University: George Washington University
Course: MS in Computer Science
Date: July 2017
Counter No: 23
Visa interview Experience:
I am a Nepali citizen and applied from Mumbai due to lack of availability of desired dates in Kathmandu.
There was a huge line that day and I was separated from my friend due to constant verification of my Nepalese passport. I had 2 cool guys behind me on line, one around my age and one a bit older applying for tourist and B2 Visa respectively. We talked, joked, laughed and it didn't feel like we were off to the most rigorous interview of our lives.
VO was a woman in her mid-forties, She had curly hairs, and was slim.
VO: Good Morning, How are you?
ME: Good Morning, I'm good, how are you?
ME: Happy Belated Fourth of July!
VO: haha, Thank you!
VO: (Said something like pass me your documents, was inaudible)
I passed my passport, I-20, Sevis fee payment receipt all at once. VO scans the barcode on back of my passport.
VO: When did you graduate?
ME: 2015 ma’am.
VO: What have you been doing since then?
ME: (I slightly lost my focus and stammered a bit, then back to track) I did an internship then worked as a web developer and I am working as a web developer in YCC or The Youth Coding Collective which is a collaborative venture between Canadian government funded CECI and National Youth Federation Nepal.
VO: Okay. (Again types and does some reading or whatever for quite a time.)
VO: So why are you applying from India?
ME: Due to unavailability of desired date in Nepal. When I booked today's date for Mumbai, the latest I could get was July 31st in Kathmandu. That would be really late for my university formalities and hamper my travel plan as my classes start from August 28th.
VO: Okay (Looked convinced, she was reading from screen for a long time. I guess she was reading transcript of my previous interview)
I didn't flinch or got nervous, just let her take her time, while constantly watching her.
VO: What is your GRE Score?
VO: What are you focussing in Computer Science?
ME: I would be focussing on Machine Intelligence and Cognition. There is a professor in George Washington University who is working in the field and she is one of the reasons I am applying to the university as well. I am pretty excited about working under her.
VO: (Looked impressed) How are you going to pay for your education?
ME: My parents would be sponsoring me, they have a combined liquid asset of $XXX. My father has a saving of $XXX which he has set aside for my education. that would be enough for my first year of study.
VO: (After a while) What do your parents do?
ME: My father is XXX and mom works as XXX.
VO: How much do they earn?
ME: Our monthly household income is $XXX.
VO: Okay. (Typing, lost in screen) So you haven't taken any loan?
ME: No mam. Since my father has enough saving I didn't see a reason to take loan.
VO: Okay. (Again types and lost in screen for a while.)
VO: Do you have any siblings?
ME: I have 2 siblings.
VO: Older or younger?
ME: One older brother and another younger.
VO: Okay (Typing, lost in screen)
VO: What do they do?
ME: My older brother is XX and works in XX. My younger brother is studying computer engineering, I plan to come back after my studies and collaborate with him. 3 brothers jamming together and doing something innovative.
VO: Hmm.(Typing, lost in screen)
VO: How much is your current salary?
ME: Rs.XXX which is approx. Rs.XXX.
VO: Only Rs.XXX?
ME: Yes madam, since it is a collabortive venture between INGO and NGO, they don't pay that huge, plus it is just 4 days a week. For me it is not only about money but what I get to learn over there. Otherwise I wouldn't be working there. We have a Canadian Mentor and she has been a huge influence to me. I learnt about different facets of Computer Science and Machine Learning from her. She is one of the reasons I got interested in ML and climate informatics and I have to thank her for all she has done.
VO: Okay. (Typing, lost in screen)
VO: (After a while) Okay I am approving your visa. You have chosen Bangalore as your pickup location.
ME: Yes, I plan to travel all over India.
VO: Good Luck (or something like that).
Then an Indian staff comes over and says something to VO in ear, VO closed the counter window so that I don't hear the conversation, I was hell terrified, she scanned the old barcode of my previous interview in Kathmandu Embassy and then opened the window again.
VO: I see you are from Nepal and would have to make an additional payment of $200. Please go and pay over counter 22.
ME: Thank you very much madam. Have a good day!
I rushed to counter 22 and the same Indian girl came and told me I would have to pay $200 which is equivalent to Rs.13,600. She needed exact change, though I had Rs.14,000 and more. She assured me I would be allowed to re-enter. I ran out, met friends who were waiting under hot sun. They congratulated me and I congratulated a friend who got her visa approved for the same university. We ran towards the car parked some 10 minutes away. Everyone pitched in their change and I went in and paid. I was given a receipt of the same.
Things to remember:
- Mumbai consulate has some coolest VOs and the interview is chilled and relaxed.
- It doesn't matter whether you are nervous or stammer or don't have good english. I saw people despite all of the above, put forward their answers and get visa.
- I didn't see anyone rejected from Mumbai consulate as far as I payed attention.
- The line would be long and it might take even an hour to reach to VO, don't lose your enthusiasm or confidence. I was constanly cracking bad jokes to guys behind me, just to loosen up.
- If you have decent enough scores, good admit and financials at place, a visa will be rewarded for sure.
If It Helps:
I woke up at 5 in the morning, looked out of the window facing sky-scrappers. I had apprehensions about my visa acceptance then. Suddenly, I realized it was me myself who thought I didn't deserve a visa, education in a good college in USA, a good career and future. Years of brainwashing by people and acquaintance made me think I didn't deserve it all. Then I said to myself, I have good scores, a very good admit, finances sorted, I deserve a Visa to USA. I imagined myself flying on a plane to DC. Now, I had this strange positivity in my body and I bathed, got ready, took 2 bananas and went off. Till the last moment, I kept reminding myself how much I deserve the Visa. I allowed myself to have a visa to USA. I allowed myself to study in a reputed university though my under garduate scores were bad. I allowed myself the imagination of that wonderful flight to DC and a great life in USA.
Just don't block the good things coming to you, let them happen, because you deserve it. If you were undeserving, you wouldn't have reached this far.
Note: Content in this article is taken from a public forum moderated by Yocket. Personal details which may reveal the identity have been removed in order to maintain annonimity.