8 sets of passport photos, 6 document copies, 4 expensive application fees, 2 late-night online applications, and 1 embassy appointment later, our VISA has been approved. The US journey starts here.
America may be the home of the brave, but land of the free it ain’t. One hour inside the embassy cost me $800.
It’s a good job I did all that prep for the VISA interview. I read up on the process, swotted up on the company’s history, memorised the attorney’s description of my job role, even brushed my teeth. I was psyched.
But it lasted all of 5 minutes, and consisted of gruelling questions, like “Can you confirm your full name please?”, and, “Will you pay the issuance fee in cash or by card?”. Seriously. Parting with the money was probably the hardest part.
Daisy and Ava deployed their biggest fight of the morning right after the interview began, which may explain why the interview was so short.
Highlights of the experience came courtesy of two employees. The lady on the coffee stand, who answered in broken English “the coffee is brown and tastes great” when I asked her for directions to the toilets. Can’t blame her for the sales pitch, I suppose. And then there was the weirdo on the reception desk, whose job was to check we had the right papers and issue a number for the queue. Which he did, while stroking the forms suggestively, biting his bottom lip and using his lisp in the most seductive way imaginable.
Net summary: we have an L visa, valid for up to 7 years.
By that time, I expect Daisy to be a child TV star, Ava a young developer with an academic scholarship paid for by Google, Alex a soccer mom with a face full of Botox, and me the driver of a vintage Cadillac. Possibly with implants in my backside, too.
That is the American dream, right?