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Visiting the Embassy Pre-Interview

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I was wondering if anyone has done this. We have our interview coming up in 1 and a half weeks. I am the USC (living abroad) and I am petitioning for my husband and step-daughter. According to several people I've talked to, I will NOT be allowed into the embassy for the interview. This makes me so nervous since I'm the one who is more organized and knows all of our paperwork by heart (although we are doing daily practice sessions :) )

So I had this idea that I could make an appointment at the embassy this week and just go in and ask a few simple questions about my case. Then I would know all of the embassy procedures and what not so my husband can be more prepared.

Is this a good idea or am I overthinking this whole thing? :help:


12/27/12 - Married in Bamako, Mali

11/12/13 - I-130 package sent

11/15/13 - NOA1

05/27/14 - NOA2

06/16/14 - Case received NVC

07/01/14 - Case number assigned

07/21/14 - DS-261 completed

07/25/14 - AOS bill paid

07/30/2014 - AOS package sent

08/18/2014 - add-on AOS package sent (learned that I should have sent 2 separate I-864s even though the cases are joined...oops!)

09/19/2014 - IV bill paid

09/26/2014 - AOS checklist received

11/09/2014 - DS 260 completed online

12/22/2014 - AOS checklist package and IV documents scan date

03/02/2015 - Case Complete!!! (70 days)

04/02/2015 - Interview in Dakar (221g - Needed to verify a court document)

04/21/2015- Visas in hand!!

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Show up at embassy with ur passport with ur family for interview ... Even if they won't allow you to go in give ur passport to ur husband and make sure her shows that's to co and tells him u are waiting for them outside ... This will be positive approach

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That's a really good idea, bunny&ninja.

Does anyone else have any thoughts about the USC visiting the embassy before the interview just to check it out?


12/27/12 - Married in Bamako, Mali

11/12/13 - I-130 package sent

11/15/13 - NOA1

05/27/14 - NOA2

06/16/14 - Case received NVC

07/01/14 - Case number assigned

07/21/14 - DS-261 completed

07/25/14 - AOS bill paid

07/30/2014 - AOS package sent

08/18/2014 - add-on AOS package sent (learned that I should have sent 2 separate I-864s even though the cases are joined...oops!)

09/19/2014 - IV bill paid

09/26/2014 - AOS checklist received

11/09/2014 - DS 260 completed online

12/22/2014 - AOS checklist package and IV documents scan date

03/02/2015 - Case Complete!!! (70 days)

04/02/2015 - Interview in Dakar (221g - Needed to verify a court document)

04/21/2015- Visas in hand!!

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The embassies and consulates are U.S. soil, so they can't deny you entry. If anyone tries, play the "American" card: "Are you a U.S. citizen? No? Well, I am. You will kindly let me enter my own embassy."

Even if you're not allowed in the interview itself, surely there's a waiting area. The above advice, of handing your passport to the beneficiary to show to the consul, is outstanding, and it might result in your being invited in to the interview. Even if it doesn't, it scores points beyond belief.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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The embassies and consulates are U.S. soil, so they can't deny you entry. If anyone tries, play the "American" card: "Are you a U.S. citizen? No? Well, I am. You will kindly let me enter my own embassy."

Even if you're not allowed in the interview itself, surely there's a waiting area. The above advice, of handing your passport to the beneficiary to show to the consul, is outstanding, and it might result in your being invited in to the interview. Even if it doesn't, it scores points beyond belief.

That's interesting. I never thought about demanding to enter- I guess I'm worried about getting on someone's bad side haha. The embassy explicitly states on the website that even USCs can only go in with an appointment. I'll have to decide how far I want to push it.

And I agree, giving my husband my passport to show is an excellent idea and one I never would thought of!


12/27/12 - Married in Bamako, Mali

11/12/13 - I-130 package sent

11/15/13 - NOA1

05/27/14 - NOA2

06/16/14 - Case received NVC

07/01/14 - Case number assigned

07/21/14 - DS-261 completed

07/25/14 - AOS bill paid

07/30/2014 - AOS package sent

08/18/2014 - add-on AOS package sent (learned that I should have sent 2 separate I-864s even though the cases are joined...oops!)

09/19/2014 - IV bill paid

09/26/2014 - AOS checklist received

11/09/2014 - DS 260 completed online

12/22/2014 - AOS checklist package and IV documents scan date

03/02/2015 - Case Complete!!! (70 days)

04/02/2015 - Interview in Dakar (221g - Needed to verify a court document)

04/21/2015- Visas in hand!!

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The embassies and consulates are U.S. soil, so they can't deny you entry. If anyone tries, play the "American" card: "Are you a U.S. citizen? No? Well, I am. You will kindly let me enter my own embassy."

This is just not true. You can, in fact, be denied entry to a US Embassy if you do not have business to conduct there. Most Embassies require you to have an appointment in order to enter for consular services (even American citizen services like renewal of your US passport). This is for both crowd control (to ensure there are not too many people for the inside space) and security (so they know who is supposed to be inside the Embassy). Demanding entry from a guard who is not authorized to grant it will get you nowhere. At most, they would have to pull an American officer away from the cases there with appointments in order to decide whether you have an emergency for which you need to enter. Not a way to win points.....

Even if successful, you would gain entry into the American citizen services area, not the visa area. They will not be able to discuss your visa case with you. Better that you study the Embassy website carefully, make sure you both understand all the points available on the process, your fiancee is as familiar as possible with all of your paperwork and informatin, and know that there will be lots of people inside the Embassy who will be able to explain things in the local language. You can, as others indicate, be outside the Embassy, waiting, in case they want to call you in to clarify something.

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This is just not true. You can, in fact, be denied entry to a US Embassy if you do not have business to conduct there. Most Embassies require you to have an appointment in order to enter for consular services (even American citizen services like renewal of your US passport). This is for both crowd control (to ensure there are not too many people for the inside space) and security (so they know who is supposed to be inside the Embassy). Demanding entry from a guard who is not authorized to grant it will get you nowhere. At most, they would have to pull an American officer away from the cases there with appointments in order to decide whether you have an emergency for which you need to enter. Not a way to win points.....

Even if successful, you would gain entry into the American citizen services area, not the visa area. They will not be able to discuss your visa case with you. Better that you study the Embassy website carefully, make sure you both understand all the points available on the process, your fiancee is as familiar as possible with all of your paperwork and informatin, and know that there will be lots of people inside the Embassy who will be able to explain things in the local language. You can, as others indicate, be outside the Embassy, waiting, in case they want to call you in to clarify something.

Thanks for the advice. Sounds like I'm best off just prepping my husband as much as possible and then wait outside during the interview!


12/27/12 - Married in Bamako, Mali

11/12/13 - I-130 package sent

11/15/13 - NOA1

05/27/14 - NOA2

06/16/14 - Case received NVC

07/01/14 - Case number assigned

07/21/14 - DS-261 completed

07/25/14 - AOS bill paid

07/30/2014 - AOS package sent

08/18/2014 - add-on AOS package sent (learned that I should have sent 2 separate I-864s even though the cases are joined...oops!)

09/19/2014 - IV bill paid

09/26/2014 - AOS checklist received

11/09/2014 - DS 260 completed online

12/22/2014 - AOS checklist package and IV documents scan date

03/02/2015 - Case Complete!!! (70 days)

04/02/2015 - Interview in Dakar (221g - Needed to verify a court document)

04/21/2015- Visas in hand!!

Share this post


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Share on other sites

This is just not true. You can, in fact, be denied entry to a US Embassy if you do not have business to conduct there. Most Embassies require you to have an appointment in order to enter for consular services (even American citizen services like renewal of your US passport). This is for both crowd control (to ensure there are not too many people for the inside space) and security (so they know who is supposed to be inside the Embassy). Demanding entry from a guard who is not authorized to grant it will get you nowhere. At most, they would have to pull an American officer away from the cases there with appointments in order to decide whether you have an emergency for which you need to enter. Not a way to win points.....

Even if successful, you would gain entry into the American citizen services area, not the visa area. They will not be able to discuss your visa case with you. Better that you study the Embassy website carefully, make sure you both understand all the points available on the process, your fiancee is as familiar as possible with all of your paperwork and informatin, and know that there will be lots of people inside the Embassy who will be able to explain things in the local language. You can, as others indicate, be outside the Embassy, waiting, in case they want to call you in to clarify something.

She does have business there. Good points otherwise.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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