YES! Eryn is going to the States!
But this post is not about how I plan to spend time in US, this post is about visa application for Malaysian. Every Malaysian needs to obtain a visa to enter US. You have to submit application online and when it’s confirmed, print out confirmation letter and make an interview appointment through phone. It states clearly in the application, what are the documents needed which includes your international passport, picture with white background, confirmation letter DS160, payment receipt, I/C and other supporting documents to explain the reason you want to go US.
US Embassy at Jalan Tun Razak
1. Make your appointment at the first slot 8:00 a.m. Come at 7:00a.m. and make sure you have your appointment letter and I/C ready.
(Our appointment time is at 8:50 a.m. We arrived at 8:00 a.m. and realized there are over 100 people queuing up outside the building. To be honest, I seriously cannot believe my eyes. I was not wondering why there are so many people wanting to go US, I was wondering how come the system of the interview appointment is so inefficient!)
2. Greet the guard and ask him nicely where you should queue up. I must warn you, the security guards are so fierce and they speak so loudly as if you are begging to get in.
About 200 people waiting under the sun.
No kidding, we waited for 2 hours outside the building before getting into the premise. So, here is my advise to those who are going to apply for US Visa in Malaysia. Have your breakfast, bring a fan, a portable chair (I saw old people holding a walking stick standing under the sun and has no place to sit), water to prevent dehydration and an umbrella in case it rains.
3. Do not wear high heels. I repeat, DO NOT wear high heels. Standing under the sun with over 200 people, waiting, with high heels is absolutely not pleasant at all.
4. When it is your turn, show your appointment letter and I/C to get a badge.
5. When you enter the premise, you belongings will be scanned and you are required to walk through a metal detector. You are requested to switched off your phone and hand out your mobile phones and keys. (Cameras, laptops and all kinds of electronic devices are not allowed). You will be given a tag to retrieve your belongings after the interview.
6. You walk out of the security room and head to the building.
7. There, you will have to press a number machine. Get your number and wait in the room on your right.
8. Until your number show up on the screen and being called, you proceed to the room on the left for document submission. You will enter a small room with glass door, and you are required to submit pictures, passports and confirmation letter.
9. Take your number and return to the waiting room. Wait until your number show on the screen, move to the room on the left for your “biometric” finger print scan. They will ask you to place left 4 fingers on the scanner, then the right 4 fingers, then 2 thumbs.
10. Take your number and return to the waiting room, Wait until your number show on the screen, move to the room on the left again. There, you will be investigated. Questions that they ask might vary from people to people. And these are the questions that I’ve got:
- What’s the purpose of the visit?
- Where did you complete your studies?
- Which university to be specific?
- What course?
- How does that related to what you are doing now?
- Who are you meeting in the States?
- What will you be discussing about?
- Do you have relatives in the States?
- Where do they stay?
- How long you are going to stay in the States?
The much anticipated interview last for about 1 minute.
“And your visa has been approved, you can collect your passport on Wednesday.”
11. There I was given a docket. And I can go!!
By the time I left the US embassy, it was 11:00 a.m.! They do not have a dress code for the interview, so my advise would be wear something comfortable and bring along your ipad for some entertainment.
Side note: If you want to cut the waiting time short.
1. Wear a coat and speak very politely with a fishy smile on your face to the security guard at the gate and ask him if there is any way you could get in first without having to queue. A malay guy was doing that and he successfully cut about 100 people in front of him which including me.
2. Tell the guard you come from a faraway land and you have a plane to catch. Plead and ask the first person in front of the queue if he/she could let you go in first with teary eyes. A pretty boy was doing this to the auntie in front and he got in first!
This is probably the one thing I like about Malaysia, people are generally nice and most of the things could be done if you care to make an effort. Good luck!