Tuesday, 21 February 2012

US VISA INTERVIEW - SHARING MY EXPERIENCE (2012)

Disclaimer: This is a post based on a personal experience solely for the purpose of sharing and NOT meant to replace official statements and is NOT in any way representative of the US Embassy or the country of USA.

Hubby asked me to join him this time round for a work trip to the United States of America (US), and having given it a miss last year (2011) when he went alone without me, I jumped at the offer and started planning our trip, etc, etc.. and the inevitable has to be done - the US Visa for Malaysians.

I checked out the website and found that I needed a soft copy of my visa photo (as well as the hard copy), hence I paused filling up the online form and went for my photoshoot, I look horrid in the photo but oh well, it is only the visa, better I look horrid in photo, than beautiful in photo but horrid in person, right? (self-consolation). Please ensure the background is white and it is 2" by 2" (please check for exact measurement of photo).

This website is quite comprehensive, it is their official website so it'd better be! http://malaysia.usembassy.gov/niv.html
Just follow the instructions (there are MANY) and you should be fine.

After the photo (and get the soft copy of the hard copy as well!), upload your photo (it should be resized to the correct dimension) and you shall get another form receipt, two pages to proof you have submitted the DS-160 form, there is NO NEED to print out your entire application form unless for own safekeeping.

That ends the preliminary steps.

Next, let's talk about money. The cheapest visa are the usual tourist/business (including for reporters) which costs RM448 in year 2012, payable only at Standard Chartered Banks (any branch). Get the visa deposit form, fill it up, and REMEMBER your passport number or bring your passport with you as you need to fill up your passport number when you pay. I made the MISTAKE of not taking note of my passport number and needed to visit Standard Chartered twice. Don't repeat my mistake! KEEP THE RECEIPT!!! You need it when you go back online and during the interview, so keep the receipt safe and with you at all times!

SETTING AN APPOINTMENT

Upon payment, there is no set window period, but just don't wait too long ya? I waited till CNY was over before I set my interview (and I submitted my DS-160 form online on Jan 17, my interview was on Feb 21, just because I chose to). One month is okay, I think. Did not read anywhere if there is a time limit to submit - pay - set interview - and finally attend interview.

Go to : www.ustraveldocs.com/my

Log in, set up an account first, of course, it is NOT linked directly to the DS-160 form that you submitted online, I entered my name as Sue Tiong and it was accepted even though it isn't my full name, I guess for interview setting it isn't too important as the application form?

You need to enter the receipt number, you SHOULD NOT include your passport number - the less-than-intelligent bank teller (Standard Chartered Bank) whom I ask said it is all the digits all the way including my passport number - NOT!!! And that effiminate (soft) guy of the bank teller dare to scoff at me as if I should not be asking that question. If you don't know, say so, and don't give wrong information!

Upon inserting the receipt number, you should be able to open the page where you may select your preferred choice from the many slots/dates for interview. In Malaysia, there is only one place for the interview regardless of where you are in Malaysia, you need to travel to Kuala Lumpur at the US EMBASSY at Jalan Tun Razak for the interview and it is only on weekday mornings. I chose a Tuesday, 10am interview as it is the 'latest' time slot available at that time (scared of traffic jam during morning rush hour). Then all you have to do is to wait patiently for your interview day to arrive.

UPDATES
*UPDATE 2013: THANKS TO FAY (refer to comments below), THE CURRENT VISA FEE IS RM512*

*UPDATE 2015: THANKS TO KRISH K (refer to comments below), the CURRENT VISA FEE is RM688*

ON THE DAY OF INTERVIEW

On the interview day, it goes without saying that you need all the documents ready the night before, and preferably with a good night's sleep, and you should arrive at least 20 minutes before your interview time.

Modes of Transportation to US Embassy? (The interview is at the US Embassy at Jalan Ampang)

Take a taxi straight to the door steps, or if you don't mind 10 minutes of walking, take the Kelana Jaya LRT line up to Ampang Park and exit and walk all the way towards the white PNB building, just walk on the opposite site, you should pass all the car showrooms, Micasa Hotel and Suites and the See Hoy Chan building before you arrive at the Embassy, you cannot miss it, with its grey concrete walls that gives you no view of what transpired inside.

I usually don't opt for public transportation, hence I contributed to the thinning ozone layer by driving and parked some 7-min-walk away from the embassy at RM4 per entry open space parking lot, or we Malaysians say, open-spaced carpark. The nearer you park, the more expensive the parking fees are, but it won't go more than RM10 maximum, depending on where you park. Had to double park and surrender the keys to the Indian guy, and I don't really mind as my car is already 13 years old, and bears many 'battle' scars, hence I paid RM4 and surrendered the keys (with a proper number stub to reclaim the keys later), and off I walked towards the embassy.

I told you my hubby went to the US the year before right? Since it is only a one-off-thing for the next 10 years, he forgot most details about the visa application process despite it being not even exactly a year since it passed. Okay, human memories fail us sometimes. Hence, to NOT repeat the same mistake of forgetting, lest you become not-so-much-of-a-help to future friends or family members who needed to apply for a US visa, I am writing this blog post, so that it will come in handy, if not my personal social circle, if it shows up in a google search for Malaysians who are looking for more info to apply for a US visa, I hope this blogpost will be of some help!

BE PREPARED TO PHYSICALLY WAIT (and go to the toilet before starting your wait)

The rule of thumb is you should arrive 20 minutes earlier, and you should also be prepared to wait in line (with some benches over a 50m or less stretch) for about an hour. My wait time OUTSIDE the gates was about ONE HOUR and 40 minutes. Arrived at about 9.40am in front of the gates, got into the Q, found a seat, by the time I was called inside and got a number, it was 11.32am, embassy clock. My interview was set at 10am. Since at 9.50am, even those whose interview was set at 8.50am hadn't been called in yet, I walked away for some seven minutes to locate a 'safe' toilet. ALWAYS REMEMBER TO visit the washroom before reporting to the front gate of the embassy as you never know how long you need to wait outside (there are washrooms INSIDE in the waiting area but we were stuck outside for so long).

DOUBLE CHECK YOUR DOCUMENTS

You will need to provide ANOTHER form of photo identification BESIDES YOUR PASSPORT, such as driver's license or your identification card for Malaysians OR a photocopy of your passport if you are non-Malaysian, for you to exchange for a pass to enter the embassy grounds, they will clip your identification with a tag, which you should get back the moment you surrender your visitor pass upon exit.

The first stage of 'reporting' is at the front gate counter (which took about over an hour for me to reach in Q) - where the guy will tick off your name and this is where you show your interview appointment letter, which I forgot to bring, but he asked me what time was my appointment and I told him and he crossed off my name/or was it tick it off, anyway, I was kinda relieved I was on the list as I have nothing to proof my interview time as I didn't print out that piece of DOC!!!

SECURITY CHECK

Only two persons (or ONE family with small children) are allowed to be in the security check point at any one time, it was all tinted glass, so no one knows from the outside what is happening inside. Be prepared to surrender your electronic devices (hand phone, iPad/tablets, laptops, camera, thumb/pen drive included) upon entering the security check/scan room. Also be prepared for a bag search. Water bottles are allowed provided you take a sip in front of the security officer and in front of the CCTV. Keys are supposed to be kept at the security together with your mobile phones, and you will be given a tag with a number for you to reclaim your stuff upon exit.
ALWAYS wait for instructions and don't be in haste and the security officers will talk to you nicely, the guy in front of me was too hurried to reclaim his backpack after the scan that he was told off by the guard. The same guard used a softer tone with me, so be patient, stand there and wait and let them do their job.

MORE WAITING

The building itself reminds me of the US government offices they portray in the movies depicting the US gov. A walk up a flight of steps and you will enter a lobby area with another guard and a reception/enquiries counter. The guard would point a blur person (like me) to the left to press A for tourist/non immigrant visa. Then I was told to wait at the waiting lounge on the right - this is where the restrooms are! Go while you can as you have about 5-10 minutes with about 8 people in front of you (as indicated on the ticket for the number).

There are two screens at the lounge - one had an 8TV show of an exchange students-programme in the US involving Malaysian students which I think was pre-recorded and showed again and again for the visa applicants and the other one was showing a video of US national parks and also instructions of how to take the hand and finger prints and also instructions of visa collection in three languages, English, Chinese and Malay, I tried to read my book and finished about 20 pages.

You will be called by number, electronic display board will display your number, with A and C as the prefix, A for the 'cheaper tourist visa' and C for the more expensive one (you can check the proper names on the website I provided above).

First, your number will be called and you proceed to counter 1 or 2 for the 'registration', where you surrender your print-outs and your passport and your receipt.

1. Passport
2. Interview Appointment Confirmation Letter
3. The confirmation that you have submitted the DS-160 form (two-pages)
4. If you already submitted the soft copy of your photo, then only ONE piece of the required TWO visa photos (then why asked us to bring TWO, I printed FOUR to be safe, lol).

I think that's all.

The Malay lady was quite nice and did not scold me or anything when I failed to produce my interview appointment confirmation letter, I just smiled sheepishly and said "lupa bawak". Then she asked me what time was my appointment and I told her 10am, and she just ticked my name off the list, I got through! I thought my RM448 is gonna go down the drain at the moment! Phew! SO PLEASE bring all the four items above!

ACTUAL INTERVIEW
After that Counter 1 or 2 'checking', you would have surrenderred your passport and return to the waiting lounge on the right again. This time, you wait for another 5-15 minutes until your number is called again.

Then you proceed to Counters 3/4/5. This is where your hand print (four fingers on each hand) and thumb prints are taken. Then there is no need for you to return to the waiting lounge and just wait at that area - it reminds me of a bank with counters and long waiting chairs, some people prefer to stand while I just took at seat next to a complaining Malay lady and waited. The lady beside me was complaining to another guy that her appointment time was BEFORE 10am, but her friend, a guy, whose time was 10am, had his interview over and done with and she was still waiting. Oh well, must be some delay in the process, I guess.

Less than 5 minutes later, my number was called, don't expect to sit down during the interview as it is just like a over-the-counter-bank transaction (old style), you are standing up the whole time. My interview was over and done with in about three minutes. The guy before me was saying to a lady that he only got THREE questions, I got more though. My interviewer is a dark-haired Caucasian man.

My questions: 1. What is the purpose of your visit to the US?
I replied to follow my husband who is on a conference.

2. Does your husband hold a US Visa?
Yes

3. What is the name of the company (of your husband)?
I mentioned the name and he knew the name, obviously judging by the next question.

4. Are you going to California (the HQ)?
No, we are going to Florida, where the conference is going to be held.

5. How long are you going to be in the US?
Two weeks

6. So you are teaching?
Yes

7. What are you teaching?
Public Relations

8. Which university are you teaching at?
I answered

Then he returned the receipt to me (he actually returned it before the questions above) and said - there is no problem with processing your visa... thank you.

I said thank you and left the counter with a card with a serial number (to be surrendered upon visa collection), walked out of the building towards the security check point kiosk (no need go in), collected my stuff, returned the tags, turned on my phone and called my hubby and said, "I got the visa".

VISA COLLECTION
You can collect the visa yourself at Wisma MCA, or you can opt to have it delivered, if you enter your office address, make sure that the card/stub with the serial number is given to the person who receives parcels/mails. Approved visa can be collected on the next working day at 3pm (check the exact time on their website) and if via delivery, within a few days after interview.

US here I come!!!

p/s- This serves also as a reminder just in case I wish to renew my visa in 2022, 10 years from now. :-)


UPDATES
*UPDATE 2013: THANKS TO FAY (refer to comments below), THE CURRENT VISA FEE IS RM512*

*UPDATE 2015: THANKS TO KRISH K (refer to comments below), the CURRENT VISA FEE is RM688*

77 comments:

Mayo said...

Hi Sue,

So how long did you have to wait in all from when you arrived at 9:40am till when you left.
I have to give my boss a rough idea of the time I will be back at work :)

Sue Tiong said...

Best if you say you will be back after lunch break. Be back in office latest by 2pm if you are in Klang Valley. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Hi Sue,
Googled "US Embassy KL parking" and was directed here. Thanks for a very detailed and informative entry.
I'll be going for a 10am interview, like you, soon.
I'd like to seek some clarity on what happens when you first arrive at the gate. How do you prove that you've arrived on time when you have to endure an hour-long queue just to report at the guard post?
Thanks.

Sue Tiong said...

It is rather confusing when you first arrive at the gate. If your time slot has not been called, you are supposed to wait like the rest in 'line'.

I asked the guard when I first arrived what should I do and he asked me what is my time slot and I said 10am and he said not yet, we haven't even called 8.40am, that's why I could insert it in my blog.

The moment they call out (by shouting) your time slot, you are supposed to move forward in line and take your place.

Ezzad Mohd Yusof said...

i don't get it, i heard you need to bring supportive documents (to show longing to home etc), did you actually show any of them?

Sue Tiong said...

Depends on your interviewer if you need to show your documents. For mine, na-dah! For a friend of mine, yes, everything including your house sales and purchase and bank accounts statements, etc.

HERBAL SOUP said...

This is so helpful Sue. I am travelling from Penang for the interview. The US Embassy website has listed strict requirements on bringing bags (or not bringing large ones). Do you know if people had to leave behind their laptops at the guard post?

Sue Tiong said...

Herbal Soup: Yes, all electronic items are supposed to be left at the guard post and no bags are to he brought in beyond the guard post. Even your external hard disc, thumb drive, etc are supposed to be left in the care of the guard. Basically only yourself and your medium sized hand bag, with personal items like compact powder and lipstick, etc are allowed in. Water bottle allowed inside provided you drink it in front of the guard. Relax and appear pleasant, shouldn't be a problem!

Sue Tiong said...

Errata: No big bags are to be brought in. Not no bags.

kaveh yaghmaei said...

i have a interview tomorrow morning 8:50 AM , but in confirmation page they told me delivery documents will be on wisma , i dont know yet where is interview will be and i cant ask becoz the embassy is close today , do u have any idea for student visa where is the location , and do u have any other advice for me ?>! tnx

Sue Tiong said...

The interview is at the US Embassy.

Farah Ayuni Shafie said...

Hi Sue, this is really helpful. I wish to go to New York to join a packaged tour. It is cheaper to travel from Spain to the States. I applied for US tourist visa in Madrid (where I´m studying)and it got rejected because of insufficient ties to Spain. It was really frustrating.

I plan to apply again from Malaysia when I go back for holiday. Do you have any idea how I should prove myself that I want to join the tour. I don´t have any friends in the States.

Sue Tiong said...

Best I can think of is for you to show a confirmation on paper of your tour to prove you have return flight tickets or something. Their concern is you will hop of the plane and stay there with a tourist visa and 'exploit' it in any way. The visa once approved can be ready fast so no worries if you have concrete proof of your return tix as a tourist!

Fay said...

So glad to hv found yr blog via Google. A very detailed description of the whole process which is of much help to me. Thank you, Sue. BTW, the fee now is RM512.

Sue Tiong said...

Glad this blog post is of some help! Thanks for the update on the fees!

fiona chan said...

i got rejected on 17/4/2013. May i know when i can reapply again?

Sue Tiong said...

As far as I know you may reapply immediately after

Jen Li Lee said...

may i know what supporting document that i need to provide to them beside employment letter, salary slip and bank statement.

Sue Tiong said...

Any supporting documents that you feel will prove that you don't plan Not to return to Malaysia will do but they are optional, I know some who are asked to show their property title deeds, Sales and Purchase Agreement, but some like me went through without a hitch, without having to show any supporting documents I brought along to the interview. Better be prepared with more docs than less.

McAfeezEnt said...

Woww your information is so useful, I am a blogger too and I am a Nigeria I wish to go and apply for a tourist visa to spend just two weeks. I found the information you gave useful. But I still need required document for a foreigners apply. thanks so much.

Amirah Amir said...

Hi there! May i know if a friend of mine cant speak fluently in english so is it going to affect her interview later? Thanks! :D

Dzof said...

Just to give input from my experience last Friday:

Our interview was scheduled for 8.30 am.

We arrived at the outside at about 8 am. There are two queues outside: one is at the outside guardhouse for you to state what your business is and be given a visitors pass. The other is the queue to go through security one by one (or family by family).

We actually were allowed to skip the first queue because we have a printed appointment meeting time, so it was quite fast to get into the building (by about 8.30am).

We put our phones, electronics, etc. into a ziplock bag, which made it easy to pass our stuff over and get it back later (one thing to manage instead of 4 or 5).

Then we had to get a number, which would eventually be called three times. Once to hand over the documents (the lady behind the counter was quite grumpy because our papers were in the 'wrong' order).

The second time was to get your fingerprints taken (our 1-year old didn't have to do this).

The third time was the interview. The guy doing the interview was friendly, although I think he tried to trip us up with a few questions. The complete set, as far as I can remember:

1. Why are you going to the US?

2. What are your jobs?

3. I see your degree is in xxx. But your job is in a different field?

4. Oh, you studied at ...! You were at school with ?

I think questions 3 and 4 are just to see how you react, and if you had turned up with a prepared list of answers. If you answer naturally, no problem. If you hesitate and are thinking of what to say, then that might have generated more questions.

At the end, we left the embassy at abut 10.45 I think.

Sue Tiong said...

I think if your friend speaks clearly and the interviewer can understand her, there shouldn't be any problem.

Sue Tiong said...

Thank you so much for the sharing!!!

fennie khor said...

Can I ask...wat type Of visa u apply??izzit visitor visa?n u get 10 years right?

Sue Tiong said...

Yes, I applied for the tourist/visitor visa. The cheapest and usually they grant you 10 years before the visa expires.

ABB said...

Hi Sue,
I am having my interview on Tuesday, and my purpose of travelling to USA will be visiting a friend and I am still a student. What supporting documents do you think I need to prepare?

ABB said...

Hi Sue, Im having my interview on this Tuesday and my travelling purpose is to visit my friend who is living in US. I am still a student, what supporting documents do you think I need to prepare?

Sue Tiong said...

Hi ABB,

Things like your savings account (active one with money deposit and withdraw regularly), proof that you are still a full time student (letter of offer or any documents from your institution like your most recent transcript to prove your status), any docs to prove your friend's status in the US and that our friend is an actual person and not fictional, return flight ticket (very important) and anything you can think of that is related!

Good luck in your interview!

The Boonster said...

Hi Sue..

Does one need to get a return ticket before or after the visa is done, I'm visiting a friend in Utah this September and am planning the trip and visa now. I read that return tickets should only be purchased after the visa is approved to avoid cancellation charges on tickets etc..

Sue Tiong said...

Hi The Boonster, it is a Catch-22. Either way, make sure your other supporting documents are in order so there will be no reason for them to reject your visa. Don't be hesitant when answering questions in the interview.

Good luck!

The Boonster said...

Thanks Sue...

Getting my bank account, loans and investment statements printed out along with a letter from my employer among others...

The Boonster said...

Thanks Sue...

Getting my bank account, loans and investment statements printed out along with a letter from my employer among others...

cuяiε said...

Hi Sue, how long we can scheduled the interview after paying the VISA fees? I paid the fees at chartered bank yesterday, but until now i still can't scheduled it as it said my receipt number is invalid.

cuяiε said...

Hi Sue, how long does we need to wait to schedule for the interview after paying the VISA fees at chartered bank? I paid yesterday but until now I still can't do it as it said my receipt number is invalid.

Sue Tiong said...

Try again after noon? They may need some time to update the system I guess. If you still cannot get in with the receipt number, call Standard Chartered or the embassy, whichever one you can get hold of.

I procrastinated before scheduling an appointment so I gave them ample time to update my receipt number on the system!

Nonenibs Agreamsterr said...

Hi Sue, I'm only 16, so what documents do i need to bring 4 the interview??

Nonenibs Agreamsterr said...

Hi, Sue, I'm only 16, what documents do i need to bring for a interview for a teen below 18?? and what questions will they ask.. thnx~~

Sue Tiong said...

What is the reason for your visit? Anyone else following you for the trip?

Chew Yen said...

Hi Sue,
I'm a student in university in my second year will graduate next year. I want to apply for the tourist visa for two weeks and join a conference in US. Of course i can proof i'm academically active in malaysia and ask for an invitation letter from the conference in US to prove my purpose of visit and also will return to malaysia.

My question is, since i'm a student and financially dependent, is it sufficient just to show my bank account statement? should i show my sister or brother's salary statement also (parents are retired)?

I have a US citizenship bf and he will going to wire me money to my bank account so i have some money standby in my bank statement to show the interviewer. But i'm deciding not to mention anything about my US boyfriend or visiting him. Just as a solo tourist visiting and attending conference.

Do you think the interviewer will ask me where i get the money? Will they even trace it? Thanks :)

Chew Yen said...

Hi Sue,
I'm a student in university in my second year will graduate next year. I want to apply for the tourist visa for two weeks and join a conference in US. Of course i can proof i'm academically active in malaysia and ask for an invitation letter from the conference in US to prove my purpose of visit and also will return to malaysia.

My question is, since i'm a student and financially dependent, is it sufficient just to show my bank account statement? should i show my sister or brother's salary statement also (parents are retired)?

I have a US citizenship bf and he will going to wire me money to my bank account so i have some money standby in my bank statement to show the interviewer. But i'm deciding not to mention anything about my US boyfriend or visiting him. Just as a solo tourist visiting and attending conference.

Do you think the interviewer will ask me where i get the money? Will they even trace it? Thanks :)

Sue Tiong said...

Hi Chew Yen,

Your primary reason to visit US on a conference is very solid so I doubt if they will give you a hard time for you to show all the other documents or even trace the source of your finances. Usually you just show them and they don't keep a copy of your supporting docs.

Unless you appear hesitant during the interview and they may be suspicious. Otherwise you should be okay! Good luck!

BrilliantWriter said...

Oh my God. Thank you so much!! I went for the interview this morning, I came at 7 am and finished by 8.30 am. And he said my visa will be approved! :) It was very fast :)

Sue Tiong said...

Congrats! Enjoy your trip(s) to US!!!

The Boonster said...

Forgot to write back to say our visas were approved without a hitch.. Got there at 7am and got out just before 10am. Was 6th in queue.. Can't wait for September now... :)

ashana said...

hi sue,

I going to new york for 1 week training, this is my new job.
expenses all taken care by company
do i still need to show my bank statement?

kokila

ashana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sue Tiong said...

Good to know! Enjoy September!!!

Sue Tiong said...

Hi Kokila/ashana,

Since you have a strong reason for going to the US, I don't think a bank statement is needed since you will have the supporting documents from your company. I didn't even have to show any supporting doc during my interview but my friend who was applying for a visa to attend an event in the US was given a hard time and he needed to show everything and finally his visa was rejected. No idea why and how. My advice is bring it along just in case and no need to show if the situation doesn't warrant it.

Sue Tiong said...

Double posted.

Monica said...

Hi, do u know how many months ahead i have to apply the visa before my trip. I saw on the website stated at least 3 months. Do u think if i apply for the visa 6 to 9 months before my trip will be too early?

Sue Tiong said...

At least 3 months before but some people risk it and apply a few weeks before their trip especially when it's work related. Six months before is good!

Zi-Feng Hun said...

I m confused. Do I make payment at standard chartered bank first or complete the online DS160 form first?

Zi-Feng Hun said...

I am confused. Do I make the payment at SC bank first or complete on line DS 160 first? Thks

Sue Tiong said...

Doesn't matter which one first as long as both are done before you schedule your interview!You need the receipt number to schedule your interview.

Zi-Feng Hun said...

Thks for your prompt reply, really appreciate it. So did you mean the bank receipt no. is not required when filling up DS-160 right? They are two separate thing right?

Sue Tiong said...

I don't think there is a column for the receipt number on the form, right, correct me if I am wrong. Have you started filling it up? Remember to save it/copy down the number so you can continue filling it up at your convenience.

Zi-Feng Hun said...

No I haven't start, that's why I wanna make sure I got the right procedure, i m afraid if something goes wrong and got rejected, I will cry for my air ticket... :) I think I will go make payment first. Thks for your advice!

Zi-Feng Hun said...

Hi Sue, I have made my payment and the on-line DS-160 form submission, but yet to arrange the interview appointment. Just this morning when I review my form, I realize I have made a MISTAKE!!!! My place of birth in passport is SELANGOR but I have written it as KUALA LUMPUR instead, is this a serious mistake? Can any one tell me will I be rejected because of this wrong info? Can anyone here share your experience pls........ Help!

Sue Tiong said...

Hi Zi-Feng Hun, I am not sure if that will affect your visa acceptance or rejection. Since you have already paid, why not just go ahead and schedule an interview? Maybe that may be overlooked.

Gααяα o(︶︿︶)o said...

Hi Sue,

I am a Malaysian who now works in the Philippines with work visa, only started this job and moved here in the PH since April and am planning to apply US Tourist visa by end of the year in December when I go back to Malaysia for 2 weeks holidays off from my work. My vacation trip to US planned would be in May 2014 if visa approved.

My question is - I have already submitted the DS160 form and also paid the Visa fee, was trying to schedule the visa interview appointment however I realize there isn't any slots avai in OCT - DEC calendar. Do they open up the batch by batch interview slots availability a month before? Because it is all greyed out and non-selectable except month of Sep.

I guess I will have to have my employment certificate/letter to prove that I am working abroad.
Would it be better if I can obtain an invitation letter from a friend in the US as a supporting documents? The trip is to visit him and he'd show me around the city in SFO and several other places such as Newyork/Vegas and Chicago (would be another US friend).

I know I'd for sure have to prepare my bank statement, payslip and employment letter to prove that I am working in the Philippines.

Gααяα o(︶︿︶)o said...

Hi Sue,

I am a Malaysian who has worked in KL for 2 years after graduate from College and recently moved to the Philippines with a new job offer with Working Visa sponsored by the employer. Been here since April. I plan to travel and visit to different states in the US every year when I take holidays from this workplace since I am earning quite some money where I can afford to travel.

My first trip planned would be in May 2014 to SFO,NewYork/Vegas and Chicago (Where I will be visiting 1 friend in SFO and 1 in Chicago)

I plan to go back to Malaysia for holidays this coming Dec 2013 for 2 weeks and thus will be scheduling my interview appointment for Dec.

I have done submitting the DS160 form as well as visa fee payment and got the ref number however I am having trouble trying to schedule for Dec slots interview not as I can see all OCT,Nov,Dec slots are greyed out only September are available. My question is does this interview slot availability only open up a month in advance to be blocked?

By the way, I think these are the few supporting docs that would help for my interview - what do you think?
1) Bank Statement (proving my income)
2) Invitation letter (from US friend)
3) Have Family in Malaysia (Well my Identity Card address is my family's house) and I do own a Car here in MY
4) Employment letter from the employer in Philippines

Hope to hear from you.
Poh Kean

Sue Tiong said...

Hi Poh Kean,

Hmmm you seem to have everything thought out. Go ahead and wait for the slots to open closer to your arrival dates in Malaysia. What I can say is that people who are hesitant to answer during the interview usually gets rejected from the feedback I got from others so do be confident and everything should be alright.

Of cupcakes, owl & everything nice said...

Hi Sue,
Thanks for sharing this entry with us Msians. Indeed helpful.

I have a question, let's say we plan to go to the US in May (participate in a tour), is it safe to purchase the tour package prior visa application? I mean what are the chances that our Visa will get rejected? Or should we apply for a Visa first then book our tour package?

Tq so much!

Sue Tiong said...

Hi of cupcakes,

Like my reply to Boonster above, it is a Catch-22. It is really your own decision and no one can really predict the chances as there are so many factors in play. Just do your best, appear confident and have fun!

Giant Jayne said...

Hi Sue,

I had just finished SPM and i plan to accompany my grandmother to US to visit my aunt there. My aunt is a U.S citizen and she owns a restaurant. So is there any prove that she can provide so that it will be easier for me to apply VISA?
Thanks :)

Giant Jayne said...

Hi Sue,

I had just finished SPM and i plan to accompany my grandmother to US to visit my aunt there. My aunt is a U.S citizen and she owns a restaurant. So is there any prove that she can provide so that it will be easier for me to apply VISA?
Thanks :)

IDORA MF ISKANDAR said...

Hi Sue,

Did you see any other families who bring their kids to the interview? Because I read in US Embassy website, child under 14 do not need to come. The parents can be the representative.

md razz said...

visa rejected :(

The Owner said...

May i know why?

Sonny Wong said...

Hi Sue, thank you for your experience.Really helpful. my experience:
Take the earliest slot.
Take a taxi.
Line up at 7am, so to get the first number.
There is a water fountain inside so no need to bring so many things.
Handphone, automatic devices kept at the guardhouse.
:)

Sue Tiong said...

Thanks for sharing, Sonny!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your helpful experience . Gives me an inside look of the embassy. Please tell me where to park my car? I have an interview there at 9.20 am next Monday. Can my husband stop in front of the embassy to drop me off? Is he allowed to accompany me inside? Thank u again for all your advice,

Angela Law said...

I am a student and I wish to travel alone to the US . I applied as a tourist B-2 VISA and got rejected. I will go back for the interview again next month. By the way my parents will be paying for my trip. Can you please give me some advise so that I can have more preparation next time ? Thanks !

Angela Law said...

I am a student and I wish to travel alone to the US . I applied as a tourist B-2 VISA and got rejected. I will go back for the interview again next month. By the way my parents will be paying for my trip. Can you please give me some advise so that I can have more preparation next time ? Thanks !

Krish K said...

Now in 2015 the fee is increased to 688 MYR

sierra nadia said...

Hi , sue . I'm sierra from malaysia and twill be my 1st time to the states if my visa is approved . I'm currently traveling by land , sea and air , all over , as far as I can go . And so , I haven't a job .. What are the chances (you honestly think) of me getting my visa approved ? I really don't wish to waste my money (rm 704/2016) .. Tell me what you think .. I appreciate all feedbacks , truly