The U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe held an information session on U.S. visas for NAIST faculty, administrative staff, and students to facilitate travel to the United States on November 30th, 2018. Ms. Lauren Lewis (Deputy Consular Chief), Ms. Tomoko Takatori (Visa Assistant/Consular Outreach Coordinator) and Mr. Carlos Diaz (Visa Section Officer) from the U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe visited NAIST to speak on various areas concerning immigration to the attendees (11 faculty and staff members, 6 students).
This session is a great opportunity for NAIST students, researchers and staff to gain information and insight about types of visas and the procedures necessary for obtaining them, while also being able to ask the staff of consulate specific questions concerning individual concerns and situations. NAIST coordinates with the consulate to offer the session in order to support our students and scholars in their travels, as they are the driving force behind the growth of our international education and research network.
The paperwork and preparations necessary for traveling to the United States can be difficult to understand and many of the forms, etc. required depend on individual information. Ms. Lewis led the session introducing different U.S. visas (B-1/B-2, F-1, J-1, etc.), guiding people through the procedures based on different possible purposes and perform mock interviews to give students an image of what they can expect. Additionally the ESTA system was explained and students were warned of sites designed similarly to the official sites that perform the registration for unannounced additional fees. Questions were answered throughout the session, and some included topics such as multiple immigration and visa applications being submitted at the same time and recent developments in immigration rules and regulations.
Every year many students and researchers visit the United States, so listening to the consular staff's explanation and demonstrations was informative for those planning their future education and research.