That is what most of filipinos like me would say when someone asked us about going to the United States of America, but what is the real definition of it?
New York, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Golden Gate, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Mama, Papa, Family…..
are some of the reasons why we urge to go to the land of the free and home of the brave.
My story began when my aunt in New Jersey messaged me and asked if I want to join her in a cruise to Bahamas, it is a Royal Caribbean Cruise – Anthem of the Seas en-route to Cape Canaveral in Florida, Coco Cay (RCL’s private island) and Nassau in Bahamas that will embark and disembark in Bayonne, New Jersey. I said YES to her, besides from having another adventure, it’s been years since I’ve seen my aunt and nice if I could visit her town too.
This application is quite challenging for me because hearing stories of people whom has previous experiences in applying for a B1/B2 Tourist visa makes me mixed emotions in a confused state that now I don’t know what to think off. I grabbed my self up, clear my mind and start moving.
It was around July 2015 when I started the application, I settled my Visa fee thru BPI (Bank of the Philippine Island), filled out my DS-160 form and scheduled my interview for December 8 so that I could have plenty of time to prepare myself for the interview, I’ve read stories that they are practicing question and answer, how to properly answer the consuls and more. Days and months passed by, life struck us when my dad has to undergo an operation, the interview was positioned to my least priority and forget about it in a while.
The day of my interview was also the same day as the results from my dad’s operation will released, so come what may, what’s important is my dad’s result, whatever the results of the interview will be.
The waiting game is over, My brother accompany me to the embassy. He has to wait for me outside while I am lining up for my time until I finally got inside. I’ve seen different people, different emotions, some are praying, some are talking to the people besides them to ease the nervousness. I also find myself talking to some of them, they shared their stories too. When my number flashes the screen, there’s no turning back. I’ve been led by the ushers in a female immigration consul.
Here are the questions she asked me:
- What is the purpose of your trip?
- What kind of Cruise is that?
- Who are you going to visit?
- Where is she from?
- What is her status?
- What does she do for a living?
- Where are your parents?
- Where are your siblings?
- Do you have other relatives in the US?
- Where are they from?
- Are you single?
- Do you have kids?
- What do you do for a living?
- How much do you earn per month?
- Have you been to other country?
- What are the countries you’ve been to?
- What did you do in Rome?
- What kind of tour is that?
Then she keeps on typing to the computer, focused. I still keep my eyes fixed on her and waiting for her additional questions. Then she shakes her head, It’s coming to me that I might not get it. Then she speaks “Your Visa has been granted, wait for your passport to arrive after 3 days” It did not sink on me at first, I even asked her what should I do next? She told me “you go home” then that was the time I realised that I got it. The interview last for almost 5-10mins, it may sound short but I felt it was really a long one.
We went straight to the hospital and spread the good news but we are welcomed with much good news. The hospital results are in, it was Benign. I prayed that night and thank God for the good news he gave us.
After three days, I finally got my passport back with the attached visa.
Have you had your Visa Application stories too? applying soon or planning to apply? have any questions? I want to hear them.