Saturday, July 02, 2005

FTP: My visa experience

June 17th 2005 was the day that was destined to decide whether I would be granted the option of entering the United States or not, to pursue my master's degree in Business Administration et Management, at McCombs School of business, at the University of Texas, at Austin.

I entered the U.S. consulate at Chennai, my native, at around 3:30 pm, 15 minutes before schedule, carrying with care all my documents related to my academics, offer of admission, immovable properties, bank a/c statements of my parents and myself, in addition to the mandatory list of documents and DD's that every applicant is expected to carry on him/her. I'll try to put up another post with the complete list of docs I carried when I find time.

First the appointment letter and passport were checked at the entrance. After sufficient frisking, I was let into a hall, wherein first both my DD's were collected. After that I was given a token number and awaited my turn. I was then led into another big hall, wherein the mandatory documents were checked by some officials. Once theses were verified to be true, i was given a seat to sit down and again entered the wait state. While on this stage, I could see and hear the interviews being held at the various booths, that reminded me exactlf of railway ticket reservation counter, ...precisely. On an average, 1 out of 5-6 applicants was getting rejected, due to either lack of documents or unknown universities, or lack of motive to go to the states or come back etc...just the normal stuff that all of us would be warned about before going for the interview.

While I was almost dozing off, I got my chance and went to the allotted booth. The interviewer seemed very friendly thankfully, as she greeted me ....and this is how it went on....

VO - How are you doing today ?
me - I'm doing good, thank you. How about you?
VO - Yes, fine thank you, (she looks at my application) Oh so you are going for an MBA ! Thats interesting. And to univ. of Texas Austin, thats pretty good. (she circles the university name, and enters something on her comp.) May I see your scoresheets please ?
me - Sure
VO - Oh you've got into Purdue as well, thats nice. So how are you planning to manage your funds ?
me - thro' personal savings over the last 3 years of my employment, plus family funds.
VO - Great, your visa has been granted and you may depart the consulate now. Your passport would reach you in a few days, All the best.
me - thank you v much.

So, I guess the university and the scores did the trick for me probably. But from what I could see that day, each is a special case, varies from individual to individual. All we can do, is to make sure we have all the documents in place and trust the impending luck.

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