Well here we are. After months and months of planning, fear and excitement today was the big day – the interview. After the event, I told of my experiences to britsimonsays.com. I’ll reprint them here to give an accurate picture of what happened:
Here’s my experiences from my interview at the Sydney Consulate on October 10.
We arrived about half an hour early for our appointment and entered the security area on Level 10 of the MLC Centre. After confirming that we had all the required paperwork we were ushered through the security screening.
All mobile phones were turned off, shoes and belts taken off and everything apart from the paperwork and wallet taken off us for collection when we were finished.
A long delay while a mother tried to get through the security gates with her large pram resulted us entering the second waiting room about 25 mins after arriving.
A short wait and we were escorted up to the 59th floor to do the interview. Grabbed a ticket and was immediately called to a desk, where a polite gentleman confirmed we had all the paperwork, scanned our photos and took our fingerprints. He instructed us to pay at window 8 (the cashier), which we did – quick tip – they only accept a signed credit card, cash, cheque or money order (no PIN numbers allowed).
Returned to the window and the gentleman said “everything looks in order, I’ll let you know if I need anything else. Wait over there and someone will call you when they’re ready”.
Waiting in the main waiting room was an eye-opening experience. There’s no privacy, so you can hear all the conversations. In the time we were there we heard two refusals (for lack of education and a couple trying to claim Australian citizenship as country of chargeability despite being born in India and Canada) and two cases placed on AP (lack of education proof and no address in the US). There was also one young couple who were approved.
After about 20 mins we were called to the window and went through the standard procedures before we were questioned:
CO: You were married in Vanuatu?
Me: We wanted a small wedding.
CO: Did anyone attend?
Me: Just our parents.
CO: What do you do for a living?
Me: I work as an executive manager for the State Government.
CO: (To my wife): And you?
Wife: The same.
CO: (to me) Do you have job offers in the US?
Me: Not yet, but I have reached out to a number of recruiters.
CO: That’s good to know.
(A few seconds of typing).
CO: Well everything seems to be in order here, your visa has been approved and you’ll receive your passports in the post over the next week or two. Congratulations, make sure you have all your original documents and have a nice day.
That was it. All the months of stress for no more than 30 seconds of interview. Everyone says the interview is a massive anticlimax – and they weren’t kidding! We were out the door 70 mins after arriving 30 minutes early.
Before the interview I’d had serious concerns about the quality of photo I used in the lottery application but it wasn’t even raised (please, if you are applying this year, get a professional photo taken – it’ll save you countless sleepless nights).
Thanks again for all your assistance Simon and the one recommendation I can offer is to be prepared. Having everything in order (as requested by the consulate) and using the resources here, the day went smoothly.”
So there we are – it’s done and dusted – the visa is approved and now the adventure can begin!