I was plagued with worry when I had only 2 weeks to get my USA VISA renewed, recently. As it turned out the process was fast, efficient and I was in and out of the US embassy in 25 minutes!
That’s right folks. Even I was surprised how fast it went. Here’s how I got my Malaysian VISA to the USA submitted and approved in just 25 minutes!
Here’s How a Malaysian should Apply for a USA VISA as of 2017…
1. Check if your country is on the USA waiver programme. Malaysia is not on that list.
2. Once you have determined the correct visa type, you must pay the visa fee (non negotiable and non-refundable!) The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in US dollars and native currency. Even before you get your date or visa approved you have to pay upfront. The amount for Malaysian is USD160 i.e. MYR720.00 For a Type B Visa -Business/Tourist.
To pay, just go online to which ever bank account you have, and pay the following. You need to keep the following info too :
Beneficiary Bank: Bank of America Malaysia Berhad
**Unique Virtual Account Number:Enter the number below: 8000015488—-
Beneficiary Name: BAMB MY Re Stanley US Visacol SFA
Bank Code: 100002076 (or corresponding selection for Bank of America Malaysia Berhad)
Amount: MYR 720.00
**Upon completion, print out the bank receipt. You can then return to your account to schedule your appointment(s) with the Virtual Account Number as your “Receipt Number”. Check back if your receipt has been activated. If you bank it in before 4:30pm local time, then by 12pm the next business day it will be activated. It will then bring you to the calendar page to pick your date and preferred time to go to the US Embassy.
3. Complete the DS-160 form. It’s tedious and long-winded but you need to fill up all the questions. Trust me, once you get to the interview, it’s relatively easy and quick. I was in and out in 25 minutes, believe it or not! Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes.
4. Create a New User account
Click on photo below. That’s where you go to create a new account.
Complete all fields and create a password. Once you are in the system, you will see your dashboard. Click on Schedule Appointment on the left-hand side menu.
This will start the process for scheduling your appointment. You will need:
i. Your passport number
ii. Virtual Account Number as your “Receipt Number”
iii. The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
iv. As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, select your document delivery location, confirm visa payment and finally, schedule your appointment.
5.Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. I picked the afternoon appointment and found it to be faster than the mornings. Less of a queue.
They tell you to only arrive around half an hour before your time slot. Also – no big bags, laptops, or mobile phones allowed. They have limited space and will only keep your mobile phone for you. Make sure you bring your MyKAD as well as this is for them to give you an entry pass for the embassy, Upon exit they will return you your MyKAD and your mobile phone .
What you need to bring :
2. Copy of your confirmation page of submitted application (it should have your photo on it, confirmation number, and a barcode which will be scanned). Do NOT bring the entire print out of your online application, just the ONE confirmation page.
3. One Recent photo – 50mm X 50mm (2X2inches) – white background
4. Supporting documentation of your ties to Malaysia – copy of bank statements, or monthly payslips etc.. Since I was running the LA Marathon, I brought documentation on this as well.
In the end, they didn’t even look at any of my documentations!
5. If you have a past VISA to the USA you may bring it too.
6. My appointment was at 1pm. I arrived at 12:30pm. The queue that was about 20 persons long, started moving at exactly 12:50pm sharp. I was within the embassy by 1pm. Walked over to the main building and surrendered my application to the first counter my 1.15pm. Was called to the second counter at 1.20pm, asked why I wanted to go to the USA. I explained the purpose of my visit. The official then said, “Your VISA has been approved!” I was out of there by 1:25pm!
7. If your visa is approved, you can either have them (a) mail your passport to your home or (b) pick up from a courier house at Jalan Tandang PJ. I chose the latter and it was super fast.