• US Visa Interview Experience at Mumbai BKC to Carnegie Mellon University | CMU

    US Visa Interview complete process at Mumbai Consulate and Sample US Visa Interviews in Mumbai Consulate.

    US Visa Experience in MUMBAI BKC Consulate

    Date: 17 May, 2012
    Venue: American Consulate, BKC, Mumbai
    Time: 7:45 a.m.

    Before Reaching US Consulate Mumbai:

    Left home at 7 am and reached BKC around 7:30 am. It turned out that there was already a long queue outside the consulate.

    But don't be alarmed, because not all of them will be 7:45ers. So,

    Tip 1: Try to reach at least half an hour before the appointment time, because your position in the queue will dictate how long you need to twiddle your thumbs in the waiting hall.

    Tip 2: When you reach, ask for the 7:45 queue. The guards usually split up the queue based on time priority, so make sure you aren't in the 9 am queue.

    Tip 3: No mobiles or electronic items are allowed. Please DON'T take them in, the guards will make you keep them out and then rejoin the queue. Leave them at home or with an accompanying relative. Wallets and belts are cool.

    Stage 1: Outside the Consulate

    So, back to the queue. While I stood there for a good half an hour, I was asked to take out my visa appointment letter, I-20 and passport. I had to fold the I-20 in half and keep both it and the visa app. letter in the passport. I held the passport all along the snaky queue till I entered the first building.

    Stage 2: Inside - The Token Counter

    I went in, had myself and my belongings scanned, and went up to the token counter. The guy took my appointment letter and passport, scanned the passport and stuck a label with my number on it. Turned out it was 489 (the number running was 280-ish). Hence, TIP 1.

    We were then escorted to an open area outdoors before being allowed into the second building.

    Stage 3: Inside - Fingerprints and Coffee

    Entered the second building, noticing the CCD on the left (you can't miss it). Went right to the last counter in the nonimmigrant area, and joined the line for fingerprints. Stood for around 5 minutes till my turn came, gave the prints, and took my seat in the waiting area, just in front of the counters. I had to wait for around an hour and a half. Drank some coffee while I waited. My turn finally came at 9:45ish.

    Stage 4: In front of Visa Officer

    Counter No. 30. The VO was a young guy in his late twenties.

    VO: Number 489. Good Morning!

    I: Good Morning sir!

    (Handed over my I-20 and passport)

    VO (typing all the while): So, where will you be going?

    I: I'll be going to Carnegie Mellon sir, in Pennsylvania.

    (VO nodded all-knowingly)

    VO: Is it a Bachelor's or a Master's degree?

    I: Master's degree.

    VO: What field?

    I: Told.

    VO: What was your UG aggregate?

    I: Told.

    VO: Any backlogs?

    I: No sir.

    VO: Can I see your GRE and TOEFL scores?

    I: Sure, sir.

    (Showed him the marksheets. A lenient expression appeared on his face.)

    VO: How are you planning to pay for this degree?

    I: Parents will be sponsoring my education sir, and I am currently employed as well.

    VO: What does your father do?

    I: Told.

    VO (distracted, still typing furiously): Is his company ONGC?

    I: No sir, they build rigs for ONGC.

    VO: Which universities did you apply to?

    (VO handed over my I-20 before I could reply and kept typing. Didn't seem to care that I hadn't answered.)

    VO (after what seemed like an eternity): Your visa is approved. You'll get your passport within a week.

    I: Thanks! Have a nice day!

    VO: You too!

    Took my stuff and walked out. 'In Dino' from Life in a Metro kept playing in my head for some reason. The time was 10:00 a.m.

    TIP 4: Look the guy in the eye all the while (even if he keeps on typing and doesn't look at you!), and answer confidently. Neither a robot nor a stammerer be. There are very few chances he'll ask for docs if you answer coolly and confidently.

    Now for the best part, though it's unrelated!

    Went back to work a couple of days after the VI. Hadn't informed my boss that I'd be extending my leave, and didn't pick up any of his calls. So true to nature, he gave me a load of BS the day I rejoined, and I heard him out, smiling inwardly all the while. At an opportune moment, I took out my pre-typed letter and slammed it on his table. Guy nearly had a heart attack. Anyway, I got him some water and made sure he was okay, just so he'd be able to sign my letter!

    Best of luck for your VIs! Hope this helps!

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