Friday, September 23, 2011

UK Visitor Visa for non US Citizens in USA

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U.S. citizens do not need a UK visa for tourist or business travel to this country for a stay up to 6 months. A valid U.S. Passport is required.

In addition to the 125 dollar visa fee we payed a 150 dollar expedite fee to the consulate and 175 dollar ABriggs fee per applicant. But its worth every penny when its a travel for your cousins wedding! Thanks to ABriggs expedite visa services, we have got our six month multiple entry UK visit visas in two days. And that is definitely the way to go when time matters. If you are in a hurry and want to use ABriggs here is the one stop Abrigss Link.Their customer service is always available on chat from their website or on phone to answer all your queries or track your passports.

For normal processing which on an average takes a month, you can fill in the form by going to the following link.VISA4UK Link.This is lengthy and tiring and you can always save the application on any page to continue later.Visa4uk will send you an email with the confirmation number and instructions to log back in. If you are applying as a family, you can fill in separate applications and then mail them together.

Print and mail the application along with all the supporting documents listed on Abriggs page to the embassy.You have to mail the documents to the appropriate UK Consulate depending on where you live in the US. Go to this link to find yours.

In addition to the documents listed on the ABriggs page, send them as many supporting documents as you can. Following are the additional documents we have sent.

IRS Returns
Home Lease/Mortgage Document
Copy of the first page of the sponsor’s passport
Wedding Invite

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cents and Dimes:What to do with the change?

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Unlike the previous generation we neither know the value of a dime nor do we have the patience to count and use the cents .Never underestimate the value of the change you piled up over the years on the dashboard of your car,in a Coffe cup on your desk or at home.I have just printed my seventy five dollar starbucks gift card from the CoinStar machine for my change.So save the change in a easy to reach and safe location.

As you drop the coins in the tray,the Coinstar machine will sort the change , the amount on screen rolls up as if you won a jackpot on a slot machine in vegas.They charge a 9.8 percent service fee if you want cash for your coins.It can print several other gift cards like Amazon,ToysRUs,Itunes and not just Starbucks for free.It even filters and returns any non US currency which in my case were rupees and euros:) 

You can find a Coinstar machine close to you by going to the following link.Coin Star Locator. 

And the change goes to , CoinStar!

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Invoices for Your Corporation

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Creating an invoice can’t get any better than using Subscribe, Login, Add people/clients, Generate. It’s that easy to create invoices online. Register by going to the following link- Freshbooks subscription link and create a unique url for your company and a login.  

Create a client and  an invoice for the client by entering the hours and the hourly rate leaving the calculations to freshbooks. As this stage the invoice will show up as outstanding. You can print it, save it as a pdf , email it to your client or snail mail it by buying stamps from freshbooks. Tracing back to your invoice change the amount paid as and when the client pays you. The invoice will change to paid status once the payment is complete. Invoices are just one of the many services freshbooks offers. 

Their services are free with a limit of three clients .You can upgrade to go beyond that as your business grows. They also have a reports tab where you can check the payment history etc. Your existing billing or other software's can programmatically integrate with freshbooks using the API they expose.  This is just an introductory article and there are lots of informative articles on the freshbooks blog.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Contacting USCIS :To Expedite or Get Information

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You can talk to a USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) representative using the below details .They will open a service request to either get you more information or to expedite your application process. Have the receipt of your pending case, pen and paper handy before you make the call.

Call 1-800-375-5283; options 1,2,2,6,1

  • Enter your receipt number.
  • Press 1 (Listen to updated case information)
  • Press 3 (To continue to next step)
  • Press 4

You call will be transferred to the service center where your case is pending. Then it will be transferred to an Immigration Officer/Representative. He might ask you for the receipt number again and a few more details to create the service request. In case of an expedite request he will read out the expedite criteria and will ask you to choose one you fall in to. Write down the service request number that he reads out for any future correspondence.

Creating as service request does not mean they will expedite you application. USCIS will contact you within five days to a week either by mail or phone to let you know if they are considering your case for expediting or if they need more details.

Here is an excellent article which lists the 12 ways to check your USCIS case status

Read the following articles for further details:

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