So why come up with a blog like this one? Well, it’s really pretty simple. I would just like to tell everybody out there that it’s not a big deal…period.
Let me elaborate…For overseas contract workers reading this blog, we all know that if we will have a job outside the country, the most dreaded part of our requirements will come when we are going to apply for VISA…for definition purposes, this visa will let us pass through a certain country. Let’s take the United States for example.
I was able to ask some seniors of mine in the industry about it and they say there is a very big difference of getting a visa before and now especially when the 911 thing happened.
Oh, but before we continue let me back track a bit …you need to apply for a passport first before getting a visa. This one you have to accomplish by going to the Department of Foreign Affairs somewhere in Libertad, Pasay. If you come early, it will only take you around a day to finish everything and come back for your passport after 2 days I think. Do not bother going to fixers. There’s really not much of a difference in fee and speed of processing…in fact going thru the normal process and being an obedient citizen is more affordable.
After getting a passport, of course you need a recruitment or a manning agency which will help you in processing your WORKING Visa. But then again, if you do not wish to work in another country but rather just tour, then just go the US Embassy website for further information for that’s another story.
If you are an OFW, your agency will process everything for you. All you have to do is pay the processing fee and procure an application form from the bank. Now we are in the meaty stuff … this piece of paper before used to cost $100. But now … one must pay in peso and mind you it goes up steadily … even if the peso is stronger … the price of this paper would be far different from the conversion table.
Having said this information, this pretty much would make a good motivation to pass your interview so that you won’t waste your money “big time.” After all the paper works have been accomplished and submitted, your agency will give a “briefing” on how your interview will be like.
Ok, so your agency tells you that you have to memorize this and that but expect the unexpected …
And so on the day of your interview you have to be there an hour before (bring all your documents and don’t bring ANY electronic devices for you will not be allowed to bring it in the embassy premises. Now, in case you do bring it there are some peddlers outside that can take care of your precious item while you are inside for a fee) since you still have to pass your documents, do finger print scanning and wait for your number is called.
The waiting game is the hardest of all because you came prepared only to be listening to stories of other people. In getting a visa there are two types of applicants: the first timers and the renewals. Some say if you are going to be renewed it would be much easier…do not count your chickens just yet …
Now once it’s your turn, your interview will only be 2 minutes at the most!!! Wow!!! Then right there and then you will know if you PASSED or you got DENIED. A passing mark means you get a green slip while if you are denied you will get a blue slip.
Now, how do you pass your interview?
Actually, there is no sure formula … but here are 3 tips that would help:
- Learn to speak and understand ENGLISH. You will be interviewed by a foreigner so you have to dance with the music … you have no choice … you want to enter their country so learn what the Romans do … but in this case just focus on the language … culture is another topic. In doing this you can express yourself freely and with confidence which shows in your gestures and your eyes, and the better your grasp of the language the better you can play with the words. Sometimes since some are not really that well versed this is the part where they fail.
- Know your job well. If you do this all questions that will be thrown will be a piece of cake. Basically you will be asked about your job. If you know your job well you can pick any aspect of it and explain it to your consul who might not have an idea of what is it all about. But this goes hand in hand with tip number 1 which I already explained. I remember one consul asked me, how do you open a bottle of wine? I said,” Oh, that’s easy!!” yadada yadada … and I passed. 🙂
- Be confident and sincere. Being confident is different from being a smart aleck. We can define confidence here as being sure of your answers because you’ve gone thru step 1 and 2 and this would help you to look at the interviewer directly since eye to eye is very important. It also projects that you are sincere in applying for a job and you do not have a hidden agenda. And do not forget your proper etiquette and that honest to goodness SMILE 🙂
As a final word, you can expect the unexpected…but if you put the 3 tips in your system, there is nothing to worry about. Yet, anything can happen…despite doing the 3 tips you still flunk … learn to accept your FATE … you can always try again or maybe working outside isn’t for you … remember … “Acceptance is the key to moving forward.”