Have you ever thought about what it would be like to go for a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo?

“I have no idea, but it sounds scary!”

“A visa interview at the Embassy sounds way too hard. I’d never be able to do it!”

“I can’t study abroad because I don’t speak enough English to apply for a visa.”

There are probably many people in Japan who agree with the above statements and are depriving themselves of the chance to study abroad as a result.

To help calm the fears and answer the questions of people like this, the Public Affairs Section and the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo teamed up to create a new video that shows the visa interview process from beginning to end in an entertaining way. In “Noriko’s Visa Adventure at U.S. Embassy Tokyo,” a young woman named Noriko goes to the Embassy for a visa interview. The interview process is explained step-by-step by a new Embassy character modeled after a jelly bean.

If you’ve ever been to the Embassy, you probably know that security is extremely tight and it’s not the kind of place where you can just drop in and take a look. Even though there are strict rules about taking photos and videos, this video shows both the exterior and interior of the Embassy, mainly focusing on the Consular Section. Such scenes of the Embassy have probably never been recorded on video before!


The part of Noriko, who applies for a visa for the first time in the video, is enthusiastically performed by actress Chika Sawada. When Chika was asked to run up the hill toward the Embassy several times to get the right shot, she never complained and kept smiling even though she had blisters on her feet from running in heels. How professional! She also had no problem realistically portraying a scene in which she dropped her purse and screamed when she realized there was a long line of people waiting to go into the Embassy. Everyone who worked on the video was very impressed with her performance.

Chika Sawada as main character Noriko

Several students also acted in the video as extras.

Photos of students

This video also features the Embassy jelly bean character in his video debut! The character explains the visa interview process step-by-step as Noriko completes the procedures. The character’s voice is played by voice actor Kyoka Kindaichi, who also appears in the video as a special guest.

Embassy jelly bean character

We had a lot of fun producing the video and now it’s available online! We hope it will help show people who feel anxious about applying and interviewing for a visa that it’s not actually that difficult, and “You can do it!”  If you already have an interview appointment, you might want to take a look at the video to prepare yourself.

We welcome comments on the visa interview video and suggestions for new videos on other Embassy services that you would like to know more about.

●     Check out the Embassy website for visa information http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/visa/tvisa-nivgeneral.html

●     Follow the Consular Section’s Twitter account twitter.com/USVisaTokyo

●     Read Chika Sawada’s blog http://ameblo.jp/chikalabo