Letterman Style Top 10 Ways Attending US Immigration Interview Is Like Being On A Game Show

Posted on February 25, 2009 by pacificyorkshirebird

avt_kapyork_large114Hi Ladies – here is a list of things I learned with Mr. Charismatic at our immigration visa interview at the US Embassy in London on Monday.  Meant to be read by David Letterman for his next top 10 list.

1o. You have to arrive early to wait in line even though you have a ticket/invitation letter.

9. There is a warm-up guy to get the audience laughing and relaxed before the main event.  In my case the security guard made me declare my allegience to one of two state university rivals before he would let me go through security.

8. They tell you it is your turn by announcing your number via loudspeaker – after announcing thousands of others before you.  By this point you are so excited that you flail and whoop as if they have just told you to “COME ON DOWN!”

7. Your interviewer bears an uncanny resemblance to Ann Robinson from weakest link – in looks and personallity.  Charming.

6. When it is finally your turn you freeze with fear even though you know your expert topic so thoroughly.

5. Round 1 is the idiot’s round where they give you easy questions to make you really confident before they eliminate you with the first question in Round 2 and inform you that the Lifelines explained on your form (sush as Phone for Help) don’t actually exisit.

4. You start answering questions Jeopardy style: “Who is “Alien Nonimmigrant Resident Joint Sponsor Income Representative? Alex”

3. The suprise bonus round consists of the Super Secret Wheel of Visa decisions that the consular spins in her back office after hurling Ann Robinson inspired insults about your form filling out skills.

2. Losers get a special consolation prize of free tissues for the miserable coach ride home.

1. You finish your game with an inevitable round of “what would have happened if you had made different choices” ala Deal or No Deal.  Both painful and pointless but an absolute requirement after you get your decision.

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  1. Pingback: A fond farewell to our lovely Pacificyorkshirebird… | She's Not From Yorkshire

  2. pacificyorkshirebird May 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Mary! Wow, we have such a lot in common. I’m really sorry for not being in touch sooner. You don’t seem like a stalker at all. I always love comments especially when it is someone experiencing a lot of the same things as me. I’ll answer your questions in the order you asked them.

    1) There are several scenarios in which you can bring your hubby back with you. Mr. Charismatic and I weighed all the options and cost by doing a lot of research on the web first, then choosing the best option for us given our situation for what were willing and not willing to tolerate (more separation for example was not in the cards for us if we could possibly avoid it!) Try these two websites: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

    http://www.usembassy.org.uk/

    a bit of related advice: submit any tax returns for the last three years if you haven’t. Part of our application was delayed because I was waiting for an accountant to do my taxes even though I knew I didn’t owe any tax.

    Our application took about 8 months from start to finish and a few thousand dollars, processed through the London Embassy.

    2) We three bloggers have an anonymity policy and have not met with any of our readers. Although I’ve always hoped to bump into readers cause so many of you seem like lovely people to know! I think there is an American meet-up group in Leeds. http://american.meetup.com/223/

    3) How nice that we share a love of Portland. It is one great place, and there are so many areas to visit all over the PacificNW. I’ll miss the UK, but am lucky to be going back to another place that I love.

    Keep me posted on how you get on – and I’ll be checking your blog for recipes. You have posted some really inspiring baked goods!

  3. Mary May 1, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Hi There,
    Not to be a stalker or anything.. but I’ve got alot of similar thingsin my life as you.. Maybe you can give me advice?

    1) Bringing the Brit home- I’m also engaged and want to bring my brit hubby home. We’re not getting married until Oct. Can we apply for a visa for him before then? Does he then need a seperate green card to work?- can that be applied for at the same time?

    2)would love to meet up and make ‘cultural’ jokes are you anywhere near leeds/Saltaire? If you think I’m a bit too forward for the web (3 years and no grounbreaking friendships will do that ;() do you know of any ‘american’ groups?

    3) I love and miss Portland while I didn’t grow up there it is home and where I’m trying to get back to.

    Have a good May Day!

  4. yankeebean March 11, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Wa-HEY!!!! That’s fantastic news!! I’m SO happy (and jealous) for you guys :)

  5. pacificyorkshirebird March 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Good news! Mr. Charismatic’s visa came back today approved!!

  6. yankeebean February 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    It sounds so stressful, Pacificyorkshirebird!! When do you find out, or do you already know? I’m thinking ’bout you!

  7. pacificyorkshirebird February 26, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Yeah, visas are stressful. No matter which direction you are going or where you currently live…

    Us three gals have pretty much had them all!

    Hi Christiana,

    My visa is slightly different, but similar. Are you going down to the embassy for an interview? I think everyone has completely different experiences so hopefully if you go, yours will be better. Stay positive!

    My silver lining is that working on our visa has helped me keep my wedding small and simple which is what I said I always wanted.

    Just do what feels right and the rest will fall into place in time. :)

  8. peacefulyorkshire February 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Your post was so funny!
    I think after seeing all that you have gone through with your marriage visa and trying to get Mr. Charasmatic into the USA it has definitely made me more wary of trying to do the same thing myself for Mr. CHill and I !!! See what happens when you fall in love with a Brit?

    Visas are stressful. period!

  9. Christiana February 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Oh god, now I’m really terrified. Was this for a fiance visa interview?

  10. pacificyorkshirebird February 25, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Almost arrested? That is completely nuts. It is so easy to forget something that could cause the security folks to panic. Glad you got in!

    I searched my bag three times for my electric key fob AFTER having left all of our electronics in the pharmacy down the road – I couldn’t remember if I had actually even brought it to London with me. I hadn’t.

    I also found it really weird that they didn’t mind liquids in the scanners like they do at airports.

    I will look out for your son on the ballot in about 45 years. :)

  11. j February 25, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I had to go through that circus last year after my son was born and we needed to get his American birth certificate and passport. We were informed by the jokers that he could play for either England or the USA (which sport – I don’t know) and that he could run for President! Talk about great expectations!
    Although our embassy visit almost ended before it began, since my sweet-but-dozy husband almost got arrested at the security checkpoint. He had a forgotten-about knife in his backpack which he was attempting to take into the embassy!

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