So tomorrow is a big day....because it is the official start of visa appointments. It all kicks off tomorrow with our first J-Day and we get to see nearly 100 of your beautiful faces. But we also realise that turning up to your visa appointment for the first time can also be a very daunting and sometimes quite scary experience. So I've put together a little guide so you know exactly what to expect to make it as stress free as possible.
For us in the UK Head office, it is a very early start. We all meet outside the US Embassy (myself, Laura, Pippa and Dave) at 7:30 ready for all of you to turn up and get ready to start your American Adventure.Don't worry. You dont need to turn up at 7:30am unless you have your appointment at 8:00am. Just make sure you turn up 15-30 minutes before your appointment time. When you arrive at the Embassy we will be waiting for you along the long green hedge just outside. The nearest tube station to the Embassy is either Bond Street or Marble Arch and a 5-10 minute from there. All of the other American Summer Camp companies will also be standing along this big hedge so make sure you look out for our CCUSA banner. We will also be in our bright green CCUSA t-shirts (as long as it's not pouring down with rain) so you can look out for those too!
Before you arrive to the actual appointment, you need to triple check that you have all the right documents printed off. We are very lovely and know how confusing this can become so we have created a PDF document to help you out. Once you have booked your visa appointment this appears on your footprints page, and we also send it out to you a week before your appointment so you can’t go wrong!
Once you come and meet us on the day of your appointment we will hand your DS2019 form (this is the most important form saying we are happy to sponsor you to go and work in America for the summer) and we also double check that all your documents are in the right order and that you have everything. But don’t worry, because if there is a major issue there is a pharmacy with computers right round the corner so you can go and re-print a form if you don’t have the correct thing. We are there to help you every step of the way so there is no need to panic :D
There is also quite a lot of blogs on the internet about taking bags into the US Embassy – this also isn’t something to worry about. If your bag is fairly small then it will be allowed inside without a problem. If, however, your bag is a small case/duffle bag then they won’t allow you to take inside. If you can avoid bringing big bags that would be great…but if this can’t be avoided then there are some lockers you can leave your bags in just round the corner from the Embassy.
So you have all the correct forms and you are now ready to enter the US Embassy…so in a very British manor you will go and join a queue outside the Embassy. This is where they will do their security checks and allow you to enter the building. You will be processed and given a ticket with a number on it. This will lead you to another queue but this time inside the warm Embassy so you don’t have to worry about standing in the cold. In no time at all your number will pop up on the big television screen and you will be directed to a window. The person sat behind the window will ask you some questions and scan each one of your fingers. You will then be asked to join one last queue (I know…..so many ques but I guess they are just adopting the British way of doing things haha). This final queue will lead you to another window, and the person sat here will grant you your visa. As soon as they have taken the relevant paperwork for you they send you on your way and you are free to go and explore London. Simple as that.
Like always, if you have any questions about your visa appointment or confused about anything then just drop me and email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office phone on 02088 746325