|Egypt|| Review on January 10, 2017:|
|Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa|
We arrived at the US Embassy in Cairo at 6:00AM and waited out in the cold across the street from the entrance until 7:30am.
Our recommendations for arrival, comfort, and preparedness:
1. Dress warmly in layers because the weather has been quite cold in the early mornings!
2. Be prepared to walk quickly to secure a first place in the line at the entrance. You want to be the first face the consul sees that morning, inshallah.
3. Have your Aramex, two photographs, interview letter ready to be checked when you line up.
4. Leave your electronics at home except your mobile which you can leave with security.
We finally got into the immigration and non-immigration waiting area with our number 600. We waited for our number to be called for about 30 minutes. We handed our birth certificate, copiy of it, marriage certificate, police certificate and copy of it, passport, two photographs to the Egyptian lady in the window. She asked us some basic questions: When did you get married? How long have you been married? Do you (US citizen petitioner) have a job in the US? How long have you been in Egypt? She had the US citizen petitioner (me, the wife) write a statement saying why I am not working. I stated that I have a residency permit here in Egypt that does not allow me to work and that I am a graduate student.
This lady gave us back nearly everything we sent in. It was a huge packet. She said the consular officer may want to see some it, but they did not want it.
Finally, about an hour and a half later, we were called to the consular officer interview in Window 15 which is a private room at the end of the hallway behind a door.
Our consular office was pleasant and around our age (thirties). He swore in my husband and asked us:
- How did you meet?
- When did you decide to get married?
- DId your family attend the wedding? (asked to US citizen)
- How long were you in the United States? (asked to my husband, a former Fulbright scholar, who studied in the USA for 17 months)
- How long have you been in Egypt? (asked to me about my length of stay here in Egypt with my husband)
- When were you last in the United States (asked to me to check my domicile)
- Do you have a home in the US? (asked to me to check my domicile)
We then produced evidence of my US domicile consisting of voter registration and voting record, financial statements, investment accounts, graduate studies enrollment verfication certificate and transcripts from my American college, our pet's passport showing my US address, letter from my parents inviting us to stay with them at their home upon arrival)
He typed quite a while on the computer and then congratulated us, said our visa was approved and would take up to two weeks to process. He kept my husband's passport and handed us a paper with the green card fee $165 to be paid online upon receipt of the passport from Aramex.
Our advice to others is to arrive well-rested, organized, each file easily accessible, dress smartly, and don't worry yourself into a frenzy. And be sure to keep your answers short and to the point with pleasant tone of voice. Remember to breathe and smile. Best of luck to everyone. Take care : )
(updated on January 11, 2017)