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Should I invest in training?
Posted: Monday, October 27, 2008 12:48 AM
Joined: 21/10/2008
Posts: 3

hello im a 24 year old trying to enter the industry as a stewardess. I have a fair bit of hospitality experience but a crew agency told me it may be benificial if i do a stew course.

where can i do one?

Chris Taylor - IYT World
Posted: Monday, October 27, 2008 2:18 PM
Joined: 25/06/2008
Posts: 27

Hi Tahnee

IYT has a very well recognized Hospitality course. You can take it here in Fort Lauderdale or at a number of partner locations around the globe.

The contact details are below.

Good luck!

International Yacht Training®

Ft. Lauderdale Florida, United States.

Telephone: 1-954-779-7764

FAX: 1-954-779-7165


910 S.E. 17th Street, Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale, Florida  33316 USA

AMPM YachtTraining & Placement Contact: Anusha Karna-Gantan Phone: +33 (0) 497 21 05 39 eMail: Physical Address Residence de la Mer 50 Avenue Robert Soleau Antibes 06600 France

Superyacht Crew Academy Contact: Chris Brown Phone: +6102 99799669 Phone 2: + 6102 9979-3463 eMail: Physical Address Newport Anchorage 79 Beaconsfield Street Newport NSW Australia


Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:43 AM
Joined: 21/10/2008
Posts: 3

I rang yatchmaster & they only have a course starting on the 3rd of december thats ages away.
plus its really expensive!  does anyone know of any other places???

Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 3:46 PM
Dear Tahnee

Just want to point out that the course is not expensive in comparison to other courses.  It is great value, take look at the Dockwalk article this month and see how many captains are seeking more training than the basic STCW 95 course.  Please think of it as an investment in yourself.  I understand if you can't afford it but please don't simply characterise the course as "too expensive". 

Yacht hospitality is a very unique sort of service provision and it's success depends on a wide ranging skill set.  The hospitality or interior department is under credited in the industry.    I hope you decide to come and do the course that we offer at IYT.  The feedback we have  had is absolutely fantastic and  everyone of the students has found work in a very short time through us or the other agencies in Ft Lauderdale.

Once again good luck in you job search.

Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 9:56 PM

im still convinced i would get much more information from reading $900 worth of books.  & i hope that your quoted price includes materials such as course books.

however im willing to invest in the course just because i know its what potencial employers want to see

for anybody else wanting to know i have rung both schools & these are the start dates & prices for stew courses

IYT $700 starting december 1st ( i think it was the 1st)?? correct me if im wrong

American yacht Institute $1150 Starting November 17th

so i am not sure what is more easy. to waste an extra 3 weeks waiting for the cheaper course to start or to just take the more expensive one in november & get the show on the road. 

I would welcome any feedback from people who have done the courses

Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 11:45 PM

You need to ask yourself how bad do you want to be in this industry? And how much are you willing to invest in making yourself stand out from hundreds of others trying to get in as well. Take the'll be glad you did.


Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2008 6:22 PM

IYT does crew placement. It has about 2000 candidates through a year and a lot are Captains who go to them looking for crew.

Take the IYT course

Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2008 4:31 PM

sure i will take it, I need to find a job very quickly though! pockets are empty

Im dedicated so i hope you guys will also help put me in touch with the right people

Posted: Saturday, November 8, 2008 10:06 PM
Joined: 22/09/2008
Posts: 4

A thought regarding training:

I did the following 3-month course earlier this year and receieved every certificate:

..while thinking that "Hey, there's so many people out there looking for work in this industry that do not have much training, so if I have a bunch of useful certificates and if I'm ambitious, hopefully this will help? I'll see it as an investment!"

That turned out to be the worst descision I've ever made. I've spent thousands of euro getting the right certificates, being in the right places and meeting the right people to get work. I've applied for so many jobs I cannot even count any more, all of them which I've been qualified for. Still haven't even gotten close to get a job after looking for three months.

So far what I've learned is that the only thing captains seem to look at is:
1. Do you have STCW95?
2. Do you have prior experience (deckhand/seamiles stew/hospitality)

Anything else, they don't seem to give a shit. The reason I got my education was because I read and heard about the lack of competence in the industry, and I'm keen to get in and make a career of it.
But sadly it seems like the brand of your sunglasses seem to be more important than hard work and ambition.

So training? Well in my case it was a waste of time and money, because after spending my money on training, I can't afford flash clothes to impress with which seems to be way more important in this industry.
And no I do not dress like a homeless.

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 12:05 AM

I think you had flawed advice from the outset.  Three months training can't do zero to hero.  The STCW95 and maybe an entry level course would have been useful if you were on a budget.  But do be reasonable, how can you honestly decide that you're training is useless if you have not put the skills to good use.  Training is to develop skills and promote safe practices.  Training is not designed to get jobs,  but being trained cannot do anything but improve your chances of finding employment.

I think you present a very negative impression that says I want a job now and I feel I've paid for it.  If you haven't found a job perhaps it is your attitude and not your qualifications which are the issue. 

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:32 AM
Joined: 22/09/2008
Posts: 4

Just the answer I expected to hear, so here we go.

No, my attitude is definately not the problem. I am a very hard worker and cannot possibly see how I could be more ambitious to get into this industry. I am always well presented, polite and have a positive attitude no matter if I am going to an agent or if I'm dockwalking.

I am simply frustrated because I've honestly done everything I possibly could have done to get a job, except wearing designer clothes which I cannot afford and wouldn't wear anyway if I could. I got my training after hearing so much about how important competence is in this so very "serious" industry, and foolishly believed that someone with the right competence would be found interesting for an employer.

I've seen so many agents and applied for heaps of jobs directly, excluding the CVs given out while dockwalking. Many agents mean 10 agencies with regular communication. Heaps of jobs mean around 40+. The only contact that got back to me was someone asking if I had formal education behind in my culinary history because he was looking for a qualified crew chef, formal education that of course would've been listed in the CV if there was some. The interesting part is that I applied for a deckhand position, and thought that my several maritime related certificates would back that up. My CV cannot be an issue either; after spending many, many hours in MS Word, even the most arrogant crew agents have found it well written.

Agencies aren't much help either. After three months I've had 4 jobs applied for me through agents. I've probably seen 15+ that lists exactly what I am apart from many I still would be qualified for; new to the industry, keen to learn, right age and holding valid required certificates and visas. How many entry level deckhands is there without prior experiene is there holding a B1/B2? Can not be that many as you usually need your first job to get one, but when you politely ask the agents to have a look into it, communication is shining with its absense regarding the subject.

Why? My theory is that I do not have a cheesy appearance showing up to an interview in flash clothes with a confidence so big that I have to carry it in a bag with me(of course not generalising here saying everyone on yachts are something such, just trying to make a point of what is a winning strategy when looking for work). I'm simply young, honest, ambitious and serious about what I do. And please don't give me some crap about "Maybe you're too serious!". I just want to work in a proffessional industry, but more and more starting to think that this was a shot in the wrong direction.
When superficial matters such as the price on ones clothes go before competence and ambition in the vague line of importance, it is simply not proffessionality.

So good Sir/Madam, please tell me how I can put my skills to good use when not even given the chance to prove them?

What bothers me most is seeing girls walking down the docks, in miniskirts and very interesting tops, without even STCW95 landing jobs. No joke. Asking for a job in a miniskirt is, in my personal opinion, not suitable for any proffessional industry. But it definately seems to be working here.

Competence sought after? I beg to differ.

A bit more constructive follow-up post regarding training can be found

Mike French
Posted: Monday, November 17, 2008 4:38 PM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 57


I have read your post with interest and I am sure you are picking a  fight with the wrong people.  I work in the yacht training business and take offence to your remarks.  You seem to suggest that training is not useful if  it does not help you find a  job but that is not the role of training.  Your obvious frustration with the industry is completely understandable prejudice in the yachting industry is widespread and well documented.  But, to complain that it is the fault of training is totally unfair and demeans your own point of view.  The way forward  is to simply commit not to behave in the same way when it comes your turn to hire.

I personally would not have advised you to undertake the course of training  you followed and without doubt you spent money that would not have provided a return on your investment immediately.  However that said, the investment that a crew member makes in their training separates the committed from the backpaker.  If you received poor advice from someone with a vested interest in making you spend  money on training that is simply bad luck.  To suggest that this is the  norm in the yacht training sector is simply bad judgement.

I am sorry that, as you have noticed, looks are very important in this business.  Who knows where I could be now if I was just better looking, maybe you are simply not good looking enough, but this is not the fault of training.  The chance of a 'new to yachting' crew member  lasting for a year in a job is less than 20%.  Why?  Almost certainly because their looks are put before their abilities, character, team spirit or work ethic.  It is a disgrace but it has nothing tto do with the training industry.

If you wish to change the yachting  sector, good luck we could do with many changes and improvements but I would point out that the  quickest route to a good job is a positive attitude and that is difficult to train as you are clearly finding out.

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:02 PM

Hi all, very interesting reading. I am also considering entering the industry but my biggest concern is my age, i am 37. All the training schools assure me this is not a problem however they would say that as they just want my money. I am just trying to find an honest and straight forward answer before i jump in feet first. I have heard that the yachting industry can be very ageist. Any info would be appreciated.



Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 2:28 PM
I'll be honest. It's very ageist for woman particularly - but I think you are fine because it seems like 40 is the cutoff point. Upper 30s is fine. It also helps if you are attractive. I'm not saying I agree with this - I'm just telling it how it is. I personally find it ridiculous.
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 2:48 PM

Let me assure you that most training schools do not simply want your money enough to give poor advice!  Fortunately our business acumen is a above that.  We counsel people regularly on their options and although I would like to say age doesn't matter it does of course have a  bearing on your chances of getting a job.  That said there are a million types of jobs out there and they are not all suited to one type of person. 

You ambitions and goals are as important as your qualifications so think what you actually want out of yachting and what you are bringing to the table. 

We at IYT would be pleased to advise you on any training options you may wish to consider and yes we charge we are not a charity.  Give us a call +1 954 779 7764 you may actually get the information you need.

Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 12:26 PM

Hi, thanks for the positive response. I was going to book a fast track course with a company in europe-10 week motoryacht yachtmaster which gives the following qualifications:

STCW 95 first aid
STCW 95 sea survival
STCW 95 Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
RYA Diesel Engine
RYA Radar
Helms mans Certificate,
RYA day Skipper Theory
RYA Day Skipper Practical
Coastal/Yachtmaster theory
Coastal practical completion certificate
Allabroad certificate of satisfactory completion
RYA MCA D.o.T. Yachtmaster Certificate

but after reading a post by Sebastian above i am now not so sure spending quite a lot of money is a good idea as he had no luck finding work with the certificates gained.

Again any feedback is greatly received



Mike French
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2:02 PM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 57


The majority of the courses you outline are not necessarily going to help you get a job although they will teach you some basic skills.  You need to stick to the STCW95 courses which are the de facto prerequisite for employment aboard yachts.   Yes there are boats who do not require it but the majority of yachts expect it as a minimum.  If you want to work on deck or the interior there are one week courses aimed at orienting you towards the work you will actually be doing.  If you do these courses and take the advice of the recruitment agencies you stand a good chance of getting employment which will allow you to see which direction you want to head in.  That is the point to spend money on training.

The stories of easy money and jobs growing on trees are history but the industry still rewards motivated, grafters with a positive outlook, irrespective of their age.  Feel free to call us at IYT +1 954 779 7764 if you would like to book a course in Ft Lauderdale where it is sunny, warm and exactly the right place to be this time of the year  for job hunting. 

Good luck.

Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 6:29 PM
Joined: 24/11/2008
Posts: 1



Many thanks for your reply,

Basically rather than spending upwards of $15000 in the outset and having a long list of qualifications, but no experience. Is it more benificial to just get the essentials required in order to be able to work, like you said the full STCW95 and shorter courses aimed at getting one familar with the job at hand. Surely i would need to do the other courses i mentioned at somepoint in the future in order to progress my career futher. Would it be benifical to get all of the courses out of the way now or would it be a waste of time/money at this point?.

I know the weather's great in Florida, i used to work in West Palm Beach a few years ago-would of stayed if the visa requirements were not so tough. But that's another story.





Mike French
Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 8:48 PM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 57


The courses you mentioned are all useful but the majority are not really recognised as professional tickets.  If it is the Deck route you intend to follow you should be aiming for theIYT  Master of Yachts 200ton licence or the RYA Yachtmaster 200 ton licence.  These are usually attainable after a couple of seasons if you have been fortunate enough to receive on board training.  If you do not get to practice basic chartwork and navigation it will be a struggle.  This ticket is in fact a command licence but is often what is required by the safe manning regulations for a watchkeeper aboard a  large yacht. The entry requirements are on out website You could opt for the IYT or RYA coastal ticket but few captains will recognise this as advantageous.

As I mentioned advising you without knowing your plans and expereince is tricky but my advice is to invest only when you know which direction to take and which sort of job suits your ambitions.

The day skipper, engine course etc will have much less relevance than you would think in the professional yachting sector.  They were originally designed as recreational tickets and that is arguably where they belong.


Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 5:15 PM


Thanks again. Very interesting reading, i did not realise that the RYA qualifications were essentialy just recreational. My aim was to start work on deck and then slowly but surely move up once appropiate experience had been gained. My experience is none, this was going to be a complete change of direction. There are so many training schools here in the UK that offer fast track to yachtmaster (commercialy endorsed) in approx 14 weeks including the courses i mentioned in my earlier post. Once acheived then according to the schools i would be in a position to start applying for work. What is the difference between the RYA yachtmaster and Master of Yachts 200ton licence or the RYA Yachtmaster 200 ton licence?

The main reason i was thinking of opting for the fast track type of training is because i'm not getting any younger and thought i would need to catch up fast, being in a postion to pay for these courses when i know alot of younger people are unable to it might give me a head start. From what i have found out over the last few days is that competition is fierce and that the 18-25 yr olds are more likely to be successful securing that first job than someone approaching 40 fast. Oh my preference is towards power and not sail, and there are only a couple of schools (that i can find) that offer these so called zero to hero courses. One being the UKSA and the other Allaboad sailing in Gibralter. If i did a 10 week motor yacht yachtmaster course and at the end walked away with commercialy endoresed ticket will i be in a position to look for work? and would i have any advantage over the next person?.

Sorry for bending your ear so much.


Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 10:33 AM
thanks for the chat with Ashley.
My questions are roughly the same, only my experience is local (with one Auckland to Tonga ocean passage) and all older than 10 years, I've just completed my STCW95 course at MTI (NZ), I live in New Zealand AND...I'm nearly 50,  so this is definitely an end-of-mid life career change. My target is...'to be a paid and experienced sea captain of super yachts in the Med by 2013'. The question is: what are my chances of success at 55yo...or even now? realising that by 2010-13 I will most definitely have all the seatime and course tickets. Are owners looking for 55 year old captains??



Mike French
Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 3:44 AM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 57

Ashley The fact is that the UK is not the best place to train or gain experience to work in the professional yachting sector. In the UK they are trying to sell you a dream. Here in Ft Lauderdale we are training you for the reality of working in what is a unique and demanding, professional industry. The RYA Yachtmaster and the Master of Yachts 200 tons share many commonalities. They are in essence both 200 ton licences. They are aimed at individuals who have gained sea time and experience although these 'fast track' or zero to hero courses' as they are known do in fact ensure enough sea time to qualify. The problem is that in terms of getting a job they are widely known and generally recognised as worthless on their own by many captains and others in the industry I have spoken with on the subject. The minor RYA courses you mentioned are recreational and will serve little purpose if you choose yachting as a career. Time must be served and frankly there is no viable shortcut. Putting time into dayworking and working at marketing yourself will likely yield much better results than anything else you could do at this stage. It is important to decide what sort of job you want in the yachting business they are so different and require different levels of training and commitment. You would be most wise to get a B1/B2 visa for entry into the USA aboard a yacht. Many of the crew placement agencies are reluctant to even put you up for employment unless you have this visa. Let me know if I can offer more info and best of luck.
Mike French
Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 3:53 AM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 57

Ross. It is possible and isn't easy. The industry can be somewhat ageist. It is however worth remembering that the majority of captains are employed not because of their abilities but because an owner wishes them to be there. I mention this as it illustrates the fickle nature of the industry which can work for you if you are compatible with the right owner, family, itinerary or any combination. I have met several owners who prefer mature captains seeing them as stable. One owner recently told me that older guys tend to be more stable and less ambitious which he felt meant they would stay on board longer. That was what he looked for in a captain. There is hope for you in your new career. Let me know if IYT can help with your training.
Ask Amy
Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 2:37 PM

I do believe that training is worthwhile and makes a difference. To be fully transparent, I work in the field of yacht and maritime training so I may seem biased but let me assure you that it is because I believe in the concept of training that I have chosen to devote my life and career to it.

I do agree with some of the postings that the type of training you undertake can definitely make the difference. I think that it is important to obtain what we at MPT call Career Counseling before starting your training programs. The school should ask you many questions to determine what segment of the maritime industry you are best suited for - yacht or commercial, they should also try to determine what position on the vessel you are most qualified for and are most interested in. It should not be an automatic based on gender, etc.

In addition, we like to look at short and long term goals. If your short term goal is simply to get into the industry and get a job with as little investment in school as possible at this time, then I do believe that the STCW 95 Basic Safety Training is the way to go. If you want to work on more of your long term goals, then there are some excellent choices to make depending on your desired position and career goals. The school should be able to provide guidance not just sell you a course.

We recently had a candidate go through Career Counseling who originally came in looking to get into the yachting industry and was ready to sign up for a yacht course, before we signed him up we asked him why he was interested in the yachting industry and he said that he was interested in getting into a field where there was a set schedule and lots of time off! Well, we said you are not going to get much of either in the yachting industry and we discussed his options. He is now a very happy crewmember on a commercial towing vessel and works on a two week on and two week off schedule. He got the right training for the job he really wanted but didn't even know existed when he walked into the school. Make sure you take advantage of the free guidance that is available at your school, it really can make a difference.

To make sure you are getting the full value for your money, do your homework before you sign up for your class. Make sure that the school can explain what the inherent value is for each course and identify if it is designed more to meet your short term or long term goals.

For instance, let's say that an individual has some yacht or personal boating experience and obtains their yachtmaster, will this help them meet their immediate needs? Well, first we must ask what their immediate goals are because one size does not fit all in this industry. If their immediate goal is to be the captain of a smaller yacht 80-100 feet, or the mate on a slightly larger vessel, and they have the right personality and experience to do so, then that course is going to not only teach them the necessary skills but also will help to secure a job because it meets a regulatory requirement to hold an appropriate certificate of competence.

However, if the candidates goal is to get a job today on a very large yacht as a deckhand and eventually be the captain of a super yacht, taking the yachtmaster course now will serve more to improve your navigational watch keeping skill set and show prospective employers that you are serious about a long term career. It may not however make the difference in whether or not you get a job today as a deckhand on the 200 foot yacht.

If I was hiring a deckhand, and I was interviewing more than one candidate and they were similar in personality and experience, but one had undertaken the yachtmaster or master of yachts or similar in depth program, I would most definitely rather hire the person with more training and a serious view point on safety and watch keeping practices. 

Training and education should make obtaining a position easier, not because of the piece of paper but because of what it represents. It represents initiative, ambition, long term career goals, willingness to make an investment in ones future, and of course the skill set needed to make you a safer crew member and a knowledgeable member of the watch keeping team, and of course so much more.


Posted: Monday, January 5, 2009 9:43 AM

Hello Tahnee - My name is Lynne Edwards. I conduct all the interior crew courses for Blue Water Yachting training school in Antibes.  Send an e-mail to for full information regarding available dates, prices and so on and I look forward to meeting you, should you decide to goo forward with this opportunity.

Posted: Monday, January 5, 2009 9:53 AM
Hello Ashley - I agree that the industry can be ageist and at 37 it is not impossible that you would find a job on a yacht, as you may well find a Captain or an Owner who is looking for a more mature woman on his yacht, as they may feel you could contribute more stability and maturity to the crew set-up.  You have to ask yourself if it's really what you want to be doing as you approach 40 - (I left yachting, ie working aboard superyachst at age 39). Have a look at my website for another business idea should you still be experiencing difficulties in finding work.
Posted: Monday, January 5, 2009 10:01 AM
Hello Ross,  If you want to make a life-changing career move at 55, with the opportunity to earn as much - and more than you do as a Captain, look at my website -
Posted: Friday, March 13, 2009 12:07 AM
Mike, It seams as though you have much information on these subjects. Would you have any advice for a "new" crew member who is trying to obtain there B1/B2 visa? I will be completing my 200 ton license in April and am finding it difficult to obtain the Visa due to the fact that i don't yet have a job offer. There seems to be a catch 22 with regards to getting into the industry. Unfortunately this hurdle is stunting my pursuit of a career in yachting. Any advice anyone has for that matter would be greatly appreciated. Phil
Posted: Friday, March 13, 2009 2:33 PM
I can advise you but owing to the 'sensitivity' of the issue I would prefer to do it on phone rather than in writing on an open forum.

+1 954 779 7764


Posted: Friday, March 13, 2009 4:05 PM
Why do you need to pursue your yachting career in the US? The busiest yachting areas in the spring and summer are not in America, they're Antibes and Palma. The US is good in the fall because of the boat show and the yards are busy with yachts preparing for the winter season.
Dee Pearce
Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 7:17 PM
Joined: 16/02/2009
Posts: 1


I took a course from the American Yacht Institute and really enjoyed it. They are located in Ft. Lauderdale and it was around $800 or $900 for a week long course. Check their website.


Good luck,


Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2009 7:27 PM
I took the week long Crew Training course, the STCW95 course and had a job offer a couple weeks after I finished school- I was 55 years old and this was a second career for me. I am an athletic, young looking and acting 55 year old with experience as a business owner, hospitality industry, catering and generally love to cook and people apparently love to eat my food. I am now on another yacht as a cook/deckhand/mate and I thoroughly enjoy my new career. Age is a state of mind if you're in good physical shape and have a good outlook on life. After all, baby boomers have so much to offer in the way of experience, knowledge and general life situations. Be positive and you'll find a great job. Don't let discrimination get in your way-that's empowering an antiquated generalization.
Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 6:24 PM
Hi Dee and other interested parties There is a week long Stewardess Course in South Africa for R5950 (about $600). Check out and
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 10:10 PM
Joined: 22/11/2010
Posts: 1

Hi mike, iv been reading your posts and ask if you could help me with some issues.... Im from South Africa, 19 years old, really want to go work in the yacht industry... i am looking at courses here, but from what i have read, seems like i only need to do the STCW95... now my issue is about the whole VISA thing with getting into thr USA and finding yacht jobs... now should i do a STCW95 in South Africa, then apply for a B1/B2 visa saying that i want to be in the yacht industry and show them my qualification? (most people say i will imeaditly get rejected as with a B1/B2 visa you cannot have anything to do with looking for jobs).... OR must i saw im visiting family(which i do have) and then go look for jobs while im there............OR must i do a STCW95 course at IYT and therefore i should get a visa more easily? thanks
Mike French
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 11:24 PM
Joined: 06/05/2008
Posts: 57

Jono The issues are separate. Where you do the STCW 95 is unrelated to the visa issue. The main reason to choose one school over another is the added value which some schools provide, things like helping with making connections, networking etc etc. I would always suggest that a school located where the yachts actually are, at the right time of year would be wise. We are forever counseling new crew members who did a course a million miles from where the industry actually is who are just not prepared. With regards to applying for a B1/B2 visa you have to be quite clear why you think you are eligible. If you word your application correctly and do not lie you should find that you get a visa. The issues in Fort Lauderdale have made many crew feel as though they are here illegally when in fact the vast majority of crew operate within the law and bring money into the US economy. Feel free to contact me at the office and I will gladly help you avoid the pitfalls many make when applying for a visa. Good Luck
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