By Suzanne Quinson
When planning international travel, visa requirements can sometimes throw a monkey wrench into the process. This is bad enough when planning a highly anticipated vacation. When planning international travel for business, however, delays can be catastrophic and extremely costly. If you have depositions coming up that will take place outside of the U.S., checking any visa requirements should be done as soon as possible. You can check passport and vaccination requirements at the same time.
The State Department lists entry requirements for countries on its website. If you have depositions in Norway or some other country in the Schengen area, it is likely there will be no visa requirements (for stays of up to 90 days, at least), but this is something that needs to be determined as early as possible. Visa processing times vary country to country, and some are quite lengthy. India requires a visa, and the process to obtain the visa generally takes at least three weeks. Peru, on the other hand, will issue a free visa at ports of entry to satisfy the visa requirement. Japan is unique in requiring a special deposition visa (for which any non-resident who will attend a deposition in Japan must apply at least three weeks prior to the deposition).
The larger your team, the more time you will likely spend obtaining any necessary visas. Working with a court reporting firm that specializes in international depositions and has realtime court reporters and videographers living worldwide will make the process much easier for you. This means one less detail for you to worry about as you coordinate your international depositions. Additionally, working with a firm experienced in scheduling international depositions means they can alert you to any additional steps or requirements, e.g., is the country a party to The Hague Evidence Convention, and are there any restrictions as to where depositions can be taken? The agency’s expertise can save you time, worry, and expense.
One option to avoid the whole visa requirement issue (as well as save your client additional expense) is to take your international deposition by videoconference. Your court reporting firm can reserve the location in Hong Kong, for example, where the local reporter, videographer, and interpreter can be present with the witness. They can also reserve a location near your office in the States, should your office not have videoconferencing capabilities. The team can even stream text, audio and video to you. A mobile videoconference (via laptops and smart devices) is another option, which can further reduce costs for your client.
For more information on international depositions, or to schedule, please contact Planet Depos International Scheduling at 888-433-3767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.