Ready to go, NYC!

After finalizing all the steps to get my J-1 Visa, I am all ready to fly out to New York and start on January 6 at a top rated firm in New York.  I had to make a very hard choice between two very generous offers, but I could not pass the opportunity to experience the city! I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning of my architectural experience abroad. The Visa process was fairly straightforward (a lot of paperwork!) but hey, it’s the way it is.

Both Architect-US and the Chamber of Commerce were very helpful and speedy with the process, and calculated the optimal starting date very accurately. I had enough time to figure out the process and get approved with a few days of wiggle room. The holidays did make everything a little harder, as these end of year days are peppered with holidays and holiday moods that slow everything down and turn the planning of this process into a slightly more annoying ordeal than it needs to be. Nevertheless, everything worked pretty much as expected, and I am finally in possession of the prized Visa. The most stressful part was dealing with the Embassy appointment for the Visa interview, as they don’t leave a lot of room for error, and you absolutely have to be available for the appointment they give you, if you need an expedited appointment (which you very likely will need). Top tip: go in a few minutes earlier and take your passport photos at the photo booth at the Embassy in Madrid, and you’ll save yourself the error I made when the pictures I brought had shadows in them and were rejected. Rookie mistake. All in all, the personnel at the Embassy are courteous, polite and will no doubt make the appointment a pleasant experience.

That’s all for now, and I’ll close with a picture I once took in Brooklyn that I am particularly happy about.

Gonzalo Samaniego

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