On return to K.L. we had to make a visit to the U.S. Embassy since our passports were nearly full. We took the Putra transit line from Pasar Seni Station in Chinatown to Ampang Park. From the Ampang Park Station the embassy is about a 10 minute walk. Upon reaching the U.S. Embassy there was a long line of visitors waiting to get in, but since we were American citizens we were allowed to be first in line. Once inside the embassy room for visas, it was completely full, but again, since we were U.S. citizens we had a separate line and were helped immediately. We each filled out an extension form, which basically asked why we needed the extra pages, then we were told to have a seat … that’s when it became very interesting.
While we were seated we were able to over-hear some of the interviews that non-U.S. citizens are subjected too, in order to get a visa to visit the U.S. It is definitely not a happy occasion to be in a visa application room if you are not American, at least not if you are south-east Asian. I would say that it is even worse than us Americans having to go to the DMV, which is another place where the employees think they are the king and you pretty much have to submit to them if you want anything.
The embassy agent near me was interviewing what appeared to be a family of Chinese descent Malaysians. First off, if you don’t speak any English you will probably be denied right out, since they will not try to speak your native tongue. He spoke very loudly to ensure everyone in the room could hear him, “Why do you want to visit the United States? If you go to the United States, why will you return to Malaysia?” The family stood in silence… Not because they didn’t have an answer, but because they were so surprised by the question! The interviewer then wanted to have proof from their bank that a certain amount of money was available in each of their accounts. Unfortunately for them, I don’t think they were granted visas. They walked away with their heads low and shocked. The next person that went to his window received similar treatment. At first he was very rude to her. Since this was her second visit she was being reprimanded for not having the correct forms. The girl just wanted to visit the U.S. to attend a friend’s college graduation. She was still asked how long she had been employed? Did she like her job? And of course, why will you return to Malaysia? Yet, somehow, the agent suddenly changed his tune and became friendly and issued her a one week visa! Next, was a young couple who recently married and they came prepared with all documents, income statements, etc.! Similar questions were asked, but this time the agent was very friendly to the couple and once he found out how much money they made (over $7000 USD/month) he quickly granted them a 6 month visa! Meanwhile, a different interview had started, and this one made us feel embarrassed to be Americans. A small family of husband, wife and two little happy daughters went to his window only to be immediately scolded. “You are supposed to make an appointment before bringing children here! You really inconvenienced me! … I don’t like surprises and I don’t appreciate it!!” The shocked and soft spoken husband began to speak, “But on your website it says …” cut off by the embassy agent, “Oh, I’m sorry, but you seem to be an expert on our website … ”
At this point I think the agent realized what a jerk he had been and tried to tone himself down a little to ask the little girls a question, but they were scared and hid below the counter … So then he proceeded with the interview with the husband. We had to leave soon after, but what a jerk!!!
Really, Americans aren’t all like this. Only the ones that work at the Embassy!
About an hour later, our number was called and we had our passports back with many new pages added to them and at no cost! When we first walked through the embassy gates we sort of felt like we were home, since everything was in English, but we were glad to get out of there!