Embassy question for american!!!!!

daliroya

Member
#1
Hi,

My friend has been given his appt at the American Embassy. He has an I-20 and has his SEVIS and confirmation numbers (hopefully, we have lined up all papers necessary)

Now he has needs to go to Tunis. He is not from the capital and wanted to know what to expect. He has the address of the embassy. He has a good friend who is a driver in Tunis-la capital. He is mainly curious about the building, the process, how long to expect to be there, when might he have an answer, is there anything he should or should NOT say. He only speaks Arabic and French. His I-20 states he is not required to speak English because he is going to study English. Do you think it is better if he has a bank card instead of just money? Any input is appreciated.

Also, IF, ENCHALLAH, he gets the visa, is it better (pricewise) to buy the airline ticket in Tunisia or in the states?

I posted here because I didn't know where else to post about AMERICAN embassy questions.

Thanks in advance:D
 

Tunisianbelle

Well-Known Member
#2
Hi daliroya:)

The US Embassy is located in Berges du Lac. It is a building that you cannot miss!

He will go into the "guard house" at first. This is where he will have to tell them what his purpose is there, he will have to show his passport, and he will have to walk through a metal detector. He will also have to leave his cell phone there - it is not allowed to be taken to the consulars section. They will take his phone, put it in a cubbyhole, and give him a number tag.

Once he has cleared the security, he will exit to the left, and follow the path to the consulars section. He will again have to walk through a metal detector.

Once he is there, have him go up to any window to let them know that he is there for his appointment. Now, you should know, that the earlier he gets there, the better. Even if he has a set appointment for 3pm (for example), if others have been waiting longer than him they will take them first even if their appointment is set for after him.

The time frame really depends on him. Does he have all his paperwork together? Is he able to answer the questions satisfactory, etc. Have him expect to be there at least 30-60 minutes minimum.

He will need to pay in cash. Either American dollars, or the equivalent amount in Tunisian Dinar. They do not accept credit cards, checks, or bank cards, and there is no ATM inside the Embassy.

Once he has finished with his visa business, he is free to leave. He will go back through the guard house, and at that time can pick up his phone (if he had to leave it), and then he can leave.


Ticket prices are pretty much the same no matter where you buy them from. I will offer you this bit of advice though - for flights to/from the US, you actually save money if you make two separate bookings. By that I mean have him book his flight from Tunisia to Europe on a Tunisian airline, and then use a separate airline from Europe into the US. Also, play around with dates, times, and airports. Sometimes the airport in your city might be expensive, but if he flies into the airport of the next city you can save a few hundred dollars. You would have to weigh cost against convenience for that.

Good luck, and please be sure to keep us updated!
 

daliroya

Member
#3
Thank you for the thorough response. Do you know if he will get an answer that day?

As far as the ticket goes...I had heard that if you buy the ticket in "stops" like that then you have to have a transit visa for that country. Is that accurate? I always fly through Paris. I know others go through Germany. Do you know which flies from Monastir into a European country (always looking for cheapest ;))
 

janette b

Well-Known Member
#4
not sure he can go out from monastir for first flight , when coming to uk have to leave for 1st time from tunis so you can come through immigration in london so check out rules as if going to europe first may need another visa
 

Tunisianbelle

Well-Known Member
#5
Thank you for the thorough response. Do you know if he will get an answer that day?

As far as the ticket goes...I had heard that if you buy the ticket in "stops" like that then you have to have a transit visa for that country. Is that accurate? I always fly through Paris. I know others go through Germany. Do you know which flies from Monastir into a European country (always looking for cheapest ;))
It depends. Some will get an answer that same day, some will have to go through administrative processing which can take anywhere from 2 days-???? I have heard cases of people being through administrative processing for more than 2 years! They average time though is usually about 2weeks-3months. He won't know if he has to go through it until he's there though.


A transit visa is for if you plan on exiting and re-entering the country. Some countries require what is called an airside transit visa, meaning you have to ave a special transit visa even if you plan on staying in the airport when traveling, but I have never heard of a European country requiring it.

From my experience - hubby was allowed to travel from Tunisia to Europe on TunisAir and made a separate reservation for travel from Europe into the US. The thing they are looking for is your onward ticket to your final destination, and not just you saying that you have it or plan on getting it once in transit.

About traveling from MIR --- MIR caters mainly to charter flights. I have been able to travel in and out of MIR on scheduled and charter flights with no problem, but that may be due to hubbys line of work. Many of the British women on here say that you can only travel on scheduled flights out of MIR or otherwise you have to fly out of Tunis. You would have to have him ask about that himself to make sure he gets the correct answer.

As for which airline is the cheapest - it will depend in which airport he will be flying in/out of, the day of the week, and if the airlines are running any specials. For good values, you HAVE to do your homework. Sorry, no easy way around it. You have to check them all, and compare. Also, another thing to remember is sometimes you can get a lower rate by booking on the internet. Sometimes travel agents can get you the best rate. Sometimes just calling up the airline is the cheapest. You really have to do it all. It IS time consuming, so you have to weigh whether you just want the fastest and easiest solution or i you are willing and able to put the effort into getting a lower fare.

I haven't had to fare shop in MANY years, but when I did, I remember it taking me about 2 days to do all of my comparison shopping and get a fare that I was satisfied with. OH! One more thing - when you look on the internet, the sites will place cookies on your computer. You can get a fare listed at $XXX and then when you go back even a few minutes later you notice the price has gone up. This is because they want you to book immediately. You need to be sure to clear out ALL your private data, or use different computers to avoid this.
 

daliroya

Member
#6
Yes, I am so used to ticket price shopping. With family all over the world, I have done plenty of that....but always with an American passport. But when we buy tickets for Brazil, we usually get a better price buying IN Brazil. When I fly to Sweden, I get the better price purchasing in USA...Iran, it is best to use a travel company.....each ticket seems different but can be the difference of as much as $500!!!

Also, I am not clear if you are saying he needs to have the ticket purchased BEFORE he goes to the interview. This is the one thing I am the most unsure of.

When my daughter and I fly to Brazil (Americans need a Visa to travel to Brazil) we had to have the ticket purchased. When I was applying for my Visa to Sweden, I just needed to give an approximate date of arrival. Do you know which one it is in Tunisia? I sure hate for him to buy a ticket, get refused the visa and then lose that money.
 

Tunisianbelle

Well-Known Member
#7
Also, I am not clear if you are saying he needs to have the ticket purchased BEFORE he goes to the interview. This is the one thing I am the most unsure of.
I think that more often than not people are not asked to show a ticket at the interview. I think that for the most part they understand that finances are tight and most people do not have the money to waste on buying a ticket if their visa isn't assured.

Have him give approximate dates he plans to fly and with which airline if they ask for it, but I honestly do not think they will.
 

daliroya

Member
#8
Fingers crossed....he's there right now!
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#9
hope all goes well ~ let us know!
 

daliroya

Member
#10
Well, it was no. But at least we got the answer quickly. I was able to speak with a person at the embassy and they were very polite and helpful. Not bureaucratic at all. So, I put it in the hands of God and for now, God does not want my friend to come to the states. God is good all the time. Thanks for your well wishes.
 

MellieC

Well-Known Member
#11
Sorry you got a no.

but whatever they refused on, at least you can work on that for next time.
 

daliroya

Member
#12
yes, and i would much rather get a quick and painful NO, than a long drawn out full of anxiety NO...lol
 

daliroya

Member
#13
I have promised myself to accept God's will with grace and dignity. But the NO was a harder blow than I expected. I thought I was prepared to get the NO, but today feels like I walk with the wind blowing through the center of my body. I smile to all my family and work my normal 12 hour day and speak words of encouragement to my partner but the cavern left within is wide and deep. All day, I have been counting all my blessings. I really have a wonderful life. I ask God to give me peace to accept that this man will not be a part of my daily life and my future. God is good, all the time!
 

anniebx

Member
#14
I really need HELP!!!!!!!!!! I'm doing his Papers. I gave a address and is from postoffice. I don't know if it can be use. He claims where he live is no home address. :confused::confused: I have to respond to the request. Soon. Thanks
 

ROULLA

Registered User
#15
I really need HELP!!!!!!!!!! I'm doing his Papers. I gave a address and is from postoffice. I don't know if it can be use. He claims where he live is no home address. :confused::confused: I have to respond to the request. Soon. Thanks
Hi Anniebx hope that you are in good health! Sorry but are you saying that your husband has no forwarding address ??
Everyone has some sort of fixed address..:)
 

Hbrown1

Banned
#16
I really need HELP!!!!!!!!!! I'm doing his Papers. I gave a address and is from postoffice. I don't know if it can be use. He claims where he live is no home address. :confused::confused: I have to respond to the request. Soon. Thanks
Hi hun,

You need an address even if its a rented place, but he needs to have been there a certain length of time or you also need to give the previous address.

Hun i hope this helps xx xx :)
 

anniebx

Member
#17
Hi Anniebx hope that you are in good health! Sorry but are you saying that your husband has no forwarding address ??
Everyone has some sort of fixed address..:)
He got a postoffice box. I don't know if he can use. I write to him in that address. Also he as friends that has business and I also have you that address.:confused: I have to respond soon. Thanks
 

anniebx

Member
#18
Hi hun,

You need an address even if its a rented place, but he needs to have been there a certain length of time or you also need to give the previous address.

Hun i hope this helps xx xx :)
Hi hun how are you. He has a postoffice address that we write to eachother. I also have you his friend business address. He been living in that rented home for 20years. So confuse and don't understand how it don't have a address. I really need to respond to request soon. thanks
 

Hbrown1

Banned
#19
Hi hun how are you. He has a postoffice address that we write to eachother. I also have you his friend business address. He been living in that rented home for 20years. So confuse and don't understand how it don't have a address. I really need to respond to request soon. thanks
Hiya,

We used Sofiane's address which was rented bcz he was there for more than 2yrs.

You need to be correct in everything you reply to hun, i know its a pain but they can check.

So just be honest with them, i wish you all the luck in the world.

Its so stressfull i know, but you will get through it xx xx :)
 

anniebx

Member
#20
Hiya,

We used Sofiane's address which was rented bcz he was there for more than 2yrs.

You need to be correct in everything you reply to hun, i know its a pain but they can check.

So just be honest with them, i wish you all the luck in the world.

Its so stressfull i know, but you will get through it xx xx :)
Helen, Thanks so much trying to help me. I'm trying so much to get answer. I'm trying to get him to try to see if he can get the owners address. So scare cos, he gave me address and don't know if it was written wrong. when I double check is wrong. Or if it was check and it turn out to be a PO Box. They are not all to use PObox, he have of them don't have address. Thanks.:confused:
 
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