Today was the day of my visa appointment at the US Embassy in London. In the last week I've tried to avoid paper and playing the guitar so that my fingers passed the 10 print scan (no cuts or blisters allowed). Due an alarming increase in the number of people being hit by trains on my line into London I ended up allowing a little too much time for delays and got into London an hour early. I met up with Bethan at Bond Street tube station and we headed to Gould's pharmacy to deposit our electronics. The storage service costs £3 which we managed to halve by putting our stuff in the same envelope (a good money saving tactic for anyone who hasn't had their appointment yet). Getting into the embassy was fairly straightforward and a small group of us collected together and chatted while we waited for our number to be called. There was a massive difference between how long it took people's numbers to come up. Two of us had our numbers announced about 30 mins before the rest despite us arriving after some of the others. All in all it was about 3 hours or so that we were in there.
I've been asked (literally in the last 30 seconds) what the interview is like. The key thing is making sure that you have all your paperwork. The interview is about 30 seconds to a minute long and you're asked things like what will you be doing, how long you'll be there, what you're doing at the moment and what you'll be doing when you come back. If anything you say gives them concern they'll ask for evidence. So if, for example, you're due to graduate in the summer and they asked you what you'll be doing once you graduate don't say things like "well I might be working here" or "hopefully I'll be doing this" they want definite answers not vague ones. But really the whole thing is nothing to worry about.
One word of warning though - be careful about how the courier service phrase their questions. They'll try to up-sell you into requesting a specific timeframe for delivery which can cost upwards of an extra £6 (on top of the £14.80 you'll already be paying). When they ask you what time just ask for the cheapest option (assuming you're not bothered by specific times etc).
After fun and games at the embassy 4 of us went off to the Hard Rock Cafe which was enjoyable with the exception of the waitress being a bit useless and death staring us. It was Bethan's birthday so it was nice to have a meal and chat after sitting in the embassy (especially as by that time we were starving). Here are some pics:
Me and Steven
Right now I'm left feeling pretty tired which is a little weird because we didn't really do anything. Good luck to all those that still have their visa interviews to look forward to and one good piece of news is you find out then and there if your visa has been approved so you can go home feeling triumphant!