Visa and Immigration
Dave: Hi, I’d like to apply for a visa.
Consulate Worker: OK. Have you filled out one of the V-1 forms and brought two passport photos?
Dave: Yes, yes, everything is here. And $25 for the visa processing fee
Consulate Worker: Ok, let me have a look. What is the nature of your visit?
Dave: I’m going to see friends and family.
Consulate Worker: And you need a multi-entry visa rather than a single-entry one?
Dave: Yes. I have a couple of friends over the Canadian border.
Consulate Worker: Right. Well, this all seems in order. The multiple entry tourist visa is valid for 3 months, and takes 3 days to process. It should be ready to pick up on Thursday.
2. ‘multi-entry’ = can enter, leave, and re-enter as many times as you like.
3. ‘Canadian border’ means entering Canada (from the US), not leaving Canada.
4. ‘seems in order’ = everything looks right
The landlord went to check the house. Everything seemed in order, and so he gave the them their full deposit back.
Philip: Excuse me, can I ask whether there is a visa waiver system for British nationals?.
Consulate Worker: Yes, for all EU-citizens, although you need to apply and register online.
Philip: How about for Chinese nationals? My friend’s friend asked me to ask for her.
Consulate Worker: I’m afraid not. She’ll need to apply in person at her nearest consulate or embassy.
Philip: Do you know if she needs to do a visa interview as well?
Consulate Worker: Not if she is just looking for a tourist visa. Other visas are a bit more complicated. If you want to know the specific details for those this pamphlet has more. You might also want to take a look online: the website has information on visas, residence permits, student visas, all that stuff.
Philip: OK, I’ll check that out.
Consulate Worker: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Philip: No no, that’s all for now.
2. ‘in-the-know’ = knowledgeable; have up-to-date knowledge
I can’t help you. You should ask Dave: he’s in-the-know about these sorts of things.
3. ‘check (that) out’ = have a look
I want to check out the company’s offices before we agree to sign a contract with them.
Check out the girl in the red shoes. She’s beautiful!
The immigration officers in America are renowned for giving visitors a hard time, and many people complain they are just wannabe cops getting high off their authority. Certainly I’ve found the attitude of some to be rather irksome in the past: there is nothing worse than stepping off a long-haul flight and then being interrogated in a condescending manner by some government lackey, or treated like a moron because you didn’t fill out some frivolous paperwork. That said, I have also met immigration officials who are warm and welcoming, and who politely go through the formalities – checking your on-going ticket, scanning your fingerprints, etc. – before sending me merrily on my way. I guess it is the luck of the draw: some people are pleasant, some people are jerks, and some people may simply be in a bad mood because they had a disappointing breakfast or had a fight with their spouse. No country’s homeland security can account for that.Notes
Although he is a renowned writer in his home country, his name is not widely known outside of its borders.
2. ‘give (someone) a hard time’ = make life difficult for (someone)
At school they always gave Dave a hard time about his mum cutting his hair.
3. ‘wannabe’ = ‘want to be’ i.e. they want to be x, but are not. It is used for people who act like they are doing something more important than they really are.
The Korean singer Rain is just a wannabe Michael Jackson.
4. ‘get high off…’ = making themselves feel good/powerful (more than they should)
The country is full of politicians getting high off their power.
Ever since he was named Player of the Year he has been getting high off the praise.
5. ‘lackey’ = dogsbody; a negative word for a general worker who the boss can make do anything
Dave wanted a new job. He was tired of being the office lackey.
6. ‘moron’ = idiot
7. ‘frivolous’ = useless and a waste of everyone’s time
At the time I thought it was a frivolous exercise the boss had made us do in order to keep us quiet, but it was actually pretty useful in the end.
8. ‘the formalities’ = the sometimes boring but necessary work needed to make something official
The formalities of getting a visa in Russia are a pain.
9. ‘merrily on (my) way’ = happily on my way i.e. on my way without any problems
10. ‘luck of the draw’ = the uncontrollable luck of a situation
Some people get born good-looking, some don’t. It is all just the luck of draw.
They got drawn away to United for the second year in a row. Yet there is no point in complaining: it’s just the luck of the draw.
11. ‘jerk’ = a person who acts in a way to annoy people
12. ‘can’t account for (that)’ = there is no way to be ready for that; no way to know that was going to happen
You can try plan for everything, but in the end you can’t account for luck.
Immigration is a controversial topic all around the world; whilst some countries welcome immigrants, others are more suspicious. The pattern is often predictable: wealthy countries are usually wary of being flooded by poverty-laden people looking to improve their lives, fearing they may burden the state or over-run the economy and job market; developing nations, on the other hand, prefer rich expats from a specific list of nations rather than people who wish to relocate permanently, wanting to make use of skills and education whilst trying to keep new wealth in-house.
Immigration laws, however, not only reflect a country’s attitude to foreigners, it can also mold it. Opening a country to a select group of people, shutting others out, or only offering particular jobs to particular sets of people can all play on the national psyche. Stigma and bias become engrained because people are linked to certain roles. Xenophobia and racism are often quick to follow. Stereotypes become the norm: that all foreigners are rich, or all Caucasians speak English, or Eastern Europeans are unskilled laborers, or Asians either own restaurants or become doctors, are all simply examples of ignorance that stems from immigration laws and history.
In 2010 the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) was established to track the quality of lives of immigrants around the world. Whilst only a handful of wealthy nations have agreed to participate thus far, the statistics can be found at www.mipex.eu.
American politics is full of controversial topics: gun control; abortion; religion in school…
2. ‘wary of…’ = cautious about…; not totally sure if it is a good idea
He’s a smart guy, but I’m a bit wary about giving him control of the whole project.
3. ‘(noun)-laden’ = have a lot of this problem, and will find it difficult to get rid of the problem (often ‘poverty-laden’)
The country has been debt-laden since the 1990s.
4. ‘burden’ (verb) = cause a weight i.e. cause a problem
The boss is always burdening her with extra work.
5. Developing nations are nations who are becoming richer and more organised. The three terms are developed, developing, and underdeveloped, although developed countries are often called ‘1st world’ and underdeveloped nations are ‘3rd world’.
6. Expats (short for ‘ex-patriots’) are people in a country to work. They are not permanent residents, and are therefore different from immigrants.
7. ‘in-house’ = within the company or organisation
The company do all their training in-house.
They prefer to promote people from in-house rather than bring in new people.
8. ‘mold’ = shape
Good or bad parenting will mold a child’s mind.
9. ‘shut out’ (verb) = not allow someone to join in
After Dave made a mess of the last deal, the boss shut Dave out of these talks.
10. ‘national psyche’ = the way a country generally thinks
11. ‘engrained’ = deeply set in; become so deeply set in that it isn’t questioned anymore.
Her grandfather doesn’t want to understand or learn about emails. He is engrained in the old ways.
12. ‘a handful’ = a few; not many
Although most people agreed it was time for a change, a handful of the leader’s supporters still tried to keep him in charge.