So I am sitting outside during lunch today and I’m listening to the first time 1st semester students whining about the visa process, so I figured it might be nice to prepare you for what you’re going to deal with regarding the visa documentation process.
First of all, there will be miscommunication between the housing department (who is responsible for sending and receiving your visa documents) regarding how long it takes for the process to occur. Sometimes they may even with hold information if you don’t ask all the right questions. Having said this, you send off your visa documents before you come to the island. They get the paperwork all ready before you arrive, and once you get on island you will turn in your passport, print out your loan dispersement paperwork for your myRoss account (which is your proof of funding) and they will give you a certified copy of your passport until it comes in with your visa attached. If you need to travel within that period of time that they have your passport, simply send an email or go talk to the housing department (I find going in and nicely talking to them works best!) and tell them you have to travel and need it back. It won’t mess with the visa application process. It’s fairly simple from what I understand.
Second, island time is a real thing and you need to not let it make you angry and rude, and just accept that it is how things work here. Trust me, if you piss off the people who are here to help you, you won’t have a pleasant time on island. The visa application process will likely take the entire semester to get it back. It will be fine, I’ve never needed it while on island, and I haven’t traveled home since I arrived in August, which is nearly 8 months ago. For those of you who will travel after first, you’ll be fine! I’ve said it before, this school produces great doctors, so their processes have to work!! Trust the system. Thousands of doctors have come before you and they made it off island 🙂
Lastly, it will be 100% necessary for you to buy a “return flight” for your visa application. Having said this, they do not follow up to see that you left the island. My husband and I purchased tickets to a neighboring island because it was only a few hundred dollars for both of us, but we weren’t able to afford to buy a return flight back to Saint Kitts, so we spent the money and didn’t actually take the trip. It’s frustrating, but it was necessary for the visa application process.
Do you have any questions? Contact me!