Hubby will be attending the Microsoft World Partner Conference 2015 in Orlando, and since he is making the trip, I thought I might as well tag along. The first requirement to travel to US is to make sure we get our Non-Immigrant US Visa. The process was not as difficult as I thought it would be but we had a very tight timeline to meet.
Here’s a step-by-step of what I went through in applying for my Malaysian US Non-Immigrant Visa.
DS160 FORM / APPLICATION
Apply for DS160 Form – you can have a look at the form here. The application require you to put in details about yourself including your parent’s names, work details and questionnaires about yourself. You will also need to upload a photograph of yourself (please get the professional to snapshot your photo as there is a requirement for the photograph).
Print out the form and go to Standard Chartered bank to make the payment of USD170. You will need the receipt when you go to the US Embassy for the visa interview.
SCHEDULE FOR INTERVIEW
Once you’ve completed the application, you will need to schedule for an interview at here. According to the travel agency and what most people said, we need 2 months to apply for the US Visa. So we were pretty worried as we were just weeks away from our trip. We checked the date and there was an available interview date in just 5 days away. However when hubby scheduled the interview, we got a date that was 15 days away. Nevertheless, you can always reschedule – so we keep tracked of the earliest available date and when we found another date earlier, we immediately changed our schedule to the earlier date (just a 6 day wait).
ATTEND THE INTERVIEW
You need not bring copies of your application to the interview, and they do not advise you to do so. You will only need to bring your Identification Card, Passport, Required Document (as per stated in the website) and your interview schedule in print. Here’s a list of things we brought (in entirety) :-
a) Interview schedule – If you are rescheduling, make sure you reprint the schedule as we made a horrible mistake of bringing the old schedule. At 7am in the morning, none of the nearby hotels were willing to go out of the way to help us print anything… and we had to walk till Intercontinental Hotel when the concierge took pity on us (we were dripping in sweat in our working attire) and allowed us to print at no charge. Bless them.
b) Identification Card – We were asked to produce our IC card, however it would be best to bring another photo ID, just in case.
c) Passport – You will need to surrender your passport to the counter during the interview as your visa will be imprinted in the passport. We opted for the passport to be couriered to save time. You can also self pick up. All these options are selected during the application process.
d) Bank Statements – I brought last 3 months savings account statement and some of my fixed deposit statements.
e) Employment Contract – If you are employed, please bring your employment contract. If you are self employed, I believe there are other documents that you will have to bring.
f) Salary Slip – I brought last 3 months salary slip.
g) Old Passports – If you have previous ones, no harm to bring. Just in case. I brought mine.
It was stated that no electronic devices were allowed so we left behind our mobile phones and laptop. The only thing I had on me was my purse (hand carry) and car keys. We found out later that they do have small pigeon holes for you to store your phone before entering. We also had to leave our car keys at the guard house.
You don’t have to be a kiasu and come very early because even if you are in the front of the queue, you will still need to wait. They will prioritize entry according to your appointment time. We queued for 30 minutes and saw others just came and walked in without queuing. They did mention in their website not to come too early as they won’t allow you in. So, don’t bother to come super early, just be on time or slightly earlier.
We parked beside G Tower. Cost us RM13 per entry. Parking was plenty when we arrived at 7.00am and very easy to get out when we are done. There is another parking near Icon buildling (100 meters away) however it was packed like sardine when we left – so whoever parked inside will have to get the parking attendants to remove all the cars in front to get out. If you are in a hurry, don’t park there because its nearer but will take forever to get out.
P/S : We got our passport with our visa stamped 15 days after the application as there was a technical glitch that affected all US embassies worldwide. The usual process takes 2 days, thus it was nerve wreaking as our travel dates were really close. Lesson to learn : never do important stuff last minute. Always buy yourself some time to buffer for the unexpected.
Disclaimer: The above is based on my experience applying for a Malaysian US Visa. Procedures could differ at time of application, so please check with the US Embassy website if you need clarification.