Last week I suddenly thought of that I need a visa to go to LA, so I submitted the online form (DS-160) and made an interview appointment. There’s How-tos everywhere on the internet, not hard to do it.
My interview was at 8:30 in the morning. But because America Visa needs a specific size of picture (5x5cm, different from all my other photo ID), and I heard that there’s a photo booth with this size near AIT (American Institute in Taiwan, the interview place), so I arrived earlier to take a picture. Sadly the result was so bad and it’s going to be stuck on my passport for a long time. (￣.￣)
Finished the photo and entered the queue, a long one. So many people there. I’ll definitely arrive even earlier next time. There were 4 steps of the whole process, information input, finger print, interview and delivery information.
It was such a boring 2 hours, waiting there and doing nothing. They took our phone so I can’t play with it. So except for writing a postcard I got nothing to do. (Did a lot of thinking tho)
After 2 hours, finally getting close to the interview place. I thought there would be several rooms for the interview, but it was like in the bank, there are several counters, people go to the counter to talk to the consular officers and they will decide if they want to give you a VISA. And you will be able to hear what other people’s interview was going on.
There were 3 counters opened that day, 3 American officers. A serious-looking man, a gentle-looking man and a clever-looking woman. I was wishing I will go to the gentle-looking man, if not maybe the serious-looking man works too, better not to be the clever-looking woman. But I can’t decide as it’s one queue for 3 counters.
When I was even closer to the counter, I heard (well, everybody heard) the serious-looking officer said it loudly “I don’t believe you, I can’t give you a visa” (in fluently Chinese, wow!)
The applicant was so scared “What? Please, I’m really not going to that conference!”
Officer (serious man) : “You said you were and now you said you aren’t, I can’t believe you now.”
Applicant: “Please, this is my first time, I’m really new for this…”
Officer : “You’re not honest, I can’t believe you, sorry”
Applicant: “So what can I do now, to make it work again?”
Officer : “You can’t do anything now, I’ve made the decision, now you need to go, next please”
Applicant: “Oh no~~~”
Officer : “next please”
The applicant just didn’t want to go, the new applicant dared to go in front too. To see a person be killed like this in front of us, the air was frozen.
I was even more scared, coz I’m going to LA for business, to participate Red Herring Global, it’s also a conference. Based on what I heard, going to a conference seems to be a bad reason to go. Even worse, I didn’t bring any evidence/information about the conference, I didn’t have any invitation with me. And if it’s a business trip, I didn’t even bring my business card!! How can I introduce myself as a co-founder at a company?
So after practicing a lot about how to explain what “Red Herring” is, I secretly changed my strategy: I’m going to take a trip in LA, and go to an event casually, nothing special.
People says the best lie is “half-lie”, that you just reveal some of the truth. That’s so right! (Oh but don’t use this to your loved people)
In the meantime, I was still wishing that I can interview with the gentle-looking man, and yes I was so close to get to him, when it was my turn he’s available! But unfortunately there was a guy who cut in, with a good reason, said he was here but he missed a paper so he went to take it and now he was back…
And the clever-looking woman was busy too, so I could only go to the serious-looking man.
Gave him my application form, and answer “I’m going there for 6 days, to have fun and attend an event” when he asked me “Why do you go to America?”. Simple and casual, nothing serious, totally don’t show any intention to immigrate there. (Even if I can choose I won’t want to move there anyway. My heart is not there.)
Heard my line, he didn’t say anything, started to type a lot on his computer. I stared at him and was nervous. Wondering what’s next. But he didn’t talk to me. He just kept typing and looking at the screen.
At first I was think “Man come on don’t MSN at work”, but then I suddenly felt he looks serious, “Isn’t he searching me on Google and trying to find a crime evidence (which I have none)? Do I have anything bad to States, or did I write anything bad on my blog?” I was suddenly scared, that, what if he find me on Facebook and find out the fact that I don’t use my real name on Facebook, will it be a case of not being honest?
But then, after like 5 minutes (for me it’s like a long time) he asked
“What’s your occupation?”
“I am a web designer.”
(Can’t say I’m a co-founder and can’t say I’m a front-end developer, I mean, who knows what it is?)
then he started typeing again, come on you are chatting again!
after few minutes, he asked me “Where are you staying?”
“LA, and this is my hotel information” gave him the papers.
But de didn’t take the hotel thing, just said
“OK, that it. Thank you. Next.”
“Oh… that’s it?….thank you…” with a fading out voice.
Suddenly felt so empty. (Okay I’m sick!)
I mean, at least ask me about the event I’m going, or take a look at my flight itinerary and hotel reservation note, but it ended so quick. I did so much thinking and prepared so much while I was waiting there.
Anyway I’m going to LA next next Monday!! Wish me luck! Oh yeah~
(Don’t know why, maybe I’m crazy, I got a better Chinese version of this post: 嚴肅男，多跟我說幾句話啊！美國簽證面試經驗(B1/B2), feel free to read it if you know Chinese.)