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Visa Experience

by Swapnil Lanjewar


Well, once we get acceptance for electives, the next major issue that haunts us is the VISA. Same was the case with me and as I personally knew very few people who had gone on a tourist VISA, I was bit worried about how to proceed. But Medisid’s blog and few others’ guidance helped me long way. So, thank you all for the same!

Well, here are few tips and my experiences, to help people like me who have to start from the scratch.

Getting started-

After getting  approval for electives, log on to and read the relevant pages thoroughly. This will introduce you to the basics of VISA. Next, as Medisid has already mentioned, log on to for even more detailed information. I got all the relevant pages printed and then read them carefully. This makes you feel confident and comfortable about the VISA process.

For scheduling the interview-

 Now that you are aware about the VISA process, you need to start the actual process. (Though all info has been given on immihelp, I will mention the steps I actually went through.)

1) Go to your nearest designated branch of HDFC Bank taking along a good quality Xerox of first and last page of your passport and approximately Rs. 7000/- application fee. You will get 3 receipts, white one, blue and a pink one. The white one will be kept by the Bank and they will hand you over the blue and pink receipts.

2) Filling up the DS 160 form

Check out all instructions at

While filling the form, you need to upload a ‘proper’ photo. Instructions regarding the photo are available on the VFS site. Or else, as I did, go to any reputed studio in your town and just tell them you need a photo for US Visa. They usually know it well and will also give you the photo in your pen-drive.

After filling up the form, you can print your application confirmation letter.

3)Scheduling your IV appointment-

Now, you can check the available dates of interviews at

For scheduling the interview, you have to go to

4) For people like me who will be appearing for IV at Mumbai-

You have to submit these documents at the Mumbai Consulate 3-4 days before your IV. But best is, submit as soon as you schedule your appointment. Remember that someone has to personally go and submit these documents there.


 Now first part is finished and its time to start gathering your documents.

I classified my documents as follows-

1) Actual VISA documents-

My pink slip, Appointment confirmation letter, Application confirmation letter and printout of my application for records

2) Proof of why I need the VISA-

Printout from Cornell’s website which mentions that students are required to come on tourist visa and not student visa, my approval letter for electives, CS Visa letter, all Cs related documents..

3) Documents from my college-

Dean’s NOC letter to attend electives which also stated that I need to come back for completing my internship and a copy of my complete application packet to Cornell which consists of right from my application form to my transcript to my dean’s LOR, my expected date of graduation etc etc

4) Proof that my Dad will be paying for my trip-

Printed an undertaking on behalf of my dad and got it signed by him. It's ok if you don’t make the formal affidavit.

5) Proof of my dad’s paying capacity-

Certificate from the bank stating that my dad has Rs xxx in his account and is capable to pay for my trip, his past 3 years income tax returns statements in original, documents of our property, his bank passbooks.

6) Miscellaneous documents-

Like my birth certificate, 10th 12th marksheets, MBBS marksheets, final mbbs passing certificate, provisional registration certificate

Now you are ready for interview!

Actual Interview-

I will narrate my experience now. My timing of IV was 11.30 am. I was staying at Borivali in Mumbai from where, it takes around 45 mins by local train to reach the American Consulate at Mahalakshmi. I left from my home at 8:45 am. Trust me people; never underestimate traveling time in Mumbai. It took me 15 min to get auto to station, about 15 minutes to find my correct local train. Overall, more tha 90 mins to reach my destination. I had planned to wear a suit without tie. But being afraid that my suit might get damaged in the maddening local train rush, I kept it in a polythene hand bag and carried my documents in another bag. As I was standing close to the track on the platform, a strange fear gripped me when I saw a huge crowd behind me. Even before the train completely stopped, there was a huge force which pushed me on the train’s window. Though I had First Class ticket, the rush was simply maddening! Ignoring bruises, I pushed my way into the train and almost lost a shoe in the process!! But finally got in… So one advice guys, leave very early, never in the peak traveling hours. After reaching Mahalakshmi, I first went to the VFS’s Stars and Stripes Lounge. I will suggest everybody to do the same too. By the time I reached the lounge, it was 10:30 already. (They charge nominal Rs 250/- and give you a proper locker to keep your valuables and mobile… And you can visit the washroom to freshen up and make yourself comfortable. They also offer you free sandwich and Coffee and a AC waiting lounge.)

At around 11:15, they announced that people who are having IV at 11:30 should get into the bus provided by the lounge. The bus dropped me right at the security counter.

Now, after my security check, I was given a pink token and my finger printing was done. Then came the big moment!! I was asked to wait for my IV. As soon as my token number was announced, I moved to my counter. Another guy’s IV was going on, which continued for more than 20 min. The VO, about 30 yr old white lady, didn’t look very happy. I got very nervous. After the guy in front of me left, the VO signalled me to come in.

She greeted me with a pleasant smile which eased my anxiety a bit.

Me(with feigned confident smile)- Good Afternoon Mam! How are you doing?

VO- (smiling too!) Im fine. How are you?

(As soon as she asked about my well being, I felt very comfortable and all my anxiety was relieved)

Me- I am fine too! Thank you!

VO- So, why do you want to go to US?

Me- (With smile and enthusiasm) I have been selected by Weill Cornell Medical College at New York for a clinical elective!

VO- Good! So your rotations are at which hospital?

Me- Lincoln Medical

VO- In which part of NY?

Me- Bronx!

VO- (Laughing) So you will be seeing lot of victims of gunshot, stabbing etc!!

Me- (Laughing) Yeah that’s for sure! Coz you know, my electives are in Emergency Medicine!!!

VO( Laughed out really hard!) Are you kidding me? Ha ha

Me-(laughing again)No Mam, seriously!!

VO- Ok! Your Visa has been approved and you’ll get your passport in 3 days

Me- Thank you mam! Have a nice day!!

VO- U too!!


That’s it! She didn’t ask for any single document, not even my electives approval letter.

When I got my passport, I saw that I had been granted 10 year Multiple Entry Visa!!


Well I was sure very lucky here. But I had prepared myself well for any other question I would have faced. Like, few sample responses I had prepared-


Q- Why do u wana go to the US?

A- I have been selected by … for a clinical elective!! Would you like to see my approval letter?


Q- What are clinical electives?

A- They are a short period of clinical training in the United States


Q- It’s a training? SO shouldn’t it be on a student VISA?

A- No, WCMC does not provide i-20 documents for F1 visa. They require students to come on a tourist VISA. Would you like to see the printouts of VISA requirements from their website?


Q- What exactly will you be doing there?

A- My job will be like that of a final year American Medical Student. I will be attending rounds, presenting cases, observing various procedures etc


Q- Will you be coming back after your electives?

A- Yes, definitely! I have not yet graduated yet! I will be completing my graduation after I come back. Would you like to see my Dean’s NOC which states the same?


And few things I would like to add-


I did feel overdressed with the suit on, but I don’t regret it. Infact, I would recommend guys to wear one. It surely creates a good impression. I need not explain the importance of a clean shave and well grooming.


Try to be confident! As Akshay already said, you are not a thief. On the contrary, you are going to pay them for electives. So their country is generating revenue from you!


Try to flash a smile and show enthusiasm. Going for electives is going to be an awesome experience for you. So, think about that fact and be truly enthusiastic! They like such people.


Be loud and clear, and try not talking too fast. And if you don’t understand what the VO said, don’t hesitate to ask- sorry, can you repeat again? Be calm throughout. Coz if you hesitate and mumble, he might become suspicious of your intentions.


Don’t forget to wish them Good morning. It would be better if you are the one who initiates the conversation.


And last but not the least; every person’s interview is unique. So never feel nervous after listening to others’ experience. Just be honest and answer with all wit. You will surely succeed! Best of luck people!

reasons to come back to INDIA


I would be interviewed for my visa soon. Guys could you please suggest what am I supposed to say when the interviewer asks me -would you want to settle in the USA after your residency? How do I prove to them that India too has good prospects or there are reasons to return..

Please help.


Panic attack

Confidence, niceness
and enthusiasm are definitely qualities you should nurture, if you want to make
sure you get that visa. Also, you should do everything you can to be relaxed,
since anxiety can make the reviewer think you’re hiding something. Here’s a
simple trick I learned when I was having a anxiety attacks & deep breathing exercises. Before your interview, spend 30 to 60 minutes gazing
at something soothing such as the clear blue sky or the autumn leaves; as you
do so, focus on your breathing and make it progressively slower and deeper.
After a while of doing this, you’ll feel incredibly relaxed!

i think this is the link of

i think this is the link of the visa document stating that the B1 visa is relevant for medical elective.Please check if im right.

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