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"Inside the American Embassy" - Channel 4 documentary


"Inside the American Embassy" - Channel 4 documentary

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BenS
BenS
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I found an interesting documentary on All4, a fly-on-the-wall programme about people working at the US embassy in London.

Episode 2 follows the visa team and is an interesting watch for anyone interested in how they choose who can and can't enter the US. It has footage of actual visa interviews and the criteria that the embassy staff use to decide whether to grant someone a visa. It surprised me that an "interview" for a tourist visa lasts on average no more than 3 minutes, and in most cases, the staff member decides there and then with a few clicks on a screen.

I think it's only available on catch-up for a few more days.

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/inside-the-american-embassy/on-demand/66335-002

AB2014
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BenS - 20 Jul 18 7:59 AM
I found an interesting documentary on All4, a fly-on-the-wall programme about people working at the US embassy in London.

Episode 2 follows the visa team and is an interesting watch for anyone interested in how they choose who can and can't enter the US. It has footage of actual visa interviews and the criteria that the embassy staff use to decide whether to grant someone a visa. It surprised me that an "interview" for a tourist visa lasts on average no more than 3 minutes, and in most cases, the staff member decides there and then with a few clicks on a screen.

I think it's only available on catch-up for a few more days.

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/inside-the-american-embassy/on-demand/66335-002

I didn't see the documentary when it was on Channel 4, but I had heard that the interviewing agent makes the decision most of the time. They normally only bring in the big guns when it comes to waiver applications.
BenS
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AB2014 - 24 Jul 18 9:08 AM

I didn't see the documentary when it was on Channel 4, but I had heard that the interviewing agent makes the decision most of the time. They normally only bring in the big guns when it comes to waiver applications.

Yeah, the agent behind the booth makes the decision most of the time. in a minute or two after a couple of questions, without needing to consult any superior staff. Much quicker and more straightforward that I had imagined. There are only a few occasions where they have to escalate it and the applicant would hear the decision in a week or so.

When I hear "visa interview", I think of turning up in a suit, going to a fancy office and spending an hour discussing your whole life with an interviewer (or several). But it's actually just turning up to a booth that could be in a post office, talking for a minute or two and getting an immediate decision most of the time.
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