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Our K1 interview experience (04-23-2015)

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I'm the petitioner and I went to the Philippines to be with my fiance during her interview. I just wanted to share our experience during that fated day.

Our appointment was at 7:30 am on April 23, 2015. We stayed at a hotel in Malate the night before and arrived at the USEM at around 6 am. There was already a long line when we arrived. It was a bit confusing as there were multiple lines for each visa type and the parallel lines were split off into 2 sections to make sure the driveway with the big gate was left clear. Since we joined the section further away, we couldn't tell which line was which as the end of the line (that had the signs) was too far away. Luckily, there were these old ladies walking around, they helped people get into the right line and gave tips to everyone, like making sure people had black pens or that electronic devices weren't allowed inside. As the front section slowly entered the building, some workers moved the back section to the front in batches of about 10 people at a time. When we were at the front section, for some reason a rumor spread around and people were folding their DS-160 forms in half... inside USEM we were all scolded by a worker that we aren't supposed to fold it.

When we reached the podium at the end of the line, we handed the worker our Appointment confirmation letter, DS-160 and fiance's passport. They placed a sticker on the back of her passport and put it in a clear plastic bag with the passport biopage open, then handed back to us with the DS-160. For some reason they didn't even want to see my passport, I guess they just assumed I'm the petitioner. About 10 ft from the podium was the entrance to a small building where security is. US citizens enter through the left door and applicants enter the right. Inside, the 2 sections were separated by a glass window so you could still see your fiance. At the time I was holding all of our folders and paperwork. As I went through security I was flagged for a few things: a stapler, a musical greeting card, and a USB drive that my fiance forgot to leave out. Fortunately they didn't confiscate anything, they took the electronics (except the stapler) and gave me a number so we can retrieve them later.

After security, you exit the small building. US citizens have a path right to the next area. Applicants are greeted with a zigzagging line to a booth. I watched my fiance as she made it to the booth. She gave her DS-160 and they stapled a number onto the form and gave it back to her. We met up again behind the booth and were in an area under a large tent right outside the USEM building entrance and many available seats. There was a food vendor in the middle and 2 sections of seats on each side. We were not given any guidance on where to go and there were no signs where to sit. We ended up entering the USEM building, then was told to go out again. We sat in the left section, then was scolded by a worker that that was for non-immigrant visas, so we switched to the other side. A worker assisted in letting people inside the building in batches of 10 people. The way they let people inside made absolutely no sense. Our number was 7026, but the worker ended up calling 7015-18, 20-21, 24-25, 31-33 to fall in line, then let them in the building. The worker came back out again and called more sets of numbers. Then we waited for about 15 mins as they couldn't let anymore people in the building. We were the last batch of 10 to enter... seeing how one person with number 7068 went in 2 batches before us really got on my nerves...

Ok, inside the building, we went through the security check, then fell in line at Step 1. In this building, you will see many booths separated into sections, and many seats in sections. The left side of the building was for non-immigrant visas, right side for immigrant. The booth sections had signs: Step 1 Fingerprints, Step 2 Pre-Screening, Step 3 Oath Taking, Step 4 Interview, Step 5 Releasing. There were only 2 booths open for us at the time but it still went quick. We had an american for ours, he asked to see our DS-160 and instructed my fiance to do her fingerprint scans, then told us to proceed to Step 2B. This means sit at seat section B in front of the Step 2 booths.

Step 2 Pre-Screening. This part was even more chaotic than before! A lady micromanaged us by shifting us in our seats as the front row people left to go to a booth. After shuffling seats a few times, she instructed us to move to seat section A right next us...more seat shuffling. Meanwhile new people coming from Step 1, who the taskmaster lady didn't see, ended up sitting wherever they wanted and shifted in the wrong direction or not shifting at all. Some people who just finished Step 1 ended up finishing Step 2 before us. You'd think that the US Embassy would be more American-like... it was total chaos.

When it was finally our turn, we had a Filipino pre-screener. He spent a few minutes entering data into the computer then began with the questions. Our situation is unique in that my fiance has had 2 annulments, but we also have a child together who we've registered as a US citizen a couple years ago. He first asked my fiance basic questions like her birthdate, my name and address in the states, then asked her how we met. He asked her the reason why she annulled her first husband and then second husband, then asked us for the annulment paperwork. He took our Certified True Copies of everything for both annulments: Petition, Decision, Finality, LCR paperwork, and NSO CENOMAR (Form No. 5 Advisory of Marriages), and inserted them all into his file. He asked a few more specific questions regarding us and her previous relationships. As our story got more confusing the more we explained, I told him about our son and that we've already been through the USEM before and proved our relationship. I provided him a copy of our son's Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate. He took that, did some stuff on the computer, then smiled at us and said "Thank you, I have everything that I need and no further questions." Overall, the questions were mostly directed at my fiance, but the guy didn't seem to mind whenever I interrupted to elaborate her answer. Since my fiance can't speak English very well, we asked him to notify the Consular Officer that we need a translator.

Step 3 Oath Taking. There was only 1 booth open, but the single file line went pretty quick. I think my fiance was allowed to do the oath in Tagalog actually.

Step 4 Interview. This was just like Step 2, but even worse! There were 4 sections of seats (A, B, C, D) and only 4 booths open for the interview. This was the biggest bottleneck. We ended up in section C, and again we had some lady poorly managing us, this time no seat shuffling. I "believe" the order went D to A, back row to front row. The front row would go up to fall in line by the 4 booths. We mistakenly sat in section C, which had apparently just cleared up, so we had to wait for B, A, and D to clear before it was our turn. We waited for about 2 hours or so. Meanwhile, there were people coming from Step 3 that had no idea where to go, and they joined the line for the interview booths indirectly making our wait even longer! It was so unfair that some people didn't even sit down to wait. I complained to the lady and she then paid closer attention to people coming from Step 3, making sure they don't go directly to the Step 4 line.

Eventually it was our turn. The american consular officer spent some time entering data into the computer and glancing over our documents. The surprising part was that all K1 petitioners present were allowed to interview with their fiances. In fact for us, all of his questions were directed at me, he didn't ask a single question to my fiance nor did they even get a translator for us! I attribute that to our complete paperwork and tons of relationship evidence. The CO looked carefully at our son's CRBA certificate, then my fiance's CENOMAR, then read through the first annulment finality, then quickly flipped through the rest of the annulment papers, then looked at our photos. All the photos in our file were scanned prints of the 25 photos I included in the I-129F package. Looking seemingly satisfied with what he saw, the CO asked us very simple questions: When did I arrive in the Philippines? When is she planning on coming to the US? How long have we known each other? How many times have I visited her? Then finally he closed our file, relaxed in his chair, and asked us to tell the story of our relationship. I wasn't sure who the question was directed to so I asked who he wants the answer from, he shrugged his shoulders and said either of us, so I took the liberty to story-tell for the next few minutes. The man listened and then smiled.

Unfortunately, we didn't get approved on the spot. The CO told us that he'd issue our visa that day, but couldn't because he needed my fiance's NBI including her A.K.A. names from her previous marriages. He told us this is required even if she never used her other names. I found out later that were already some posts about this on this forum, but didn't see them until after the fact. Hank_, if you're reading this, I recommend you add this note into your guide. People who have had annulments MUST have their A.K.A. name (using the surname of their previous spouse) in their NBI or else they WILL receive a 221(g) at the interview. The CO told us that the turnaround time should be fairly short -- I'm hoping that he meant that we're basically approved and will get our visa very soon once we provide the updated NBI. Then he handed my fiance a pamphlet on domestic violence and told us to wait at Step 5.

Step 5 Releasing. About a 10 min wait and we were at the booth. A very energetic and cheerful Filipino at the booth greeted us, asked to see our DS-160, then explained to us how we can obtain the updated NBI and how to send it to the USEM via 2GO. He confirmed our email address and told us that he sent us the 221(g) via email that very moment.

It took us almost a week to get the new NBI due to technical problems they were having, but we managed to obtain it and send it back to USEM last week. They received it last Wed (Apr 29) and our CEAC status updated on Apr 30 (..probably just to show our case was touched). May 1 was unfortunately a Holiday, so I hope they get to review our case this week. Due to ticket prices getting higher and the fact that I need to get back home to work too, I purchased tickets for my fiance, son, and I to fly together on May 19. I pray that we get her visa before that...


12-01-2014: Sent I-129F package via FedEx

12-03-2014: Package arrived at TSC

12-08-2014: Check cashed

12-12-2014: NOA1 hard copy

01-23-2015: USCIS status: Case was Approved

01-30-2015: NOA2 hard copy

02-02-2015: USCIS sent K1 package to NVC

02-10-2015: NVC received K1 package

02-11-2015: Date that NVC supposedly assigned case number

02-18-2015: Called NVC and asked for case number

02-23-2015: Paid MRV Fee

03-02-2015: Scheduled USEM interview appointment

03-02-2015: NVC letter received

03-09-2015: Medical interview

04-23-2015: USEM interview, got 221g email, CEAC status: Immigrant AP

04-28-2015: CFO Seminar, sent 221g response

04-29-2015: USEM received 221g response

04-30-2015: CEAC status date updated

06-17-2015: CEAC status: Non-Immigrant Ready

06-27-2015: CEAC status: Non-Immigrant AP

07-01-2015: Visa in hand! (CEAC still AP lol)

 

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Wow, what an experience. Thank you for sharing with us a very detailed K1 interview visa experience it was very insightful. i believe your experience will be very helpful to a lot of other VJs here. I remembered my K1 experience as well and it was kind of a funny one since while I was looking at my number on the screen for my fingerprinting (I think it's pre-screening), I immediately got up and the moment I entered inside the building I forgot (like a mental blackout) my booth number OMG! So what I did, I just fall in line to one booth and asked the consul then the consul smiled and said my papers was not there then I fall in line again on the other booth and luckily, my papers were there hahaha :) So moral lesson of the story: Don't get too overwhelmed and pay attention on the number of the booth on the screen that will be provided and write it on a piece of paper ;)

Will be praying for you xwind and God Bless on the journey ahead :)


710-23-2014 - K1 interview (Phils): Approved
10-31-2014 - K1 Visa received
01-20-2015 - POE
02-20-2015 - Marriage
03-20-2015 - AOS/EAD/AP Packet Submission (day 0) ** date I submitted ***
03-24-2015 - NOA1 received (day 4)
03-27-2015 - NOA1 hard copies received (day 7)
04-06-2015 - Biometrics letter hard copy received (day 17)
04-16-2015 - Biometrics Appointment (day 27)
05-01-2015 - USCIS changed to Interview is scheduled (day 42)
05-06-2015 - Hardcopy of interview notice received ( I-797 C, NOA) (day 46)
06-02-2015- Conditional GC got approved (day 82) 
06-08-2015- Hard copy of Welcome notice received via mail (day 88)
06-10-2015- Actual GC received via mail  (day 90)
ROC
4/06/17 - Sent package (day 0)
4/7/17 -  USCIS received package (day 1) NOA date
4/14/17 - check encashed (day 😎
4/15/17 - NOA 1 received (day 9)
4/22/17 - Biometrics notice date (day 16)
4/29/17 - Biometrics notice letter received (day 23)
5/9/17 - Biometrics done (day 33)
3/19/18 - Case approved
3/23/18 - Approval letter received
4/6/18 - Actual 10-yr GC received 
N400 (under 3-year rule)
4/27/18 - filed N400 online (Friday) (day 0)
4/27/18 - paid/payment received (day 0)
4/27/18 - NOA date
5/21/18 - Biometrics done
7/25/18 - Interview letter date
8/31/18 - Scheduled interview. Got approved!
9/20/18 - Naturalization ceremony in Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA
 
"Seasons of waiting are designed to prepare you, stretch your faith, and get you ready for everything that's coming next" - curiano quotes life

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Great write up.

You could of went thru the same line as your girl when you entered, if you wanted. I did.

Good thing they will hold electronics inside embassy for US Citizens, There is a group of scammers who "hold electronics for Philippines Citizens and they have disappeared when they go to retrieve them.

On the K1 it up to the CO if the US Petitioner is allowed to be part of the interview, I was allowed. I say others US citizens who were told to sit.

Congrats........

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Thanks for sharing your experience. Those who will be going through the experience that you just have should be able to get a good idea what takes place and what the different CO's are looking for. I was one of those who was asked to sit down, though I missed hearing and being a close part of my wife's interview, I was entertained by an American CO that was ripping a new one for a girl who was trying to sneak her sisters kid into the USA.

Thanks for the tip for Hank to update his NBI narrative to include your recommendation. He talks about that all the time to others but I think he just forgot when he was working on his website. I checked mine and I had it there. So thanks for the heads up.

I hope you didn't make a mistake with booking and purchasing your tickets but anyhooo good luck.


Spoiler

Adjustment of Status

AOS March 5, 2014 Submitted AOS with EAD/AP package to Chicago USICS

Delivered March 8, 2014 AOS packaged delivered to USCIS drop box

Accepted March 19, 2014 Text message with receipt numbers

Biometrics April 16, 2014 Biometrics completed

EAD May 23, 2014 Employment Authorization Document approved and went to card production

TD May 23, 2014 Travel Document approved and went for card production

Receipt EAD/AP May 30, 2014 Received combo card EAD/AP

Green Card Approved July 11, 2014 Approved, no interview. Went to card production.

Green Card received July 17, 2014 GC received without interview

Removal of Conditions

Mailed I-751 Dec 16, 2015 Submitted ROC (removal of conditions)

Received Dec 18, 2015 USPS notification of successful delivery

Check Cashed Dec 21, 2015 Check was cashed

NOA-1 Issued Dec 21, 2015 NOA-1 for ROC issued

NOA-1 Issued Dec 26, 2015 NOA-1 Received

Biometrics Appt. Jan 29, 2016 Biometrics Appointment Scheduled [Completed]

 

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Yeah I hope I didn't make a mistake with the tickets either. I kind of took a risk there. I did make sure the tickets I got were refundable/rebookable (with a fee). I think if we don't get our visa in time, I'll still go back to the US and rebook my family to fly at a later date.

Likewise, we saw quite a few people get destroyed at their interview while we waited for our turn. One lady barely had any evidence.. just a couple pictures and letters, no chat logs or anything. She had 2 kids with her and could barely understand the questions asked. I could hear the interviewer's frustration from my seat.. The lady was in tears by the end, begging that they grant her a visa for the kids' sake. Didn't end well...

There was another lady that almost failed right at the start. I overheard the interviewer say "You mean to say you can't speak English at all? Well how do you communicate with your fiance?" ...she answered "Umm English?" She was asked "Ok...show me any evidence of your communication." She had nothing, no chat logs or phone logs. She only had 1 picture too...

The interviewers were pretty forgiving actually. They really try to look at all angles. If they ask for something and you don't have it, they'll try asking for something else, or change up the questions. They don't just outright deny you on the spot because you answered a question wrong or couldn't give what they want. I thought that was a good thing. :)

The whole process is nerve wrecking up to the 2nd interview, it's only natural to be nervous. But as long as you have complete paperwork, lots of relationship evidence, and nothing to hide, then there's really nothing to fear, just be yourself at the interview.

We had tons of evidence with us. Skype and cellphone message logs, 50 more photos, a police clearance from the Japan Embassy due to my fiance's employment in Japan nearly 10 years ago, flight itineraries and hotel receipts from prior visits, greeting cards, the CD from the medical interview, paystubs, letter from employer and bank... none of which was asked of us. I think the CO was already satisfied with what we provided in the I-129F package and to the pre-screener.

Oh, I forgot to add one more thing to my post above. Besides attaching the number to our DS-160 (which was entirely useless for us because they never announced the numbers on the electronic board that day...) they also stapled a small list of requirements that you need to give to the pre-screener. It says:

SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING DURING INTERVIEW:

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS:

  • Valid passport
  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • NSO CENOMAR or Marriage Certificate
  • Updated NBI clearance (for Travel Abroad)
  • Affidavit of Support from the petitioner (Form I-134)
  • Proof of relationship with the petitioner

PHOTOCOPIES:

  • Latest Income Tax Returns (Form 1040)
  • Latest Withholding Tax Statement (W-2)

12-01-2014: Sent I-129F package via FedEx

12-03-2014: Package arrived at TSC

12-08-2014: Check cashed

12-12-2014: NOA1 hard copy

01-23-2015: USCIS status: Case was Approved

01-30-2015: NOA2 hard copy

02-02-2015: USCIS sent K1 package to NVC

02-10-2015: NVC received K1 package

02-11-2015: Date that NVC supposedly assigned case number

02-18-2015: Called NVC and asked for case number

02-23-2015: Paid MRV Fee

03-02-2015: Scheduled USEM interview appointment

03-02-2015: NVC letter received

03-09-2015: Medical interview

04-23-2015: USEM interview, got 221g email, CEAC status: Immigrant AP

04-28-2015: CFO Seminar, sent 221g response

04-29-2015: USEM received 221g response

04-30-2015: CEAC status date updated

06-17-2015: CEAC status: Non-Immigrant Ready

06-27-2015: CEAC status: Non-Immigrant AP

07-01-2015: Visa in hand! (CEAC still AP lol)

 

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Yeah I hope I didn't make a mistake with the tickets either. I kind of took a risk there. I did make sure the tickets I got were refundable/rebookable (with a fee). I think if we don't get our visa in time, I'll still go back to the US and rebook my family to fly at a later date.

Likewise, we saw quite a few people get destroyed at their interview while we waited for our turn. One lady barely had any evidence.. just a couple pictures and letters, no chat logs or anything. She had 2 kids with her and could barely understand the questions asked. I could hear the interviewer's frustration from my seat.. The lady was in tears by the end, begging that they grant her a visa for the kids' sake. Didn't end well...

There was another lady that almost failed right at the start. I overheard the interviewer say "You mean to say you can't speak English at all? Well how do you communicate with your fiance?" ...she answered "Umm English?" She was asked "Ok...show me any evidence of your communication." She had nothing, no chat logs or phone logs. She only had 1 picture too...

The interviewers were pretty forgiving actually. They really try to look at all angles. If they ask for something and you don't have it, they'll try asking for something else, or change up the questions. They don't just outright deny you on the spot because you answered a question wrong or couldn't give what they want. I thought that was a good thing. :)

The whole process is nerve wrecking up to the 2nd interview, it's only natural to be nervous. But as long as you have complete paperwork, lots of relationship evidence, and nothing to hide, then there's really nothing to fear, just be yourself at the interview.

We had tons of evidence with us. Skype and cellphone message logs, 50 more photos, a police clearance from the Japan Embassy due to my fiance's employment in Japan nearly 10 years ago, flight itineraries and hotel receipts from prior visits, greeting cards, the CD from the medical interview, paystubs, letter from employer and bank... none of which was asked of us. I think the CO was already satisfied with what we provided in the I-129F package and to the pre-screener.

Oh, I forgot to add one more thing to my post above. Besides attaching the number to our DS-160 (which was entirely useless for us because they never announced the numbers on the electronic board that day...) they also stapled a small list of requirements that you need to give to the pre-screener. It says:

SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING DURING INTERVIEW:

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS:

  • Valid passport
  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • NSO CENOMAR or Marriage Certificate
  • Updated NBI clearance (for Travel Abroad)
  • Affidavit of Support from the petitioner (Form I-134)
  • Proof of relationship with the petitioner
PHOTOCOPIES:
  • Latest Income Tax Returns (Form 1040)
  • Latest Withholding Tax Statement (W-2)

We were there at the same day. I had 6:30 am appointment but i guess everyone will be at stage 4 (interview) at the same time :)

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Congrats!!!! and thanks for sharing.


USCIS BE LIKE.......WE ARE WORKING AS FAST AS WE CAN GUYS!

snail_mail.jpg

28 Sep 2014 -- Mailed I-129F

01 Oct 2014 -- I-129F Delivered to USCIS

06 Oct 2014 -- NOA1 Received via Text/Email

14 Oct 2014 -- NOA1 Hard Copy Received

23 Oct 2014 -- Petition Approved as per USCIS website

30 Oct 2014 -- NOA2 Hard Copy Received

07 Nov 2014 -- NVC Received Petition

10 Nov 2014 -- NVC Case Number Assigned

17 Nov 2014 -- Status Update "Ready for Interview" as per CEAC website

20 Nov 2014 -- NVC Case# Notice Received

22 Nov 2014 -- Medical

16 Dec 2014 -- Interview

18 Dec 2014 -- 221(g) Received via email

22 Dec 2014 -- RFE Instructions received via email

05 Feb 2015 -- RFE Requirements submitted

15 Apr 2015 -- Visa Issued as per CEAC Website

17 Apr 2015 -- Received Embassy Email, Visa on the way!!!!

20 Apr 2015 -- Visa OnHand :)

27 Apr 2015 -- CFO Appointment

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I'm the petitioner and I went to the Philippines to be with my fiance during her interview. I just wanted to share our experience during that fated day.

Our appointment was at 7:30 am on April 23, 2015. We stayed at a hotel in Malate the night before and arrived at the USEM at around 6 am. There was already a long line when we arrived. It was a bit confusing as there were multiple lines for each visa type and the parallel lines were split off into 2 sections to make sure the driveway with the big gate was left clear. Since we joined the section further away, we couldn't tell which line was which as the end of the line (that had the signs) was too far away. Luckily, there were these old ladies walking around, they helped people get into the right line and gave tips to everyone, like making sure people had black pens or that electronic devices weren't allowed inside. As the front section slowly entered the building, some workers moved the back section to the front in batches of about 10 people at a time. When we were at the front section, for some reason a rumor spread around and people were folding their DS-160 forms in half... inside USEM we were all scolded by a worker that we aren't supposed to fold it.

When we reached the podium at the end of the line, we handed the worker our Appointment confirmation letter, DS-160 and fiance's passport. They placed a sticker on the back of her passport and put it in a clear plastic bag with the passport biopage open, then handed back to us with the DS-160. For some reason they didn't even want to see my passport, I guess they just assumed I'm the petitioner. About 10 ft from the podium was the entrance to a small building where security is. US citizens enter through the left door and applicants enter the right. Inside, the 2 sections were separated by a glass window so you could still see your fiance. At the time I was holding all of our folders and paperwork. As I went through security I was flagged for a few things: a stapler, a musical greeting card, and a USB drive that my fiance forgot to leave out. Fortunately they didn't confiscate anything, they took the electronics (except the stapler) and gave me a number so we can retrieve them later.

After security, you exit the small building. US citizens have a path right to the next area. Applicants are greeted with a zigzagging line to a booth. I watched my fiance as she made it to the booth. She gave her DS-160 and they stapled a number onto the form and gave it back to her. We met up again behind the booth and were in an area under a large tent right outside the USEM building entrance and many available seats. There was a food vendor in the middle and 2 sections of seats on each side. We were not given any guidance on where to go and there were no signs where to sit. We ended up entering the USEM building, then was told to go out again. We sat in the left section, then was scolded by a worker that that was for non-immigrant visas, so we switched to the other side. A worker assisted in letting people inside the building in batches of 10 people. The way they let people inside made absolutely no sense. Our number was 7026, but the worker ended up calling 7015-18, 20-21, 24-25, 31-33 to fall in line, then let them in the building. The worker came back out again and called more sets of numbers. Then we waited for about 15 mins as they couldn't let anymore people in the building. We were the last batch of 10 to enter... seeing how one person with number 7068 went in 2 batches before us really got on my nerves...

Ok, inside the building, we went through the security check, then fell in line at Step 1. In this building, you will see many booths separated into sections, and many seats in sections. The left side of the building was for non-immigrant visas, right side for immigrant. The booth sections had signs: Step 1 Fingerprints, Step 2 Pre-Screening, Step 3 Oath Taking, Step 4 Interview, Step 5 Releasing. There were only 2 booths open for us at the time but it still went quick. We had an american for ours, he asked to see our DS-160 and instructed my fiance to do her fingerprint scans, then told us to proceed to Step 2B. This means sit at seat section B in front of the Step 2 booths.

Step 2 Pre-Screening. This part was even more chaotic than before! A lady micromanaged us by shifting us in our seats as the front row people left to go to a booth. After shuffling seats a few times, she instructed us to move to seat section A right next us...more seat shuffling. Meanwhile new people coming from Step 1, who the taskmaster lady didn't see, ended up sitting wherever they wanted and shifted in the wrong direction or not shifting at all. Some people who just finished Step 1 ended up finishing Step 2 before us. You'd think that the US Embassy would be more American-like... it was total chaos.

When it was finally our turn, we had a Filipino pre-screener. He spent a few minutes entering data into the computer then began with the questions. Our situation is unique in that my fiance has had 2 annulments, but we also have a child together who we've registered as a US citizen a couple years ago. He first asked my fiance basic questions like her birthdate, my name and address in the states, then asked her how we met. He asked her the reason why she annulled her first husband and then second husband, then asked us for the annulment paperwork. He took our Certified True Copies of everything for both annulments: Petition, Decision, Finality, LCR paperwork, and NSO CENOMAR (Form No. 5 Advisory of Marriages), and inserted them all into his file. He asked a few more specific questions regarding us and her previous relationships. As our story got more confusing the more we explained, I told him about our son and that we've already been through the USEM before and proved our relationship. I provided him a copy of our son's Consular Report of Birth Abroad certificate. He took that, did some stuff on the computer, then smiled at us and said "Thank you, I have everything that I need and no further questions." Overall, the questions were mostly directed at my fiance, but the guy didn't seem to mind whenever I interrupted to elaborate her answer. Since my fiance can't speak English very well, we asked him to notify the Consular Officer that we need a translator.

Step 3 Oath Taking. There was only 1 booth open, but the single file line went pretty quick. I think my fiance was allowed to do the oath in Tagalog actually.

Step 4 Interview. This was just like Step 2, but even worse! There were 4 sections of seats (A, B, C, D) and only 4 booths open for the interview. This was the biggest bottleneck. We ended up in section C, and again we had some lady poorly managing us, this time no seat shuffling. I "believe" the order went D to A, back row to front row. The front row would go up to fall in line by the 4 booths. We mistakenly sat in section C, which had apparently just cleared up, so we had to wait for B, A, and D to clear before it was our turn. We waited for about 2 hours or so. Meanwhile, there were people coming from Step 3 that had no idea where to go, and they joined the line for the interview booths indirectly making our wait even longer! It was so unfair that some people didn't even sit down to wait. I complained to the lady and she then paid closer attention to people coming from Step 3, making sure they don't go directly to the Step 4 line.

Eventually it was our turn. The american consular officer spent some time entering data into the computer and glancing over our documents. The surprising part was that all K1 petitioners present were allowed to interview with their fiances. In fact for us, all of his questions were directed at me, he didn't ask a single question to my fiance nor did they even get a translator for us! I attribute that to our complete paperwork and tons of relationship evidence. The CO looked carefully at our son's CRBA certificate, then my fiance's CENOMAR, then read through the first annulment finality, then quickly flipped through the rest of the annulment papers, then looked at our photos. All the photos in our file were scanned prints of the 25 photos I included in the I-129F package. Looking seemingly satisfied with what he saw, the CO asked us very simple questions: When did I arrive in the Philippines? When is she planning on coming to the US? How long have we known each other? How many times have I visited her? Then finally he closed our file, relaxed in his chair, and asked us to tell the story of our relationship. I wasn't sure who the question was directed to so I asked who he wants the answer from, he shrugged his shoulders and said either of us, so I took the liberty to story-tell for the next few minutes. The man listened and then smiled.

Unfortunately, we didn't get approved on the spot. The CO told us that he'd issue our visa that day, but couldn't because he needed my fiance's NBI including her A.K.A. names from her previous marriages. He told us this is required even if she never used her other names. I found out later that were already some posts about this on this forum, but didn't see them until after the fact. Hank_, if you're reading this, I recommend you add this note into your guide. People who have had annulments MUST have their A.K.A. name (using the surname of their previous spouse) in their NBI or else they WILL receive a 221(g) at the interview. The CO told us that the turnaround time should be fairly short -- I'm hoping that he meant that we're basically approved and will get our visa very soon once we provide the updated NBI. Then he handed my fiance a pamphlet on domestic violence and told us to wait at Step 5.

Step 5 Releasing. About a 10 min wait and we were at the booth. A very energetic and cheerful Filipino at the booth greeted us, asked to see our DS-160, then explained to us how we can obtain the updated NBI and how to send it to the USEM via 2GO. He confirmed our email address and told us that he sent us the 221(g) via email that very moment.

It took us almost a week to get the new NBI due to technical problems they were having, but we managed to obtain it and send it back to USEM last week. They received it last Wed (Apr 29) and our CEAC status updated on Apr 30 (..probably just to show our case was touched). May 1 was unfortunately a Holiday, so I hope they get to review our case this week. Due to ticket prices getting higher and the fact that I need to get back home to work too, I purchased tickets for my fiance, son, and I to fly together on May 19. I pray that we get her visa before that...

Good write up, please make sure to add it in your timeline for the embassy review so that it doesn't get lost over time. And...... Congrats!!! :dance:

I will make a note on the AKA, but the embassy instructions letter is pretty clear about it already. Having been married before it is obvious there was another name used. ;)

 POLICE REPORT (NBI Clearance). Applicants aged 16 years and older must have a valid Record Clearance (for travel abroad purposes) from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Clearances should be in the applicant’s current name, birth certificate name, maiden name and any aliases or nicknames used, including different spellings you have used of those names. An official letter of explanation from the NBI is required for any notation of “No criminal record” or "No pending case”. For immigration purposes, an NBI clearance is valid for one (1) year after its issuance date. NBI’s website is http://www.nbi.gov.ph. a. OTHER COUNTRY POLICE CERTIFICATES. Applicants aged 16 years and older must also present.

I always suggest to read the embassy instructions letter more than once and then use it for your checklist as you prepare documents for the interview.


Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

      HandArrow.gif.adeb854ba620933849ae921ca0b44a0c.gif  Link to the Visa Process for Manila Embassy once you have your NOA2 : Click Here

 

Contact Hank: HERE

K-1 visa approved 21 March 2012

...Citizenship... complete!

 

 

 

 

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I guess I was confused by the phrase "and any aliases and nicknames used". My fiance never used her previous spouses surnames, not legally nor informally. But now I know that it's implied in that statement to include the names even if you never used them. :) I should have included them anyway, it wouldn't hurt.

On a side note, the NBI clearance with only her maiden name had "No record on file", but when we requested another with the A.K.A's it changed to "No derogatory record". While I know that these two are basically the same, I asked the staff anyway why it changed. They explained that it automatically changes to that when you have more than one names on a clearance form, even if all those names have no record.

Edited by xwind

12-01-2014: Sent I-129F package via FedEx

12-03-2014: Package arrived at TSC

12-08-2014: Check cashed

12-12-2014: NOA1 hard copy

01-23-2015: USCIS status: Case was Approved

01-30-2015: NOA2 hard copy

02-02-2015: USCIS sent K1 package to NVC

02-10-2015: NVC received K1 package

02-11-2015: Date that NVC supposedly assigned case number

02-18-2015: Called NVC and asked for case number

02-23-2015: Paid MRV Fee

03-02-2015: Scheduled USEM interview appointment

03-02-2015: NVC letter received

03-09-2015: Medical interview

04-23-2015: USEM interview, got 221g email, CEAC status: Immigrant AP

04-28-2015: CFO Seminar, sent 221g response

04-29-2015: USEM received 221g response

04-30-2015: CEAC status date updated

06-17-2015: CEAC status: Non-Immigrant Ready

06-27-2015: CEAC status: Non-Immigrant AP

07-01-2015: Visa in hand! (CEAC still AP lol)

 

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Was there a marriage certificate? Was there an annulment? What name is on it? ;)


Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

      HandArrow.gif.adeb854ba620933849ae921ca0b44a0c.gif  Link to the Visa Process for Manila Embassy once you have your NOA2 : Click Here

 

Contact Hank: HERE

K-1 visa approved 21 March 2012

...Citizenship... complete!

 

 

 

 

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Hi xwind, question for you or maybe someone elso knows, The documents you listed, did they give any of them back after the interview or did they keep them?

NSO Birth Certificate

NSO CENOMAR or Marriage Certificate

Updated NBI clearance (for Travel Abroad)

Affidavit of Support from the petitioner (Form I-134)

Proof of relationship with the petitioner

Latest Income Tax Returns (Form 1040)

Latest Withholding Tax Statement (W-2)

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Hi xwind, question for you or maybe someone elso knows, The documents you listed, did they give any of them back after the interview or did they keep them?

NSO Birth Certificate

NSO CENOMAR or Marriage Certificate

Updated NBI clearance (for Travel Abroad)

Affidavit of Support from the petitioner (Form I-134)

Proof of relationship with the petitioner

Latest Income Tax Returns (Form 1040)

Latest Withholding Tax Statement (W-2)

they kept all my stuff

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SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING DURING INTERVIEW:

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS:

  • Valid passport
  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • NSO CENOMAR or Marriage Certificate
  • Updated NBI clearance (for Travel Abroad)
  • Affidavit of Support from the petitioner (Form I-134)
  • Proof of relationship with the petitioner

PHOTOCOPIES:

  • Latest Income Tax Returns (Form 1040)
  • Latest Withholding Tax Statement (W-2)

I wrote about this in another thread a week or so ago.

Reference a CR-1 and not K-1 visa, but I doubt it makes any difference....

NVC last year made me send them a NSO marriage certificate. I had previously sent them a LCR copy.

So my wife had her interview on 5/5 and the CO gave her 221g (correct #?) for a CENOMAR or actually CEMAR since they have already recorded our marriage. Wife had another copy of the NSO MC and CO had the one I had previously sent to the NVC during the IV filing.

Our letter didn't say anything about needing CENOMAR and even their instructions (above) say either / or. No big deal other than continued frustration, P40 fee, RT bus/LRT fares and another day in Manila. Too bad that all parties can't be on the same track, say what they mean and mean what they say. Or at least have instruction letters that state in fact what the CO will want. She had a bunch of other stuff that they said was required and wasn't asked for but not a CENOMAR which they did ask for.

Go figure.


IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Consulate : Manila, Philippines
Marriage (if applicable): 2014-05-17
I-130 Sent : 2014-06-23
I-130 NOA1 : 2014-06-25
I-130 RFE : 2014-08-11 (Wanted NSO Marriage Certificate, not LCR)
I-130 RFE Sent : 2014-08-14
I-130 Approved : 2014-08-27
NVC Received : 2014-09-15
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2014-09-17
Pay AOS Bill : 2014-09-17
Submit DS-261 : 2014-09-17
Send AOS Package : 2014-09-19
Receive IV Bill : 2014-10-03
Pay IV Bill : 2014-10-03
Received Interview Letter by E-mail: 2015-03-20 (May 5, 2015)
SLEC completed: 2015-04-22
Visa Approved: 2015-05-05
Visa Issued: 2015-05-15 (221g for no CENOMAR!)

Visa Received: 2015-05-21

POE: Chicago 2015-09-14

GC Received: 2015-11-17

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Hi xwind, question for you or maybe someone elso knows, The documents you listed, did they give any of them back after the interview or did they keep them?

NSO Birth Certificate

NSO CENOMAR or Marriage Certificate

Updated NBI clearance (for Travel Abroad)

Affidavit of Support from the petitioner (Form I-134)

Proof of relationship with the petitioner

Latest Income Tax Returns (Form 1040)

Latest Withholding Tax Statement (W-2)

Embassy keeps all documents they receive


Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

      HandArrow.gif.adeb854ba620933849ae921ca0b44a0c.gif  Link to the Visa Process for Manila Embassy once you have your NOA2 : Click Here

 

Contact Hank: HERE

K-1 visa approved 21 March 2012

...Citizenship... complete!

 

 

 

 

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Ok so just to clarify this confusing topic on NBI's. Do I need ONE NBI only with the single name and then put the annulled name in the AKA box or do I NEED TWO NBI's, one with single name and one with annulled name? I am getting a K-1visa and do not want 221g at interview.

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