After days of preparation for the most awaited US Visa interview, the effort has finally been rewarded this morning at the US Embassy in Manila when the consul said these words, “Congratulations! You have been granted with a US Visa.”
I am very thankful that I passed the interview and few days from now I will have my US Visa delivered to my agency. It was a great experience and also a very frightening one, especially when I saw other seafarers failed their interview while waiting for my turn. God really helped me in this one or I should say He helps me all the time.
To my fellow seafarers who will soon have their interview at the US Embassy for their C1/D Visa application, here are some tips for you.
- Wear decent clothes. If you can wear long sleeves, slacks, and formal shoes then it is better. Even though they are not that strict on what you wear, please also mind that you are attending an interview. What you wear reflects your personality. If you are not comfortable in wearing formal attire, please force your self to do so even at this time only.
- Arrive at least 2 hours before your scheduled interview. You would do that if you want to be ahead of the line. Take note also that early morning schedule for interview is the best time you would want to face the consul. It is a fact that a person tends to become more irritable the longer he/she works during the day. I guess you get the point.
- Do not bring any electronic gadget during your interview. Cellphones, USB flash drive, cameras, etc. are strictly not allowed inside the embassy. If you are caught with those gadgets your interview will be rescheduled. TIP: There are people outside the embassy that offers storage service for your electronic gadgets for a minimum amount of PhP 150. The problem is you do not know those people and there is a possibility that you will never see your gadgets after the interview. So the best thing to do is leave your gadgets at home and just bring your documents and of course some cash.
- Do not forget these things: Form DS-160, Guarantee Letter from your agency, Passport. These are the only documents the US Embassy officers will need from you. But I suggest you bring your other supporting documents like TOR, certificates, SIRB, etc. You will never know when you are going to need it. Bring also additional 2×2 ID picture with white background and an ordinary black ballpen. TIP: There are people outside the embassy that will offer you to have your picture taken especially if you forgot to bring a 2×2 ID picture. If you want to save money then don’t take their offer. You will not need that picture anyway, unless the pre-screening section officer inside the embassy will require you to have your picture taken. You will only be required to give new picture if your picture on your application was taken a long time ago. Just in case you will be required to give a new picture, then inside the embassy compound there is a Kodak center where you can have your photo taken. So the best thing to do is bring a recent 2×2 picture to avoid those hassles.
- Review and memorize all the details you submitted on your application. Most of the consul’s questions will come from it. Other questions will depend on your position/rank. You might also want to check this compilation of US Visa General Interview Questions and Terms to Remember.
- Pray. Pray to God for guidance and you will succeed. You can not do it alone. You will need His divine power to calm your mind and give you wisdom.
Here are the questions the consul asked me:
- When did you graduated from college?
- How long have you been a seafarer?
- What is your position on the vessel?
- What is the unit of resistance?
- What is the unit if current?
- When did you last disembark?
I hope that I was able to help everyone with this post. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the comment section below. Cheers!