When I started my application in getting a non-immigrant visa in the US, I tried to read almost every blog telling their own experiences in the interview. And most of them, if not all, are successful stories. It’s not really common to share to the public a “heartbreaking” event. But not for me I guess. I will tell you every detail of my interview holding my head up high. Well, actually at first I really didn’t intend to blog about it since it’s not an experience you’d really be proud of. But I’ve realized that it may help a lot of people who wants to see the other side of the world. I will tell you some useful information about me and my opinion why I didn’t get a visa. So this is my story…
First, I’d like to tell you how anxious I was that I didn’t get a nice sleep the night before the interview. Perhaps most of us do! My appointment time was at 7:15am. I was at the embassy at 6:30am and joined the queue. Well, I wouldn’t elaborate each steps because once you get there, a lot of “greeters” will assist you. (You can also befriend the person next to you just in case you’re not into reading instructions. But seriously, talking to someone helps a lot to somehow lessen the tension).
As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve read a lot of blogs about the interview proper or tips on how to increase your chance to be approved. For quite a while, I thought that I have a good chance since I am a student (that’s until a student like me got denied and I was like, “Ok. It’s not gonna hurt. I can travel elsewhere”). This only means that being a student will NOT guarantee you a visa. It can both increase OR decrease your chances depending on your supporting details.
The first 3 steps were easy and fast. But I’ve waited for almost 3 hours to face a consul officer. That WAITING ZONE is so painful and fun at the same time. It’s painful every time a person with the same qualification as you gets denied and it’s somehow fun when, for example, a senior citizen told the consul officer that she had a green card before but surrendered it since she only wants a tourist visa because she doesn’t like the cold weather in America. Bow. That was the first time the consul officer laughed! Anyways, back to my story. After a long wait, my number finally appeared and I went straight to the assigned window where a foreign woman was sitting behind. Here’s how my interview goes:
Me: Good morning, officer!
Consul: Good morning! What is the purpose of your trip to the US?
Me: For a vacation, officer.
Consul: How long do you plan on staying there?
Me: A couple of weeks.
Consul: Who will sponsor your trip.
Me: My uncle who lives there.
Consul: Is he a citizen or a resident?
Me: He’s a permanent resident.
Consul: How did he acquire his residency.
Me: He was sponsored by his employer.
Consul: What do you do?
Me: I am currently taking up my master’s degree in biology and I am also a youth minister in our local church.
Consul: Do you have any source of income.
Me: None, officer.
Consul: Have you traveled outside the country before?
Me: No, officer.
Consul: Are you married?
Me: I’m single.
Consul: Have you been married before?
Me: No, officer.
Consul: Do you have kids?
Me: None, officer.
Consul: I’m sorry but you didn’t qualify for a visa now…..
Then I received a blue paper indicating reasons of my disapproval.
According to my observation, people are likely to get approved by the following reasons:
1. If you’re a senior citizen. (So, I’d wait for like 4 decades to increase my chance)
2. If you’re applying with your family. (Provided that you have enough bank deposit and history of travels outside the country)
3. If you’re a well-traveled person. (Especially when your purpose is for pleasure, you have to prove that you are capable of supporting yourself financially. In my opinion, it’s a BIG plus.
4. If your purpose is a work-related conference or seminar. (But you have to present them an invitation. However, I’ve noticed that those to were approved usually have a history of travel abroad and have a significant role in the conference, eg. they will be presenting a paper or study)
5. If you’re travelling for a medical treatment.
6. If you are confident. (I have observed some who actually presented strong qualifications but got denied because of uneasiness and they appeared to be unsure of themselves)
7. If you only answer what is asked. (Don’t try to explain unless the officer tells you so. You may appear trying hard to impress them. They are smart people, they will sense that)
However, these are the reasons why people (specifically those who apply for pleasure or vacation) tend to get denied:
1. If you are single and do not have kids.
2. If you are unemployed or self-employed. (If you are, you have to have a good record of travels outside the country and a hefty amount of savings. Take note, this also applies if you are employed)
3. If you have poor travel history.
4. If you are RUDE and CONCEITED! (I think everybody would not want such a person)
So I hope it’ll help you increase your chances ‘coz I know most of us have a pure intention to just really visit a relative or simply experience the diversity of other culture. Let’s pray to God that the situation of our country would change. We still have hope! 🙂
God bless you all!