particular length of time that we could stay.
 Thanking you
Subject: Re: Indonesian travelling to USA for vacation
Answered By: fugitive-ga on 03 Jul 2002 07:07 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
It looks like, post 9/11, the answer to your question is "yes," you
are likely to have problems. The tourist visa (B1 and B2) for foreign
nationals intending to enter the United States are good for up to 6
months (but can be modified by the INS upon an entry interview to be
less than that). The basic problem is that there are reciprocal
agreements with many countries for easing visa requirements, but
Indonesia is not one of them. Indonesian nationals will have to go run
the entire US Bureacratic gauntlet to get a visa (and that's even pre
9/11). It depends upon how much lead time you have before the
scheduled visit.

In general, the web site for the United States Department of State is
where you'll get the most current information regarding visas:

	United States of America - Department of State

There is a specific link to information about visas in particular:

	Visa Services

There's a HUGE amount of information, and I'll try and filter it for
you (but recommend you visit the site to find even more information,
should you need it).

Here's a list of relevant links with the initial apparent bad news for

	Special Notice

The contents of this entire file consists of one ominous paragraph:

"In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks against New York,
Washington, DC and Pennsylvania, temporary special processing
requirements have been imposed on non-immigrant visa applicants. These
requirements may lead to a delay of several weeks in visa issuance."

It appears that your wife would fall under the category of "Visitor"
with the current information for such a visa here:

	US Visas Visitors Business and Pleasure;visitors.html

"Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the American
Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent
residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular
office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa
outside the country of permanent residence."

The form for visitors to fill out has also been revised, post 9/11:

	Form DS 156 - Non-immigrant Visa Application

Recommendation would be to contact the appropriate US Consulate or
Embassy of the "permanent residence." You can get this contact
information here:

	US Dept. of State Key Officers List

Choose "I" for Indonesia or "A" for Australia (or any other country by
letter) to retrieve the relevant contact information. In the end, the
issuing entity is where you will be able to ask the question "how long
is it currently taking to get a visitor's visa?" Many of the listings
give email addresses. Interestingly, there is a listing for an email
address for the US Consulate in Surabaya, Indonesia
( but not for the US Embassy in Jakarta (they do
give address, phone and fax numbers).

You can also get links to all US Embassies here:

	United States Embassies

With the US Embassy in Indonesia (Jakarta) here:

	US Embassy - Indonesia

The information for Indonesia via the Jakarta Embassy is here:

	Visa Information

With tips specific to applicants for non-immigrant visas here:

	Non-Immigrant Visa Application Tips

I know this may be a lot of information, but that's the nature of the
American bureacracy. Most US citizens are totally unaware of the hoops
foreign nationals must jump through to visit or come to the United

johnfrommelbourne-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Cant imagine that I should expect more than the comprehensive answer I
got back for my $3.50, although this is around $7.00 in my country's
money which would buy a cheap meal at some restaurants in Australia. I
think  "the fugitive" did a great job in just the hour or so she had
to read and answer my email upon being posted by me.  Interesting
comment towards the end implying that Americans generally dont
understand the difficulties in getting into the country for
non-citizens wishing to visit for even a short vacation. I think the
only thing missing,(although I did not ask for it) would be whether I
as an aussie would have some difficulties getting into USA as well. I
cant see why as our prime minister has adopted a yes George/no
George/whatever you want George approach to all the requests relating
to the fight against terroism.
  Thanks again fugitive, for the answer and the links providing all
the extra info both

Subject: Re: Indonesian travelling to USA for vacation
From: hippychick-ga on 03 Jul 2002 08:03 PDT
Dear johnfrommelbourne,
I dug up some information on Aussie nationals' requirements for
traveling to the US. From the website of the American consulate in
( )
"Most Australians traveling on business or tourism for less than 90
days do not require a visa. For information regarding visa-free
travel, see the details of the Visa Waiver Program."

Requirements for the waiver are that you (1) have an unexpired Aussie
passport, (2)are traveling for business or pleasure, (3) stay in the
U.S. for under 90 days, (4) have a return/onward plane ticket if
you're traveling by air, and (5) have never been jailed.  (Also, you
may be refused if you have some kinds of communicable illness, like
tuberculosis.)  As far as I can tell from your answer, none of these
things seem to be a problem for you.  I'd suggest heading down to the
local consulate and asking about the forms for this program, since the
phone information costs money.

Here's the local address (I'm assuming you're actually in Melbourne):
553 St. Kilda Road
Melbourne VIC 3004

If, however, you do have to get a visa, here's their estimate of how
long it will take for you. The embassy will be closed right now given
that it's already July 4th over there.
(from )
Walk in service - 9.00am-12.00pm: Mon-Fri lodge only, submit prepaid
envelope and will be mailed out within 2 working days.
Closed last Wednesday of every month.
Mail - allow 2 processing days plus time in post.

As an aside - 
If you've never done it before, let me warn you that the plane ride
from Melbourne to the East Coast of the US really bites - having done
it in December.  Prepare to be searched thoroughly in Los Angeles. 
Air New Zealand seemed to have the best prices and pretty nice
service, but you're going to want several books and a pillow if you
can manage it.

Hope this helps round out your answer (I know $3.50 USD buys a lot in
Oz) and that you and your wife have a safe & pleasant trip!
Subject: Re: Indonesian travelling to USA for vacation
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 03 Jul 2002 08:17 PDT
Yes HippyChick that was a worthwhile addition to my question and
certainly ensured I got my $3.50's worth of info and a bit more. I
hope you enjoyed your time in Melbourne which is where I live as you

   Thanks again,

 John From Melbourne
Subject: Re: Indonesian travelling to USA for vacation
From: lstein0-ga on 03 Jul 2002 19:42 PDT
In late 1997, early 1998, Australia and the United Stated initiated a
reciprocity agreement for travelers between the two countries. This
made it easier for the larger amount of business commuters that seemed
to be traveling between the States and Oz. Before this time, both
countries required an entry visa. Just an FYI.

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