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MissionToMe

Did anyone pass their Cambodia interview without attending it with your fiance? [edited title]

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My case is ready for an interview once I turn the DS-160 form online but I am stalling it because I am contemplating whether I should turn it in now and land an estimated November interview date in which I cannot attend or wait until October to turn in the DS-160 to hopefully get a January interview date in which I would be able to attend with my fiance. What advice would you give me.

Cambodia is a high fraud country so Im afraid of hurting the chance of getting our case approved by not being there. Has anyone had their case approved by not being able to accompany their fiance in the interview, particularly in Cambodia? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Edited by MissionToMe

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*** Country-specific thread moved from K-1 Process forum to the Asia/East & Pacific regional subforum; thread title edited to indicate Cambodia. ***


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01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.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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I don't know about Cambodia, but my wife attended her interview alone in the Philippines and passed with flying colors. The key to her success was preparation before the interview. We used a visa service and they gave her a mach interview the night before. Turns out, all but one of the questions the visa service asked her the night before, was asked of her by the CO the next day. The mach interview really gave her the confidence to answer quickly and confidently, which is key.

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Having gone through the interview process myself in Phnom Penh in May, I highly recommend you attend the interview. It is very difficult to get a visa (work, visitors, marriage) for the USA from the Phnom Penh embassy period. The applicants are interviewed in the waiting area and since we were the 2nd to last people to be interviewed, we heard most of it. Out of the 60 or so applicants, we saw 2 cases approved: One work visa, where the applicant had been waiting over 2 years, and one fiancee visa, where both people were there and it took the petitioner over 30 minutes of pleeding to get the Consulate officer to approve the case. (His case had a red flag, as he had applied for a K1 visa before with a different person. He did not attend the interview at that time, and the case was denied for lack of evidence of being in a relationship. He told the consulate that that particular event caused much strain on the relationship, which then failed. He said he really loves the Cambodian culture and that's why he was applying again with a new fiance, also from Cambodia). Our own application wasn't approved or denied that day (and still isn't), as a K2 minor is involved and that makes the case much more complicated. We have been waiting 18 weeks now to be scheduled for a Maternity DNA collection appointment. The progress is agonizingly slow.

If you already have a date that you can't attend, I would certainly consider emailing the embassy to get a new date that works for you. If you can't attend the interview, make sure your fiance has LOTS of proof of your on-going relationship, much more than you submitted with your application.

Best of luck to you both.

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"If you already have a date that you can't attend, I would certainly consider emailing the embassy to get a new date that works for you. If you can't attend the interview, make sure your fiance has LOTS of proof of your on-going relationship, much more than you submitted with your application."

Best of luck to you both.

What if i submitted everything front-loaded, 5.7lbs worth of the Engagement ceremony with legal docs, 3 trips worth of evidence +4th planned anniversary trip, and 5 years of chat logs, wall posts...(i know these dont matter much)? how can i submit more than 2 years of physical evidence when the time between now and the interview could be less than 4 months from now?


USCIS Petition(s) Filed

Form I-129F: Petition for Alien Fiance(e) / Case#2:
Date I-129F Sent : (2014-05-14) #2: (2015-09-03)
Date I-129F NOA1 (Receipt) : (2014-05-22) #2: (2015-09-11)
-- I-129F RFE(s) : (N/A) #2: (2015-10-14)Received in mail (2015-10-19)
-- I-129F RFE Reply(s) : (N/A) #2: (2015-10-20) Replied to RFE Next Day
Date I-129F NOA2 (Approved) : (2014-06-25) #2: (2015-10-29)

National Visa Center Processing

Date Package Received By NVC : (2014-07-10) #2: (2015 N/A)
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned : (2014-07-10) #2: (2015 N/A)
Date Package Left From NVC : (2014-07-12) #2: (2015 N/A)

Consulate Processing

Date Received By Consulate : (2014-07-15) #2: (2015 December)
Date Rec Instructions (Pkt 3) : (2014-07-15) #2: (2015 N/A)-Downloaded and followed Packet3 Instructions while in Cambodia
Date Complete Instructions (Pkt 3) : (2014-07-20) #2: (2015-12-19)
Date Rec Appointment Letter (Pkt 4): (2014-07-29) #2: (2016 N/A)-SOON!!!
Interview Date (K1 Visa): (2014-11-24) #2: (2016 03-21)
-- Interview Result: Denied #2: Approved!

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Having gone through the interview process myself in Phnom Penh in May, I highly recommend you attend the interview. It is very difficult to get a visa (work, visitors, marriage) for the USA from the Phnom Penh embassy period. The applicants are interviewed in the waiting area and since we were the 2nd to last people to be interviewed, we heard most of it. Out of the 60 or so applicants, we saw 2 cases approved: One work visa, where the applicant had been waiting over 2 years, and one fiancee visa, where both people were there and it took the petitioner over 30 minutes of pleeding to get the Consulate officer to approve the case. (His case had a red flag, as he had applied for a K1 visa before with a different person. He did not attend the interview at that time, and the case was denied for lack of evidence of being in a relationship. He told the consulate that that particular event caused much strain on the relationship, which then failed. He said he really loves the Cambodian culture and that's why he was applying again with a new fiance, also from Cambodia). Our own application wasn't approved or denied that day (and still isn't), as a K2 minor is involved and that makes the case much more complicated. We have been waiting 18 weeks now to be scheduled for a Maternity DNA collection appointment. The progress is agonizingly slow.

If you already have a date that you can't attend, I would certainly consider emailing the embassy to get a new date that works for you. If you can't attend the interview, make sure your fiance has LOTS of proof of your on-going relationship, much more than you submitted with your application.

Best of luck to you both.

This post confirms what I have been telling everyone here time and time again for few years. You explained exactly what it is like inside this embassy. There is no substitution for not attending interview. You gotta attend interview at this embassy to have a chance. It is like winning lottery when someone pass interview. The hardest place to pass interview. 2 approval out of 60 people? That's sounds right. Sometimes whole week goes by without any approval here. If anyone going for interview I recommend you do everything in your power to pass interview. Hold back nothing. Which includes attending actual interview with your love. You gotta fight for your love. No excuse for not attending. There is no excuse someone can't attend interview because there is no tomorrow if your love is not with you. Everything else can come later if your love with you..

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I am C5/6 quadriplegic (wheelchair user with some arm use, no finger function), traveling to Cambodia in December to meet the woman I have been "communicating" with for 5 months (on FB, Google translate, Skype). I've been studying Khmer, and she is in an English class, but we still hardly say more than greetings and terms of endearment to each other, several times a week. We don't really know each other. I'm 53 years old (too old to marry there), and she is 31, with a 5 year-old son. I am bringing an engagement ring in hopes that intuition is enough for us to make the commitment, along with the fact that we both really want a family.

I have two questions. I don't know how difficult it will be for me to make the trip, and whether I will be able to do it again in a year or two, when she could possibly have the interview (and we actually know and love each other, presumably).

1) Is it possible for me (and she?) to meet an official at the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh next month and explain my disability situation, so that they can see it first hand? Would that give her more credibility if she has to attend the interview without me?

2) How much do others here communicate with their partner in Cambodia? I mean real, deep communication? How do you get past the language barrier? Certainly immersion will help me somewhat, but I'll be in the country only 9 days.

All the immigration "red flags" make sense to me, given the language barrier and distance barrier for most of us (and age barrier in my situation), and the fact that most marriages end in divorce anyway. Why does someone need to travel around the world to find a spouse, when there are plenty of available people nearby them? For that matter, why does the U.S. even consider marriage to be a good reason for immigration? I guess I'm one of those people who looks and looks for a partner, and just hasn't stopped looking yet, with several long relationships that didn't quite work out. Is that the case for most of us here?

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denverDavid,

On the plus side, I believe there is room on the petition form 129F where you can specify hardships reason to justify certain deficiencies related to your case (for example, why you have not traveled to Cambodia see your gal before). However, I'm guessing there are too many red flags in your case - and probably the biggest is the length of time you have known your (potential) fiancee without ever having met her face to face. Don't let this discourage you, though. If this girl is the one for you, you might have to apply and go through the fiance visa application more than once. Unfortunately, if she is poor, she has virtually no chance of getting a tourist visa to come see you in the USA. Even wealthy folks have problems getting a tourist visas. The K1 is really your best shot. You can't legally marry over there, as you probably already know. It sure seems to me that the government makes getting even the K1 visa process very difficult on purpose, and perhaps the reason is to test your resolve - how badly do you want this relationship and what sacrifices are you willing to make for it to happen?

As far as trying to get into the embassy on this trip to explain your situation as it relates to a future fiancee case, I think the likelyhood of you being successful in that endeavor is virtually nil. We tried ourselves, just to ask questions. Unless you have current official business with them, they won't let you in. You could say you need other services (passport replacement, etc), but without a K1 case number, I don't think you'll be able to talk to anyone related to fiancee visas.

Traveling around inside Cambodia will be a challenge for you, given that there is no ADA-compliant infastructure virtually anywhere in the country. If there is a sidewalk, it's full of parked cars and motorbikes or folks driving motorbikes. Most locals walk in the street, competing with the traffic for the little available space. Larger cities near rivers usually have a walking path near the water but those are exceptions to the rules. Most of the cheaper hotels and even some of the more expensive ones only have stairs. That said, I don't think you'll have much problem getting around. Cambodians will help you deal with the obstacles - they are generally very helpful, good hearted people. I've lived and traveled there quite a bit over the last several years and I don't ever recall seeing another wheelchair. I have seen very poor folks being taken to the hospital by human-drawn carts, but that's about the closest I've seen.

You are right to worry about the communication issue. In our case, that was the number one issue that was asked over and over again in different ways by the consular officer during the interview. Some folks need deep conversations to see if the other person is right for them. I personally don't need that. I knew my fiancee was right for me even though she could only speak about 10 words of english. I couldn't even match that in amount of Khmer words. I did go back to Cambodia to verify my first impression (as the first meeting was only 2 hours long and I left the country immediately afterwards), but luckily the second meeting was as good as the first. I couldn't hope to find a better, more genuine, loving person than my Cambodian fiancee.

Another plus is that the age difference should have no bearing on your case. If anything, there is logic for you needing a younger, stronger person to help you in future years, as you both age.

A K2 will add months to your visa application though. Any chance she has lots of pictures of the kid (as an infant) with family in the picture? If so you might be able to avoid the normally-required DNA test - that takes months to accomplish. The don't trust Cambodian govt documents there. Hopefully the bio father is willing to help out too. He'll probably be required to give a statement at the embassy.

Make sure you keep logs of your Skype calls (I took pics of the on-going call log) and take lots of pics with her and her family during your time there. Almost too much evidence isn't possible, it's almost required.

Are you in Denver, CO?

Good luck to you. You'll soon find out just how far away Cambodia is from the USA. It's a long way there, but worth it.

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