Langkah-langkah untuk memohon visa ke USA: MUDAH!

This post is written in my mother tongue, Malay.

Fuuh, berbaloinya ke USA!

Fuhh, berbaloinya ke USA! Ini ialah Lake Tahoe, di Nevada, ala negeri yang ada Las Vegas tu.

Saya pasti ramai yang diluar sana kadangkala buntu dan masih tak faham cara-cara untuk mohon visa ke USA, dan juga ramai yang berharap visa rakyat Malaysia untuk ke USA akan dimansuhkan secepat mungkin. USA sekarang sedang sibuk memulihkan hubungan dengan Cuba dan itupun makan masa bertahun lamanya walaupun dua-dua negara ini sangat berdekatan. Maka perihal pemansuhan visa rakyat Malaysia ke USA mungkin makan masa 2 atau 3 tahun lagi sebelum solusi dicapai. Untuk itu, saya tuliskan yang paling ringkas untuk anda mohon visa ke USA. Saya jamin jikalau anda baca dan fahamkan dari pos saya ini, anda akan rasa mudah untuk mulakan proses permohonan.

Ringkasan cara-cara mohon tourist visa, B2 ke USA

Mula-mula, fahami:

1. Jenis visa yang anda perlu mohon

2. Harga jenis visa pilihan

3. Pembayaran dan cara bayar untuk proses permohonan visa

4. Maklumat dan cara isi borang DS-160 online

5. Masa menunggu untuk appointment 

6. Gambar pasport dan cap jari digital

Maklumat Umum Visa ke USA

1. Jenis visa untuk TOURIST ialah B2.

2. Harga sekarang ialah MYR576.00/USD160 seorang. Harga dalam RM berubah ikut nilai tukaran semasa, tapi harga tetap ialah USD160.

3. Cara bayar ialah melalui bank Standard Chartered. Sebelum ke bank untuk buat bayaran dan mendapatkan nombor akaun Virtual untuk isi borang online, pergi ke sini dan cetak(print). Lengkapkan borang deposit ini dan pergi ke mana-mana Standard Chartered untuk buat pembayaran. Nanti akan dapat Virtual Account Number untuk digunakan untuk buat “appointment online”. Simpan nombor ini.

Buat hanya SATU bayaran untuk setiap Virtual Account Number kerana bayaran tidak akan dikembalikan. Adalah penting untuk anda simpan nombor yang diberi, kerana ini juga ialah bukti pembayaran proses visa yang  diperlukan untuk membuat “appointment” kemudian nanti. 

Sebelum “schedule appointment online”, sila pastikan anda ada semua ini:

  • Pasport sah sekurang-kurangnya 6 bulan untuk keluar Malaysia(pasport merah). Kalau ada anak kecil gunakan pasport anda, pun wajib mohon untuk anak kecil itu. Visa TAK boleh dikongsi.
  • Resit bayaran permohonan visa dari Standard Chartered Bank
  • Confirmation page of DS-160 (baca yang seterusnya di bawah pasal DS-160, penting)
  • Alamat e-mail anda yang sah
  • Sedia dan bawa dokumen sokongan untuk temuduga dan proses aplikasi atas talian. Untuk B2 atau tourist visa, pemohon perlu sediakan bukti yang anda ada hubungan kuat dengan Malaysia dan anda akan pasti pulang semula ke Malaysia selepas selesai melancong di USA. Dokumen sokongan yang perlu ada untuk dibawa ke interview ialah resume/curriculum vitae, slip gaji terkini, surat pelepasan majikan, bil bayar kereta dan rumah, surat cuti sekolah anak-anak, dan sebagainya yang berkaitan. Hanya tunjuk dokumen sokongan bila ditanya oleh pegawai.
Gambar motivasi semasa mohon visa! Siapa yang tak nak tengok Grand Canyon ni?

Gambar motivasi semasa mohon visa! Siapa yang tak nak tengok Grand Canyon ni?

PENTING DAN DIBUAT SEBELUM “SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT”:

Borang DS-160 hendaklah diisi. Setiap pemohon satu borang, termasuk untuk anak kecil dan setiap anak-anak yang ikut sama dalam trip anda. Pergi ke sini untuk mulakan apply/isi borang DS-160.

1. Pilih KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA sebagai “applying location”. Jenis visa ialah tourist visa/B2 NON-IMMIGRANT.

2. Panduan isi borang DS-160 ada di sini. Baca dengan teliti sebelum meneruskan isi borang DS-160.

3. Pastikan anda siap imbas(scan) gambar pasport semua pemohon dalam keluarga untuk dimuat naik ketika isi borang ini.

4. Semasa isi DS-160, sila sediakan maklumat “Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States”, atau tarikh lawatan terakhir anda ke USA dalam 5 tahun lalu, jika pernah ke USA. Dan anda juga akan ditanya apakah pengalaman anda travel ke luar negara dalam masa 5 tahun yang lalu.

Samada anda “schedule appointment” di sini atau menghubungi ini, anda perlu ada Virtual Account number untuk teruskan dengan “appointment scheduling” yang didapati setelah membuat pembayaran di bank Standard Chartered.

Bila dah isi borang, dan dah selesai bayar, boleh jadualkan temujanji (schedule appointment) untuk temuduga di pejabat kedutaan di Jalan Tun Razak. Jadualkan temuduga anda di sini.

UNTUK KEKOSONGAN TARIKH SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT:

Slot kosong untuk temuduga ialah berdasarkan jumlah pemohon yang “queue” lepas isi borang online. Kadangkala kekosongan untuk temuduga hanya akan ada dalam 2-3 minggu selepas anda isi borang, maksudnya ramai yang memohon dan ramai juga yang sudah memilih tarikh temuduga terdekat. Jika bernasib baik, anda boleh pilih masa keesokan harinya selepas isi borang, maksudnya makin cepat anda ke temuduga, makin cepat dapat visa, jika diluluskan.

Akhir sekali,

PERINGATAN!

Jangan beli tiket dahulu selagi belum dapat visa. Selalu mohon visa dahulu sebelum beli tiket. Bila visa tak diluluskan, kedutaan Amerika takkan pulangkan duit visa USD160 yang anda dah bayar tadi dan juga takkan bayar balik duit tiket kapal terbang yang anda dah beli. Melainkan anda tak kisah syarikat penerbangan “refund” separuh atau alih destinasi, risiko ini anda tanggung sendiri. Surat appointment untuk interview juga bukan jaminan dapat visa. Visa hanya dapat selepas temuduga, kalau diluluskan akan dapat dalam masa 3(TIGA) hari bekerja. Dinasihatkan untuk buat semua langkah di atas pada hari Isnin, supaya visa juga dapat dalam minggu yang sama, itupun jikalau tidak ada masalah sistem online kedutaan Amerika.

Waktu temuduga, kalaupun anda dah beli tiket(saya tak galakkan, mereka pun tak galakkan), jangan disebut kepada pegawai kedutaan. Bila dia tanya apa kita nak buat di USA dan ke mana kita nak pergi dalam US dan bila rancang untuk pulang ke Malaysia, siapkan ITINERARI, tunjukkan pada mereka bila ditanya. Tiket kapal terbang BUKAN bukti anda akan pergi dan pulang. Jangan dengar cakap orang yang dah beli tiket dan tunjuk tiket sebagai bukti, kerana yang berjaya dapat visa lepas beli/tunjuk tiket itu ialah atas nasib baik masing-masing. Ini ialah nasihat berdasarkan pengalaman saya bercakap dan berurusan dengan pegawai kedutaan Amerika di KL sendiri, bukan sekali dua tapi banyak kali. Kalau anda ke kedutaan juga akan terlihat notis di mana pembelian tiket terlebih dahulu adalah sangat tidak dianjurkan.

Waktu temuduga, wajib bawa CONFIRMATION PAGE OF DS-160 yang dah diisi dan ditandatangani secara elektronik dan juga nombor APPLICATION ID. Bertenang di saat temuduga, kerana mereka juga manusia, dan tak perlu begitu fasih cakap Bahasa Inggeris pun boleh dapat visa. Dan pegawai kedutaan suka pemohon yang berkeyakinan tinggi dan nampak tahu apa yang patut dilakukan dan telah awal bersedia dan buat kajian sebelum datang ke temuduga. Kalau ikut cerita saya di Facebook saya, anda boleh bentangkan pada pegawai ke mana anda ingin pergi bila di USA.

JIKA VISA ANDA DILULUSKAN:

Yay! Anda boleh track pasport anda di sini dan jika ianya sudah sedia dengan visa ditampal di dalam, anda boleh dapatkan semula pasport anda di alamat ini:

No. 39, Lot 77159, Lorong Jala 14/ks 10, Telok Gong 42000, Port Klang, Selangor.  

Horseshoe Bend ini menanti anda di Utah, USA!

Horseshoe Bend ini menanti anda di Utah, USA!

Kedengaran sukar bukan? Kalau anda baca langkah mudah yang dah saya ringkaskan di atas, tidaklah sukar sebenarnya. Jujur saya katakan. Juga, sangatlah berbaloi menempuh pengalaman ini, kerana USA ialah sebuah negara yang amat cantik. Sesiapa mengikuti cerita perjalanan saya dan melihat semua gambar yang saya ambil, anda pasti tahu sedikit sebanyak dan tentunya teruja untuk ke USA! Keterujaan juga sumber motivasi yang besar!

Selamat maju jaya, jangan mudah putus asa!

How not to be a good traveler

Even a traveler who is constantly on the road makes mistakes sometimes. Mistakes are avoidable if you know exactly what not to do. Note that #2 is definitely unforgiving, so don’t ever try to.

We can never be perfect, but we definitely can try not to pick wrong choices.

1. Underestimating what you are getting into and what you actually are prepared for

In my case, I had underestimated Yosemite National Park, when I thought I can just go there without planning on which part of the park I should go, to see places I wanted to see. I had no idea that all those things are so far away from where we started. It was already 2pm on that day and we made our move from a place that was 4 hours away from all the attractions in Yosemite which is in the valley. On the map, those places look so near, I even underestimated that. Improper planning leads to unnecessary drive and exhaustion. I totaled an excruciating 8 hours of tiresome drive, for 3 minutes of just this photo, and putting my partner’s life at risk.

As a result, I only got to see this spot for 3 minutes because the sun was going down. Was it worthy? We still had 3 hours on the road to our final destination that day, including driving in the dark on dangerous, winding road. I got nothing but this photo and yes I was so mad at myself. I definitely learnt my lessons.

As a result, I only got to see this spot for 3 minutes because the sun was going down. Was it worthy? We still had 3 hours on the road to our final destination that day, including driving in the dark on dangerous, winding road. I got nothing but this photo and yes I was so mad at myself. I admit, I definitely learnt my lessons.

Other things you might be doing while traveling, like going to the zoo, museum, souvenirs shopping or going for a stroll on a beach don’t necessarily require concrete planning. Never ever venture out there not having any idea of what you are getting into. It might costs you your life.

2. Offending everyone by not respecting rules, customs and traditions

In the light of recent earthquake in Sabah, my home state that kills at least 16 climbers, just weeks after a group of tourist climbers posing naked on top of the mountain, also 2 tourists who got arrested and later deported for showing their rears at Angkor Wat, Cambodia, everyone of us here wants or at least thought of being THAT cool traveler, doing things differently than the others, competing to become trendsetters thus becoming popular without realizing that you are dragging unassuming people along with you. There’s nothing wrong in being different but what you do is a reflection of who you are. It is true that earthquakes in Sabah or Nepal weren’t caused by those irresponsible acts. No matter what the reasons are, locals in Sabah are angry because these supposed more-civilized nations & experienced travelers should’ve forehandedly studied cultures of the places they’re going to and that most definitely include thoroughly understanding traditions, respecting the differences in rules and not hesitating to follow the customs. Not a second you are allowed to think that the rules of one foreign place aren’t applied to you just because you’re just visiting. Just visiting is also not an excuse to misbehave. You may get naked in your own backyard because that’s your space, then what makes you think that you should get naked in other’s backyard? Oh, it’s just a mountain and that’s just another temple, no big deal, right? If you think it is okay to just get naked, showing parts of your body that you aren’t supposed to and offending millions of people, you are definitely on your way to become a NOT good traveler. You should see that coming, people do really get what they deserve, especially if they’ve done something offensive and punishable by law.

NAKED TOURISM IS NOT FOR ALL PLACES IN THE WORLD. -Photo courtesy of The Star

NAKED TOURISM IS NOT FOR ALL PLACES IN THE WORLD. What seems cool to you might be offensive to others.
-Photo courtesy of The Star

3. Relying too much on online resources

Not all itineraries made by others will suit you and your travel needs. That is why it is important to construct your own. One’s experience at one place might be different than another. This would actually leads to disappointment, when you didn’t get what you expected to get at first place. Before spending my summer 2 years ago in Venice, Italy, I’ve read lots of wonderful things about Venice and so I just went there, winging it, thinking I too will be having great times like others but in the end, I was disappointed. I didn’t get the experience that I wanted in Venice, because I was relying too much on whatever information I read online without further research. Laziness cannot be forgiven. If you put extra efforts into it, you’ll get more of good things, not only for you but also beneficial to others.

4. Being a complainer that you are

Bad habits are hard to break. Sometimes when you travel, you have to leave them at home, whether you like it or not. Home means all the comforts you can get. Outside home, you forgot that foreign places aren’t designed for you. Then you started complaining about non-existing restaurants that serve rice and why that city must have at least one restaurant that serves your favorite food otherwise you won’t survive. You complain about the sidewalks that aren’t comfortable enough to walk on but locals seem to be walking fine on those. These, and tonnes of other complaints that you sometimes listed for your own amusement, later passing it to friends, simply making your own conclusions of how bad that particular country is and why your friends too, shouldn’t go there. Next time you travel, try not to complain. The purpose of traveling to foreign places is to experience different kind of living situations of others. If you just want the comfort, stay at home. Don’t even bother discovering new places.

So what do you think you did wrong during your last travel?

“My travel photos are awesome but why don’t I get many likes?”

So you have great travel photos that you want to share on your social media, for example, Instagram. You shared them on daily basis but they only have at most 20 likes and you’re wondering what’s wrong. You probably thought that at this point, your photos aren’t good enough for the viewers, while your photos are actually great. I mean actually GREAT. There is probably something wrong in the way you are sharing those photos.
Unless you don’t want likes or followers, you can ignore this post.

1. Knowing WHEN to upload.
Most people will scroll for photos online during snoozy working hours; lunch time, after lunch, in the car on the way back from work while getting stuck in traffic and at night before bed time, when the kids are already sleeping. It is kind of a big deal to upload your photos during these hours as these people will focus on uploaded photos rather than them uploading photos. That’s why knowing the right time is important. You don’t go uploading photos in the middle of the night, usually between 2am-5am, exceptionally, many youngsters usually are staying up till 1-2am. Depends on who your viewers are and where they come from, you should assess their patterns. Also, you have to consider time zones. Many of my viewers are from Malaysia, while I am living in the US, I have to upload photos and post updates at weird hours, which is nonetheless good and it is something that I had been doing for a while.

People will scroll down your feed everyday if you do these, do as I say.

2. Knowing what your viewers would be interested in and focus on that.
Some of us upload photos with descriptions of the places, while some of us upload photos with motivational thoughts. Depends on the viewers, some of them would love to actually know about places you’ve been to. As for me, my audience loves descriptive photos. My audience loves asking questions about these places and I figured it is the best for me to write the information down. It is also good for their and your future references. This is also another way for you to blog, almost micro-blogging, and if you use Instagram, it is actually a great platform to do it, easy.

3. Know the right hashtags to be used and don’t hesitate in using them correctly.
This would be unnecessary to some, consider using the right hashtags. Using the right hashtags not only brings traffic to your page, but also recognitions by already-established platforms. This is how I am reached by pages like Matador Networks and being featured couple of times because I use the right tag on my photos. Audience will probably gets annoyed if you used tags like #spamforspam or #likesforlikes on your fantastic photos, just because it doesn’t sound professional or that you are not into what you are doing, in this case, wanting people to know you have great travel photos and that you want to be recognized. Don’t be afraid to use tags like #travel, #beautifuldestinations and such, as long as the tags are legit and making sense.

Straighten the horizon!

Straighten the horizon!

4. Knowing that it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use, even if you have only phone camera, you can make it work.
I travel with my iPhone 5s and GoPro. Many people asked me what kind of camera I used since my photos are great according to them. Although you are using only your phone to take photos, you can apply the photography rules while capturing your shots. Like the “rule of third”, when you stand at the third end in your photo so you won’t be blocking the view and usually it is used to compare how grand the view is in terms of its scale to your body. Also, if you take landscape shots, remember to straighten them before uploading because that matters. Like I said, you don’t have to own fancy camera, as long as you know what to do and that you study the rules, you’ll soon be gaining hundreds of followers. I did it!

When the subject is so grand, try not to be in the middle of it.

When the subject is so grand, try not to be in the middle of it.

5. Knowing HOW to upload photos.
You went to the beach and probably captured 100 photos at the beach alone. It annoys people when you immediately upload all those photos and in sequence even! Give the beach photos a break by uploading photos from different events in between. Varying uploads works wonders! Even if you have to do a #throwback then be it. People love the mixtures, and with mixtures in uploads, your timeline will be colorful.

So, do you know what you did wrong now?

People walking backwards in Tokyo, Japan!

This is the famous Shibuya Crossing in Shibuya, It will be a shame not to see Shibuya while visiting Tokyo. When the light turns green, people will be walking to every direction and the sight is pretty amazing! But my favorite place in Tokyo is definitely Asakusa which is in the north of Tokyo. I love the ancient vibe it gave me!

I used to say “I’ll never want to visit Japan!” And you should never say never!

The famous Shibuya Crossing!

The famous Shibuya Crossing!

The area near Senso-ji Temple.

The area near Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa.

The beautiful entrance of Senso-ji Temple with huge lantern behind me.

The beautiful entrance of Senso-ji Temple with huge lanterns behind me.

With status of legendary loyal dog in 20th century, Hachiko, near Shibuya subway entrance/exit, Hachiko.

With status of legendary loyal dog in 20th century, Hachiko, near Shibuya subway entrance/exit, Hachiko.

How to take on Tokyo in 15 hours is a little guide based on my recent layover in Tokyo en route to Los Angeles from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I can suggest other places to see in Tokyo while transiting if you are interested. Just hit me up!

What’s your favorite place in Japan?

What do I use to take my travel photos?

Answer:

My iPhone 5s and GoPro Hero 4 Black.

It will be a waste if you have a nice phone in your hands but you use them only to take selfies. Selfie-wise, I am not a fan, only sometimes when I have an awesome view behind me that I want to include in my selfie, which in that case, I usually use my GoPro.

I love traveling light, that includes not having to carry heavy SLR. Couple of years ago I have got my hands on it, but I never grow fond of it. Over the years with smartphones, I can now call myself an iPhone expert photographer.

Have you looked at what is in your hands right now? That expensive phone can finally do you good, you know.

Is this really from iPhone? Yes it is.

Is this really from iPhone? Yes it is.


Monument Valley

Monument Valley; The Mitten Buttes, with my iPhone.


Lipe.

Sunset in Koh Lipe, also with my iPhone.

Do good, and share it with friends and I am not talking about selfies.

“Yo, you gone for so long, you never miss home ah?”

Celebrated I turning perfect cube 23 weeks ago on the road in Texas, with beautiful cotton field. Can't get any cooler than this!

Celebrated I turning perfect cube 23 weeks ago on the road in Texas, with beautiful cotton field. Can’t get any cooler than this!

No. I don’t miss home. To be not fair, I only miss the foods and the warm water of pristine South East Asia’s beaches. Nowadays, friends and family back home are just one video call away. Sure you can always call or text them, but you can never text or call the foods! I just made perfect sense!

“But… why? And how come?”

You know, I treat every place I went to as my home. Therefore, I am at home everywhere. That explains the fact that I am selfishly don’t miss Malaysia. I am so comfortable living out here. You know it when you are also living a nomadic life. I was born a traveler, and confidently, when I was a kid, I grew up having my bags ready all the time. I sure had lived out of my backpack for months in Thailand and that was the most encouraging thing I’ve ever done for myself.

“How about Hari Raya? You also don’t go back?”

Yes, that one too. For so many years after the passings of my late grandpas+grandmas, my family celebrate Eid outside Malaysia. It is fun like that. You know, I once celebrated Raya in Germany, eating “nasi lemak sambal udang dan petai” and that was like the sweetest Raya ever? Exactly. I celebrated Raya overseas for so many years now, it is way funner than in Malaysia, to be honest.

I love being a traveler. Even now when I am permanently living in the USA, we are always on the move.

Life’s good.

That was a long hiatus.

I am now living in U.S.A..For past year, I got married and life is good. I am living abroad for 3 years now and I like it this way. Recently, I went on a big trip across USA to 34 states out of 50 and that was probably the most awesome thing I’ve done with my husband, my permanent globe-trotting partner. Here are some photos from the Big Trip.

Walking on salt at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

Walking on salt at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

With mountain with bears running on it behind me in Glacier National Park, Montana.

With mountain with bears running on it behind me in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Snow in the summer in South Dakota.

Snow in the summer in South Dakota.

The famous Devil's Tower in South Dakota.

The famous Devil’s Tower in South Dakota.

With striking geologic composits of Badland National Park, South Dakota.

With striking geologic composits of Badland National Park, South Dakota.

The wild prairie dog at Roberts Prairie Dog Town in Badlands National Park.

The wild prairie dog at Roberts Prairie Dog Town in Badlands National Park.

Cloud Gate or The Bean in Chicago, Illinois.

Cloud Gate or The Bean in Chicago, Illinois.

Niagara Falls with the view of Canada at sunset in Buffalo, New York.

Niagara Falls with the view of Canada at sunset in Buffalo, New York.

Sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.

Sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park.

Summer beauty in Yosemite National Park, California.

Summer beauty in Yosemite National Park, California.

Where are you going next?

Why not the macaques?

ImageNot amused.

I grew up with macaques and orang-utans being just in the jungle near my childhood’s little house. The macaques are never amusing to me because I know that they are diseased and should be avoided at any cost. But to most of you out there, you are still very delighted to get to see the macaques in the wild. I saw this macaque after my breakfast on day 3 in Koh Chang, Thailand. My friend immediately took out his phone to take this photo. I was dead sick seeing it walking through the cables looking for pieces of food. I wasn’t sure whether I should feel bad or happy. Koh Chang is beautiful but it is too populated on one side thus the environment gets dirtier and very welcoming especially for the macaques. When I was there for 5 days, I tried to look on the beautiful side, just. I managed to forget how disturbing to see monkeys all the way.

Image

This looks like Argentinian coastline. 

Image

I was jumping waves, I swear that was the greatest wave jumping.

Image

At the end of the stay, I thought I’ll never want to leave.

Image

 It was a perfect sunset at White Sand Beach.

A mini bus trip from Bangkok to Koh Chang will cost you around B300 ( USD 10 as in March 2014) and it will get you there in 5-6 hours. Bear in mind that the ride will be thrilling. Thai mini bus drivers are among the most reckless and notorious drivers in the world(I am not joking), ones who actually traveled Thailand this way knew exactly how it feels.

When I was on the island, I went on a quad trip with my friends through lush greens of Koh Chang. The trip was incredible, though I paid B2500(USD80) for supposedly 1 1/2 hour trip, we were on the wheels for 2 hours. That was to me, the greatest way to see Koh Chang on the quieter side.

Image

The ATV Salakphet Adventure team, they rock! That’s my German friend, Torsten.

Image

No mosquitoes nor malaria for me.

Image

Quite a happy ending, an isolated beach at Salak Phet.

It was a great escape. I’ve seen all of Thailand for more than 5 times.