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a.t.j24

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  1. Like
    a.t.j24 reacted to AmyOlivia in London Embassy: The Interview   
    As I sit here now, three days after the fact, I still can't believe that after months of paperwork, waiting and more waiting, my Visa has been approved!!
     
    Obviously, I'm elated and happy beyond belief and wanted to share my experience with you all for a few reasons. Primarily, just to let anybody in a similar situation to mine read over my experience and the like. But I also want to generally share in my excitement with people who truly understand the frustrations of this process, and start some small celebrations while I wait for my Visa itself to arrive!
    ---
    (The following was written in my notebook on the train home from the interview, so I apologise for any poor wording, etc. I'll be editing my terrible written grammar when typing it up here, but won't be making any more substantial edits beyond that. As a writer by trade, I felt it necessary to explain this before jumping in...!)
    ---
    The Day Before...
     
    Finances permitting, I would absolutely recommend for everybody to stay overnight before your appointment. Even though I barely slept, the principal of being close-by was soothing; especially since I actually live in the East Midlands, so travelling to London isn't exactly a quick trip for me!
     
    The hotel that I stayed in was the London King's Cross Royal Scot, an older hotel not too far from Kings Cross Railway station, and it included a full, unlimited breakfast (yum!!). I brought along my best friend of many years (twenty, to be exact...!) to be my moral support and travelling companion, and we both appreciated the large breadth of good food to start our day!
     
    The Big Day!
     
    We made sure to hop on the tube after peak times, and made the necessary changes to the Victoria line before hopping off at Vauxhall. I'd absolutely insist that you take Exit 1, as outlined in the interview guidelines, because the walk along the Thames is absolutely breathtaking if the weather is nice. I was very lucky to experience a sunny, temperate day in London on the 15th.
     
    Not only was it stunningly beautiful, but it allowed me plenty of time to try and calm down. I obviously wasn't 'calm' by any description when arriving at the Embassy, but every little helped when it came to soothing the frayed bundles that I call nerves.
     
    Anyway, back to the scenic walk! You really can't miss the Embassy on this route, thanks to its outside facade. I sat outside for a while with my friend in the sunshine, happy that I chose the 11:30am slot and not having to wrestle with commuters. Because I started to get anxious, I approached the outside Visa desk too early, and was sent away to return at 11:10am. Hold your nerve and head up to get your documents checked later rather than sooner; you'll get sent straight on through to security regardless.
     
    All I needed at the outside desk was my appointment confirmation/ instructions email and my passport. I fumbled about with my DS-160 for no reason! Have it ready just in case, but I was never asked by anybody to see that piece of paperwork.
     
    After another check at the desk at 11:10 this time, I was sent up to the security entrance where a security guard checked the same paperwork as stated above, and sealed the deal with a high-five and fist-bump to wish me luck. One thing I'll say with absolute certainty is that the staff you encounter when going through with the interview process is absolutely critical, and this interaction was such a relief to experience. Glimmers of humanity!
     
    I benefited from leaving my luggage with my best friend, because I was through security in less than a minute. I only took my phone, coat and documents, and I'd absolutely recommend travelling as light as possible. Less to faff around with is always better.
     
    Once inside, I queued like a good Brit, and was soon met with the Embassy staff asking for anybody doing immigration Visas. In spite of the K Visa technically being of the non-immigrant variety, you absolutely fit into the immigrant category. The guy checked my confirmation email and ushered me up to the desk, before checking me off the list and sticking some tickets on my print-out. He told me to go up to Level 1, turn left and left again; insisting that I don't follow any other instructions. I was confused by this insistence of his until I reached Level 1 and Embassy staff tried to direct me over to the non-immigrant side. If not for this initial point of contact I had, I would have likely slipped over to the non-immigrant side without a second thought.
     
    And so, I did just as I was told; turned left, and then left again. I found myself in a smaller, somewhat secluded waiting area for immigrant visa interviews and had barely sat down before my ticket number flashed up on the screen (the ticket will be stuck to your confirmation print-out when heading inside). What followed was the document collection portion of the appointment, and I nearly had a heart attack.
     
    The man who saw me was very pleasant and I chatted with him for a while before we got down to business. Then, my organisation started to pay off. He asked for my confirmation email/ instructions sheet, followed by my passport and birth certificate. He specifically wanted the original, even though I had taken photocopies just in case. Then he asked if I had been married before (no), adopted (no) or if I had lived anywhere else since turning 16. This led into him asking for my original ACRO, the police certificate. I had all of this information paperclipped in corresponding order within my document wallet, so I was quick with giving him whatever he needed, and I was starting to feel pretty great about the whole process.
     
    But then came my worst fear: the Affidavit of Support, that dreaded form I-134.
     
    This document has been the bane of my existence from the start of this year. My fiance was in the midst of changing careers this year, with an income $100 below the requirement last tax year. As such, we turned to his sister to be our support because of her high income, long history with her employer, and close proximity to our address. After much agonising, back and forth and contradictory information as to whether we'd need Affidavits from both the sponsor and fiance, I had it all compiled. The general consensus within the VJ community was that London weren't bothered by who the sponsor was, as long as the income requirement was met and evidence provided.
     
    The minute I handed over the documents, however, the previously cheery, talkative man frowned.
     
    "We still ask for an Affidavit from your fiance."
     
    What?! I started to panic and barely held myself together, calmly explaining our decision and the circumstances around it. My fiance didn't earn enough last year due to a fluctuating retail job, his new job is less than a month old... etc. The document collector became quite stern and said that the interview officer would review it all and decide what needed to be done, which, as you can imagine, wasn't a lot of reassurance.
     
    I honestly couldn't breathe. He took copies of my Visa photographs (I took four 2x2 images) and then told me to take a seat.
     
    Never has a wait felt so long.
     
     It probably wasn't much longer than 15 minutes, however, and my turn came. I positively bolted up, said a few prayers, and went to meet my interviewer. She was a nice, softly-spoken American lady. I could feel that she was quite stern as she politely asked me to raise my right hand and take the oath, but the questions she asked were conversational and easy. These questions are as follows:

    "Have you had any previous US Visas?"
    "Have you overstayed any of them?"
    "When did you meet your fiance? How did you meet? How long have you been together?"
    "How often have you seen your fiance since getting together?"
    "What does your fiance do?"
    "What does your future sister-in-law do?"
    "What do you plan to do for a career in the United States?"
     
    As always when I'm nervous, I felt like I babbled a little too much, but I was honest and kept a semblance of cool. I'm not honestly sure what brought the approval specifically, but I sensed a somewhat positive reaction when I explained how long my fiance and I have been together, with specific recollection of long visitations with one another, and my chosen career path as a Teacher.
     
    So, even though the document collector scared me half to death, my app was approved rather swiftly. I probably only stood in the booth/ window for less than five minutes!
     
    I almost burst into tears of joy on the spot, thanked the interviewer a thousand times, and practically skipped out of the Embassy! Now I need to wait for the arrival of my passport and the famed BBE, big brown envelope, and I'm US-bound!
     
    Even though it didn't end up mattering or delaying my approval, I would recommend that those of you with a sponsor also get your fiance to fill out an Affidavit. It'll save you a lot of stress and anxiety after getting an ominous reception from the document collector, that's for sure!!
    ---
    Thank you all for reading my ramblings, and for helping with all of my previous questions along the way! This approval is a huge weight off my chest, and now I can't wait to get myself out to the States. My life has been on hold since we decided to pursue this Visa, and now it finally feels like it's in the 'Play' position again!
     
    In peoples' experiences, how long does it take for the documents to arrive with you? I have paid for courier delivery to my home, so I'm unsure if that will speed up the delivery once everything is processed (which I know takes between 7 to 10 working days... curse you, bank holidays!!).
     
    I know that it isn't recommended to book a flight until you HAVE the documents, but flights are already looking expensive right now. I want to safely book a flight which will ensure the arrival of my documents in time, and won't bankrupt me for a one-way trip, so it's a difficult balance to strike. My absolute ideal would be for me to jet off as soon as possible; I've been away from my fiance for too darn long as it is!!
  2. Like
    a.t.j24 reacted to Zoeeeeeee in London Embassy: The Interview   
    This ^ x 100. We decided to apply for a K1 in December 2017, but had to wait for a 2 year divorce to complete 😫 - so I’ve had my life on hold since then (career-wise, home-wise, even down to the things I buy)...can’t wait to hit the play button again! 
     
    Huge congratulations to you! 
  3. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from Nikolas2017 in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Congratulations Nick! I was two rows behind you! I tried calling your name when you stood up for Russia, but you didn’t reply, so I wasn’t 100% it was you! I think you were the proudest person in the room! 
    Good luck to everyone else still waiting. The end is close and I’m sure will be here before you know it!!
  4. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from Geordie in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    I didn’t submit any photos nor take any to the interview with me. I’m pretty sure this is all taken care of with biometrics. I don’t remember actually signing anything for pictures at interview either.
  5. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from oncefuturealien in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    Just got my Ceremony Notice! Friday April 12th! The end is so close!
     
  6. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from Bineek in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    mine wasn't actually showing up on any website as a date! So it surprised me, but either way, it's a week longer than I was thinking to wait, but it's coming! 
  7. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from Radkova in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Just got my Oath Ceremony notice! Friday April 12th! The end is SOOOOOO close!
  8. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from ThousandMoreSteps in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    mine wasn't actually showing up on any website as a date! So it surprised me, but either way, it's a week longer than I was thinking to wait, but it's coming! 
  9. Like
    a.t.j24 reacted to NeedMoreCoffee in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    I can feel your excitement all the way in California congratz man! so jealous!
  10. Like
    a.t.j24 reacted to GoodbyeGirl in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Exciting! Congrats, not long now...  
     
     
  11. Like
    a.t.j24 reacted to Nikolas2017 in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony on april 12)))))))
    same time and same city)))))
  12. Like
    a.t.j24 reacted to GoodbyeGirl in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Congrats to you both! Maybe you guys will get to meet.  
     
     
  13. Like
    a.t.j24 reacted to ThousandMoreSteps in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    Yay! I'm thinking mine will be Apr 26th. That's the next one that's showing for me!
  14. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from gregcrs2 in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    Just got my Ceremony Notice! Friday April 12th! The end is so close!
     
  15. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from ThousandMoreSteps in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    Just got my Ceremony Notice! Friday April 12th! The end is so close!
     
  16. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from GoodbyeGirl in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Just got my Oath Ceremony notice! Friday April 12th! The end is SOOOOOO close!
  17. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from Toya1708 in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Just got my Oath Ceremony notice! Friday April 12th! The end is SOOOOOO close!
  18. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from ThousandMoreSteps in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    Awesome Congratualtions! So it took nearly a while 7 days but randomly at about 8pm on Sunday night I got this.........
     
    talk about stalking the web now!! I look every half hour to see if the doc uploaded so I know when my ceremony is!

  19. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from GoodbyeGirl in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Sooooooo I just got a text message notifying me that my case had updated. I logged into myaccount.uscis........ and nothing changed but when I checked my case status on regular uscis website I saw this!

  20. Thanks
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from SusieQQQ in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Sooooooo I just got a text message notifying me that my case had updated. I logged into myaccount.uscis........ and nothing changed but when I checked my case status on regular uscis website I saw this!

  21. Haha
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from ordjnb in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Wow...each to their own I suppose!!
  22. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from Butterfly83 in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Wow...each to their own I suppose!!
  23. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from oncefuturealien in N-400 NOVEMBER 2018 FILERS   
    OK INTERVIEW OVER - RESULT - RECOMMENDED FOR APPROVAL!
     
    Tampa office was really busy. I got there 30 minutes before my appointment time, got my number and quickly found out that regardless of number or appointment time, they go in no particular order. The two different ladies I set next to in the waiting room had been there for over an hour past their appointment time. They were calling out numbers in the 40's when I arrived (mine was 75). One lady had something like 59, but my number was called before hers! 
     
    As for the interview, my officer seemed one of the happier ones. I cracked a few nervous jokes with him and made small talk, which he was fine with. He was an immigrant from Poland, so that was cool to relate to him a little bit about the journey. He started with a few basic questions about me, my wife and how I started on the immigrant journey. He also asked her full name, where we met, when how we started dating, very simple, nothing strenuous. Then moved onto the civics questions. The questions I got were:
    Who becomes president if the president is incapacitated?
    When do we celebrate Independence Day?
    How many Supreme Court justices?
    Capital of my state?
    Who becomes president after president and Vice President?
    Who was the 50th president? - trick question!
     
    Then he moved onto the YES/NO questions from the application. All were rapid fire, I think he went quicker since my first language is English. But still, all simple and easy. When he asked if I would be able to pledge the oath I said "Yes, please when can do we do it?" His reply was....."well I have to approve you first (with a smile)!"
     
    The English test was read " WHO LIVES IN THE White House" and write "THE PRESIDENT LIVES IN THE White House" THE IPADS you have to write on are pretty awful, but they sufficed and he wasn't bothered about poor handwriting. I also had to sign a couple of boxes about reading the oath, as well as a couple of small changes he made to my application.
     
    All quite simple. He didn't ask to see anything extra I brought, including my wifes birth certificate or marriage certificate. He did question if our daughters birth certificate was in there, because he couldn't see it in the file. But then he found it.
     
    He kept talking to himself as he was scrolling through the application on his screen saying, yes, yes, good, good....... Then he printed off the paper and said "Congratulations"!! These were the best words I've been waiting for and was super happy to hear! I asked when the oath ceremony might be, and he said usually within a couple of weeks of the interview. 
     
    Now, I'm sitting back, relaxing, drinking a Mojito celebrating. As much as I want the oath ceremony to happen right away, it's finally relaxing knowing that its actually coming!
     
    Good luck to everyone else waiting. It will happen. It will come. It's A LOT easier than you're expecting. 
  24. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from Nikolas2017 in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    No I don’t have mine yet. He said within two weeks. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻 We both get it soon!
  25. Like
    a.t.j24 got a reaction from GoodbyeGirl in N-400 October 2018 Filers   
    Yes! I think he knew I knew my stuff since I answered within .01 of a second when he finished the question so thought he would be funny! 😝
     
    Of the two weeks thing is true that would be outstanding!! 
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