At least I grew some beards!

photo 1

US visa applicants in SP, standing  in a long line to get photographed and fingerprinted.

The story is super short. I did a US visa interview for the 5th time and it got approved. Following is the longer version of the same story. Monday I went to the US consulate to do the interview and get my visa. Well… Let me start again: Monday, I had to go to the US consulate such that they can interview me and in the case of approval they can give me a sticker to put on my passport to be able to see my wife.

This was the 5th time in the past 5 years that I apply for US visa. You may ask what exactly they want to know about you that they couldn’t know in the last 4 times? You might be also wondering what you do every time that you apply? I have no answer to the first question but regarding the second one, it’s kind of a routine. Let me describe it to you… Every time, you go online first, take an appointment, and pay a $160 fee. Then you have to sit down and sadly review all your life step by step by filling a very long form. You may laugh, cry, or shake your head many times during this step, reviewing your life. That’s normal. You also get to know yourself better through filling this DS160 form by answering many questions about what you have done so far, what are you doing and what you intend to do in the future. After doing that you are almost ready to go and stand in several long lines and passing a few security gates to get in to the consulate and talk to a person who smiles a lot but actually asks you exactly the same questions that you’ve already answered.

The fact that because of your nationality you have to go through the whole process every time that you want to travel to the States is kinda disappointing, right? Also at the first glance, it may seem very crazy and very boring at the same time. But, it could be fun too if you think about it. Well, if you are an Iranian passport holder and your wife is living in US you have to think about it and at some point you come up with some cool ideas. So, I decided to be a bit creative this time. I made the worst face that I could make! I grew beard, I dressed like a gypsy, I brought as less documents as I could, I even made a not-happy face, and made my mind to ask for a longer live type of visa rather than a 3month single entry visa. I did all of that just to see what possibly can be argued against my visa application if I look like shit! 😀 Actually it worked out! And it turned out to be an exciting experience.

photo 5

The worst version of me, a few hours before my 5th US visa interview at Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Well… The interview was ok at the first part. He started to make the usual smiles and asking the normal, boring, personal questions. I replied all of his questions and concerns based on the best of my knowledge about myself which was a hard job to do not because I wanted to lie or something but simply because I know myself a little. Anyways… I clearly made my request for a longer visa. He smiled again, said sorry over and over to hear that I’m away from my wife and family and bla bla bla… and told me he will certainly take a closer look at my case looking for possible ways to give me a longer visa. He did this actually for a minute or so and came up with another sorry after all which was ok. Not a big deal… I barely expect this to get anywhere, anyhow.

Everything was looking ok up to that point. Then after 10 minutes or so which is a normal time length for a regular US visa interview (remember I’m an expert on this issue now after 5 application during 5 years. So I can talk about normals and abnormals!) he stopped looking at the computer screen at front of his face, turned his face to me and said: “ok we have two options!” This was a familiar phrase to me and rang the bell in my head four times: Clearance! Washington! Background check! Shit! I was right, he wanted to send my case for background check to Washington. And trust, if it would go through this process it will take a L-O-N-G time!

Long story, short! At the end, it turned out that the Sir had confused himself by the concept of Astrophysics and Aerospace! I figure this out when I asked why should my case goes through this process while a few months ago my application in the same consulate have been approved without any extra action? What has been changed since then?! And he made a sad face and replied: “Honestly with an Iranian passport and your higher education and the field of your research, Aerospace, …”. I cut his words right there and said “No! Not Aerospace!” I stared on his eyes like super disappointing and continued “Astrophysics! it’s about stars!”, and pointed up to the sky. That was the worst presentation of my research that I’ve ever gave to anybody, by the way.

Anyways… He got back to his office  and came back after another ~10 minutes while he had a smile on his face saying “I’m happy now!”. And I was murmuring to myself in my head like: “ok, I din’t get any better since last time BUT not worse! Well… At least I grew some beards…”. I said goodbye to the officer followed by “see you in a few month!”. And walked away. The saloon was empty and I was literally the last costumer of the day… I had a mixed feelings on my way back. More or less like a 31 years old man with beards who has been slapped on his face…

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One Response to At least I grew some beards!

  1. I should remember this and consult with you if I ever needed to do this again! 😀

    Like

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