Here’s my (Anand Nagarajan) experience at the Chennai Consulate on the 16th. My interview is for MS in Public Health after MBBS, was very pleasant and lasted probably 2 minutes. I’m a doctor, and I’ve just finished MBBS and applied to a masters program in Public
Health in several universities across the USA. My interview was slated to be at 8:30.
Despite the hour or more spent at the OFC site for photography and fingerprinting, we were still made to stand in a queue and wait for nearly 2 hours before the actual interview with the VO.
It was quite a miserable experience having to wait. Having the interview in December helped, we couldn’t have asked for better weather! I waited a good two hours from the time of entry till I stood in the line when my token number was displayed on the screen.
The VO for my line looked young, a man in his 30?s and probably of Arab/Lebanese origin. He was very quiet, and I could barely hear what was going on at the counter. Not so the flanking lines. Another bald man probably in his late 30’s was rejecting every student visa in sight! And he was loud. It was very unnerving.
His first question was inevitably – Show me your GRE/TOEFL scores, followed by why so low? And that was followed by – How many backlogs? And without going into the financial detail at all, he kept saying I’m sorry I cannot grant you the visa at this time. On being questioned why he always directed at the sheet of
paper saying – it’s all in the paper.
After this happening around twice I was completely dizzy and overwhelmed. An elderly aunty was up front of me, and she was interviewing, and I thought I was about to faint from listening to the disparaging remarks of the VO of the next counter when my number was called.
MS in Public health after MBBS
Me: Good morning sir
VO: (smile) Good morning. Are you going for a masters program sir?
Me: Yes, masters in Public Health.
VO: Hand me your I20 please. (Did that)
VO: Do you have your GRE/TOEFL scores?
Me: I’m a doctor, and I was not required to take the GRE for this course. I do have my TOEFL scores though ( gave it to him)
VO: That’s fine. Don’t you have a USMLE score then?
Me: Of course. (Handed him the USMLE score report) (USMLE is the board exam for licensure in the US, there are three steps, and universities have varied requirements for a GRE waiver or how many
of the USMLEs need to be taken) (Long pause while he goes through the report and keys in something on the PC)
VO: What does your father do, sir?
Me: He is the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering at an x-y-z company. My mother will also be supporting me.
VO: What does she do? Me: She is a teacher of Mathematics at my school.
VO: Great! What is her annual income? And your father?
Me: Told him. Long silence of around 30 seconds.
ME: (interrupting) I have a copy of some financial documentation with me if you would like to see it.
VO: No, that won’t be necessary.
VO: Have you decided what specialty you would like to pursue?
Me: I’d like to come back and eventually do a residency in Internal Medicine.
VO: Sir, your visa has been approved, you will get a text message on your phone when it is ready for pickup.
Me: (blank stare of disbelief) and then it sinks in! I got it! Woot!
Me: My courses are scheduled to begin on the 22nd, will I get it before that?
VO: Yes, it should take around 3-4 working days. Good luck.
Me: Thank you, thank you so much!
VO: You have a nice day! And that was my story.
Yes, Indian doctors with MBBS degree do get Visa to study in the USA. But, what do they plan to do with F1 Visa? Most them try to clear USMLE Steps test, then get into Residency. But, they try to pass USMLE in parallel to the degree for which they got the F1 visa.