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tuandanh

Wrap-Up

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Boy, it's been a journey to say the least. I've got to thank everyone on this forum for all the great feedback and info during the process. Priceless to say the least. I hope this post will be helpful for all future hopefuls who want to see their truthful relationships achieve success.

So without further adieu, here is our experience at the consulate.

We arrived at 715am only to be herded inside a holding pen separated into two groups: non-immigrant visas and immigrant visas. Surprised how many people their were at the early time. One observation that I found interesting: their were three times as many non-immigrant visas as their was immigrant visas.

After this, we were placed outside in a shorter line (pretty silly). After security and phone check, we moved to the check-in line where we get our number. We let them know that both of us were there—however they did not take my passport when we tried to give it to them.

We then waited about 30 minutes or so to do the paperwork check in. The area is one long hall with many seats on the right side. The seats don't face the interview windows, but are close enough to hear some of the action if you sit on the edge closest to the windows (I didn’t).

There are 15 interview windows. At least two  of them are placed inside private rooms. I don't know about the first two windows and how they are situated. Not all the windows were in operation. In fact, I think it was a maximum of 6-8 being used.

The main windows are at a slant with a small divider to give some room to separate interviews and a little privacy (not much). The window was like a bank teller with a CO and translator manning it. The translator speaks into a mic. Behind the duo, you can see their offices. Looks like your standard cubicle farm at any office USA. The hall was not packed as I thought it was going to be. There is a TV inside that plays an instructional video on what to expect in the coming moments. Plenty of montages of American landscapes weaved at commercial break.

After about 30 minutes or so, we turned in the main paperwork. I decided to not frontload anything (even though I prepared and notarized all the typical blue slip docs in advance). Advice I got from a Viet prep service was to address red flags as they come up rather than drawing attention to them. Definitely a different school of thought. My paperwork was in very good order. Lots of solid evidence I felt, solid work history, clean past, etc..

The person who took the forms (who also doubled as an interpreter) began to fill out our pink sheet as she collected the forms. We've done nothing at this point. So basically they were basing pink off the initial 129-F and maybe because I was there? The Vietnamese consulate worker checked off all of our main papers on the pink sheet.

I understand that pink is not pink until it's officially signed by the CO. At this point I'm starting to feel pretty confident. But I wasn't fully prepared for what was about to happen later.

After the paper check, we began playing the waiting game. From where we were sitting, we could see one window really well but couldn't really hear any of the interviews except at this station.

We waited a few hours, maybe 2 or so. During this time, we got a chance to see a little action. Lots of blues were being handed out with some pinks. Maybe 60-70% blue and the rest pink. Many girls were getting all dressed up. They looked more like they were going to a wedding or a party than an interview.

Another cheesy trend. Lots of people were wearing pink including, ahem, myself. I’m sure the CO are so sick of seeing that or laugh about it afterhours.

So after some waiting, our number is finally called. My adrenaline is rushing at this point. We both go up and are sworn in. The CO officer asks my SO to have a seat while the CO wanted to ask me some questions. Question one, do you speak Vietnamese? Well, I do, but only so so. I said yes. That was a big mistake. The next 3-5 minutes I get asked questions in Vietnamese and I struggle through answering them (I do decent, but make plenty of mistakes throughout). I was pretty mortified at how this was turning out. Bad start, but the CO stops the interrupter and begins to switch to English. This was a turning point I felt and I started to get my balance again. However the SO then began to ask Stokes style questions about my current trip. I was prepared for this but still got stumped a few times. Our interrupter said very little in English which makes me believe my CO could understand a little Vietnamese. I even heard the CO say one thing in Vietnamese to my SO. The following are questions I remember from the interview:

When is the last time you saw your SO?

How many times have you visited your SO?

What are the dates?

Do you have family in the USA?

How did your parents immigrate to the states?

When did I immigrate?

Do I have family in Vietnam?

Does your SO have family in the states?

Where? Who?

Did you do a Dam Hoi?

How did you meet?

Why were you there?

When was the first time you kissed?

When did you propose to your SO?

What are your plans for a wedding?

What are your plans for honeymoon?

Do you guys want kids?

How are you going to get there?

What are your interests?

What’s your favorite music artist?

What’s your favorite movie?

What’s your favorite color?

What is your SO’s favorite color?

What is the highest level of education did your SO complete?

What is the name of the school?

What is the highest level of education did you complete?

What is the name of the school?

Where do you work?

What’s your title there?

What did the two of you eat last night?

What’s the name of it?

What supermarket was it situated in?

Where are you staying?

What’s the address?

Describe the home.

What color are the walls there?

Who slept closer to the door?

What color are the sheets?

Is there an air conditioner there?

How did the two of you get here this morning?

How many minutes did it take you?

When did you enter here this trip?

When are you leaving?

What are your SO’s plans when coming to the states?

Then after this, the CO brought in my SO and asked her pretty much the same exact questions (with me standing there watching). Right off the bat, my SO answers questions in English (which surprised me as we were planning for her to do it Vietnamese). After my abysmal performance in Vietnamese, the spoken English from my SO pleases the CO. She did great! Questions that differed from mine that I can remember:

Do you have family in the US?

What are their names?

Have either of you been married before?

Describe the city where your SO lives in?

What’s your SO’s address in the states?

How much did you pay for the taxi this morning?

Who paid it?

When was the first time you knew you were boyfriend and girlfriend?

They ask to look at photos and refuse to look at any other evidence. So all in all, we each got interviewed for about 15 mins a piece (30 min total). And the SO in the end, finally gives us the glorious pink at about 11:15am. We thanked them and got out of there pronto. We were happy but both so beat up from the experience. Felt like we were in a fight and won, but still got our #### kicked.

Overall, they do the best job they can at the consulate to weed out fraud and to let honest folks get their visas. It’s a tough job and the process isn’t perfect. My hat’s off as there is no way I could ever do it. For those in AP, take comfort that 95% of K-1 visas are ultimately approved (according to the 2009 statistics from wikipedia).

After our victory, we then celebrated with an awesome couple massage with hot stones. It was so needed after that experience.

And now, the journey in America begins.

:whistle:


K-1 Visa

I-129F application received at USCIS: November 30, 2010

I-129F approved: March 28, 2011

Packet 3 Received: April 11, 2011

Packet 3 forms submitted to Consulate: May 4, 2011

Packet 4 received: June 16th, 2011

Interview date: July 25, 2011 (Pink!)

Pick up Visa: August 1, 2011

POE: August 5th, 2001 (Woot!)

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Congrats and thanks for the update on your interview! It's always useful information for those of us still waiting! Best of luck to the both of you!


Our CR1 Journey

Met - 1/14/2010 // Engaged - 3/6/2011

K1 filed - 6/8/11 // Interview @ Mumbai Consulate - 1/5/2012: Denied // USCIS final decision - 3/15/2013; administratively closed and free to file again without prejudice

Married in Delhi - 1/30/2014

Sent I-130: 4/7/2014 NOA 1: 4/10/2014

NOA 2: 11/13/2014 (after 217 days)

NVC Received: 11/26/2014 (13 days from USCIS to the NVC)  // Case # & IIN # received - 12/29/2014 (via phone to NVC) Also sent email to get case transferred to New Delhi

NVC Welcome Letter received: 12/30/2014

Submit DS-261: 12/30/2014 // Paid AOS Bill: 1/2/2015  // Received IV Bill & Paid: 1/13/2015 (CEAC shows PAID 1/15/15) // DS-260 submitted: 1/17/2015

AOS & IV packages sent via FedEx: 1/19/2015  // AOS/IV packages received: 1/21/2015 @ 9:58 am (Signed for by: G. Waters) Scan date: 1/21/2015

60-Day Email from NVC: 1/24/2015 2nd 60-Day Email from NVC: 1/26/2015 (OK...I get it, it's taking 60 days.... sigh)

Reply from NVC re: Transfer to New Delhi : 2/16/2015 (Told to contact New Delhi...49 days wasted for no help at all!)

CASE COMPLETE!!: 3/12/2015 (50 days) // Case Complete Email Received: 3/19/2015 (7 days from CC date)

Interview Date Received via phone inquiry to NVC: 3/24/2015 // Packet 4 (Interview letter/Instructions) received: 3/25/2015

Medical Completed: 3/30/2015 // CEAC status: In transit to Mumbai and shows READY as of 4/1/2015

Biometrics Completed: 5/4/2015 // Received call from Embassy 5/11/2015 asking if we want to transfer to Delhi.....huh? One week prior to interview? Ummm.... no thanks!

INTERVIEW!! 5/18/2015 @ 7:30 am ~ Mumbai Consulate  RESULT: APPROVED!!!

Visa in hand: 05/20/2015 (Yay!) ELIS Fee ($165) paid this day as well

POE: 05/29/2015 Newark 

SSN card received: 6/8/2015 (processed on 6/2/2015) // ELIS shows "Optimized" since 5/30/2015  // ELIS changed to "In Process" 07/14/2015. (E-file received 06/25/15)

GREEN CARD RECEIVED!! 7/30/2015

ROC

Sent:  3/22/2017 | $680 Check cashed: 4/3/2017

NOA1: 3/30/2017 (Rcvd 4/3/2017)

Biometrics Appt letter received: 4/22/2017 - Biometrics date:  5/3/2017 - Done. Hubby said they were super friendly in the Pittsburgh field office! 

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thanks for the write-up!!


To quotes a movie, “So how does it happen, great love? Nobody knows... but what I can tell you is that it happens in the blink of an eye. One Moment you're enjoying your life, and the next you're wondering how you ever lived without them.” I felt I found something with Kieu that is rare in life... true love.

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thanks for the write-up!!


To quotes a movie, “So how does it happen, great love? Nobody knows... but what I can tell you is that it happens in the blink of an eye. One Moment you're enjoying your life, and the next you're wondering how you ever lived without them.” I felt I found something with Kieu that is rare in life... true love.

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Wow that was a very detailed description. Thanks for providing that. I am sure it will help others in the future. Congrats!! :)


K1 Visa Stage
Aug 23, 2010: I-129F NOA 1
Feb 07, 2011: I-129F NOA 2
May 23, 2011: Interview. Blue Slip
Jun 20, 2011: Submit Documents: 1) Timeline, 2) 10 year residency(me), 3) 10 year residency(Thu), 4) Letter explaining how/where we met. Second Blue Slip
Feb 03, 2012: U.S. Consulate Investigators call Thu's residence. Spoke to Thu and Thu's parents
Feb 27, 2012: Received email from the U.S. Consulate that our case is finished processing. Requested to submit updated Police & Medical papers.
Mar 06, 2012: Submitted updated Police & Medical papers.
Mar 21, 2012: Received K1 Visa
Apr 07, 2012: Point of Entry @ LAX

Adjustment of Status Stage
Apr 23, 2012: Got married!
Apr 30, 2012: Received Social Security Card
Jun 30, 2012: Applied for AOS
Sep 22, 2012: Received Employment Authorization Card...Still waiting for 2 yr GC

May 01, 2013: Received 2yr GC

Removal of Conditions Stage

Apr 18, 2015: Will apply for 10yr GC

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Geez, I'm glad they didn't let USC's into the consulate when my wife interviewed. Her English is still weak, and my Vietnamese is practically non-existent. I'm sure they would have denied us for lack of ability to communicate. :wacko:


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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What paperwork did you submit, just what it asked for on the appointment letter?

Also, what did you mean by phone check? Do they not allow cell phones inside the consulate?

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Just submitted what they asked plus a letter of employment. And yes, you can't bring in cellphones, they will check it in like a coat check


K-1 Visa

I-129F application received at USCIS: November 30, 2010

I-129F approved: March 28, 2011

Packet 3 Received: April 11, 2011

Packet 3 forms submitted to Consulate: May 4, 2011

Packet 4 received: June 16th, 2011

Interview date: July 25, 2011 (Pink!)

Pick up Visa: August 1, 2011

POE: August 5th, 2001 (Woot!)

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