Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
orangeneko

Twilight Zone experience paying for the K1 visa interview

9 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

I read about (and noticed) the contradictions in the information the London consulate sends prior to K1 Visa interviews regarding payment, but figured despite the $16 fee, it would be best to pre-pay so we could have that receipt for my fiancé to show when he goes there next week, especially since he's written to ask them to allow me in with him and we want to get in with as little hassle as possible.

Well, now I wish we had waited to pay in person, as my nerves are shattered and I was near tears this morning due to how frustrating simply paying was. I felt like I was trapped in twilight zone that would never end.

I was going to call at lunch, but got to work early so decided to do it quick (ha!) and call right then. I called the $16 per call 866 number listed on the information sheets the embassy says to call for help and to pay the fee. I thought it was a dedicated line just for K1 issues, and I also assumed it was based out of the embassy. Now I know that it's not. I'm also guessing it reaches an office in Scotland somewhere? I hope I'm not offending anyone, but accents wise, that seems to be the worst place for a call center for something so important. (since I started writing this, I saw the receipts they sent my fiancé, and it is indeed an Edinburgh address and outsourced? company that handles these calls)

When you phone, they give two options you can choose (1 and 2), but both were vague and said nothing about payment, so I figured they were for people who might need specific info. If you don't choose either option, the recording continues on and says more general stuff. Then it starts to ring you through automatically. I stayed on the line until someone answered at this point. Someone did, and she instantly started to process me. At first I thought she was Filipino as she had a heavy accent and it was hard to understand her, then I realized she was Scottish (don't ask how they sounded the same!). It was VERY hard to understand her, though she was ultra professional. So I was pausing after she'd speak, and sometimes I had no clue what was being said till seconds later when my brain suddenly caught up with her. My fiancé has been working in Edinburgh the last year and a half, and I generally am fine with most Scottish accents, but this one was thick. It made me really nervous, and I know that all the pauses on my end and my tone of voice made me sound like an idiot, and that made me more nervous.

I'd written down all the info that their info sheet said they'd ask for. But one of the first things she asked for was my fiance's phone number. That's not on the sheet, and I told her the only place I had it on me at that moment since I was at work was on the very phone I was calling from. Luckily after hunting through some old old address list printouts I had here, I found his number. So that was good, but I didn't know why they didn't mention having that handy.

She took his passport number, his address, LND number and email. The receipt number and notice date of the first NOA that the info sheet said I'd need weren't asked for. I had trouble with the system reading my card when I keyed it in to pay the $16, so she had to transfer me for that to a secure line that's not recorded. Then when we got to the $240 part, I kept getting sticky keys which made me hit the wrong ones, so we had to transfer to the non-recorded line again. She took my info again, then said she was transferring me back to the recorded line.....and....that's when the problems really began.

It rang and rang, and she never picked up. I don't know if she was cut off or I was or what, but after 5 minutes of ringing, I hung up (I wasn't sure what to do honestly, and this was not a great point to be cut off at!). I called back and someone answered. I told them I had gotten cut off paying for the K1 interview fee. This person sounded English and was brusque. She said that I needed to call back and choose another option. I told her I hadn't chosen an option either time, I was just calling the number the info I was given said to. She said she couldn't help me and to call back and choose another option (she wouldn't accept I didn't choose anything either call!) and got off quick....no interest in helping or directing me somewhere.

I then called again. Another Scottish woman answered. She said I didn't have the right number. I read the number to her and she now said it was right, but to call back and choose option 2. I said ok, but was weary and more and more worried now. I was also unsure of why no one was offering to transfer me.

I called again and chose option 2. Another Scottish woman. She said I should have chosen option 5. I said there was no option 5, just 1 and 2, or to stay on the line like I had when I first called. She said oh, it's not 5, it's 4. I said there was no 4. But she continued on and said something about what 4 and 5 were for, and said to choose 4. So I said I should just press 4 even though there's no option for me to? She said yes. So again, I hung up and called back.

There's no option 4 btw. There's none on their recording, and pressing 4 gets you nowhere -- not recognized! By now I was beyond worried, unsure if they processed the payment or would double process it if I got though ever again, and felt I was in the twilight zone. My nerves had turned to upset full blast now, and I was near tears from the frustration. This had been going on nearly half an hour by this point.

I called again. I let it go through without choosing anything. Another Scottish woman. She said I had to call and choose option 1. BTW, both her and someone else gave me the reason why I had to choose all these options, and they gave conflicting opinions on what a K1 visa is (immigrant or non) and what each line was for. Another odd thing is they tend to all say "you want to apply for a K visa?" at first even after I told them I was trying to finish paying for the K1 visa interview fee.

So........I call again. Chose option 1. Got another Scottish woman. She says.................call back and choose option 2 (!!!!!!!!). I told her I’d chosen both by this point, and also had been told to choose options that don't exist, and the first time I called someone simply picked up and took my info. She was nice though -- the most sympathetic of the lot, and she ended up transferring me to some Scottish guy who checked that my payment had gone through (it had).

We did get the receipt in my fiance's email, and it says you can't get in for the interview without that barcoded receipt (which we know isn't true)....they also spelled my last name wrong :\ As they weren't interested in my address or contact info, I'm hoping that the misspelling isn't a big deal (they turned a b into a d).

It all seems fine now, but I never ever expected the payment process to be this nerve wracking, and it worries me about the rest. I know it was an outsourced center, but seeing how the interview is in 8 days, it's made me feel very nervous about how things are being handled in general. The lack of help was worst. If someone called me by mistake, I'd be expected to direct them to the right place. Government outpost or not, shouldn't efficiency be part of their goal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:wow: What a nightmare! I feel your pain.

01/27/2011 - Trevor's N400 submitted
02/18/2011 - Married
04/02/2011 - NOA1 hard copy received - priority date 03/30/2011
07/08/2011 - Trevor is now a USC - called USCIS to request upgrade of the petition.
08/02/2011 - NOA2
09/08/2011 - LND case number received, medical booked
09/26/2011 - Case complete at NVC
09/30/2011 - Interview date assigned
11/08/2011 - Interview - approved!!
11/10/2011 - Visa in hand
12/04/2011 - POE in Atlanta
12/12/2011 - SSN number received in mail
12/12/2011 - Welcome notice received
01/06/2012 - Green card received
09/06/2013 - File for Removal of Conditions
10/01/2013 - Biometrics for ROC
02/03/2014 - Card production email received

02/17/2014 - 2nd card production email received

02/28/2014 - 10 year Green card received

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... what a crazy experience that I am NOT looking forward to!! :( I'm glad it all got sorted out in the end and thanks for the tip about the Scottish accents because I have enough trouble understanding my guy's family sometimes and they're from London!

ps. I like your username - "orange" :)!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is ridiculous! I would write a formal letter of complaint to several people. Outline exactly how many calls you made. I got lost in the narrative.

Call #1 Chose no option. Got cut off

Call #2 Chose no option. Told to coose _______. She hung up.

Call #3........etc

A link with several options--> FILING A COMPLAINT ABOUT IMMIGRATION,

London specific--

Ambassador Louis B. Susman

US Embassy London

24 Grosvenor Square

London, W1A 1AE

United Kingdom

Deputy Chief Barbara J. Stephenson

US Embassy London

24 Grosvenor Square

London, W1A 1AE

United Kingdom


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

I'll look into that complaint line. I'm still weirded out by it and am wondering if I just had ultra bad luck or what. Have others just called and gotten through, or did you choose 1 or 2 and get through? Or did you just let someone answer? It seemed I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't.

Another weird thing is when the first lady was telling me to key in my card number, she was still talking to me. I don't understand if she thought I was on a regular phone (I used my mobile)? But why would she be talking to me when I was reading/inputting numbers? I'm not kidding when I say I WAS in the twilight zone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

Wow... what a crazy experience that I am NOT looking forward to!! :( I'm glad it all got sorted out in the end and thanks for the tip about the Scottish accents because I have enough trouble understanding my guy's family sometimes and they're from London!

ps. I like your username - "orange" :)!!

I like yours too :P Mine was based on a cat I had named Larry (but was a she).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

Wow that's insane! Glad it got sorted in the end. We had to call the very expensive line to discuss a possible huge snag in our process and everyone my fiance spoke to gave him the same info and was very helpful. Sorry you had to go through all of that stress.


In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~~Albert Schweitzer

8lrSm4.png
Meg and Alan

Initially filed for K1 visa - Feb 23 2012

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we've abandoned this application

We married on Aug 24, 2013 in a small ceremony in MA

We'll be applying for a CR1 / IR1 visa as soon as we are able

Watch this space for updates!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

Does the UK number reach the same Scottish office as the US number?

I thought maybe it was a Monday morning rudeness thing on their part, but it was only Monday morning by me - was 2pm in the UK!

I'm due to leave for the UK in a few days, so have to read the link that Nich sent more carefully, and if I do send a letter to the consulate, which I may just, I'll wait till after my fiance's interview next week ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...