Archive for June, 2004

My F-1 Visa Interview

Monday, June 7th, 2004

I had my interview for my F-1 visa application this morning. I arrived at the embassy before 6 AM for a 7:30 AM appointment. Lots of non-immigrant and seaman visa applicants were already in line.

I got to the visa interview waiting area at around 6:40 AM. Prior to that, I got my interview number, got my passport barcoded, and submitted my passport and application forms. It seemed that there was a separate line for barcoding for F-1 visa applicants. I believe that significantly minimized my time waiting in line. There were only less than 10 people waiting when I arrived at the interview waiting area. By the time I was called in for interview at a little past 8 AM, the area already hosted an SRO crowd of applicants. Maybe because I was to be interviewed in one of the small rooms, and not in front of one of the open area windows, my name was called out instead of my number.

The interview was brief, and lasted just around 5 minutes. The questions focused mainly on what I am going to do in the U.S., why I chose my university, and how long it would take to finish my studies. The consular officer didn’t ask anymore for supporting documents. After the interview, he handed me a yellow slip of paper, and directed me where to go next. That yellow slip was a sign that my visa application was approved, even if the consular officer did not say anything to that effect. The American Idol auditions came to mind, where those who were chosen were given a yellow slip of paper which they proudly wave to the people waiting outside. I quickly walked outside, happy that the interview went well.

I then submitted the yellow slip to the courier, Delbros, which would deliver my passport a few days later. I got out of the embassy and got to the Chowking restaurant by 8:30 AM. I was simply glad that the whole process was over, and that it did not take too long. The waiting was definitely an unnerving experience, but after the short interview, all worries were swept away.