US Visa Experience

by Yanan Xue


My visa interview was booked at 9 o’clock, September 10, 2009. I arrived at the U.S Consulate Guangzhou around 8:30, and there were already hundreds people waiting outside of the Consulate building. I heard the visa interview is usually started at 7:30. The guards were holding a name list, and gave us a pass card so that we can go into the building. The Visa department was located on the fifth floor. On the fourth floor there were another group of guards holding the same name list and ask our pass cards back, then we can go up to the fifth floor.

First, we need go through the security check, no water, food, cigarette, lighter, cellphone, MP3, electronic dictionary or any other digital products can bring into the visa department, we had to store/consign them outside of visa hall, then we went to the security door one by one. The guards checked/scanned our bags carefully, even a 10ml liquid or a portable hard disk  can not be missed.

There are 14 windows/counters and two separated offices in the non-immigrant visa hall. The first one and second one are for us to  hand in the application forms, that is DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, Passport, I-20 and Visa fee receipt. The third and fourth windows is to record our fingerprints, both two hands and ten fingerprints will be recorded, then they turned our application forms and visa back, and we went on to another queue. The rest windows are all for visa interview, we went to the VOs one by one, the guard will tell us which window we should go.

The VO who conducted my interview was a white young man with blond hair, the questions he raised were as bellow.

Yanan: How are you today?

VO: I’m fine, how are you?

Yanan: It’s a great day for me, cause I am here to apply for the F-1 student Visa, and I’m gonna study in Northwest Christian University for my master degree.

VO: You just finished one master degree, why do you need another one?

Yanan: Yes, you know all the classed were took in the last year, and my graduation thesis was also about the same company I work for.(showing the VO my graduation paper and the company brochure), but what I learnt were just some basic theories and ideas, it’s too general to  apply in the real work life. I want to deepen my study in this area and learn something real practical and advanced.

VO: What’s your major?

Yanan: It’s business administration and management.

VO: What do you do? what are you going to do when you finish your study in America?

Yanan: I am the president assistant, especially for foreign affairs. I arrange the meetings and conference, take minutes of the meetings, communicate with clients, customers and co-workers. After all, I am just an assistant, I aims to more higher position and payment. The company promised me a vice general manager if I can come back with a U.S master degree in two years.

VO: Who is gonna to pay for your study?

Yanan: All my savings will be enough for the first year of my study, you can see my fixed bank account and bank statement. For the second year my parents will support me. I have them financial support letter and their income statements from the employer.

VO: That’s OK(he didn’t look the materials and document I showed to him)

And then he tore a blue pass paper apart, kept my passport and forms, gave me one part of the blue paper. I suddenly realized that I have pass the interview. (All the materials I took with me were in vain, he looked none of them)I was too excited to remember what he said to me. I just remember I told the VO it’s so cold here and made me more nervous, and he told me do not be nervous and I will be OK. He told me I should go to the China Post counter and write down my address, the visa will be sent to my place in three or four days.

I went to the post counter and pay for RMB20 for the visa express delivery. I went back to the security room and withdrew my cellphone with the tag card they gave me. I looked at my watch and It was nearly 11 o’clock. The whole process took nearly two hours and a half.

All in all, the whole process of the visa interview was focused around three themes, just like what you have told me before. What is the purpose of my trip? Do I have enough money for my study in the U.S? Will I come back to my home country when I finish my study?

I am hoping this letter/my real experience will better help the other students in their way for the visa interview.

Here I want to express my gratitude again to Carol, the admission director and Nancy, the visa advisor, and every one who offered me help during my application process. I am really appreciated your efforts and supports.


Best Regards,

Yanan Xue

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