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Visa Approved! Review and Details of Interview!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Romania

Hi everyone, I'm the petitioner for my wife Ana and today we had her interview at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. I'd like to share with you our experience.

First, we were an expedited case. We completed the USCIS normally and were expedited at the NVC phase after paying the AoS Fee and completing the DS-261 Choice of Agent form. We were required to bring in the AoS Packet and IV Packet along with the supporting documents of a bona fide marriage to the interview. That being said, here is the outline of our Interview day.

A list of ALL documents we prepared and brought are listed here : http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/516575-interview-tomorrow-last-minute-help-would-be-greatly-appreciated/#entry7267344

The interview was scheduled at 13:00 and we arrived at the embassy at about 12:15. There was only one other lady there when we arrived and we were told to wait across the street until we were called to go through security. By the time it was 12:50 a security guard came over to the waiting area and asks for the passports of those people waiting. They let us across the street a moment after that and let us in two at a time through security.

Security was your typical airport style security, they held our cell phones, Portable USB we brought, and my wife's headphones. They gave my wife a ticket thing to retrieve them when we were done. The security was very friendly, spoke Romanian to my wife and English to me once they saw I as an American. I wish the TSA would learn from them :)

At about 12:55 we entered the embassy and were told to take a seat by the security at the door. Exactly at 13:00 two windows opened and they started calling names. Our name was called 2nd at Window #2 and they asked us to provide the AoS and IV documents. Of ALL THE THINGS we had prepared, they only took about half of the documents. They took all of my wife's IV packet, especially the Police Certificate and Courier confirmation, and only the I-864 Form for me and my mom who was my Joint Sponsor, along with my Joint Sponsor's 2013 Tax Return. Since my income was entered as 0 since my disability benefits are not taxable, she asked if I had a letter explaining why I didn't file, which I provided. This whole process took about 5 minutes as we had to provide more than someone who's case had gone through the NVC. She called things a bit out of order, but we had everything labeled nicely and had memorized our file so we could access them quickly.

At the same time my wife was providing the documents to the lady at Window #2, the lady behind the window handed me a piece of paper with a check next to Immigrant Visa and asked me to go pay the IV Fee (which we had not paid at the NVC due to expedite) at Window #12. I took the $325 U.S. Dollars and went to window #12 and a lady the amount. She then provided me with TWO receipts which were requested when I returned to Window #2. The lady spoke to my wife in Romanian and discussed the AoS packet for me and my mother with me in English. The mood was professional and the lady was business oriented.

After about 15 minutes, we heard my wife's name called to go to Window #11. There was a middle aged gentleman behind the window who was to be our interviewer, and if I were to describe his personality, professionalism, and kindness it would be no less than Absolutely Outstanding. I wish I had gotten this gentleman's name, he was so very polite to me and my wife and really shook the nerves off.

So during the Interview, he had our documents I suppose in front of him and asked my wife about 2-3 questions.

1) Do you speak English?

2) Where would you like to work in America?

3) What are you doing here for a job?

And after those three questions, the interview pretty much turned to me and he asked me a few questions.

1) Do you think you can afford to support your family with your benefits? (He knew this was a no, but my mother who is our Joint Sponsor makes plenty) I replied "Not alone, but we have support until my wife gets established.

2) Is your Joint Sponsor willing to help you out? I responded "Yes sir, absolutely." I then began rummaging through our file looking for a supporting document my mother has written stating she would make sure we would not fail financially and would be providing us residence. I notified him that I would like to give him a supporting document from my mother stating she will be happy to help us initially. He just smiled and said "There is no need, I think I have it right here in your file."

3) Did I serve in Iraq or Afghanistan when I was in the Army

4) How did the Veteran's Affairs Disability Pension work

At that point he started typing something into the computer and looked at us and said, "Well, everything looks good, we just need to do the necessary security checks which take less than 24 hours, and you might be able to pick up your visa on Friday once we have that." I of course, being paranoid, only heard "Need to do necessary checks, and thought it was a way of saying that we were in AP for some reason. So I gathered up the guts to ask him as we were gathering our stuff "Sir, I am just curious, but are we approved or do you need to do more processing?" He kinda look shocked that i'd ask and said "Oh, you have been approved, we just need the security check, we should have that back by tomorrow, then your visa should be ready on Friday." We exchanged goodbyes and my wife moved our belongings to a chair, packed up, and exited the embassy.

I believe we maybe had around 100 documents total and around 58 pictures. They did not ask us for one single piece of bona fide evidence. We had TONS AND TONS. My wife asked "Sir I have some pictures in our album here if you'd like to see them" he said "Thank you for offering them, but I can see that you two are just fine." I'd also like to add that I've lived in Romania with my wife for the past 14 months and we were only apart for 2 months of the marriage.

They kept her passport which I assume is a good sign. And they confirmed we were approved which is the best sign. I guess they just need to do her security check today and we'll be picking up her Visa on Friday and start planning the trip home.

I hope this was helpful. Thank you to Visa Journey and all of its members for the guidelines, responses, and sharing your stories. I don't think our preparations could have gone more smoothly.

The whole interview process took less than one hour from the moment we entered, until the moment we left.

Definitely a wonderful experience.

6/24/2014 - I-130 Shipped via UPS to Chicago

6/26/2014 - I-130 Received and signed for at USCIS

7/1/2014 - E-mail of acceptance with Receipt number - NoA 1 (Routed to California Service Center)

07/15/2014 - Change of Address via phone call with USCIS, confirmation via e-mail.

7/30/2014 - I-130 Approved at USCIS - NoA 2 E-mail

08/13/2014 - NVC Received Approved I-130 package from USCIS

08/21/2014 - Case Number and IIN created at NVC

08/25/2014 - Case Number and IIN received via phone call. DS-261 Available and completed online.

8/26/2014 - AoS Fee invoiced and paid online.

8/28/2014 - AoS Invoice status PAID

09/04/2014 - Expedite Request response - Must enter Beneficiary Date of Birth - Re-sent exact e-mail with requested info

09/10/2014 - Expedite Request e-mail received as "Under Review"

09/11/2014 - Expedite Request Approved - Confirmation via e-mail from U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania

09/16/2014 - Embassy Received Case from NVC

09/16/2014 - Received E-mail from Embassy to Schedule our Interview and prepare documents

9/23/2014 - Medical Exam at Regina Maria - Results OK

10/01/2014 - Visa Approved!

10/03/2014 - Received Passport with Visa!

11/2/2104 - PoE Atlanta - Welcome to the US!

11/5/2014 - Paid $165 ELIS Fee

8/1/2016 - I-751 Packet sent in for Removal of Conditions!

8/15/2016 - Notice of Action 1 for I-751 - California Service Center

9/29/2016 - Received Biometrics Appointment

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Congratulation and thank for sharing the experience , it surely helps !

June 01, 2013 I-130 Started

June 10, 2013 Priority Date
June 14, 2013 NOA 1
September 10, 2013 NOA 2

October 21, 2013 AoS Fee Paid
December 22, 2013 DS261 Submitted
December 27, 2013 DS261 Accepted ( via email )
December 28, 2013 IV Fee Bill Invoiced
December 29, 2013 AoS Package Sent
December 30, 2013 IV Fee Paid & DS260 Submitted
January 11, 2014 IV Package Sent
January 07, 2014 AoS Package Received ( call NVC )
January 15, 2014 IV Package Received ( call NVC )
January 27,2014 Received AoS Checklists ( email )
January 27,2014 Received IV Checklists ( email )
February 25,2014 Sent IV Checklists back
February 28,2014 IV Checklists Package Delivered
March 5,2014 Sent AOS Checklists back
March 10,2014 AOS Checklists Package Delivered
March 19,2014 Case Completed ( call NVC )
March 22,2014 Case Completed ( CC email )

February 05,2015 Interview Letter
March 12,2015 Interview

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