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Monday, March 21, 2005

Visas 

Business Week has an interesting piece on student visas, which might be worth a look for anyone who is going to need one. I was pleasantly surprised by how positive it was - given that it's a Q&A with an immigration lawyer I was expecting more of an 'it's really hard, you should get professional help' type piece, but it isn't.

I've had a look at the forms for applying for my F-1, and they don't seem too bad. What I do find amusing, and slightly bizarre, though, is that I don't have to submit a 'supplementary non-immigrant visa application form' on account of the fact that I'm female. This form is required of all males aged between 16 and 45, as well as everyone from a small number of certain countries. Looking at the questions on the form, it appears to be routing out potential terrorists. Now, whilst I have no objection to not having to write every country I've visited in the last ten years in a space only slighlty larger than a postage stamp, I find it strange that my lack of a Y chromosone is the only reason I don't have to do it. I had dinner on Saturday with a group of people, including a former Prison Governor who was telling us about his experience of holding female terrorist suspects in his male prison, and we've had more than a quarter of a century of advancing equality since then.

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