Trip to Grand Canyon National Park

I am planning for my boyfriends birthday this august 20th I am planning to travel on 17th and come back on 21st like I have 3 full days. I wanted to visit maximum of places near and spend a blissful birthday night on 19th. I am ready for campgrounds, hiking’s too as I see few posts which says its helpful in reducing the price and can enjoy most. Madatory places I am willing to visit are havasu, zion, antelope along with grandcanyon with skywalk. We are planning to rent a car. I see we can camp in national park do we need to get our own tents? I am looking some what in budget friendly could spend upto 1000$ for this trip

1) Where should I first land I am coming from WAS(washington DC)?

2) Where should I stay for accommodation?

3) What would be my order of visit?

4) Best place to celebrate his birthday night 🙂

Are National Rail tickets the same price as TFL Oyster for the same route?

Today I travelled from Orpington to London Charing Cross. Both are National Railway stations and I bought an Anytime Day Return from a ticket machine at Orpington for ÂŁ14.60.

It was only after I returned that I noticed I could have swiped in and out with an Oyster Card or contactless credit/debit card.

If I had paid using the latter method, would it have cost me the same amount?

Is there a national park with mountainous and dense forests in Finland?


What I want

I would like to visit one of the national parks in Finland for ~5 days. I am looking for a location that is

  • reasonably far away from cities
  • has dense forests
  • a slightly mountainous area that would enable 1-day hikes that reward you with a view down onto nature over a wide area*
  • is north of the arctic circle to experience the polar summer (not sure if this conflicts with the dense forests)
  • has at least one lake for canoeing

(in that order of importance)

What I found

The topological map of Finland shows that there are few tall mountains in general: enter image description here

And pictures from nationalparks.fi see to indicate that hills are all I can hope for: enter image description here

Photos from Google Streeview also show rather sparse forests: enter image description here

Question

Can you recommend a national park or nature spot in Finland that would satisfy all the requirements listed above. Time of travel will be the second half of August. As an alternative I thought about flying to Norway or Sweden as they seem to be much more mountainous, but Finland would be the easier solution. Starting point of travel can be Helsinki or Tallinn and can include all means of travel. Renting a car is also possible.


*I don’t have professional equipment such as a lightweight sleeping bag or tent so a multi-day hike would be too expensive, as I would have to buy all the equipment.

AU Visitor visa (subclass 600) Business Visitor stream: National ID card and other passports/documents for travel

I am a citizen of the Russian Federation. Currently, I work and have my family in Germany (permanent residency). In order to apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600) Business Visitor stream, I should provide

  • a national identity card
  • the information on other passports/documents for travel.

(1) According to Wiki,

a national identity document is defined as an identity card with photo, usable as an identity card at least inside the country, and which is issued by an official authority.

From my understanding, the permanent residence permit fulfills these requirements and is a national identity card (my citizenship is clearly stated there). In Russia, we have an internal passport that is not a card.

Am I right in understanding that as a national identity card I should provide my German permanent residence permit only?

(2) Other passports or documents for travel include:

any expired passports or documents for travel where the details are known.

In the online application, I am asked to

Give details of any other non United Nations passports or documents for travel that might have been previously used to travel to Australia.

I have never been to Australia and never applied for an AU visa previously. However, in my understanding, my previous expired passport might have been used for an AU visa application – in theory (however, has not been). Should I provide information about my expired passport?

Many thanks.

J-1 Visa Waiver after internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory

I have an offer for a 1-year graduate internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory (I’m an engineer and PhD student in engineering) and I’ll probably be issued a (research scholar) J-1 Visa. Actually I’m already at LANL for a shorter period and with a different contract, on a Visa Waiver Program (ESTA).

What I’m concerned of is the dreaded “Two-Year Home-Country Physical Requirement”, as I want to stay long term at Los Alamos, and I already have potential contacts to go on with a postoc here (as long as I stay here during my PhD so that they can know me better). The two-year rule would prevent me from obtaining a new J-1, while the “24-month bar” rule will prevent me to get another J-1.

I come from Italy, which does not appear on the “skill list”: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/skill-list-by-country.html

The program is not going to be found by my contry and is not part of my PhD thesis, and I’ll have no scolarship during the internship. I’ll be hired by the lab and receive a salary. However, Los Alamos is funded by the US Government, so I think I’ll be a bearer of the two-year rule.

Here are my possibilities:

1) The first is the “No objection waiver”. But there is a problem: as you can read in the following link, “A “no objection” letter is generally insufficient to warrant a favorable recommendation from the Secretary of State when U.S. government funding was involved in the exchange program.”

Full text here: https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-19459/0-0-0-19728.html

Again, the lab is funded by the US government. So, I guess this option won’t work, am I right?

2) The “Interested Government Agency” waiver, in case I obtain a job afterwards and my institution (Los Alamos) think that the two-year rule would be detrimental to the interest on the United States. In theory, this is an option. In practice, does someone know if it’s feasible?

Info here: https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-19459/0-0-0-19747.html

3) Do not accept a J-1 Visa at all.

Can someone give me some counceling, please?

Thank you very much in advance!

Regular weekend away breaks in Europe for non-British Spouse (UK Resident) of a British National

I am a British National and my wife is Indian and UK Resident. We holiday in europe a lot (always together) and apply for Schengen Visa for her every time we plan a holiday – but this process is time-consuming and we have to book flights, hotel, etc, well in-advance.

We went to a VFS Global office recently, for a visa for our italian adventure and the chap there advised that there is a process whereby I can apply once and every time my wife travels with me, she won’t need to apply for a schengen visa for that visit (as long as we are travelling together).

Does anyone know of this or a slightly easier long-term visa, etc, whereby me and my wife can go on last-minute weekend breaks together to europe hassle-free? Much appreciated.