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The First 10 Seconds of Your U.S. Visa Interview – Narrated by a Consular Officer

Written by Jon Matzner – Former U.S. Diplomat and Consular Officer.

During my years as a US visa and consular officer – I used to be requested a number of questions time and again:

“Why are you typing so much”?

“Wow – how was that so fast and easy”?

“Can you please please please give me a visa”?

“What are you thinking about in the first ten seconds of the interview”?

In this temporary submit, I’ll define my resolution to the closing query – basically – what are you eager about a consular officer is considering within the first ten seconds of the interview.

First, a fast disclaimer, I will simplest talk to my private enjoy – this may now not follow to each consular officer available in the market.

Let me set the scene that can assist you perceive the ones first ten seconds.

I arrived on the Consulate/Embassy at 7:30am. I used to be on holiday closing week, so I’ve a ton of forms to do. I briefly grasp a cup of stale espresso, stroll over to an unoccupied consular window, and open up my electronic mail. Jeez – dozens of emails have piled up in a single day, folks again in the United States should were very busy in a single day.

The ready room is already filling up with candidates, and proper on time, I hit the decision button for the primary applicant of the day to means the window.

My thoughts remains to be on my holiday closing week, as the primary applicant slides their passport and price ticket beneath the window. I stay processing candidates like this all morning – and not using a actual breaks instead of to briefly use the restroom.

Occasionally, and if there’s some sophisticated query I wish to search the recommendation of a colleague from, I’ll depart my window and check out to find the solution.

So, this units the scene for my resolution to the primary ten seconds query.

Let’s fake your appointment is at 10:30am on a Tuesday.

If that is like another day – I may have already observed a number of dozen as much as a hundred candidates sooner than you. You’ve been patiently ready within the foyer are – shopping on the monitors to get in a position to your interview.

Some folks instructed me that had positive home windows that they sought after to visit, as opposed to others that they didn’t need to cross to in any respect. While this may well be a a laugh recreation to relieve your boredom – I will attest that it makes no distinction in anyway.

Ok – your quantity is known as, and also you start strolling as much as the appointed window. Between candidates, I’ve reopened and briefly scanned my electronic mail to look if there’s the rest pressing. As you means the window, I’m most likely studying my electronic mail and haven’t checked out you but. When you arrive at my window, I now take the primary have a look at you (the applicant), whilst asking to your passport and price ticket.

Many folks suppose that is a vital level within the interview – however my enjoy doesn’t recommend that.

I don’t actually consider what you might be dressed in, the way in which you might be status, what time your appointment was once, or the rest instead of that.

Because I’ve achieved such a lot of of those, sooner than I’ve even scanned your utility – I start to assess who you might be and why you need to visit the United States.

For instance, if I noticed a young-looking lady means the window, with a darkish coloured passport, I’d robotically know that this was once most likely a pupil utility on an Indian visa.

Conversely, if an older guy got here to the window, the use of a cane, I may most likely think sooner than even studying the applying that he was once going to the United States for scientific remedy.After scanning on your passport, I start shopping on the bureaucracy you could have submitted. This isn’t some sophisticated procedure. It’s simply merely checking that you simply finished all of the forms required.

That just about sums up the primary 10 seconds of the interview. We haven’t began talking in any respect instead of “Good morning, passport please”.

Stay tuned for phase 2 of this collection.

Jon Matzner is former U.S. Diplomat and Consular Officer who served in U.S. Consulate in Dubai and processed over 10,000 U.S. Visa packages. He’s recently spouse at EllisIslandCapital.com, a company that specialize in EB5 Visa packages. 

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