One year ago today. On the sunny Tuesday of April 17th 2018 I visited the US embassy in Stockholm Sweden and applied for a visa. I’m still waiting for them to respond.
My days-since-my-visa-application counter page is still counting. Technically speaking, I had already applied but that was the day of the actual physical in-person interview that served as the last formal step in the application process. Most people are then getting their visa application confirmed within weeks.
Initially I emailed them a few times after that interview since the process took so long (little did I know back then), but now I haven’t done it for many months. Their last response assured me that they are “working on it”.
During this year I missed out on a Mozilla all-hands, I’ve been invited to the US several times to talk at conferences that I had to decline and a friend is getting married there this summer and I can’t go. And more.
Going forward I will miss more interesting meetings and speaking opportunities and I have many friends whom I cannot visit. This is a mild blocker to things I would want to do and it is an obstacle to my profession and career.
I guess I might get my rejection notice before my counter reaches two full years, based on stories I’ve heard from other people in similar situations such as mine. I don’t know yet what I’ll do when it eventually happens. I don’t think there are any rules that prevent me from reapplying, other than the fact that I need to pay more money and I can’t think of any particular reason why they would change their minds just by me trying again. I will probably give it a rest a while first.
I’m lucky and fortunate that people and organizations have adopted to my situation – a situation I of course I share with many others so it’s not uniquely mine – so lots of meetings and events have been held outside of the US at least partially to accommodate me. I’m most grateful for this and I understand that at times it won’t work and I then can’t attend. These days most things are at least partly accessible via video streams etc, repairing the harm a little. (And yes, this is a first-world problem and I’m fortunate that I can still travel to most other parts of the world without much trouble.)
Finally: no, I still have no clue as to why they act like this and I don’t have any hope of ever finding out.