“When one door closes another door opens”
Today, I will share my whole day of my experience during my 23rd birthday. Friday the 13th is known as bad luck, some say it’s lucky some say it isn’t. I scheduled my interview online via USTravelDocs at the exact day of my birthday. I told myself, “If I pass, then I break the chain of bad luck”.
I know we hold our own futures, and I don’t believe in Friday the 13th, I also think if I put the date of my birthday then I will know if I should celebrate or not. I told my family whether I pass or not, we are going to have a small feast.
I’ve been stressed all night long, and afraid that I cannot talk during the interview. I’m afraid I can’t understand the accent of the consular that will interview me. I slept for only 3.5 hours. I’ve been trying to sleep since 22:00 on May 12th but my eyes won’t let me… My brother told me to relax, and get some rest. Finally, around 00:30 May 13th, I fell asleep. Then, around 4:30 in the morning I woke up, get some coffee and eat some bread, my body is not feeling well yet to eat too much. Then, I started to prepare and check my belongings. Around 5:00am my brother and I left for the U.S. Embassy, I’m thankful he woke up at the right time. While he is driving I took a couple of photos, I’m sitting in the front seat of the car.
Then, I just noticed that I forgot something, my 2×2 pictures. I accidentally left them in my brown envelope, because I transferred everything into a transparent envelope. Good thing that there’s an open rush ID in Recto, in front of Isetan Mall. It cost me 70 php for 4 pcs. of 2×2 pictures. The bad thing is, he only used a DigiCam and I sat on a blue chair with a dirty white background. It’s their wall and it doesn’t look good. I had a feeling the picture will be bad, and when I saw it, it’s really pixilated and obviously edited. I showed my brother and he said at least I have a picture now and he laughed. Then, after that, we left for the U.S. Embassy Manila, which is located at 1201 Roxas Blvd. Manila.
Finally we are there, and I took a shot outside the U.S. Embassy, Manila. I can’t bring any electronics inside, so I left them in my brother’s car. He stopped for a bit in front of the U.S. Embassy and I took a shot, then a security guard came over and said, “Bawal po litrato sir, bawal huminto dito” means, “taking pictures is not allowed Sir and it’s prohibited to stop your car here”. My brother just left and I don’t have my purse, I only have 100php LOL. Good thing, my ATM is with me! Then, I just realized that I entered to the wrong place, so I walked for a bit to go to the exact location for the Consular Section.
Ok. This is it! First, there’s a guard in front of the line. You will be asked if your concern is for Non-Immigrant or Immigrant. And then, the next line is divided between Immigrants, Non-Immigrant, I forgot the line; I think it is for Fiancé Visa. So then, you need the following to be prepared, DS-160 Confirmation Page, Appointment Letter, Passport, and Letter of Guarantee for (Seafarer).
The following images are the example of documents needed for Non-Immigrant.
You will be asked what time your appointment is in your letter, and then everyone is given their own unique ID. The Filipina girl gets my passport and puts a sticker of barcode with my unique ID, name, and time of schedule. Then she attaches a number to my DS-160 Form.
After that, you will enter inside the building; they will ask you if you have any electronic devices, etc., I step through a body X-Ray machine, and I put my envelope on a X-ray Scanner with a Conveyor belt. It looks like this:
Then, I went inside and there’s a huge amount of chairs in the waiting area. There’s a number counter showing the number on the screen + the window number. There’s also food for when you get hungry, hotdogs, water snacks and Kodaks (T_T) if I only knew, I shouldn’t have gone to the hassle to find an open rush ID.
There’s an assistant for applicants, and once your number is pretty near, she will call the number one by one and will assist everyone to go inside the embassy.
When I’m inside, I was amazed, it’s very huge, and I feel like I’ve been there before. It looks like Qatar Airport. Then, the assistant lead us to the window to check your DS-160 Application. I gave my DS-160 to a Filipina girl in a window and I told her I had some mistake and cannot change it again because I have attached the DS-160 unique code to my appointment letter. She gave me a yellow paper to fix my DS-160 and told me I must come back before 9:30am.
I leave the U.S. Embassy and find an Internet Café, outside there’s a bunch of people coming towards you and tells that there is no café nearby and I can use their Office to fix my ds-160. I ask how much, they said 300php for 1 hour. I refuse because I know it’s a scam. I crossed the road and asked people, and they told me the location of the nearest Internet Café. When I was there, I rented a computer, and then started to fill-out the application form again. There are couple of questions I can’t answer because I don’t have the files with me, I left them at home. After filling it out, I asked the lady to print my 2×2 pictures, since I don’t like the other ones that I did earlier before I arrived at the U.S. Embassy.
Then, I ran to the U.S. Embassy, and I just made it, and went through the same process like the first time, and then I gave the documents to the lady. After that, one of the applicant assistants approached me and asked, “nag finger print ka na Ma’am?” (Did you already have your finger prints taken?), I answered no. Then she told me to go to window 16. I thought, another Filipino in town 🙂 but he wasn’t, he’s American. He takes my passport and DS-160. He smiled, I smiled.
Window 16: Hi
Me: Hi =)
Window 16: What is your name and your birth date?
Me: (I don’t know if complete with middle name) Melanie Paz, May 13, 1988 (I almost said today is my birthday)
Window 16: Thank you Ma’am! Ma’am place your left 4 fingers (He smiled)
Me: (I put them on the finger print pad and I smiled)
Window 16: Then next, the 4 fingers on your right hand
Me: (I did, but my fingers weren’t placed right)
Window 16: Move your fingers a little bit
Me: (Finally it works =) )
Window16: Put your 2 thumbnails
Me: (I did and I am smiling (signs of my nervousness) )
Window16: Thank you Ma’am
Me: Your welcome, Is it done?
Window16: Yes Ma’am, you can have a seat there and wait for your number to be called.
Me: Thank you! Have a nice day =) (Then I left the window)
I am sitting at an angle to the Window 10. I keep looking to Window 10 and 11, some didn’t pass, some did. I am nervous, my number was 2215… The time has come, my number showed up, it says 2215 at Window 6. I was like, “this is it!”
I am now in front of Window 6. I didn’t get nervous and I am not shaking. I can’t believe myself that I wasn’t.
Me: (I forgot the time T_T because I went outside, I greet him) Good afternoon, Good morning =) Then I smiled.
Consular: Why are you going to the USA?
Me: I’m going to meet the whole company and to be trained as a Game Master and Community Manager.
Consular: I’m sorry what?
Me: I’m going to the USA to meet the whole company and to be trained as a Game Master and Community Manager.
Consular: Do you have the invitation letter?
Me: Yes Sir, I have. (I give to him)
Consular: (He’s reading the paper and the master agreement). I’m confused, what is “He mentioned my company name”, what do they do?
Me: They are a game publisher who promote and support online games, like MMORPGs.
Consular: What is MMORPGs?
Me: Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Games
Consular: I see it’s a role playing game. Can you explain to me the nature of your work? (Doesn’t say the exact question, but it’s the same)
Me: Ok. Sir, let me give you an example. Have you ever played an MMORPG?
Me: It is like a Video Game but the difference is you can play it online with other people that’s why it’s massively multi-player. A Game Master is the person responsible to answer the player’s inquiries, conduct events and make sure that the game community is balanced and fun.
Consular: What is your current project?
Me: Realms Online
Consular: Are they going to pay you when you are in the USA?
Me: No Sir.
Consular: Who will take care of your expenses?
Me: The Company
Consular: Have you ever travel to United States before?
Me: Not yet
Consular: Have you been to other country except USA?
Me: Yes, In Dubai.
Consular: What did you do there?
Me: I visited my sister-in-law
Consular: How much is your monthly salary in your currency?
Consular: (He typed a lot in his computer)
Me: (My hand is on the table and has been waiting, I even think about what will be my reaction if I pass, and I keep smiling.)
Consular: (He returns my invitation letter and passport, then he gave me a blue colored paper) I’m sorry Ma’am but according to our Immigration Law (I’m not sure about his exact words) you are not qualified for Non Immigrant Visa. You can still re-apply again and talk to another consular.
Me: (I get the paper and don’t know what to do, for the first time, I don’t know if I will cry or not, I don’t want to cry in front of him, I stay strong) I asked, “Sir, may I ask why I didn’t pass?”
Consul: You are not qualified to have a visa right now. (I didn’t understand the next line because I’m so sad)
Me: I said, “Sir, even though I have a child?”
Consular: He (nodded)
Me: Sir, if I cannot get this job, I won’t be able to take care of my rent
Consular: I’m sorry Ma’am, just try to re-apply again.
Me: Ok Sir, Thank you, Have a nice day.
I can’t remember a detailed face, but here is how he looks like, I tried to make it exactly how he looks like but it’s a lack of options while doing it in the Face Maker Program.
Here’s the letter he gave me of why I failed the interview.
How did it go after my interview? What did I do? What comes to my mind? Kindly read part 2 of my blog: The U.S. Embassy, My Family and I – Part 2 “When one door closes another door opens”