dynamicproxy (dynamicproxy) wrote,

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US Visa request rejected

I've been invited to speak at the Javaone this year at San Francisco. I decided to write about this only after everything (leave, tickets, visa) was confirmed. The tickets and the leave are not a problem but the Visa is - my visa request was rejected.

The interviewer said that he was not convinced I was competent to speak.

Here's what happened:
- I presented my passport and the Forms 156 and 157 to the interviewer.
- He asked why I wanted to go to the US. I replied that I was invited to speak and hence the trip.
- He asked me about my company, and I told him about our company and our work worldwide.
- He asked me about the topic, and I told him about the topic (OpenGrok)
- He returned my passport and stated that he was not convinced that I was competent to speak.
- I pushed the invite from Sun through the tray requesting that he read the invite where Sun stated that they're sponsoring my trip and would be glad to have me over.
- Without reading the letter, he pushed it back saying "I'm sorry, but that letter will not help".
- I asked, "Could you tell me then what will help ? I'd like to know."
- He replied, "I can't tell you that right now. But you are welcome to reapply".

All said and done, I'm not frustrated or angry at the interviewer. It doesn't help. I'm sure the interviewer had his reasons - I was unable to learn of those reasons.

So, I'm going to reapply. But I'd also like to know:
- Do you know anyone else who has faced such a situation (where the interviewer does not even look at the invite letter ?)
- How do you make an interviewer reconsider his stance of not even wanting to look at any more papers ?
- How can one be better prepared ?

Here are some ideas that I have.
1. Carry along
- printouts of the presentation
- emails from various people who've congratulated me on my previous talk at the Sun Tech Days at Hyderabad (Great morale boosting mails, I tell you :)
- photographs of me speaking at various events.
- A list of various talks that I've given and the lists where I'm an active member/

2. Get letters from my company stating that I'm a recognized speaker within the company.

3. If the interview questions my competence, reply with "Actually, I'm a very prolific speaker+ lecturer in India and I have with me some supporting documents".

That's all so far. All thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

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