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Visa Fundae

Hiya all yeh F1 Visa aspirants……

To start of with, get yourself early in the line. A time of 6:00 AM reaching the Consulate would be good. You would probably find a line of 100 or so people already there. Dont panic!!! Even if you would have come half an hour earlier, you'd find an equally long line. People unnessaccarily stay out there all night. A foolish Lot!!!

At this point let me list out the ABSOLUTELY essential stuff required:

  1. Visa Form completely filled ( These will also be distributed while u r in line waiting )
  2. A demand draft/ manager's cheque of Rs.1935/- (US$45) payable to "American Consulate General, Mumbai".
  3. Passport
  4. I-20 form from Univ
  5. Rs. 4300/- in cash (US$ 100)
  6. Offer Letter from Univ u r going to
  7. Aid letter from that Univ.
  8. Other Univ's letteers which have sent offers.
  9. GRE, Toefl, TSE score reports.
  10. Institute Grade-Card/Degree should be carried.
  11. 10th and 12th Mark-Sheets
  12. 3-4 Photographs
  13. An FD or bank document stating u have around Rs 1 lakh finances available to finance your Air Ticket and initial amount of around $1500 that u r gonna carry.
  14. A zerox copy of all of the above
  15. Job Offer letter(s) from Campus Interviews

Mumbai US Consulate

Well the gates to the Land of Opportunities are opened at around 7:15 a.m. You'll find the line moving slowly at a decent pace ahead. Keep you patience as you trudge ahead ever so slowly. You'll notice the fantastic range of small time businesses that people can come up with. You have people selling drafts to those who haven't got theirs. There are PaanWallas who charge you 15 bucks or so to keep your bag. (Yes, Bags of any kind are NOT allowed inside the Consulate, Umbrella's are NOT allowed inside the Consulate.)

However u can take plastic bags inside. Do take a newspaper with u to pass ur. time during the waiting period inside.

Finally you'll reach the entrance. Keep your Passport, Visa Form and DD ready to flash at the entrance. Once inside you'll first be greeted with a nice blast of cool AC, a welcome change from the sticky weather outside. So now you're in!!! Inside you'll be directed to a host of comfortable chairs. Sit and wait there until you are directed togo and pay your Visa Fees (Rs. 1935/- DD). Here keep your Passport, Visa form, 1935 DD and your I-20 ready with you at the counter. Your Passport, Visa Form and I-20 will be collected at the counter and you'll be handed a PINK token. Keep this token safely, 'cos this is the only piece of information that you'll need throughout the afternoon. Go on now to the Cashier and submit the DD. Once this is done, you'll recieve a WHITE and a YELLOW receipt. Keep these and take them for your interview.

Now get back to your chair and prepare yourself for a long long wait. Dont get fidgety as you notice that all people around you are getting their PINK token numbers announced while you sit and muddle over your ill-fate. The calling process is arbit and not necessarily in the order in which the Pink token was given to u. The procedure here is that they call out either your PINK token numbers or call out your names. A wordof caution here is that there are announcements over the PAS (Public Announcement System) which isn't any better than our Railway's system. So keep your ears open at all times. Don't chat too much, you might miss your number and then have to wait all over again as they put your number later.

The interview is taken in a counter with you standing on one side with the Consulor on the other, just a bullet-proof glass separating the two of you. When ur. visa is approved perform the final formalities of completing a Questionnaire for USEFI (which also entitles you to recieve a free handbook titled, "Living in the US"). Then you'll have to pay your Rs. 4300/- cash at the counter. You will get your visa ready at a time told by them. I got mine at 4:30 p.m.

In the time b/w approval of visa and receipt of the same, u can

1. Visit HeeraPanna shopping centre

2. Visit crossword library/book shop

3. Go to the nearby beach

2. Visit crossword library/book shop

3. Go watch a movie</font></font></pre>

4. Go home and comeback later

Though u r called at 4 report by 3-3.15 . U will find a long line for collecting the VISA as well !

 

Madras US Consulate

The procedure is that you can ring up the consulate and book an appointment for a specific day by mentioning your Name and Passport number. Then you just have to go to the consulate on that day and they will issue a token for you on production of your passport. You can also go to the consulate just like that and wait outside. They will first issue tokens to those who have fixed an appointment for that day by phone. Now, if there are any vacancies on that day (say if they plan to interview 30 guys and only 15 have booked appointments for the day) then they will let the guys who have come without appointments in. You can fix the appointment for any date but that date must not be earlier than 90 days to the date of joining as mentioned in your I-20 form or offer letter.

The contact numbers are: (044) 823 2434

The tokens will be issued from 7:30 am to 10:00 am.

For general information call (044) 8273040 between 8:15am and 5:00 pm

It's ideal to call in the morning or after 4:00 pm

NOTE: This number is only for General Information and not for fixing app.

Now the consulate numbers will be busy most of the time as expected with large number of applicants but the only way is to keep trying.

The commonly asked questions are:

a) Does the program make sense?

b) Why study abroad?

c) Why at this time?

d) What are your career goals?

e) What after this?

f) Will u come back to India?

g) What is your field of specialization?

h) Why this field ?

i) Why this University?

Avoid American accents , speak slowly , convincingly , confidently. Officer must not feel u r shy or will not be able to adjust in US As a matter of fact, everyone has different expe in interview. Try to meet and speak to as many people as u can, who have been interviewed.

There must be concrete arguments regarding this and what you want to do after coming here. Things like I love my country, my parents are here, I have land, property,etc... wont do. "They have heard this over and over again". Chalk out a careful strategy to answer the questions, have a prepared answer for every question, because if you have to think out an intelligent answer you are in deep shit !

If the univ in the I-20 form provides you with the aid amount more or equal to the prescribed expenses then you need not show any financial info.

Now, if you are required to show finances then they said the documents that they do NOT encourage are

  1. Charted Accountant statements: "Because anybody will give a statement for a few bucks".
  2. Provident fund: "Its your father's savings and if he spends all of it for you what has he got?"
  3. Property
  4. LIC : "To get the money you have to die, we don't want you to die"
  5. Agricultural Income : "Its vague and not accounted properly"
  6. Distant relatives, cousin brother/sister once removed etc...pledging support: Why would someone so distant suddenly fund you so much money".

The bottom line is that "When both parents working in the US plus the student himself earning fins it difficult to manage the $20,000 required per year, where will an average parent earning much less than his US counterpart get so much money unless we are talking of the Birlas etc.."

These are only some observations and NEED NOT be taken as the Holy word. Its very much possible that some of the above can be accepted.

The documents that they have no cribs are

a) Income tax returns

b) Bank balances (Here too "If you have Re 1. and the next day you have Ten Lakhs then we will question where did you get it from? Please don't tell us your father won a lottery overnight!!)

c) Support from a CLOSE relative from India or Abroad (In case of people from abroad they have to get the statement ratified by the US consulate

or corresponding agency in case of US itself and it can be produced here)

Do not stop speaking at any time. The VISA officer Never answer questions with a yes or no. Try to say as much as possible, even if it is bullshit keep talking, they desperately need to reject people so they look for people who don't say much. Grossly overstate your salary when the VISA officer asks you the following question: " How much would an MS/PhD from so and so university of the US make in India ?" This question is usually preceded by "What would you do with an MS/PhD from so and so university?"

The central point is that you have to convince the VISA officer that you have no intention of immigrating to the United States

If u are among the unlucky few to b randomly picked on acc. to the whims of those phirangis, then COOL IT. All he'll tellya is tht "HE NEEDS SOME CLEARANCE FROM WASHINGTON DC AND THT THERE'S NOTHIN' WRONG OTHERWISE. HE'LL SAY THT U'LL BE NOTIFIED WITHIN A WEEK OR SO". So, basically u'll b given a form and that section 221(g) ka funda. In this case, junta, do two things...

1. Leave the place w/o too much fuss and best to head homewards...coz staying there and being pestered by the anxious public outside is no way gonna help.

2. Immediately after reaching home and venting out u'r anger and frustration in every possible way, it's time to get practical!!Mail u'r univ (grad advisor or intl association...or anybody whom u'r in touch with) and explain the situation to them and ask them if they cud help u in anyway.

TRY and be +ve abt the entire episode and dismiss it as an unfortunate case of randomization!! Finally, if this doesn't help...seek help from friends to relieve u of the tension.

When u get your Visa , check following

1. ur name

2. univ name

3. date upto which visa is valid report if any errors , they will correct it and u have to go the next day

OBSERVATIONS :

The matka factor (i.e visa intw bein' maaphed) has nothin' to do with u having secured aid or not. In fact all those lucky ones today had no aid.

It seems they HATE POLYMER ENGG.....all ppl. goin' for this course have been screwed.

If u do get thru...AVOID being HIGHLY EXPRESSIVE abt it, atleast in front of the window. It seems one guy was called back for expressing his elation at having secured the VISA.

Of course u get to make lotsa friends ....since everyone's undergoin' the same tension before the intw.

IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE THAT UR VISA IS NOT READY AND U MAY (RATHER MUST COME THE OTHER DAY TO COLLECT IT), so keep the next day free

The USA Immigration FAQ is maintained at

http://be2-bemail.mailcity.lycos.com:80/884128686012793560928641707/ab_mailto_fromab.femail?wholemail=rskhanna@immigration.com">rskhanna@immigration.com

Many FAQs, are available via FTP on the archive site

rtfm.mit.edu in the directory pub/usenet/news.answers.

If you have access to the Web you can also access the FAQs from <A HREF="http://proxy-mail.mailcity.lycos.com/bin/redirector.cgi?http://www.immigration.com" target="newwin">http://www.immigration.com</a>

That's all folks, best of luck for your Visa.

Btw, I got my Visa without an Interview !! J