Visa approved! Yesterday I had my visa appointment at the American embassy in London. So now I’m officially able to work in America!
It was a great day because I met up with the people I’m going to be staying with in Disney before we check into our housing!
So before the appointment you need to have filled out the visa application form and have booked a time to go to the embassy. You can read all about the visa application stage on my previous post.
Leading up to the appointment you’ll want to get all the documents ready (and there’s a lot). I’ve made this little list of all the things you need to bring:
So as you can see it’s a little complicated because it’s hard to know what bit of paper is what document as they all have code names. But essentially it’s just 5 bits of paper, your passport, a photo and proof of home ties.
Tip: You can take off the green bit of paper talking about being terminated from the program that’s attached to your DS-2019 certificate.
Tip: On your DS-160 confirmation page (the one with your photo and one barcode) you don’t need to bring the instructions page that prints off with it. This is not to be confused with the visa appointment confirmation and instructions page (the one with 2 barcodes) which you will need the bit that’s classed as “instructions.”
Getting to the Embassy
So I stayed at my grandparents house the night before as they live a bit closer to London and the train ticket was a lot cheaper. After getting up very early I caught the train and arrived at Waterloo station.
If you’re going into Waterloo, to get to the embassy you just take the Jubilee line on the underground to Green Park (2nd stop). Although the embassy is changing location in a few months time but I don’t know where to. Once I got to Green Park I just followed a little map that I’d printed out the night before and it was about a 5 minute walk.
The embassy is in Grosvenor Square and once you’re there, you can’t really miss it as it’s a really big building with American flags outside. This is where I met up with the girls I’m saying with and then we joined the queue that was outside the building.
Tip: Before you join the queue you need to check in at the blue tent. We only realised this once we’d already got half way through the queue.
Eventually we got to the security point where they check your passport etc. It’s basically like airport security but you need to put phones, watches and belts in a clear plastic bag which they were handing out in the queue.
You then go to the reception desk where they put a sticker with a number on your documents and then you sit in a waiting room. The waiting area is a little bit like an airport or train station on a much smaller scale. There’s big TV screens at the front flashing up the sticker numbers telling that person where to go.
Once your number flashes up on the screen, you wait by the right window to be called up. Basically it’s just a row of windows with little separators in between, so you’re not in a separate room to everyone else having their interviews.
You just hand over the various documents including the photo. I’d had a proper visa photo taken the week before as it says it needs to have been taken in the last 6 months and it’s more square than our normal UK passport photos.
I had to scan all my fingerprints and then at this stage all I was asked was whether I’d had an American visa before. You then get told to join another queue for your actual “interview.”
Once you’re at the front of the next queue, you get told which window to go to. It’s the same set up as before with the various windows in a row. The man I had was very nice and he just asked me a couple of questions while he processed my documents. All he asked me was what job I was going to be doing and what it would entail, whether I was a student and what I was studying and where. So all that probably only took about 30 seconds to a minute and then he said that I’d been approved!
So that’s the end of the appointment and we were told that we’d get our passports back in about 7 working days. The whole thing only really took just over an hour, including the queue outside, so not long at all really.
The Rest of the Day
So after we’d all been approved we decided to go to the Disney store on Oxford Street! I collected my pre-ordered copy of Moana on Blu-Ray and bought some Winnie the Pooh socks.
We then caught the tube to Buckingham Palace and there were loads of crowds, it seemed much busier than normal and the police had shut off the road and put barriers out etc. The gates for Buckingham Palace were open so we thought something must be going on. We’d found out that the new Mary Poppins film were filming outside Buckingham Palace the day before so we got a bit excited that we might see that.
Turned out it was just a special version of the Changing of the Guard which was still cool to see. There were horses parading around and a marching band playing songs from Grease!
We then walked to Five Guys to have lunch and then stayed sat in there talking about Disney for the rest of our time in London! I then got the train back and when I got to my grandparents house I found that one of my Aunties had made me a really nice Minnie Mouse inspired bag!
So it was a great day and I’m so glad to have finally met the girls I’m staying with! They were really lovely and I can’t wait to see them again, this time at the airport!
Only 2 months to go!