Just Another Blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Visa Interview

Finally the day had arrived, much awaited, much anticipated. No matter how qualified, how hardworking, how worthy you are of having a job or studying in the United States of America.. It all boils down to this one day. If you can convince your interviewer that you deserve to enter his precious country, you are set, or else, go back with nothing.

It was a nice cool, not too sunny morning here in Chennai, when I left for my business visa interview. With a whole big bunch of papers that my company had handed over to me, and wasted a lot of my time with, explaining all the details, I stood in the not-so long queue outside the consulate, one hour prior to my appointment. First they checked my papers and let me in to the Security check. The security check lady combed through all my papers to check if I wasnt sneaking in any cd or pen-drive or camera or mobile.

I think this no-mobile thing is their way of making sure we cant call up anyone for moral support. So that by the time we have to finally face the interviewer, we are just so anxious that we mess things up, and then they can stop some of us from going to US.

Anyways, the next was another queue where the guy checked all my papers. While standing in the queue I could think of ten things wrong with my immaculately filled out application. By the time I reached the window, I felt like a criminal trying to hide my past crimes. However that went well, all my papers were in order, and I was asked to proceed to the next queue for the interview.

This queue was a really long one. And Man!, were there a variety of people there. I started talking to a lady next to me, who was with a child(there were atleast 20 such mother child pairs) , then another old couple, visiting their children in the States. A lot of business travellers, just like me, a few students (they looked the most anxious to me) . I saw a whole bunch of newly -wed girls, who probably came for their dependent visa. It seems to me like US is just another part of India. If on one day there can be such a crowd here in the Chennai Consulate, try putting together all the days and all the consulates in the country. No wonder the Americans dont want us there.

The best part was, that the interviews could be seen and heard as you neared the end of the queue. I could hear the software guys describing their ARP,ERP,SAI, XYZ products :). Those guys at the other side of the counter were surely even not listening. And I kept trying to rephrase all my well-thought of answers to say something that would get through to them.

Now, a twist in the story. I was waiting for my turn outside one of those booths, and there were three people ahead of me. All of them got REJECTED. I was super-duper anxious by then. Desperately looking for another empty window where I could sneak off to, to avoid this rejector person. All in vain though. When I finally went up to him, with the sweetest smile that I could muster, I said
"Hello, Good Morning" and he said "Hi"(with the dullest tone ever). He asked me two very general questions, and while I was preparing myself for some deadly blow from his side, he said "OK, your visa will reach you in a few days"
I was like, oh, what just happened, did I hear this wrong, Is this interview actually over. I looked up at him, and he was all smiling AND not returning my passport back. Yayyy, I screamed in my head, and left from there with a quick "Thank You"

I practically danced all the way home. USA here I come!


Blogger Ravi Ramaseshan said...


6:52 AM  

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