Preparations for departure:
The American visa is publicized as one of the hardest to acquire. Given the lengthy online application form that ought to be completed, such proclamations may contain some truth. Completing the online application form might take three hours if diligence (which is very necessary) is to be employed. Once the online visa application is completed; the next phase is booking appointment (online) to attend an interview at the embassy/consulate. There are three centers in South Africa, and the consulate in Cape Town is the closest venue in the Western Cape for interview. Usually, the nearest time-lapse between interview booking date and attendance is about three weeks to one month. This varies depending on the consulate´s backlog.
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When applying for the visa, go to the website of the Finnish Embassy of Pretoria to read the important information and to download the application form. One very important thing to note is that there will be no fee charged for the visa if you state on your form that you are applying as a student going to follow a course. However, with this option, you will only receive a Schengen visa for the dates of your departure and return to South Africa and it will only be for one entry into Finland. You thus need to keep this in mind if you will be visiting other countries except for Finland. To apply for the visa, you will need your letter of acceptance from the summer school, bank statement showing you have at least R10,000 available, proof of registration at SU and a letter of recommendation from the SU International stating that you will return to Stellenbosch to finish your studies.
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