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Interview Cell Phone Check!

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     So my husband and I had our interview on Monday and let me start by saying; it wasn’t as easy and comfortable as some folks had said. We got to the Embassy and made it through security up to our designated floor for his CR1 interview. We sat down and the first gentleman who called us up was extremely lovely, making us feel positive and welcomed. So then we sat back down unknowingly right in front of what would be our next window. We sat, and we sat some more, while everyone with numbers after him were being called up. So we couldn’t help but notice the man behind the window directly in front Of us had my husbands ACRO so we knew this would be our guy. But at one point before we got to the window there were about 3-4 other officers looking at his documents, shaking their heads, pointing at the computer screen. We were obviously extremely worried something was wrong.

     So finally he calls us up and has us swear underoath. There was a very stern looking woman sitting behind him who had never made eye contact with us so we weren’t sure if this was typical or not. He then proceeds to ask a series of maybe 15-20 questions to which i thought he answered exceptionally. So then he says “How have you and your wife been communicating while you’ve been apart” to which he answered by saying text messages, facetime and letters. So then the officer says “Well pull out your cell phone and show me then.” I think we were both kind of shocked but my husband got his phone out and easily handed it over  because we have nothing to hide. The officer then questions angrily why his phone is in airplane mode and why is your wifes name shortened(my name is Courtney and in his phone it said “Court”). He then scrolls through our text message history for about 5 minutes and eventually hands the phone back over. 

     So fast forward to the end of the interview and the stern looking lady hands our interviewer a 221g blue slip to which he gives to us, putting us in additional processing for “more review time”. Pretty much what im trying to get at is are cell phone checks actually allowed? I’ve never heard of this happening to anyone, and maybe this could serve as a warning to future couples that this is a possible. We left the Embassy a bit confused and devastated but still hopeful because they kept his passport.

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of course they are allowed.

 

they can also inspect them and computers at POE


5/7/2018 K1       Application mailed

5/9/2018             Application rec'd and signed for (sent via fedex)

5/14/2018          NOA1 Email notification

5/18/2018          NOA1 Paper copy rec'd (i797C)

11/5/2018          NOA2 ❤️ no RFE's

11/19/2018        NVC Received file

12/13/2018        Consulate received/ ready to schedule interview

 

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Woaw! I'm sorry for both of you :( Look through all the documents submitted with a fine tooth comb again. They can only make decisions based on what you submitted. 

 

What was your relationship evidence like? Was something conflicting? Were any of your dates conflicting? 

Have a look at his travel history https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home

Do the dates align with the documents you submitted?

 

IMO phone checks are good, probably went in your favour if you have lots of chats/call history. 

Edited by thatguyuknow

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5 hours ago, Ceezee5 said:

Pretty much what im trying to get at is are cell phone checks actually allowed?

It always surprises me that people do not know that immigration can check your personal items like cellphones and computers. These devices hold the most telling evidence in a relationship.

 

Most countries have the authority to go through personal effects like mobile devices at their customs. They don't do it all the time but they have the authority. The company I work for has many of its product manufactured in China, before traveling there we even have trainings on their local customs and laws. I remember them telling us to be prepared to hand over our cellphones to be inspected because China is very big on protecting its manufacturing processes.

Edited by NuestraUnion

“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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This is most unusual for a London interview and I've read 10 years of them here in this forum. There is definitely something wrong/different/suspicious about your case. Even a 221g paper given with the reason to look it over further is not the norm. Those are typically only when a document is forgotten or inadequate because they can't approve until they have everything needed. Your case apparently was not a missing document 221g. It is clearly a "something indicates this guy may not be eligible for a visa" response.  

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2 hours ago, Wuozopo said:

This is most unusual for a London interview and I've read 10 years of them here in this forum. There is definitely something wrong/different/suspicious about your case. Even a 221g paper given with the reason to look it over further is not the norm. Those are typically only when a document is forgotten or inadequate because they can't approve until they have everything needed. Your case apparently was not a missing document 221g. It is clearly a "something indicates this guy may not be eligible for a visa" response.  

 

I don't think this is necessarily true to form. Perhaps in the 10 years you've been here that's very unusual, but in  reading stuff from October until now, I see more and more people being handed 221gs without being given a reason even if their passport is taken. I think including myself and this case here it makes 4 in the last 2 months or so? This leads me to guess that maybe something happened to cause additional scrutiny in cases that were more lax before? We also had 'a stern looking woman' as the interviewer who basically just looked over everything, didn't ask for any additional documents (or my fiance's phone, for that matter) and said "Right you'll hear in 7-10 working days" then gave him the 221g with additional processing marked and no indication of what we'd hear in 7-10 days at all..

 

OP: You mentioned your ACRO, can you elaborate as to what was on there? Did it say No Trace or No Live Trace, and did you include an SAR for no live trace?

Edited by NearEthereal

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52 minutes ago, NearEthereal said:

 

I don't think this is necessarily true to form. Perhaps in the 10 years you've been here that's very unusual, but in  reading stuff from October until now, I see more and more people being handed 221gs without being given a reason even if their passport is taken. I think including myself and this case here it makes 4 in the last 2 months or so? This leads me to guess that maybe something happened to cause additional scrutiny in cases that were more lax before? We also had 'a stern looking woman' as the interviewer who basically just looked over everything, didn't ask for any additional documents (or my fiance's phone, for that matter) and said "Right you'll hear in 7-10 working days" then gave him the 221g with additional processing marked and no indication of what we'd hear in 7-10 days at all..

 

OP: You mentioned your ACRO, can you elaborate as to what was on there? Did it say No Trace or No Live Trace, and did you include an SAR for no live trace?

You're right, it could be "stern looking woman" is new and a supervisor has to review her interviews. It is hard to figure out patterns in the current talk because of multiple threads and mixing scenarios, that decline into "nothing today" "me either" "good luck"..  Specific threads might help and names/timelines added as appropriate. 

"I got 221g and not for missing docs or medical"

"Medical not at interview"

And anyone telling their waiting story that doesn't fit the topic reported as off topic to keep the focus..

 

i do believe the 4 officers looking at the papers, the number of questions (15-20), and the mobile phone thing is a big departure from the norm. I have no guess why because we don't know the case/OP and nothing specific has been shared. Sometimes there is more to the story and sometimes not. If all was well, there would be a "you're approved" and the visa in hand one week later.  

"

Edited by Wuozopo

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26 minutes ago, coltr said:

Have either of you ever tried to apply for a visa to the US before, and what was the outcome?

Does the ESTA count? If so, then yes , twice, and it was given no problem. Although, at the US border during one of my fiance's visits, he was held for 2 hours before being let through. I think this was just a bunch of tiny issues. He was coming for the time between Thanksgiving and New Year (so 7 weeks), and he was between contracts, so he didn't have any employment just then that was tying him down in the embassy's eyes. He got another contract right after getting back to Wales. So that's really the only trouble we ran into so far before this.

We definitely did not have the four officers looking at papers, but we did have the 'stern woman' ask direct questions about the SAR we provided. Specifically, she asked if drugs or alcohol were involved and if there had been any trouble with the police since (No to both), I think she was trying to rule out CIMT on the Failure to Stop/Report, or if she was infact new, not 100% clear on what constitutes a CIMT
With all that said, I still want to hear from OP with regards to their ACRO,

Edited by NearEthereal

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This gives a bit of background but the OP never fully explained the  situation.

 

When I went Mobiles were not allowed, but more specifically they can ask for anything, you do not of course need to hand them over.

 


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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44 minutes ago, Boiler said:

This gives a bit of background but the OP never fully explained the  situation.

Thanks Boiler. I remember that thread but the specific names get to be a blur and I was too lazy to research the problem du jour. 

So Cheezees has previous K1 that didn't make it through AOS, an overstay, use of ESTA after an overstay, and was anticipating neededing a waiver even before attending the interview.  

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On 12/19/2018 at 6:29 AM, Wuozopo said:

You're right, it could be "stern looking woman" is new and a supervisor has to review her interviews. It is hard to figure out patterns in the current talk because of multiple threads and mixing scenarios, that decline into "nothing today" "me either" "good luck"..  Specific threads might help and names/timelines added as appropriate. 

"I got 221g and not for missing docs or medical"

"Medical not at interview"

And anyone telling their waiting story that doesn't fit the topic reported as off topic to keep the focus..

 

i do believe the 4 officers looking at the papers, the number of questions (15-20), and the mobile phone thing is a big departure from the norm. I have no guess why because we don't know the case/OP and nothing specific has been shared. Sometimes there is more to the story and sometimes not. If all was well, there would be a "you're approved" and the visa in hand one week later.  

"

I do agree!! London is a marvellous Embassy. Things should go straight forward for a K1/CR 1 if the case is straightforward. London from research prior to my interview- doesn’t take well to no live trace on an ACRO. Also prior to my interview, the lady really emphasised a waiver to an old dude who had criminal activity and wanted to visit his kids as he hadn’t seen them for 18 years! The lady I had in London was so kind as per my review. 2 or 3 questions and then approved. I don’t think a judgement of slips for the last 2 months can indicate a trend. London is strict but fair ☺️

Edited by jakejon

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Someone I read earlier also commented about London being “lax” in the past in regards to interviews. Not only is this disrespectful but also untrue. A common thing I’ve gathered from VJ is people are reluctant to share info on the scenario they are in/don’t give clues to their individual situations. Not always the case but sometimes sharing extra info can explain or give light to some situations. 

Edited by jakejon

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