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My experience of getting a USA Visa

By Suneela on Oct. 7th, 2023

My sibling has been living in USA for quite sometime now and I always thought I can visit her easily anytime I want once I get a Visa. Never bothered to apply as I felt I can apply one when I am serious to visit USA. But little did I know, Pandemic happened and the entire process of applying/renewing USA Visa has become so difficult.

As I started traveling more, my partner pushed me to apply for a USA Visa (he already got it pre-pandemic, the smart one!) as it not only helps for planning a visit to USA but we realised we can visit a lot more countries with Visa on Arrival or e-Visa or transit visa options by having a US Visa in our Indian passport Sigh😤 .!

So, it all started in May/June 2022 when I started applying and looking for the slots. Believe it or not, when I checked in June 2022 for slots availability, I could find one slot only for April 2024. Never expected that I have to wait for almost two years for getting an appointment. Nevertheless, we were persistently checking for slots on a regular basis and finally landed on a slot that was available in September, 2023. Check out the entire process for applying a USA tourist Visa below.

Applying for a U.S. Tourist Visa
My experience getting a U.S. Visa
US Visa

Fast forward to the appointment day, I was undergoing a whirlpool of emotions with lots of questions running in my mind like:

How long do I wait to reapply if I don’t get through?

Do I have to wait for another two years for the slots availability?

But the entire process went pretty smooth and I’m sure lot of people out there are in the same situation and want to know how it is done.

Visa typeB1/B2 USA tourist visa
AppointmentSeptember, 2023
Applied asHome maker
Appointments to be taken1. VAC appointment for submission of biometrics
2. Appointment for interview with US Consulate

VAC Appointment experience:

As I reached the location, I was surprised to see the number of applicants waiting there. Chennai VAC office is not a well-planned location. They make applicants to stand on the road outside the main-gate, and the queue was blocking the traffic. I reached there a couple of hours before and stood out on the road waiting for my slot. As I entered the building, it was more like an abandoned premises and there were multiple queues inside.

Total wait time - Appox 2-3 hours (do not reach too early, as you will be allowed to stand in the queue only when its your slot time)

Do note that If you have filed your DS-160 more than a year before(in my case- June 22), remember to update and take the print of updated DS -160 before you visit VAC office. Also, ask them to link your new DS-160 once you reach the counter before submitting Biometrics.

USA Consulate Interview Experience:

Surprisingly, the entire process from entering the consulate to finishing the interview & exiting took me 5-10 minutes. There are a lot of counters for the English language and one can get into any queue that is free to go.

The key to getting through is being confident.

I got into an empty queue behind a candidate going through the interview process and observed what type of questions are being asked by US Consulate officers, body language of the candidates etc., One thing I understood from the previous candidate was to be direct for the questions being asked. Give short and crisp answers for them to process easier. As my turn came, I was asked around 17-18 questions in such a short span. I wasn’t asked a single document for verification. But always suggested to carry them.

Questions asked during the interview (Consulate office cross-verifies all the answers to the following questions from the DS-160 form submitted):

  1. What’s your name?
  2. Where are you going?
  3. Does anyone live in USA?
  4. Where do they live?
  5. Where are you working? (If you are not working or on a sabbatical, recommended to mention about your previous employment and your reasons for the break)
  6. Did you travel internationally before? (Even if you havent travelled internationally before, be confident saying that you are excited to travel sometime soon)
  7. If yes, which countries did you travel to?
  8. What’s your favourite country among all the countries you visited?
  9. What does your sibling do?
  10. Where does your sibling work?
  11. What is your sibling’s date of birth?
  12. How many days are you planning to visit the USA?
  13. What is your mother’s name?
  14. What is your father’s name?
  15. Who is traveling with you?
  16. (If married)What does your husband do?
  17. Do you have children?
  18. Are you planning to work during your visit to the USA?

Things to remember before visiting the consulate:

  • By heart your DS 160. Every answer you give will be checked with DS 160 you submitted.
  • Don’t go too early. They will let you only if your interview is within 1-2 hours
  • Electronics are not allowed inside the Chennai Consulate - this includes phone, electronic watch, ear buds. They do not have a locker system
  • Mask wasn’t compulsory
  • Carry enough document proofs for all the information you provide.
  • Visa processing status website


One can get to know the status of Visa approval at the end of Consulate interview. If the officer takes the passport, it means the Visa is approved. If the officer gives back the passport, it means rejected. Most of the cases, they also orally mention that.

In my case, they took my passport and my Visa got accepted. Hurray! 🎉

Courier details:

Upon accepting the passport, dispatch status message will be sent to the person whose email ID was given in the USA visa scheduling website. In my case, I have not received the status update on real-time basis. Nevertheless, I tracked my Passport status through the link mentioned above. It got dispatched through Bluedart within a couple of days after the interview.