There are a few steps to cover before you can get the extended stay Visa. Most of the consulates will require that you meet specific criteria which can be:
- FBI background check
- Financial stability
- Medical release
- Appointment at the consulate
The first thing to do is set the appointment with the consulate. Most of them provide an online calendar. I couldn’t find anything less than 60 days out so you’ll have time to get all of the paperwork and legwork done. However, the FBI and Insurance requirements will take a long time to complete, and 60 days goes by pretty fast when you’re trying to get something done from the government. Apostilling these documents will take even longer. Once you have your appointment set, it’s time to get the FBI background report.
There are a few FBI channelers that can expedite the process. You can find a list of approved channelers on the FBI website, here. For my purpose and location I went with Fieldprint. I also liked their modern — online processing and scheduling system — better than many of the other services which were all done by traditional mail. The FBI report is sent in PDF to the email you registered. For some countries, that’s all you need is the report, but some will require apostilling. I’ll explain this process later.
The channeler company will schedule you for a fingerprinting appointment and once they scan your prints, you’ll need to complete the FBI request form. With Fieldprint, I completed the form online, than waited for them to approve the form. Within a day I received an email from them notifying me that I was approved and they provided a link to complete my appointment. I followed the link from the email and logged into the platform using the username and password I set up previously. There were a few more questions to complete for my height, weight, eye color, etc. before the appointment could be set. I chose the location closest to me that had Saturday appointments available, and set the date and time. After completing the payment ($50), I was finished. Fieldprint emailed me confirmation of the appointment, and another for the payment receipt.
I’ll cover the fingerprinting appointment in the next post.