The visa experience at the American Embassy

This is my experience getting my visa years ago in Mexico City.

Once I was accepted into the College of Education and got my  job as a Resident Director for Radford University.  Making an appointment to see a consul for a visa is a process that changes your life either for good or not. I needed to complete all the documentation necessary to travel to the United States, a visa is one of the most important steps of the process to get to the United States.

Here are the steps roughly explained for this process.

1. Make a phone appointment  to meet with a consul in the American Embassy. The call has a fee by the minute. 2. Sometimes your appointment cannot be scheduled for months. In the case of a student visa, you have priority. 3. The day of your interview mostly all people know you are to be formally dressed and be ready to respond with confidence to all the questions the consul might ask you. 4. You are required to take bank statements of property papers that will ensure you are coming back to your country and the visa is not a way for you to stay in the United States. Young individuals have a tought time sometimes and for many the visa is denied because they are seen as individuals that will potentially try to stay in the United States. All these factors make the visa visit dreadful to almost anyone. 5. Have paid all the requirements and application fee and also have a valid passport.

What happens in your interview? The day of your interview you are to be at the embassy. You take all the paper work required. You get in line and you are checked by security. You have to meet with at least  three people plus security before getting to the consul. At all times people are asking you questions and then your picture is taken. At any point in this process you can be rejected every time you try to get the visa you need to pay all the fees again. Once you make it through to the consul you are half way into a very  intense day.  Still there is no guarantee you will get a visa. The consul will ask you questions regarding your intentions on coming to this country. You can speak Spanish, but speaking in English is better. You are interviewed for at least 20-30 minutes; questions regarding the purpose of your trip and specifics are asked. Then the consul lets you know if you are clear to go and pay fees for the length of your visa or he denies the visa. If your visa is granted, you will pay the fees necessary for the many years that it is issued, plus a delivery service. Then you are done.

I remember once while waiting for my turn to be called to talk to the consul,  a young woman about 18-20 years old was denied a visa.  You could see her expression was a mix of surprise, disbelief and sadness.  By the time you get to the consul booth, you have paid a lot of money for passport fees and transportation.  Some people travel from other states and have barely money for a place to stay. By the time the process is over you have spend good pesos for it and even if your visa is denied you have spent a considerable amount of money. A working or a student visa issued for another country like the United States is a big deal; it changes the life of a person in my country.

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