Getting a US tourist visa itself is difficult. Among the five countries with permanent migration programs – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the USA, only the US Embassy requires personal interviews.
The US government shutdown just complicated things. Or not. Consider the following:
• If you are a First Time applicant or reapplying after being refused…
…consular Services (visa scheduling, interview and issuance or refusals) are not likely to stop because services are paid for by user or applicant fees – not by annual appropriation. So even if the Republican-controlled Congress' move has shut down federal offices, visa processing should continue.
You still pay the same $160.00 nonimmigrant visa fee and complete the online application. When asked for the reason you are applying for a US tourist visa during the interview, visiting relatives and private seems to be a safe choice.
It is not wise to say “I want to see your beautiful country – the Grand Canyon, Yosemite or Yellowstone Park.” National parks are closed until Congress passes a bill enabling the US government to reopen.
The next big hurdle or poker play comes just more than a week. On Oct. 17, unless the Democrats and Republicans think of the American people instead of themselves, the US will not be able to pay its bills. The national disaster becomes an international catastrophe.
· If you already have a US visa
...you may have to revise your itinerary, especially if you intend to visit a US national park or two. Forget that visit to the Statue of Liberty in New York, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Yosemite Park in California or Yellowstone National Park.
Private-run amusement parks are open so enjoy Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in Los Angeles-Orange County.
CNN reported that “all 401 National Park Service sites, which collectively average about 715,000 visitors per day in October will be closed to the public. Guests staying in campgrounds and on-site hotels will be given 48 hours to leave. The Smithsonian's 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoo will also turn visitors away.”
· If not sure, take this opportunity to apply for a tourist visa to Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Having a US visa is certainly a plus towards getting another visitor visa.
In fact the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is more beautiful than the US cascade.