J1 Visa Process

Checklists and countdowns, J1 Visa Process

I have just received the approval for my J-1 visa, and now I’m starting to feel that this is for real. It has been a long way since it all began the process but I can say everything was worth it. Let me give you my feedback after going through all the J1 Visa process.

As it happens when you have to face any new experience in life, you may feel overloaded with all the inputs. Moreover, if you don’t just have to apply for a J1 visa but also your program starts in less than a month and you must finish your running projects in Spain and get rid of all the furniture of your apartment. That’s my crazy last month through the J1 Visa Process.

It all started with a phone call from Patricia informing me that I had been selected for a Trainee Program at Inglese Architecture+Engineering. Really good news! After that, she sent me the agreement and I saw that the starting date was only 30 days away. Rush! That was my thought. And then I realized that I would need to use all my organizational skills to leave behind all I was doing and setting up my new life in a record time.

There were three main issues to successfully  solve the J1 Visa Process:

  1. Getting all the paperwork done properly and on time for the J1 Visa approval.
  2. Finish all the projects going on at my current job
  3. Decide and organize what to take to the US and sell the rest of the furniture of my apartment

Knowing the day I had to be in the US, I started with the countdowns: 1 week before I must have the visa – 2 weeks before I have to go to the Embassy for the interview – 30 days before I must tell my landlord that I leave the apartment… Once I had a clear schedule of the timings dozens of “To Do Lists” came to my desk, and consequently, a strong stress feeling crossed me from the head to the toes.

Basically, my full life was summed up in lists and calendars. However, the solution to that feeling was already in the checklists. Every time I crossed out a “done thing” it was like getting a little piece of my new life.

Luckily Architect-US took care of all the paperwork, so my only duty on the first issue was to fill and submit the Visa form and arrange the interview with the Embassy. There’s a range of documents to be ready for that day, but all of them came on time and whenever I had a doubt about the process they helped me so quickly, both by mail or phone call. It looks easy now, but trust me when I say that sometimes you may feel overwhelmed by the process. Do not hesitate, ask the Architect-US guys and they’ll get you back on tracks!

Regarding the other two issues, I must say that 3 days before my departure I’m still working on it! I have to hurry to deliver my last project in Barcelona in a couple of days. Besides, when I’m not in front of my computer I’m packing up clothes, books and deciding what should come to the US and what will remain here. Again, checklists to confirm what to put on the luggage and to dismiss what it’s not worth to take. Meanwhile, I’m selling most of the furniture online…that’s even funny, especially when one day you have breakfast on a table but you must have dinner in the kitchen because there’s no table anymore!

Eric Angelats


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