Continuation from my previous post #Shiplife Series: Getting a US C1/D Visa in Malaysia – Part 1
On the day of my appointment with the US embassy in Malaysia, I made sure I brought all the required documents with me. It’s pretty straightforward really and if you check your confirmation letter, it has all the information you need. I brought my confirmation of appointment, my DS-160 application confirmation, my employment letter, proof of Visa payment as well as a photograph. There might be some other documents required for different visas so do check. Got there 15 minutes before my scheduled appointment which was what’s required. They won’t let you in even though you’re uber early so there’s really no point unless you’re okay with waiting outside by the gates. Do not drive if you can help it as there’s no parking spot at the embassy. I took the train to the nearest station which is Ampang Park LRT and took an uber. No fuss, no worries, no sweat.
There wasn’t really a line when I was there so I just queued for a bit and waited for the guard to call us out. He’ll ask you for your appointment time and to get your passport and identity card ready for verification. The group with the same appointment time will then proceed to the guard house where they will hold your identity card and stick your passport with a label containing your name, details and appointment time. You will then be ushered into another room where you’ll have to go through a security scan, very much like at the airport. You’ll then be shown to another security point where you hand over your belongings (car keys, phone etc.). Do be reminded that there are no lockers so do not bring any large bags or any electronic devices other than your car key fob and cell phone. They allow small clutches or bags so try not to bring too much as you really just want to get it over and done with as smooth as you can.
Once you hand over your electronics for safekeeping the next step is to enter the embassy, woot! You will have to go through a scanner again and have your bag searched. There will be someone who will pass you a number and you queue for document submission. The first part will involve you showing them your passport and then scanning your fingerprints. The people at the counter didn’t ask for any documents so all I did was to scan all 10 of my fingers and yep, basically that’s the first part. There are some people who took longer so do make sure you bring everything you need just in case. Oh yes, important point. If you’re not family and not married but you’re applying for a visa with your partner, please make sure you go as individuals. That means two separate numbers and one person at a time, even if you both did apply together. This was made very clear to a couple that was there but they either did not understand or took it too lightly but they received a huge telling off, I kid you not. Do not try your luck if you want to make sure your application is a success, haha.
So once I finished I went to wait my turn to be interviewed. You’ll be asked to go to the waiting room and the security personnel will coordinate the numbers. He’ll basically call out for your number so make sure you’re ready. You’ll go back to the counters but queue for the interview. Nerve-wrecking, there were some people who wasn’t very honest during their interview and got questioned for being wishy-washy. Important part is to be honest with your intentions to visit the US and to know where you’re going, who you’re staying with, etc. The people at the embassy have seen and met many people and I’m pretty sure they can smell something if it’s not right.
I was interviewed by a stern-looking woman who asked me what my intentions to visit USA are, what I’m working as, the basics. She was pretty surprised when I told her I’ll be joining a ship and asked for my employment letter. I was then asked about my contract and what happens after the contract ends. Last question was whether I have any relatives living in the US which I answered according to what was declared during my application. I’m pretty sure she has everything on her computer but was trying to test my consistency. She then said, “Your visa is approved”. I scurried away and about 2 days later, my passport was couriered to me with my C1/D visa. You can opt to do self-collection at Menara MCA too if you wish but since I wasn’t rushing for time I chose for it to be couriered to me.
Well that’s it! Pretty scary process but as long as you’re genuine in your application and follow all instructions it should go pretty smoothly. I hope it’ll help some of you should you wish to apply for a US Visa in Malaysia. ‘Til then, shiplife countdown continues!