Thursday, May 27, 2004

An F1 visa... Part Two

In desperation, I mailed a friend of mine, Arpith Jacob who was in the same position. A talented programmer, he had written a script to scan the appointment website every few minutes and SMS him whenever a date became free because someone cancelled an appointment. Using it, he moved his date from mid-July to June 1st. As my mobile phone wasn't working, he modified it to send me an e-mail.

So there I was, signed into MSN messenger and waiting for the 'you have received a new email from...' pop-up. I got lucky; there was a cancellation in an hour. Unfortunately, by the time I logged in to the site and selected "modify", the slot was gone. I decided I could shave a few seconds off my reaction time, so I opened a web page to the 'modify/cancel' login screen, typed in my id and password, and waited. Sure enough, in half an hour the script mailed me again. In less than half a second, I've pressed enter and logged in. Again, someone was there before me. I sat at the computer all afternoon, watching this happen 6 times. Finally, I was lucky enough to be the first person... but the slot I got was still in mid-July, not quite early enough. Eventually, late that night, a slot came free on June 21st, and I swooped in first. An interesting experience, but one that can't have done me any good, especially with a family history of hypertension.

Veterans of the visa ordeal tell me that this was the easy part. The nightmare of the interview is still ahead of me. Last year, a friend of mine called Jacob Thomas was suspected of being an 'Islamic terrorist' and had to defer his admission until the FBI cleared him! I suspect that by August, I'll be able to add to the fund of horror stories.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about JT (Beep?). I did think, however that you would put the following in quotes: Islamic terrorist.

Just makes it seem like you agree with the terminology, but disapprove of the fact that your friend (Beep) was accused of being one.


raka said...

Ran through this site, while searching for tips to book a slot.
I am in the same situation you were in a year ago. I got admitted to Gatech computer science but this visa this is proving to be tougher than getting an admission.

This year they have that string recognition system in place, and hence i guess scripts won't do.

My reporting date is 16th Aug and my interview is for 19th Aug. Got to change soon.

Hope I will have an interestind story to tell.