美国签证官的一天:面谈上百人 90%申请都能通过

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美国签证官的工作日一天是怎样的?知乎上的这个问题获得了美国驻华大使馆领事处一等秘书费亦轮的解答。答案朴素,透露出签证官的平易近人。


领事官员的生活都是有关故事的......

一对父母去探望他们唯一的、从美国大学毕业的孩子;

一位商人去纽约从事价值数百万美元的商业交易;

一名高中生第一次离开中国去美国上学;

一位著名电影导演去访问好莱坞;

一群杂技演员将在密苏里州表演;以及一位祖母第一次去探望她的孙子。


所有这些人有什么共同点?他们可能都是一位领事官员一天里要面试的人,甚至是一小时内。一个工作日里,领事官员真的会听到很多故事,结合在一起,讲述了我们所处的这个国家的故事。在中国,我们听到了这个国家多么大、多么多样化的故事,以及自多年前那位祖母出生以来,这个国家有了多么大的改变。在中国工作,也让我们现在有我们自己的故事讲给我们的子孙讲。


在领事官员的生活中,每天都是不同的。一个典型的一天可能从我们与上述很多申请人面谈开始。每天每个官员面谈一百多位申请人,给了我们听到很多故事的机会。不幸的是,一些我们听到的故事不全是事实,看到申请人毁了他们获得签证的机会让人难过(申请签证,材料一定要真实)。我们也不喜欢拒绝签证申请,但根据我们的签证法律,一小部分人不符合资格。幸好,大约90%的中国签证申请被批准,所以每天我们在签证台上听故事的一天通常是愉快的一天,但很累!


有时候,我们很高兴,因为我们真的在人们生活的故事中带来重要影响。当我在澳大利亚工作时,我记得曾经在一个星期五的下午接到一个妻子的紧急预约,她的丈夫在美国遭遇了一场严重车祸。我可以批准她的签证,但签证要到星期六才能准备好。我同意周末来办公室亲自打印签证并交给她,这样她就能飞到美国去看望她住院的丈夫。她不断感谢我们“超越职责要求”并以这种方式给予她帮助。我很高兴我们给她带来变化,虽然这个个人经历并不愉快。


我们在中国这里做类似的工作。去年夏天,我们一群人在周末工作,为美中“战略与经济对话”颁发签证。我们知道这是一个让我们两国谈论共同关切的问题的重要论坛。尽管那时我们面对世界范围的电脑问题,我们让中国代表团准时到达美国。再次,我们很高兴能有所作为。


在我们结束与签证申请人的面谈并在我们的办公桌上完成余下的工作之后,我们还有其他工作要做。有时,我们的工作可能会被认为是“高级别的”,比如为奥巴马总统或国务卿这样的我们的重要官员的访问提供帮助。虽然我们为这些活动所做的工作往往并不是那么重要。


我们最喜欢做的事是公共对外发展。我们访问学校,向学生解释如何申请学生签证。我们还前往不同的省份与旅行社代理以及潜在的签证申请人谈话,以解释签证政策的任何变化。我们真的很喜欢做这类活动,因为它让我们更好地了解这个迷人的国家,并且让我们有更多的故事可讲!


然后,在我们的一天结束之时,我们回到我们自己的家人和朋友中。我们彼此分享我们的故事。说到底,中国人、美国人、每个人......都是有关我们经历过的体验以及这些有趣的体验为我们带来的故事。


Consular officers lives are all about stories….A father and mother visiting their only child who is graduating from university in the United States; a businessman going to New York for a business transaction valued in the millions of dollars; a high school student leaving China for the first time to attend school in the United States; a famous movie director going to Hollywood for business; a group of acrobats going to perform in Missouri; and a grandmother going to meet her grandchild for the first time. What do all of these people have in common?They are all someone a consular officer may interview in one day, even within one hour. During one working day, a consular officer truly hears multiple stories which, taken together, tell the story of the country we are serving in. In China, we hear a story of how large and diverse the country is and how much the country has changed since that grandmother was born so many years ago. Working in China also gives us our own story to tell now and to our grandchildren.


Each day in the life of a consular officer is different. A typical day may begin with us interviewing many of the applicants described above. Each officer interviews over one hundred applicants a day, given us the chance to hear many stories. Unfortunately, a few of the stories we here are aren’t the whole truth, and it is upsetting to see applicants ruin their chance to get a visa. We also do not like refusing visa applications, but a small portion of people do not qualify under our visa law. Fortunately, approximately 90% of Chinese visa applications are approved, so our day hearing stories on the visa line is generally a good day, but tiring!


Sometimes, we are happy because we truly make a difference in the stories of peoples’ lives. When I worked in Australia, I remember taking an emergency appointment on a Friday afternoon for a wife whose husband was in a serious car accident in the United States. I was able to approve her visa, but it wouldn’t be ready until Saturday. I agreed to come in on the weekend and print the visa myself to give it to her so she could fly to America to see her husband in the hospital. She was forever grateful that we went “beyond the call of duty” and helped her in this way. I was happy we made a difference to her even though the personal story was not a happy one. We do similar work here in China. A group of us worked on weekends last summer to issue visas for the Strategic and Economic dialogue. We knew this was an important forum for our two countries to talk about issues of mutual concerns, and despite the world-wide computer problems we were facing then, we were able to get the Chinese delegation to the United States on time. Again, we were happy to make a difference.


After we interview visa applications and work on the remaining cases at our desk, we have other work to do. Sometimes, our work might be considered “high-level” such as helping with the visit of our important officials like President Obama or the Secretary of State. Usually our work for those events is not that important, though. The thing we like doing the most is public outreach. We visit schools to explain to students how to apply for a student visa. We also travel to different provinces to talk with travel agents and potential visa applicants to explain any changes in visa policy. We really like doing these kinds of events because it gives us a better understanding of this fascinating country and more stories to tell!


Then, at the end of our day, we go home to our own families and friends. We share our stories with each other. At the end of the day, Chinese, Americans, everyone… are all about our experiences we’ve lived and the stories we have as a result of those interesting experiences.


作者:费亦轮,美国驻华大使馆领事处一等秘书  

来源:知乎

链接:http://www.zhihu.com/question/43738928/answer/97263947

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