Licenced to study  

Posted by Dino Gane-Palmer né Ganesarajah in , ,

I wonder how long this guy has been waiting for his visa interview at the embassy? ©

The redial list on my phone features over 20 random numbers. This is the remanent of what for me turned into a panic-stricken Monday 13th April, a public holiday in the UK. It was on that day that I started looking at the documents necessary for my US visa interview I had the following day. I had been lazy. I had not counted on needing a special 2 inch by 2 inch photo for a US visa application. Nevertheless, after numerous phone calls, I found a photographer who would take my photo on a public holiday - adding £10.99 to my rising bill for the visa application. I spent the remainder of the Monday filling in forms and printing them out.

I arrived at the US embassy on Tuesday at 13:20 - a little while earlier than my 14:00 appointment. When they handed me a numbered ticket, the number of which would be called out for my visa interview, I realized that the appointment time was merely to control traffic flow. The waiting area resembled the departure lounge of an airport - rows of people waiting and looking at screens showing the current ticket numbers being serviced. When my turn came at 15:20, I walked over to one of the cash till style counters. The guy behind it simply took my forms and put it into an envelope. After they took my finger prints, I was told I had to wait another while for my number to be called again. At 16:20 I was finally called to another cash till style counter to have the interview. It lasted mere minutes. The guy interviewing me asked me questions straight off the forms I had filled in:

  • where do you work?
  • what is your job?
  • which universities have you studied at?
  • where will you study in the US
I was not sure whether he asked these because he was reading the form for the first time as he talked to me, or to check what I had put down was actually written by me! The only original question he asked was "what are you going to do after the MBA", to which I replied that I may return to my employer in the UK. Following Le Redacteur's previous advice, I figured it best to tell them what they wanted to hear - that I did not plan to stay in the US - than complicate them with everything going through my head. As though I had spoken a magical password, he then said "your visa is approved". I did not even have to show my financial statments / loan offers, showing that I could financially support myself, or evidence of "social and economic ties" to the UK - both required in the official requirements list.

After the interview, there was yet more waiting and queues. There was a queue to pay the £15 to get my visa couriered back to me (yes, further adding to that visa application bill). At 16:40, I finally got out - free of one less headache on the way to matriculation.

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8 comments

Forget abt the visa application bill!! I'd say that may be add to that by having a party!! :D Having the visa in ur hand must surely be a great morale-booster!!

I am still in process of arranging funds.. Hope sth gets materializes soon and I too get the Visa-power. :-)

15 April 2009 at 05:59

Forget abt the visa application bill!! I'd say that may be add to that by having a party!! :D Having the visa in ur hand must surely be a great morale-booster!!

I am still in process of arranging funds.. Hope sth gets materializes soon and I too get the Visa-power. :-)

15 April 2009 at 05:59

fingers crossed for your nomination win!! love your blog! :)

15 April 2009 at 09:46

fingers crossed for your nomination win!! love your blog! :)

15 April 2009 at 09:46

Congrats! Thats one step closer to bringing your ideas into the marketspace :-)
The visa is a big reason for my anxiety these days and I hope it goes as smoothly as yours did!

16 April 2009 at 15:15

Congrats! Thats one step closer to bringing your ideas into the marketspace :-)
The visa is a big reason for my anxiety these days and I hope it goes as smoothly as yours did!

16 April 2009 at 15:15

Thanks missionmba, trystwithmba. In hindsight, this was by far the least challenging part of MBA process... as long as you say the right things ;-)

Choc Heaven: congratulations on your own nomination!

16 April 2009 at 23:27

Thanks missionmba, trystwithmba. In hindsight, this was by far the least challenging part of MBA process... as long as you say the right things ;-)

Choc Heaven: congratulations on your own nomination!

16 April 2009 at 23:27

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