If you are planning to go to the US for any reason whatsoever, do consider confirming your trip as soon as possible so that you have ample time to get your Visa.
Consider this: you have to go pay your Visa fees (RM440) at Alliance Bank at least one day before scheduling for an interview at this website. You will also need to pay RM27 for the processing fees by VFS. That is 2 days being used just for scheduling an interview. To my surprise a lot of people are applying for US Visa and this is a concern because it this will effect the earliest date available for an interview. This can be 2 or 3 days, or even a week from the day you schedule the interview online. And then, the completed Visa (and your passport) can only be collected the next business day at the VFS office.
Be sure to check your checklist.
I arrived in front of the embassy at about 8.00 am for the 8.20 am interview. I guess the interview time slots are simply for them to manage the number of people that will arrive at the front gate. There were already about 20 people in the queue. I had to surrender my NRIC to the guard house window and obtained a red pass card, then joined the queue.
The queue was reduced 2 at a time, or a family at a time. Each family needs to get in together. After being summoned into the gate there was a counter where you need to leave your cellphone, and scan the contents of your envelopes (or anything you use to keep your documents in). Since I didn’t bring my cellphone or any bag I breezed through this stage.
Next, I climbed up a short stair to the main door where there is another metal detector and scanner waiting for me. There, I was given a number, a checklist, then asked to wait in a waiting room. At the waiting room I freaked out when I realized that I missed to print the DS-157 form which is mandatory for male aged 16-45. At that point I was sure that I am going to fail this interview and return home without a Visa.
When my number was called I acted as if nothing was wrong and handed my documents. The clerk at counter 2 told me that I am missing a form and asked me whether I filled the form. I said I did but I must’ve left it. (I did and I was telling the truth). I was lucky that she gave me a paper form to fill in manually (the original form was meant to be filled online). Pheww!
I handed the filled form over to her and were asked to wait.
About 20 minutes later I was called to counter 9 to take my fingerprints, and about 30 minutes after that I was called to counter 4 for the actual interview. If you are wondering how the interview room looks like, don’t bother. There is no room; just 9 post-office like counters. Only 4 counters were used for interviews and the interviews are conducted through glass so there is a need for microphones and speakers. You can actually hear what people are talking about, especially the interviewers’ questions.
The questions they ask are actually more into making sure that you will have money when you are in US, what you will be doing there, and the most important thing is that you will not stay there as an illegal immigrant.
The whole process took 2 hours to complete and by 10:00 am I was happily walking out at Jalan Tun Razak.
The experience in the Embassy was not so bad after all but I was really lucky about the missing form.