I have a tendency to overthink everything. If I have an appointment for something that I’ve never done before, I get worried and my coping mechanism is scouring the internet for literally ANY mention of of someone else’s experience and try to make some kind of expectation for my own upcoming appointment.
This is EXACTLY what I did with my trip to the consulate.
I made my appointment the minute I got the email that I was accepted to the Auxiliares de Conversacion program. I got accepted on May 20th, and I had already done enough research that I knew that the Houston Consulate is one of the consulates that you NEED to have an appointment for before you can even show up.
The earliest appointment I could get was for today, the 26th, late August. On the consulate website it states to wait until you have all of your documents before making your appointment, but yeah…no, don’t do that. Not if you want to make your program start, at least.
I went about thinking that it would take a long time to gather all of the paperwork that I was going to have to get, but once it started, everything took less than a month. I was sitting on most of my paperwork for two months! I kept checking the consulate website to make sure they didn’t change the requirements up on me at the last minute, I don’t even know why they would, but I have a paranoia.
This last week before my appointment, I checked my paperwork against the consulates guide on the hour, every hour. It was driving me insane and giving me the nerves full-time. I was pretty sure that I was going to be okay, I dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s, but JUST IN CASE I kept checking and rechecking and copying every page of everything because they ask for copies.
Today, I finally got there to my appointment and I was about an hour early. I sat there and watched the few other people in the tiny waiting room and noticed that there was a sign on the wall saying to just wait and that we’d be called by our names at our appointment times. There were a few people that didn’t have appointments, but they weren’t there for visas, it was just questions about passports or marriages and the like. Unfortunately, there was basically no one at the windows so I could see how it could be frustrating if you just have a quick question.
There was a guy ahead of me that was there for the visa and he was basically told to redo the medical certificate and his background check, I was mortified that I was also going to be told I did it wrong, so that just made me more nervous.
When the visa window lady came back, she just asked who was there for visas, and like three of us were there for that. One lady was just picking up her sisters visa for her, and the other person had made a whole appointment just to ask some questions about something or other.
Then it was my turn. I went up, turned in both the originals and all of the copies that were asked for, then I was told to sit down and that she was going to go over my papers to make sure it was all correctly done.
Honestly, the second I handed her the papers, it was like a load off my shoulders. She came back about 5 minutes later and told me that everything was in order and I just had to hand her my money order for the $160 (student visa fee), and I would get an email when my visa was ready to be picked up.
I’m hoping nothing bad makes my visa just not happen by some freak accident, but again, I’m paranoid. I will have my fingers crossed until my passport and visa are in my hands and I’m at the airport…better yet, when I’m in my 4th week of the program. THEN, I’ll feel comfortable again.