With all of the holiday parties and work I had, I am a little late sharing the news and expressing my gratitude.
Words cannot describe how much this forum has meant to me. I complained, panicked, learned new things all of the time, met some incredible people, people with unbelievable stories... it was nice going into this process knowing that you are not alone. Thank you for the support and the shoulder to cry on, it means the world to me, I will remember you all.
A big shout-out to Saylin who not only has helped the NVC stagers tremendously but is also such a nice and patient person and to TogetherForever, my good friend, doing wonders with all of the Egypt filers. And to Nickky just because he's my May-filer twin. You go guys.
Here is how our interview experience went down:
Hadrien's appointment time was at 1 pm on Dec 21st, 2011. We checked the information on the embassy portal and it told us that we did not need to arrive earlier than 30 minutes before, so we arrived at 10 to 1.
After going through security, we took a number, bought a Chronoposte enveloppe from the vending machine and took passport pictures from the photo booth. ***WARNING*** the embassy's Chonoposte vending machine only carries 500g enveloppes ~ according to the amount of paperwork you included it is safer to buy a 1kg or 2kg envelope before the interview.
Hadrien and I waited about 30 minutes before our number was called to one of the windows. An older woman checked our appointment letter and made sure we paid the fees.
We sat back down and waited for our number to be called again. Unluckily for us, because we arrived late and there were 2 couples and 2 families before us, we waited FOUR hours before being called again. Three of the four couples had complicated cases and took about 1h-1h30 each for the paper checking.. I didn't catch all of the details but both were multi-cultural and had lived other places (whether or not they had children, did not make a difference) and were defending their cases more adamently than the rest of us.
The other visa case was a young couple interviewing for their K-1 visa and they got approved in NO time.
Anyways......after FOUR hours.. we FINALLY get called to window 11. At this point EVERYONE left the consulate. lol. A really nice woman was apologizing profusely for making us wait so long. She told us that most of the cases were difficult that day and that they usually don't end this late. She looked through our file and already had everything photocopied because I sent those in as with the originals.
The only thing she wanted was Hadrien's birth certificate that has our marriage date written on it and thank goodness I told Hadrien to order new ones right before the interview!
She was talking to us like our file was already accepted and asked us when we wanted to leave (we told her the 31st).
The only problem we had was that we bought a 500g enveloppe from the vending machine and were worried about it not being big enough for all of our documents. We asked if it was possible to bring another one the next day and she said to come bring it to her directly and she would mail it out right away.
After checking all of our documents we were asked to sit back down. The vice-consul called us up to window 14 about 5 minutes later for Hadrien's interview. Because I accompanied Hadrien to the interview, she made me come up and answer questions too. I'll re-enact the dialogue for you, Hadrien and I messed up the questions quite a few times but thank god it was alright in the end:
Vice-Consul : - Where and how did you meet?
Hadrien: - At the Opera 7 years ago. Allegra was a student in Paris and we were both working as ushers there and were friends. A year later we started "hanging out." And have been together 6 years now.
Allegra: - HANGING OUT??? you mean Going out.
Hadrien: - Yes, sorry. lol. Tomorrow will be 8 months exactly since our civil ceremony.
Allegra: - Not tomorrow!!!!!!!! You mean TODAY!!!!
Vice-Consul to Allegra: -When did you move back to the States?
Allegra: 1 year and a half ago.
Vice-Consul: When did you finish school?
Allegra: -I don't remember.. I think it was 2010
****It was 2009*****
Vice-Consul starts reviewing the papers and tries to trick us: - I see here you were married in "March".
Allegra and Hadrien: -NOOOOOO we were married in APRIL!!!
Vice-Consul: -So you got married in the United States?
Allegra: -We had a civil marriage in the States in April, but had a religious ceremony in Paris over the summer.
Vice-Consul: - Is the Co-Sponsor your father?
Allegra: - Yes.
Vice-Consul smiles: -OK, I think I am going to approve you.
Hadrien and Allegra are staring blank faced at her.
Vice-Consul: - Guys you HAVE YOUR VISA!!!!!!
Hadrien and Allegra after a long delayed reaction: - YAYAYAYAYAYAY, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Then we walked around Paris, went to the Opera House, said good-bye, had bottles upon bottles of champagne, started packing up our French lives and, on the 31st of December, off to bigger and better things.
The next day we brought the 1kg Chronoposte envelope- the woman held her promise we received our visa the very next day (23rd).
Lesson: don't listen to the embassy page telling you to arrive no earlier than 30 minutes before, you WILL wait forever.
Edited by Allegra+Hadrien, 27 December 2011 - 05:41 AM.