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Interview question about engagement (special situation)

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Hello guys,

My fiancé and I are getting closer to the interview but we don’t know how to answer a potential question about our engagement. Here is our situation:

I am from the US and she is from Vietnam. We met in graduate school in the Netherlands in Aug 2012. We started dating 1.5 months after we met and we spent 8 months together in the Netherlands dating. After that, we finished our programs and went back to our countries and continued dating long distance. I went to visit her April/May 2014 in Vietnam. Up until then we weren’t exactly sure if we would wanna marry or not. During my visit we decided that we want to be together and marry. When I went back to the US I started the k1 visa application process.

We never had an official engagement. We never really engaged but we just decided that we want to marry. I never gave her an engagement ring. I never really officially proposed to her as our decision happened very spontaneously. We simply mutually agreed that we want to marry. Going back to Vietnam or her visiting me so soon after my visit just for an official engagement for the visa was out of the question. We decided to start the application so we don’t lose time.

How would we answer any questions related to our engagement such as “when did u engage”, “where was your engagement party”, “where is your engagement ring” and so on. Can we get denied the visa simply because we never officially engaged and I never gave her a ring?

The interview will be at the Ho Chi Minh consulate. I know I have the option of attending it as well. Is there any benefit or increased chance of getting the visa if I attend? If I attend would I have to answer any questions or just sit and observe?

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Whenever the two of you mutually decided you wanted to get married is your engagement date. A ring is not required to be engaged. I didn't have a ring from my fiance when we first got engaged. It was about a year later when I had one. We never had an engagement party either. If you have solid proof that your relationship is legitimate, you should not have any problems.


ROC

3.6.2017     Mailed I-751

3.7.2017     NOA sent

3.23.2017   Biometrics Appointment

2.26.2018   I-751 Transferred to Local Office

3.5.2018     I-751 Received in Local Office

5.1.2018     Case Transferred; Preliminary Review Done; transferred to NBC in Lee's Summit, MO

5.3.2018     Case Transferred

7.24.2018   Joint interview approved

7.30.2018   Green Card received

Naturalization

3.15.2018   Filed N 400 Online

3.15.2018   USCIS sent the receipt

3.16.2018   USCIS sent biometrics letter

6.14.2018   Interview Notice sent

7.24.2018   Naturalization Interview; approved

9.26.2018   Oath Ceremony Scheduled

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Hello guys,

My fiancé and I are getting closer to the interview but we dont know how to answer a potential question about our engagement. Here is our situation:

I am from the US and she is from Vietnam. We met in graduate school in the Netherlands in Aug 2012. We started dating 1.5 months after we met and we spent 8 months together in the Netherlands dating. After that, we finished our programs and went back to our countries and continued dating long distance. I went to visit her April/May 2014 in Vietnam. Up until then we werent exactly sure if we would wanna marry or not. During my visit we decided that we want to be together and marry. When I went back to the US I started the k1 visa application process.

We never had an official engagement. We never really engaged but we just decided that we want to marry. I never gave her an engagement ring. I never really officially proposed to her as our decision happened very spontaneously. We simply mutually agreed that we want to marry. Going back to Vietnam or her visiting me so soon after my visit just for an official engagement for the visa was out of the question. We decided to start the application so we dont lose time.

How would we answer any questions related to our engagement such as when did u engage, where was your engagement party, where is your engagement ring and so on. Can we get denied the visa simply because we never officially engaged and I never gave her a ring?

The interview will be at the Ho Chi Minh consulate. I know I have the option of attending it as well. Is there any benefit or increased chance of getting the visa if I attend? If I attend would I have to answer any questions or just sit and observe?

We weren't asked anything close to those questions, but that doesn't really mean anything. I would just explain it as you did here...condensed though. Edited by Shauneg

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Our situation is similar, We used the date that I asked her to move to the US. No ring either but after she gets the visa I am going to return to Thailand, where we will have an engagement ceremony and then return to the US for the wedding.

Just pick a date and stick with it. The point is that you intend to get married within 90 days of entry.

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Interviews at HCMC are not to be taken lightly, and they differ in scope and emphasis from interviews elsewhere. OP, it might be an excellent idea to create a detailed "relationship timeline" (see relevant threads in the Vietnam regional forum) and optimally get it to the embassy ahead of the interview. If this isn't feasible, bring it to the interview.

I'll defer to the opinions of experienced Vietnam-involved members.

[Moderator hat on]

*** Country-specific thread moved from K-1 Process forum to the Vietnam regional subforum. ***


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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Vietnam is a high-fraud country and the U.S. consulate in VN is very well aware of the Vietnamese customs and traditions. Not having an engagement ceremony and engagement ring, while could be OK with other countries, will certainly raise eyebrows with the consulate officer. Be prepared to be asked a lot of questions and have a lot of proof to solidify your case.

If you do not feel you have a solid case, I would suggest that you accompany her to the interview. Being there with her only strengthens her case and puts her at ease.


maWqm5.png

ROC Journey

09 MAY 2017: Mailed I-751 to California Svc Center (CSC)

11 MAY 2017: I-751 package delivered to CSC

15 MAY 2017: NOA1 sent (got lost in the mail)

31 MAY 2017: Biometrics letter received

05 JUN 2017: Completed biometrics (walk-in)

23 JUN 2017: Received replacement copy of NOA1
 

ZjMTm5.png

N-400 Journey

14 MAY 2018: Mailed N-400 to Dallas Lockbox

17 MAY 2018: Delivered to Dallas Lockbox

04 JUN 2018: Received NOA1

08 JUN 2018: Received biometrics letter

21 JUN 2018: Completed biometrics

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More times then not, the VN Consulate will ask if you had an engagement party and ask to see photos. Since you didn't have an official engagement party of sorts, I would go with frontgear's suggestion about being present at the interview to strengthen your case. I felt it made a difference when I attended.


K-1 Timeline

2015-01-04 :Submitted I-129F to Lewisville, TX Lockbox via USPS

2015-01-06 :Received delivery confirmation from USPS and routed to the USCIS California Service Center

2015-01-08 :NOA-1 (Received by text and email)

2015-01-12 :NOA-1 (Received official Receipt Notice)

2015-01-15 :Fiancée applied for single status certificate

2015-01-20 :Fiancée got household registration Book (Ho Khau)

2015-01-20 :Fiancée applied for Police Certificate #2 and received it the same day! Without coffee money!

2015-01-25 :Fiancée received her single status certificate

2015-01-30 :NOA-2 (Received approval in 22 days by text and email)

2015-02-04 :NOA-2 (Received official approval, Form I-797)

2015-02-17 :NVC received case

2015-02-18 :Received HCM# from NVC and case sent to Consulate
2015-02-21 :Submitted DS-160 form printed out confirmation barcode
2015-02-21 :Created online account on ustraveldocs.com/vn
2015-02-24 :Consulate Received
2015-02-24 :Paid visa fee $265
2015-02-24 :Mailed DS-160, copy of passport and 2 passport photos
2015-02-25 :Scheduled K-1 interview
2015-03-03 :Packet 3 Received, but my fiancée's name was misspelled
2015-03-03 :Did online inquiry to fix misspelled name
2015-03-15 :Correct spelling was fixed in the Consulate's system
2015-03-18 :Received updated Packet 3 with named spelled correctly
2015-03-18 :Scheduled medical exam @ Cho Ray Hospital
2015-03-26 :Medical exam and vaccinations completed
2015-04-07 :Received results from Cho Ray
2015-05-07 :Arrived in SG with I-134 and supporting documentation
2015-05-08 :Attending K-1 interview with my fiancee and she passed
2015-05-28 :Arrived at LAX and made it through customs without any problems
2015-06-06 :Got married!
2015-06-18 :Applied for SS card
2015-06-25 :Received SS card with her married name
AOS Timeline
2015-09-16 :Mailed AOS package to USCIS Chicago Lockbox
2015-09-18 :USPS delivered to Chicago Lockbox at 6:16 am
2015-09-22 :Received notification of AOS package via text and email
2015-09-24 :Check for AOS was cashed
2015-09-26 :Received three separate NOA-1 for forms I-485, I-131 and I-765
2015-10-05 :Received Biometrics appointment letter for the 14th of October @ 10 am
2015-10-14 :Completed Biometrics without any incidents
2015-11-18 :Received USCIS email/text update showing approval for I-131 and I-765 forms
2015-11-23 :Received USCIS Form I-797 in the mail
2015-11-24 :Received USCIS email/text update showing EAD/AP combo card mailed out
2016-02-19 :Received Learner's Permit from NV DMV
2016-03-18 :Received USCIS email/text update scheduling appointment for April 19th
2016-04-14 :Started working @ first job in the U.S.

2016-04-19 :Passed AOS interview

2016-04-20 :Green card being made.

2016-04-28 :Green card arrived in mail.

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Thank you very much for the replies. I will attend the interview for sure. What happens when i attend the interview? Will they ask me any questions as well or will they interview both of us at the same time? Will the questions be addressed only to my fiance or will i be able to answer them with her or just sit in the room and watch?

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It varies. Some will interview both at the same time, some will interview one at at time, and others will not interview the petitioner. I accompanied my then-fiancee to her interview and was asked to take a seat in the waiting area while the CO was interviewing her. Only after she passed the interview that I was asked to come to the booth to have a little chat about the delay in getting her visa printed (the State Dept had a little hiccup around Aug-Oct last year).

If the CO does not want to interview you, you will be asked to sit in the waiting area, which is right next to the interviewing booths :)


maWqm5.png

ROC Journey

09 MAY 2017: Mailed I-751 to California Svc Center (CSC)

11 MAY 2017: I-751 package delivered to CSC

15 MAY 2017: NOA1 sent (got lost in the mail)

31 MAY 2017: Biometrics letter received

05 JUN 2017: Completed biometrics (walk-in)

23 JUN 2017: Received replacement copy of NOA1
 

ZjMTm5.png

N-400 Journey

14 MAY 2018: Mailed N-400 to Dallas Lockbox

17 MAY 2018: Delivered to Dallas Lockbox

04 JUN 2018: Received NOA1

08 JUN 2018: Received biometrics letter

21 JUN 2018: Completed biometrics

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On the NOA2 paper it says the petition approval is valid from 5/19/2015 to 9/18/2015. What does that mean? Does it mean my fiance must have her interview by that date?

If your fiance cannot make the interview by that date, the consulate will make exception.

Edited by frontgear

maWqm5.png

ROC Journey

09 MAY 2017: Mailed I-751 to California Svc Center (CSC)

11 MAY 2017: I-751 package delivered to CSC

15 MAY 2017: NOA1 sent (got lost in the mail)

31 MAY 2017: Biometrics letter received

05 JUN 2017: Completed biometrics (walk-in)

23 JUN 2017: Received replacement copy of NOA1
 

ZjMTm5.png

N-400 Journey

14 MAY 2018: Mailed N-400 to Dallas Lockbox

17 MAY 2018: Delivered to Dallas Lockbox

04 JUN 2018: Received NOA1

08 JUN 2018: Received biometrics letter

21 JUN 2018: Completed biometrics

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