U.S. Embassy Riyadh aka Bureau of Ignorance

The U.S embassy in Riyadh recently rejected my husbands visa application after having him waiting for over a YEAR for it to be processed. That’s longer than any of the developing countries like say Zimbabwe would take to process any kind of applications. So now they finally decided to inform him it has been denied because they obviously suspect him of something sneaky. Ridiculous!!!

We’ve wanted to travel to Hawaii for a long time and of course my husband wants to visit his dear friends there so last year he decided to apply for the visa, that was around August. After having lived in the States for 15 years, over half of his life, it feels like a second home to him and we were really looking forward to flying over last year.
After my husband applied, the embassy did not reply his emails and enquiries about the application process. They just said he had to wait. Every once in a while he would ask about it but nothing happened. We had to change our travel plans and decided to postpone our trip.
Months went by with no word from them. In the meanwhile my husband would obtain a Shengen visa two times with no difficulties.

Then this October they suddenly contacted him wanting to have an interview. Finally we thought some progress and the news article seemed promising, stating It now only takes nine days to get an interview appointment for a visa at the US Embassy in Riyadh, and a maximum of four weeks to receive the visa afterward”. They asked to see my husbands previous passport, which had visit visas to the States, latest just two years back actually.

He arrived for his interview and was then was made to wait in the embassy for three hours for his interview which was conducted by some senior terrorist investigator visa official. They were particularly interested in what my husband had been doing working as a volunteer for an Islamic organization over 10 years ago when he was a teenager. Seriously, first of all this is a reputable organization and it was so long ago, suddenly it is an issue? Where is the logic? Oh, yes because it’s an Islamic organization. But has he ever commited any crimes or violations or acted in any way suspicious?? Why did it take over a year to reach this decision? How come he was issued visas many times before? Since when did volunteer work and doing something good become a crime? Oh yes-of course when it’s done for an Islamic cause.
This is so maddening and ridiculous, they should be ashamed for this stupidity! Clearly they suspect my husband is involved in something fishy in other words terrorism. What a great example yet again of the Great American Ignorance and prejudices.

Some goon representative from the Ignorance Bureau even said in the article “the US Embassy is delighted at the growing number of visa applications by Saudis” and they have “strong commitment to encourage Saudis to go to the US for education, business and other purposes” 
Ya right, what a JOKE!

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Hello there, I'm Laura, the author of Blue Abaya, the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia established in 2010. I've been traveling around and exploring Saudi Arabia since 2008. Connect with me on social media with the links below!
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  • FalaxyNovember 6, 2010 - 5:31 am

    my friend’s visa was rejected because she is a muslim bosnian and her husband is a pakistani who lived all his life in KSA, that spells Al Qaeda apparently, lol! they actually interviewed her for a good hour or two just about her husband!ReplyCancel

  • Om Lujain©November 6, 2010 - 12:48 pm

    That is rather weird, especially seeing that he lived there for such a long time, and had a visa 2 years ago. Does he get the chance to re-apply?ReplyCancel

  • NanusaNovember 6, 2010 - 6:58 pm

    Wow..I’m south African and my husband Saudi and we planning on applying ciz we wanna travel in the summer..I hope it goes ok…ReplyCancel

  • LaylahNovember 7, 2010 - 10:06 am

    Om Lujain-yes he can re-apply but I dont see how that is going to change their opinion. At the moment we dont even feel like going there because all this nonsense.

    Nanusa-I guess if your Saudi hasnt been living in the States or worked any kind of volunteer work than there would be no problem inshallah.

    Falaxy-they really dont seem to have a clue on the right people to target for alQaeda connections or whatever sneaky businees they suspect!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousNovember 8, 2010 - 10:54 am

    I honestly believe that all Muslims should boycott the US. If we all stop going there they might actually see that the tourism economy is going down the drain.

    Who wants to got to the US anyway… They do not have half of what Europe has in terms of cultural locations, events and History. I see the US only as a business destination and I go there only if I have to for work.

    If you want to live that American experience you can got to Euro Disney and you have McDonald’s pretty much every where you go.

    As for the rest, you have TV and Movies to get your daily USA fix.

    Then they wonder why the world does not like them…ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousNovember 8, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    My brothers visa ( student ) was rejected twic to the US , he’s Indian, been an exemplerry student and has no links with anything muslim , yet he was rejected, i think they rejest a % of visa for no reason, they can’t let anyone and everyone in can they, they limited my aged parents visitor visa to 60days :-) why i have no clue.. but such is the way for immigration.. hope you guys succeed next time.

    @ anon – i doubt economy in th eus will go down if muslims stop goingthere – which again nis unlikely. europe rejects visaas too, UK is known for it’s finicky Visa issuance, guess thats an issue everywhere … saudi took an inordinate time to approve my marriage and i wasn’t even seeing to travel there …ReplyCancel

  • AliNovember 14, 2010 - 3:40 am

    You should put USA on your “ignore” list after this. I put all countries where I do not get a visa on port, or easily, or don’t need a visa to go to, on my ignore list years ago. Surprisingly, USA is not one of them.. UK IS. All it takes is one IDIOT immigration officer to make the whole country look bad!ReplyCancel

  • DBMarch 20, 2011 - 6:38 pm

    As a national of a developing country I must say the U.S.A has always been a notoriously difficult country to get entry visa’s for. Of late it has reached astronomical proportions.

    Within the last year I know of fellow researchers who have also waited on the visa process for months before being granted or rejected. In the mean time having to postpone or even cancel their scientific presentations and meetings. One of these researchers had actually lived and worked in the U.S.A in the past. Neither of these people were muslim or middle eastern. They were however asked many questions about their research with an attempt to find out if they were researching biological agents. It’s incredible!

    All these security checks and I still felt no safer when I went to the U.S.A last year. Unfortunately the security system seems to be based on a reactionary policy of fear rather than a well thought out logical and systematic policy.ReplyCancel

    • AnonymousJune 27, 2012 - 12:32 am

      Well said!ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousJune 26, 2012 - 5:09 pm

    I went a few days ago to the useless interview and after a few questions was asked to wait for a few months due to “Administrative Processing”. It appears that my visit to the U.S. in August of 2001 and leaving a few days before 9/11 was the culprit! From the start, they way they treat Saudis is really deplorable and their security staff at the enterance are awful. Third-wolrd junk with lousy attitude and trying to be so protective as if they were scientists in a nuclear reactor. Bad English and bad Arabic makes a bad situation worse and I can’t figure out why the American Embassy is so cheap. It’s important for the Saudi government to demand more improvments especially that so many Saudi students are sent there and that their families sometimes choose to go their for a visit.ReplyCancel

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