How to Get Student Visa
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How to Get Student Visa
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Alhamdullilah i have got my visa !
For me, it was a great experience to see so many people just dying to get visas and i saw both faces: happy ones and sad ones... well my congrats to all those who got the visa on monday and wish all of the others success otherwise. ( chill out, Allah has better plans for you).
Well i had mentally prepared for both situations and in the end it turned out awesome. well here are the details of my account:
what i took with me:
I had a folder type file with 40 transparent pages in it, you could slide papers in each page from the top opening, i advise you get this type of file, very handy and organized! the other file that commonly people use and i bought it too is the briefcase folder type file with 10-15 partitions with elastic bands at its side. i later realized with the huge amount of papers i had, it would get too cumbersome to find papers in it.
Here are the docs i took with me (in the order in which i arranged i them on each page in the file:
- Application form + Passport
- Admission letter from GSU
- Networking with GSU (all the email printouts i xchanged with GSU's admission staff/dean/housing/research assistantship queries)
- University Research (printouts of an excel sheet i made at the start of the univ hunt in oct/nov 2001 which details univs, cost, min. GRE/GMAT, fees, my comments) + US news ranking printout + other ranking printouts about GSU
- Admition letter from Uwashington + I-20
- Admition letter from Indiana Univ + I-20
- reject letters from other univs (Calstate, Boston Univ)
- Admition/Refusal letters from univesity in australia ( i applied to univ of sydney and got an admit, univ of western sydney gave me a refusal)
- Networking with other universities ( emails i xchanged with ivy league schools i wanted to go to = UCberkley, Carneggie Mellon, Cornell and others =Florida state univ, Georgia Tech, Univ of Georgia )all wanted min. 2 yrs of work exp
- Sumarry of Academics & professional career ( a page i made which detailed my academic achievements + toefl score + gmat score + listed my 1 year full time work experience + 2 semesters of experience as a part time teacher)
- Original GMAT score + photocopy
- Original TOEFL score + photocopy
- Original BCS transcripts + degree + photocopies of both
- Letter from UGC/Ministry of education stating that my univ is accredited and my degree is recognized ( i needed these for the univs because they refused my application the first time stating my degree is not recognized)
- Original Inter certificate + photocopy
- Original Matric certificate + marksheet + photocopies
- Experience Letter from my Software House ( I forgot the experience letter from the college where i teach)
- Summary of Financial Assets ( A Summary page i made which detailed the land my parents owned, its assessed value and its area and its status = plot, residence, commercial + details about the companies my dad owned = its address, nature of business and income tax assessed value for last financial year) i cooked up no. 11. & 19 because i thought they made an excellent compact way of presentation instead of littering the visa officer with individual documents.
- Affidavit of support on stamp paper
- Summary of accounts ( another page i cooked up that summarized each bank account, its amount in pak rupees and converted in USD and the total in the end...i thought this up bcuz it gave a quick way for the visa officer to see how much total amount i was showing )
- Bank Statements
- Income Tax/wealth tax returns of my father/mother
- Original registry of my parent's house in lahore
- Original registry of my parent's house in karachi.
As you might have guessed, this was more than enough to convince even a bank officer ( know what i mean ?) i was prepared to do even a 30 minutes interview!
The Interview Part
I reached american embassy at 6:05am the guard told me to go to the convention center where i had to board a bus ?! well the convention center is hardly 1 km from the embassy there are 3 counters there, they were closed at the time well when i reached there, only 5/10 people were there... ok i met a few other students there and we started chatting away.. the counter opened at 7 am at that day ( the guy forgot the counter keys home so he was late) (hot tip: be there by 6:15 max or a huge line queues up!).
The counter has amrika and china written in urdu on it ( go stand right next to the amrika window, that's where you'll get the ticket from) the ticket charge is Rs 20/- (expensive!! for a 1 km trip to embassy and back afterwards) when the counter opened up i was the 20th person in line and behind me there were about 40/50 people well the bus takes you right outside the visa section. another line is made up there. i was about the 25th or 30th person in the non-immigrant line. separate line for immigrant people.. well it took about 30-45 mins for the 30-40 people in front of me to be interviewed.
My turn for Interview
well i was nervous, anxious, confident, excited, you name it. After the security inspection i entered the hall. the immigration people were all sitting in the seats taking oath. as soon as you open the door, right in front is a door marked #1, then counters 2,3,4,5,6 then to the right are 7,8,9,10,11.
The guard told me: gyarra number (#11)
all counters were empty except 10 & 11, 10 had 1 person and 11 had 2 persons in line i went straight there, in front of me was a gentleman and in infront of him was a lady being interviewed. The interviewer was a nice chap with eyeglasses in late 20's/early 30's (looked kinda like dexter!). he was looking at the lady's documents in a relaxed mood and with great care.. at that time the counter 10 freed up and the guard told me to come to no.10
i said: yaar: 11 theek hai
guard: idhar aa jain
me: ($#$#$) ...moving to no.10
(i was reluctant because i thought the guy in no.11 looks nice, i couldnt see who was sitting in no.10, just the female pakistani translator sitting next to whoever the interviewer was in no.10 )
well when i moved to no.10 ...what'd i see: a hazel eyed blonde.early 30's..
Time = 0 secs
me: good morning ma'am
off: good moning
me: sliding the I-20, passport, application form..
off: inspecting my documents...ok now i need to see your toefl score report
me: yes ma'am..i take out the toefl score report and slide it in ( i had 270 / 300 )
me: and here's my gmat score report..i slide it in (i had 570 / 800)
Time = 15 secs
off: now i need to see your transcripts
me: yes ma'am ...i slide it in ( i had a CGPA of 3.84 and a 3rd position in my batch)
off: ok....writing something...here you go...(handing me the slip ...) have a nice trip ...
me: ( too dazed to say anything )
translator: ok rashid you've been temporarily approved .....................(more words...all messed up to me)
Time = 30 secs
( i couldnt believe it was over in 30 secs !! )
me: thankyou ma'am!
off: you're welcome
me: backing away...(just then i remembered)..excuse ma'am there just one more thing if you could help me with that..
off: what is it ?
me: ma'am ..i'd just like to speed up this process and the get the passport quickly since i want to be in atlanta soon..can you help me with that.
off: hmmm....(inspecting my I-20 )......don't worry , you'll be there in time..
me: thankyou !
i was soo dazed i didnt even know what was in my hands or not as i came out of the hall, i realized i might have left some papers back so i opened up my file and confirmed i had each original back with me... and it was over !
Well i had really been blessed since i didnt imagine an interview with zero questions !
one thing i did note was that they were very polite and careful with each applicant (unlike the rudeness and harshness stories i'd heard from friends who'd gone in june/july )
here are accounts of some other people i met there:
student with 1 year BCS from karachi...transfer to wichita university, kansas (hmmm..?!.) :
he was refused bcuz he hadnt given the toefl ???!!!
(i suspect he was not telling the truth to me just to cover up his refusal, who goes for a visa without toefl ?! )
student with BCS going for MS(CS) with admit from SUNY, Albany toefl = 220
the interviewer asked for his bank statements... Questions like why going there...what's your plans for future...why that univ...
Then the amazing thing...the interviewer turns to the female translator ( his interviewer was a frenchie bearded man ) and asks her what'd you think...should we give him the visa ? she nods and he turns to the student and says..ok you're going to the usa...?! (i mean like...W O W ! )
another student with BA going for 2nd BA with toefl = 210
Interviewer said to him your toefl is not good enough, please improve and try again (wow, polite way to refuse! ) now this student was telling me that this was his second time for applying for visa in 2 months ?! and he said that his friend applied for visa six times in 6 months, 5 times refused and visa awarded in 6th attempt !!!!! ( is this allowed ?!! )
A young guy my age for visit visa:
refused - probable immigrant
An aunty in her early 40's for visit visa, she showed her bank statements too
refused - probable immigrant
A guy in 30's for visit visa:
refused - his immigrant case was under review - they said immigration applicants are not given visit visas immigrant visas had a 100% success rate, all immigrants came out happy !, visit visas were mostly refused and with students they were very relaxed...
My guess is that they were paying a lot of note to the TOEFL score.. if you've got a good TOEFL score... relax...you'll make it !
But overall, they were very easy on the students so its good news for all of you!
Speak very fluid and confident english ( i had seen urduish english speakers so english matters !) but most of all they're excellent judges since i knew when i stepped in front of the interviewer that she was analyzing with sharp eyes my appearance and way of speaking in 1 sec ( i was wearing a full sleeved dress shirt + dress pant, decent stuff but i recommend you wear a suit, looks more formal and decent , i wished i had worn one)
I had seen men in shalwar kurtas, i had seen ladies coming in sparkling clothes, fancy clothes, bright stuff ! ( dont do that !, its an interview, dress properly)
Well this is feeble judgement of the 40 or so people i observed your comments and review might be different.
Now i just hope i get my stamped passport back by end of nov. I am planning to leave for atlanta right after eid meanwhile i'm gonna do what every man's gotto do sooner or later in life ....learn how to cook.
if any of you need help from me, dont hesitate to email or call me im in lahore: 0333 420 8 420
and best of luck to all aspirants !
May Allah be with you !
We are very thankful to Rashid who provided us his peronnel experience to post on the site for other people. We also wish him gud luck in his future.
If you want to post any of your experience plz mail us at email@example.com. thanks
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