One of our readers Vishal would like to share his F1 visa stamping experience of 2006. It is a little dated; some of the logistics and visa procedures might have changed, so be aware of it and verify the information on procedures. Nevertheless, the essence of visa experience and questions asked are always fresh and helpful to others. He wrote it casually long time ago and kind enough to share with us, please do not try to pick on English or any minute details. Only pay attention to the experience. Thanks to Vishal ! if you have anything to share with our readers, you can contact me using the contact me option above in menu bar. Enjoy reading.
I have typed out a log of the events that transpired on the 1st of June, 2006; the day of my Visa interview. I do hope that it will help you in some way.
- Reached VFS at 8:30 am. — Interview scheduled for 10:00 am. – Waited in a light drizzle for around 40 minutes (yea.. real mean buggers aint they??). Anyway… finally got into the place.. the glorified Stars and Stripes Lounge.. –Was asked to deposit my digital watch at the locker.. (yes.. the lounge has a locker but the consulate DOES NOT..)
- And guess what.. there’s a CCD in the Lounge.. (that’s Café Coffee Day for the uninitiated..) – waited for some time… — watched a news report about the inefficiency of the Mumbai Muncipal corporation in the face of the early monsoon.. – finally got hungry and had a paneer burji sandwich and a coffee.. wont comment on whether it was worth the insane 150 bucks (had bought the token earlier..)
- the call for the 10:00 appointment ironically came at 10:20… — bundled into the bus.. Got off at the consulate.. – the security check involves removing even your belts.. so guys… prepare for the indignity of shuffling into the consulate, struggling to juggle your huge file.. the appointment letter, the passport; all while trying to get your belt on… — well, I know you may not be interested but I wasn’t wearing a belt… — oh and by the way.. the security also hands out a little rectangular wooden token; the purpose of which is a real mystery.. (mine had no marks on it at all.. so it was obviously not for identification..)
- Got into a line where a lady was giving out the contents of the original visa application (the one you submitted in a cloth lined envelope..) along with a little pink token.. – Now, pay attention folks !!! I CANNOT overstress this… DO NOT… DO NOT under any circumstance mess with what the lady gives you… she will fold the I-20 and your original application along with sum other things and stuff them in your passport in an seemingly haphazard way… but as I found out the tough way; it is not haphazard !!!
- I was asked 2 stand at counter no. 1 and being the curious soul that I am, I opened up the documents and peered into them… — by the time I reached the counter, I got sent back to the original line for my sins… — So.. Moral of the story.. when you are given your documents folded and stuffed into your passport; you clutch it the way it is.. DO NOT mess with the order.. So, anyway.. made it back to counter no. 1… lost around ½ an hour in the process.. got finger printed… and was given back the pink token… the number on your token is the number that will be announced so pay attention…
- Around 5 to 10 numbers are announced at a time and are asked to report to a particular counter. The numbers that are called may report there in any order (not necessarily the order in which the numbers were called..) so I picked out the most strategically located seat.. one that would let me get to any counter ASAP.. (well, it was also strategic because the prettiest visa officer :counter no. 6 was within my field of vision..) Had to wait a very long time (past 12:00 noon).. – but was finally rewarded.. and how !!! – was called to counter 6; with the pretty VO.. – reached counter 6 with just a leap and a bound and was the 1st to enter..
The transcript of the Actual Interview (lasted for around a minute):
Pretty Visa officer (PVO): Hi !! (Lovely smile too..)
Me: Hello !
PVO: What program are you pursuing?
Me: MS in Bioinformatics.
PVO: What is Bioinformatics?
Me: It is the … blah blah…. Mega blah !!!!
PVO: So what are the applications of Bioinformatics?
Me: Blah blah again.. sequence analysis… core
Bioinformatics.. human genome project… applied drug
PVO: What ?? Drug design?? (ears perked..)
Me: Yes. Rational drug design… as opposed to
serendipitous drug discovery..[a little confusion over serendipity..]
PVO: What is your basic qualification?
Me: Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
PVO: When did you do this?
PVO: So what have you being doing?
Me: Joined a PG Diploma… worked… blah blah… super
PVO: Ok. So your fees are 35,000 $ !! Hmm.. and you have a
scholarship of ….???
Me: 33%.. 8379 $
PVO: Ok. So your parents will be funding you.
PVO: What do they do?
Me: My father is — Mother is —
PVO: What is your family’s annual income?
Me: Between me and my father —
PVO: Do you have savings?
Me: [Duh …] Yes, of course.
PVO: Have you ever travelled abroad??
PVO: Have you ever been to the US?
PVO: Ok. [pushes I-20 towards me…] This is for you. Your
visa will be couriered to you within 3 days, sir.
Me: Thank you.
PVO: Have a nice day.
Me: Yea.. You too.
All Credtis to Vishal for Sharing his experience with us.