Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tips for B1/B2 US Visa Interview but lotta crap before that :P

Ok fine!!! I agree the title is not remotely my types… It’s a little ostentatious for starters :P But for ppl like me who Google anything and everything this title will be helpful, will support the searches better. Due to a very busy schedule last week, I hardly got any time to talk to anyone and get some advice on the interview front (anyway, I prefer the virtual ppl more than the flesh and bones moving around me) and I found myself frantically typing key words in Google last moment to seek some help and couldn’t get much of it to my dismay… L So this explains the title…

Oh ya rewind a lil!!! The time has come for me to fly n fly high :D The news was broken last month that I have to travel to the US of A for some Business purpose and need to get there ASAP. Wow!! So began a tedious process of filling ‘n’ number of forms and photocopying them (I learned all functionalities of the photocopy machine, if I look at it positively).The day for my Visa Interview was 13th May, by God’s grace I have such lovely friend’s that they started scaring me that its “13th” and my Visa may be rejected.. Damn…!!!

My Interview was scheduled at 7.45 AM, WTF how am I supposed to reach Mumbai at 6.30 AM from Pune!!! The cab provided by the company would pick me up at 3 in the morning (call it night for ppl like me who sleep at 1 in the night!!) I was completely determined to sleep early n catch some solid sleep. Left early form office (for once !!) while ppl threw a lot of advices at me, few of them completely contradictory.. A lady said smile and a guy warned against even signs of it… Hell!! I was totally lost!! I had to photocopy some more documents, apart form the 100s I already copied in office.. N once again God was playing his stupid games with me… I couldn’t find a single shop open that night and had to visit a real lazy bum who took 20 min to photocopy 6 documents (no exaggeration, I have a person to testify this also), the Mumbai Indians started playing superbly well after I came back (I completely hate them now, after the RR match in which I almost died of a Heart attack :P :P) so I was glued to the TV… A very dear friend whom I hadn’t met for almost a yr called that same night and asked if I could meet.. I just couldn’t deny AND here I was with the cab picking me up at 3 AM, I was still out having coffee till 12….

Just took a small nap and got up at 2, got up and was out on the road by 3… Little did I know that the DOGS in this locality were so unfriendly to the new comers….I was attacked by a group of tappori dogs barking at the top of top of their voices… I wanted to run away from there, wanted to shout, wanted to vanish but none of this was possible.. I saw a few ppl sleeping on the sides of the road and knew only these ppl can save me… They were Superman, Batman n Spiderman for me that time… Finally I crossed the hurdle and got into the cab… Phew…

All this pain paid off.. The cab was a nice Ford Icon with a courteous chauffer, a bottle of water, tissues and mints kept at the back seat… Humm nice, I thought.. He raced the car on top speed ONLY to realize we were on the wrong path… Aaaargh… I couldn’t believe this ALL was happening to me just before my Visa Interview…But the guy realized it in time and assured me despite the goof up, we will make it in time, I had no option but to trust him…. We made it to the US Consulate by 6.30 and by the time I could get into the queue there were some 60 odd ppl standing before me… L L

It was a funny sight… For every one guy in the queue, there were at least 2 accompanist, trying to groom the guy, feed him and give all non sense advices… I was happy I did not have anything of that sort. Finally the officers started admitting ppl at 7 sharp. I had a mini, just a MINI crush at one of the officers there…. :P But I decided to pay attention to the Interview more than any other distractions.. Once the security thin was done, things moved very fast. I was feeling I was in Gujrat inside cos 90% of the ppl were Gujratis and even the announcements were done in their language. I was very alert not to miss my name…

I was seated on the first row, hopelessly trying to appear lesser freaked out :P An American officer in her late 20’s entered in the cube just opposite me and called out a series of token nos to come to her for interview, I was one of them, I went immediately and was the first one to be interviewed for the day for a Business Visa. God, I was nervous.

Officer: Good morning, your token.
I: Morning (fake smile)
O: So you work for XYZ company (visibly impressed by the company name)
I: Yes .. :D
O: How much do you %&*&%^*&( … (I swear I didn’t understand a word she spoke, I work with American’s day in and day out but I did NOT understand)
I: Pardon (Completely lost and terrified)
O: W-h-a-t is y-o-u-r s-a-l-a-r-y..
I: (Can she ask me that question??? What the heck.. ANSWER) so n so annulaly
O: Do you have ^*&^*(^ (AGAIN, I did NOT understand)
I: Pardon (I wish I was dead)
O: Mam, (trying to keep cool) if you want it to move faster, you need to answer faster. Do you have relatives in the US??
I: No
O: How long do ^*(* stay there??
I: (just guessing the question…) 2 weeks… [“I was sure by then, I’m NOT getting the Visa”]
O: ^&*^)&&_((*_*_(*&&^%ulghlhfjsgn^*&^(*&
I: YES (I don’t know what she asked, I hardly cared anymore)

I said “YES”, the question could be anything from, “Do you do drugs?”, “Are you a terrorist”, “Do u hate Americans?” and I had answered… YES!!!! Heaven !! I was so DEAD…

O: Your visa is issued, ^*&^*(&)
I: What??? (I understood a bit but unknowingly my true emotions came flooding out)
O: Your visa is issued, have a nice journey (totally irritated and trying to get rid of me…)
I: Thank you…

Maaan!!! I got it?? Wowie!! An entry into US of A valid for TEN years….!!! Without having a look at any of my documents I was issued the visa in less than 1 min….God is not a bad guy after all, he just likes to fool around a bit…
Half believing what I just encountered, I headed back to the cab n then home… :D

So, here are the tips.. For reading all the rubbish, I will jot down some really useful tips:

1.Make sure you sleep well the earlier day and there are NO dogs in your locality :P Ok more seriously, have all the documents in place and make sure they are in order.
2.Tea, biscuits and water is easily available outside the Consulate, so don’t bother to carry all that.
3.DO NOT carry any leather bag for the documents. Only paper bags n files are allowed inside.
4.Cell phones, pagers, coins, digital watches, medicine (even Vaseline or lip balms) are NOT allowed inside.
5.Mints, chocolates even supari or soof is banned and ppl are sent back if they have it in their pockets.
6.Even glue sticks or staplers’ are NOT allowed.
7.For guys leather belts and wallets are also asked to be removed for checking.
8.Once entered inside don’t be baffled by the Gujrati crowd, there windows are separate and you won’t have a Gujrati Interviewer.
8.Pay very keen attention to the token nos. being called out as many windows start announcing one after another.
10.* If you have any bandage put on fingers removed or you shall be asked to come another time * This happened to a guy. They are very strict at the Fingerprint counter.

Importantly, keep your cool and pray you don’t get an Interviewer with a heavy accent :P :P Any more help needed, drop a comment or e-mail.
All the best !!!