Featured image of post US1 - Opportunity And Preparation For The First US Trip

US1 - Opportunity And Preparation For The First US Trip

In this blog series, I'll spill the tea on my journey, from start to end, just to satisfy my taste for flexing and to avoid annoying my Facebook friends with too many ostentatious posts.

I got the news on April 10, 2023, that I was picked to go to the US.

Traveling abroad is a piece of cake when you work for a tech company like Paradox:

  • The bosses travel to meet the bosses and have internal discussions about strategy.
  • The minions travel as firefighters, always on call to fix the shit that hits the fan. minionfirefighter

I used to be green with envy when I saw some minions jetting off to those exotic places, but then my luck changed. The bosses must have thought my English skills were as awesome as my writing skills, so they decided to let me go. Or maybe they just wanted to get rid of me for a little while. Either way, I’m not complaining! They’ve been fooled! Muahaha. Now it’s my time to shine. 😎 I don’t know if I’ll rock or suck, just grabbing the chance and winging it. I know the tough days are coming. 🥵 But whatever, no pain no gain, right?

Before I could officially board that flight. There was some serious paperwork I had to deal with.

DS-160 Form

The first and most important step was completing the dreaded DS-160 form, which is a crucial requirement for any visa application.

The DS-160 form is an online quiz where Uncle Sam snoops into your private life before deciding if he’ll invite you into his crib for a visit.


The online platform for filling out the DS-160 form looked like a website from the early 2000s that had been neglected in terms of UX. I had to deal with frequent session drops, which forced me to log in repeatedly while answering a gazillion questions. It was a long and tiring process.

At the end of the form, I needed a 2-inch x 2-inch portrait image for the form. So, I went to a photo studio and asked the photographer to snap me. She looked at me like I was crazy and said that 2 inches x 2 inches was not the right size for a visa document. But I was sure that it was, so I told her to just do it. She did, and I got the JPG file for the DS-160 form and also a physical photo for the interview document.

After getting the JPG file, I tried to upload it to the form, but then disaster struck. It didn’t work. It showed this error: "image may contain imperfections due to compression artifacts". compression artifacts Damn, I was like, what the heck? Did the photographer scam me with a low-quality image? No, it turned out that it was on me. I had transferred the image from my phone to my computer using Slack, which apparently shrinks images to lower quality. That’s why the image did not meet the requirements. I fixed the issue by uploading the original image, and it worked.

Schedule A Visa Interview

On April 12, 2023, after completing the DS-160 form, I moved on to the requesting an interview step. I entered my details (passport number, DS-160 Application ID, etc.) and printed out the “U.S. VISA APPLICATION FEE DEPOSIT SLIP.” Then I took it with $160 to the post office to submit the request. I kept the returned deposit slip safe and waited until the next day after 11:00 AM.

On April 13, 2023, at night, I returned to https://cgifederal.secure.force.com, and the site recognized my deposit slip automatically. I didn’t have to fill in the deposit slip ID, which was a cool feature, and I was able to select an interview time. Luckily, a vacant slot was available for the following week, so I snatched it before anyone else could.

US Visa Interview Slot

Now, I’m in the waiting period. It feels like waiting for a college entrance exam, and it’s making me nervous. I hate this feeling.

COVID is back with a vengeance, and colleagues around me are coughing like cows roaring. I hope my health is superb next week, and I will nail the interview, so I can flaunt this blog series instead of deleting them all. 🙏

Made with the laziness 🦥
by a busy guy