22 April 2013
The procedure for obtaining a tourist visa for most countries is similar. One fills out a form, mails it to the country's embassy, then they mail back the visa. Some countries have the whole process be online (e.g. Canada), some countries require the physical passport to be mailed (e.g. Vietnam), but the process is more or less the same. Except for the US.
The US embassy (as seen recently in Vietnam) requires so much paperwork that it takes a full month to assemble everything and prepare. Then one has to travel to the embassy for fingerprints and an in-person interview. This is rather inconvenient if, say, one lives on the other side of the country. About a week after the interview they telephone demanding that one return to the embassy. On arrival they simply inform one that the visa has been denied. It is a one-way conversation, one is not allowed to point out that the information they claim to be missing was in the original packet.
It is unforgivable that the US embassy would require people to travel across the country, just to say "no". Especially in a country where many people earn $2 per day. Looks like Quynh's family may not make it to the wedding.