Just got back from Moscow for the 'final' DCF interview. I'm very happy to say that my husband's visa has been approved! We're both so relieved.
I posted a detailed review in the Consulate reviews section, so if you're interested you can read it here.
I had no problem getting into the Embassy because we called and emailed beforehand to make sure my name was on the list. If you are the petitioner and are planning to accompany your spouse, definitely do this as it'll just be one less bit of stress for you in this process. Indeed, they had a separate list and I saw my name there, so they check these kinds of things.
There were A LOT of people there, a huge line outside the Embassy, but it moved very quickly. The immigrant visa area was also jam packed and crowded with people. We were number 10 in the line. The whole process took about 3 hours from start to finish, mostly just waiting until we were called. Get there early! I'd imagine the later you come, the longer you will wait. We arrived at 8:00am, but our official appointment was 8:30am.
This process took only a few minutes, but we had to wait for about an hour and a half before they called our number.
The registration woman asked my husband his age and his name, where he is working, has he ever had any other names and if he has lived anywhere else besides Russia. She then asked for the following documents:
- Original Russian marriage certificate (no copy/translation necessary; it was returned after the interview)
- Original Russian birth certificate (no copy/translation necessary; it was returned after the interview)
- Original military ticket/booklet (they asked us for a copy as well, we handed them a complete copy with a complete translation and they kept it; the original was returned after the interview)
- Original police certificate (they also asked for a copy, so we gave her the copy plus translation, but they kept the original. This was the only original document they didn't return to us.)
- My husband's foreign passport (no copy was necessary)
The lady then asked for "financial documents," by which she meant the Affidavit of Support (I-864). I handed her a huge stack of these papers which included:
- My I-864
- Letter of explanation for why I wasn't required to file taxes
- Cover letter explaining my proof of domicile in the US, plus evidence to support that (voting record, mail received at US address, letter of resignation from job in Russia, etc.)
- My joint sponsor's I-864 (the lady asked me: "Is this your mother?" and I affirmed that my mom was the joint-sponsor.)
- Cover letter written by my joint sponsor explaining her financial situation
- My joint sponsor's household member I-864A form
- My joint sponsor's IRS transcripts for the last three years, and copies of W-2 forms as well
- My joint sponsor's bank statements for the last 12 months (this was necessary because we used assets)
- My joint sponsor's proof of US domicile, including US birth certificate, marriage certificate (because of the household member), and copies of the joint sponsor and household member's passports.
After all that, they took my husband's fingerprints. We then waited another hour and they called our number again, this time for the interview.
Our interview was extremely short, much shorter than what I had read and heard about previous DCF Moscow experiences. The IO was extremely friendly. Both my husband and I went into the interview room together, and I thought that perhaps they would separate us and interview us separately, but I just sat down and she started interviewing us together. First, my husband took the oath in Russian, and then she started asking him questions in English. She asked him only two questions: "What do you do for work?" and "How did the two of you meet?". She typed in some information while he was answering. After that, she asked me three questions: "Does your mother (joint sponsor) have anyone else in her household (brothers or sisters)?" "How long have you been living in Russia?" and "Where are you planning to move back to in the US?" She also was a bit confused by the huge stack of papers, and she asked me if my mom had filled out an I-864, I told her yes, it's there in the pile somewhere. She found it and then she asked my husband when he had taken the medical exam, we explained that we'd done it a few days earlier. Then she said that "Everything looks great" and that as soon as the results of the medical are in, we should expect the approved visa to arrive about a week later. She basically told us we were approved! Woohoo! (They kept the passport obviously.)
The entire interview took maximum 5 minutes, it was awesome. I thought for sure it was going to be much longer based on other's experiences, but it was really straight forward and fast. I don't know if we were just lucky or if it was because he had supplied so much evidence at the I-130 stage, but it was basically ideal. We're both really happy and pleased with our experience. It couldn't have been better!
I just want to say thanks to everyone on VJ! I seriously couldn't have done it without this site. Thanks again for everyone's input and advice!