Cambodia US Consulate Reviews

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Cambodia US Consulate Reviews
Average Rating: 4.0 / 5
87 Review(s)
Cambodia
Review #27561 on November 24, 2019:

WorldCitizen1969



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Review Topic: K1 Visa

We had our interview on Nov.14 and she passed. There were a few women there who didnt and it was one of 2 reasons: lack of paperwork (evidence of relationship and/or other documents), or they didnt know some basic information about their future spouse. Our appointment was at 8:30 and we were finished by 9:20 or so.

The lady really grilled me I felt and I honestly messed up on some of my OWN information (ex. I forgot the year I was divorced, LOL). The only paperwork requested from us: evidence of relationship, affidavit of support and 2018 taxes.

I was interviewed first and the questions mostly pertained to how we met, her family, my job, and 1 or 2 questions regarding my divorce.

Her questions were basically follow-ups to my answers.

Personally, I think she performed better than I did on the interview.

One piece of advice - both people need to be there for the interview. Dont let her/him go through this alone.

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Cambodia
Review #27438 on November 7, 2019:

Brian74



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Review Topic: K1 Visa

We had our interview at the USA embassy in Phnom Penh. I attended with my fiancee. We arrived at about 9:00 am for our 9:30 am appointment. We had to wait until 9:20 am before they would allow us to queue up for a 9:30 appointment.

At the window, before they let you into the embassy they will verify that you have an appointment. We just had to give them our passports; they did not ask for the interview letter or the DS-160 conformation page.

Once inside, you will need to go through security. You must have a national ID card or drivers license in addition to your passport. Your ID card will be left with security. You cannot bring any bags inside the embassy with you - they will remain with security, as will your cell phone. We had to remove all of our paperwork from our file folder and carry it that way.

Once through the security checkpoint, you enter the next building and go through security again. However, you don't leave any items at this checkpoint. Right past this checkpoint is the visa interview/waiting room.

I found the Khemi security at all 3 checkpoints to be friendly and professional.

For immigrant visas, you go to window 7 to get a number; You'll also have to show your passport(s). When your number is called, you'll hand in all of your documentation. Your number will then be called a second time for fingerprints and then finally a 3rd time for the actual interview.

We where the last ones to be interviewed, and my fiancee was getting increasingly nervous, as the CO (there was only one doing K1 visa interviews) was giving everyone a pretty hard time. When our turn came, she was so nervous she was trembling a bit - and the interview hadn't even started yet.

My fiancee speaks English at about a 90% level. However, she was so nervous she had trouble getting her answers out. The CO eventually called over a translator, and that did seem to help.

The questions:

1) How did you meet for the first time?

Note: She didn't really like how we met; or acted like she didn't.

2) How did you afford to travel to Bangkok to meet him for the first time?
3) What sort of work have you done since you graduated university?
4) Why was your 2015 visa for the USA rejected? This was a tourist visa and she could not demonstrate that she had strong ties to Cambodia.
5) What will you do in the USA for work?

Those where all of the questions, but due to how nervous she was - she had started stuttering, it took a bit to get through them.

The CO was a bit harsh to my finance, but very polite to me.

Questions for me:

1) What are your wedding plans?
2) Do you think you've spent enough time together? Our total face time was about 4 weeks. At this point I realized she had not really looked at the evidence packet I put together, as she didn't realize we had just met again in person 3 months ago for a vacation to Thailand. She made a note of that in the computer.
3) Are you OK with all of this? No concerns?

That was all she asked me.

She then handed us the blue pick up slip for the visa. My fiancee was a bit shocked; she seemed to think the interview was going badly, but I wasn't surprised. I don't think my fiancee realized that the CO is looking for reasons to say no.

Of the other interviews before us:

One was delayed because she forgot her original birth certificate. Another one the CO grilled them pretty harshly - she didn't speak English and her fiance, who attended with her spoke no Khemi. The CO didn't like that. They also met via her family in the USA, and she didn't like that either. They also had no call logs or chat logs in their evidence packet because they thought they could bring their phones to the interview. The CO wasn't amused. However, she approved them and the guy was clearly shocked - he sounded like he expected a denial at that point. The CO asked them at least 20 questions, maybe more.

I could not hear the questions or results of the other interviews, as they where too far away from me.

All in all, it went how I expected, though I didn't quite expect them to give my fiancee such a hard time. The CO attitude towards me was quite different; friendly and joking.

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Cambodia
Review #26876 on August 17, 2019:

Jaysaldi



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Review Topic: K1 Visa

I've been a lurker here but have gained a lot of info and wanted to share my own experience in the hope it may help others.

I am the U.S. citizen, late 40's white, professional, male. On October 1 I filed the petition for my Cambodian fiancee, late 20's. We have an 18 year age difference. We've been dating for 4+ years, and I have spent 400+ days in Cambodia since meeting her.

Got the first NOA approval thing in the mail in early March, then the next one in April, then the notice to complete the DS-160.

Completed the DS-160 and sent the confirmation page to the specific US embassy email address in their instructions, read them carefully. Then I got an email in response setting her appointment for 7-8 weeks later. It was over 10 months from me filing the petition to her interview BUT I dawdled for a month and delayed submitting the DS-160 because I wanted her appointment to be set for a date when I was in the country.

Interview was on Thursday August 1 at 9:30. We arrived at the guard window outside at 9:15 a.m., which was probably a mistake, because they told us to wait 5 minutes in the melting sun, and that turned into ten minutes because an American lady was having some kind of crisis at the window and we had to wait for that and then the couple who had arrived before 9:15 went in ahead of us. I noted that they were carrying three full 3 ring binders, presumably the evidence of their relationship. We were carrying about 80 pages.

We went into the security room and they took my fiance's ID card and kept it at the security station. Her ID card never actually went to the consular officer to look at.

They asked me for my driver's license and I said I didn't have it but I could give them my second passport or a credit card. They said that wouldn't be necessary, but I had to deposit my wallet (minus the cash), keys, chap stick, and phone. Basically you can't take anything inside but paper - cash, documents, etc.

Went through the second metal detector where they confiscated a second tube of chap stick that had escaped detection during the first check.

Now we enter the large waiting room. We go to window 7, get a slip with our number on it, then wait 5 minutes until called back to window 7. I walk up with her and kind of hang back but the Cambodian lady waves me up with her. We hand in our documents, including my fiancee's passport photos. This is where we came closest to blowing the whole thing. As instructed, she had written her name and DOB and case number on the back of the photos. But she used a blue felt tip type pen, so you could kind of see through the photo to the ink on the back, AND when she then put the photos back on top of each other, the blue ink on the back of photo 1 transferred to the face of photo 2. The Cambodian lady in Window 7 was not happy at all.

Fortunately, I had a set of backup photos, because I knew the embassy was know for being neurotic about rules like "the height of the head must be more than 60% but less than 75% of the photo height" or whatever that rule is. So we had two different sets of two passport photos. But my backup set also had the same blue ink transferance problem. The lady huffed and puffed and ultimately accepted the two best of the four photos and scanned one of them. I think it was a close call for her though and she almost sent us packing for new photos.

I recommend bringing multiple sets of recent passport photos, writing on the back of some of them lightly with a ball point pen and then not putting them on top of each other. And bring some other photos you haven't written on yet. If you do get ink on the photos, I would note that licking your finger and rubbing the photo will probably remove the ink.

The Window 7 lady took my fiancee's passport, ACLEDA bank receipt, original birth certificate with translation, police certificate with translation, the I-134 form, my 2018 tax transcript, and our packet of evidence of the relationship. She also took my passport so the consular officer would know I was there.

They didn't want her certificate of single status; she had never been married before. They didn't look at or take the updated statements of intent to marry we prepared. My fiancee had gotten her Medical exam at Raffles and Raffles sent the results directly to the embassy.

I've been unemployed living off investment income for several years, and my tax transcripts show me making somewhat more than the minimum income. My I-134 mentioned substantial stock holdings as assets but I didn’t list them, I just brought copies of the most recent brokerage statements. They never asked for them.

The Cambodian lady asked my fiancee to confirm her name, address, phone number, my phone number, whether she has applied for a visa before, where she was born, and does she speak English. She asked me if I spoke Khmer (I said "a little") and my phone number in the USA. She typed our answers into the computer.

I was feeling a little uneasy because when I handed her our 80 pages of evidence of the relationship, she said "That's it? That's all you have?" I confirmed that is was. The package included a two page cover index listing and describing 20 documents, some of which were multi page documents, offered chronologically showing the progression of the relationship. Like #1 was “chat message from mutual friend to fiancee introducing us” then #2 was photo from when we first met, then copies of my 25 Cambodia visa stamps, emails to me from her English school because I was sponsoring her, email from her dentist to me because I sponsored her dental treatment, photos and boarding passes or hotel reservations corresponding to five international trips, apartment leases with both our names on it, engagement ring receipt, finishing with #20 “photos from engagement ceremony and party.”

I did not include printouts of our voluminous Facebook messenger chats, for three reasons. 1. Our relationship isn't exclusively long distance we spend 2-3 months every year together, 2. the word for word transcripts are none of their business, and 3. I don't think they really want to read that stuff. They probably spend 2-3 minutes reading everything and mostly making their minds up before the interview. I don’t think dropping a binder of 500 pages of Facebook chats they will never read is the best use of those 2-3 minutes. But judging from the reaction of the Window 7 lady to our minimalist submission, binders of chat logs may be the norm.

We sat down and waited about 30 minutes. Note that the waiting room is also the interview room. The interviews take place with the consular officers sitting behind a presumably bulletproof glass partition and asking questions into a microphone while the interviewee stands on the other side of the glass. There are cubicle like partitions so that the people waiting can’t see the interviews, but you can definitely eavesdrop on others while you are waiting.

She was called up to window 5 or 6. I thought this would just be for fingerprinting but it was for fingerprint and interview. The American consular officer lady was friendly, much more so than the Cambodian document collection lady. She waved me up and let me stand next to my fiancee the whole time.

She started by handing my fiancee back her original birth certificate and handing back the 80-100 page packet of evidence we had submitted. I thought that was unusual but not a bad sign, it suggested that the officer wasn’t going to cross-examine her about any of the evidence we submitted.

My fiancee was place under oath and asked:

What are your plans in USA? “Get married.”
What kind/ type of wedding do you plan to have? “Romantic”
Yes, but what kind? “Get married.” (her English is better than this but she just misunderstood the question)
Have you applied for a fiancee visa before? “No.”
Did you apply in Bangkok before? “No” (Cambodians used to have to apply for US visas in Bangkok)
What are your parents names?
Are you parents living? “No.”
Did they remarry? Do you have stepparents? “No”

I was placed under oath too and asked what I did for a living

She asked both us “Did you guys have a traditional engagement ceremony?”
I said “Yes, the photos are at the end of the evidence packet.”
She replied “Oh, I probably didn’t get that far because I had already decided to grant the visa.”

I gleaned three things from that exchange. 1. The consular officers in Cambodia are interested in whether you had an engagement ceremony and it probably helps to have one, 2. It’s a not a requirement to have the engagement ceremony because she decided to grant the visa before reading that far in the packet, and 3. it seems her mind was made up before the interview actually started, just based on knowing that we met in person over four years ago and I’ve spent 400+ days in Cambodia since then

I showed her the engagement party photos and she asked my fiancee:

Who stood in for your parents at the engagement ceremony?
“My aunt and uncle.”
Who stood in for his parents?
“No one.”

That was it. She gave her the blue slip and told her to come back the next Friday (8 days later) at 11 a.m. to collect the visa.

My fiancee was surprised that our interview was so short because she heard other people being grilled and heard one or two applicants denied.

Other questions we heard being asked of other applicants were:

What does your fiancé do for work
How did you meet ?
Why did you move to Phnom Penh?
What’s your father’s job?
What do (or your fiancee) do in your free time?



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Cambodia
Review #26571 on June 30, 2019:





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Review Topic: K1 Visa

I traveled to Cambodia to attend my fiance's interview on May 9, 2019. I arrived several days early to get settled.
*I would HIGHLY recommend attending the interview as the USC if possible*

We arrived 30 minutes early and needed to wait until 10 minutes before the interview. Those 20 minutes were excruciating!
My fiance (Cambodian) told the security officer at the gate that he was attending a K-1 visa interview. They looked at their roster and confirmed his name. I (USC) handed them my passport and they allowed me inside the embassy. We went to the first security check point and left our bags with the officers. The USC NEEDS to bring their driver's license to leave it with the security officers at the 1st checkpoint. We then went to the 2nd checkpoint and walked into the waiting room.

We went to window 7 to get our number. We then waited about 10 minutes until we were called to another window to present our documents. They only took the ones listed in the interview packet on their website even though I brought a significant amount of supporting documents. They then asked my fiance to wash his hands and give his fingerprints at a different window.

We then waited about an hour for our number to be called for the interview. There were a few girls ahead of us who were approved even though their fiance's were not present, but the officer sounded hesitant from what I overheard. When our number was called I waited in the seating area while my fiance went to the window. The officer asked my fiance if I was present and when he confirmed that I was present the officer called me up to join the interview. The bulk of the questions were directed to me. They were in this approximate order.

How did you meet?
Who were you volunteering with?
What is the name of the organization?
What college did you go to?

The officer then turned to my fiance and stated "I am very confused." He then asked my fiance questions.

Are you Christian?
What is your family's religion?
How did you become Christian?
Did you become a Christian because of your fiance?
What university did you attend?
How do you communicate with your fiance?

The officer then directed more questions to me.

Can you speak khmer?
How many people were in the English class where you met your fiance?
What happened after you met?
Do you have the original Facebook messages from when you first communicated?

I told him it was all in our initial application packet. The officer then looked at our packet from the I129f and took note of my visas entering and leaving Cambodia over a 3 year span. He then also noticed the copies of my Cambodian work permits.

You lived in Cambodia?
What was your job?
Where did you work?
What was your salary?

He also noticed our house lease.

Did you live together?
Do you have a physical relationship?

He looked at our engagement rings receipt.

Are you both wearing your rings?
Who paid for them?
Why was his more expensive?
(To my fiance) What is your job and salary?
(Back to me) Do you have any wedding plans?
How much was your dress?
Where will you have the wedding?
How many people will attend?
Why will his parents not attend?

He then looked over a few more papers and told us he was granting the visa. He pulled out the blue slip, filled it out, and gave it to us. He took my fiance's passport and told us we have 90 days to get married, but there is no harm done if things don't work out because he can always just return to Cambodia. Then the interview was finished. It took about 15 minutes and the questions were very rapid fire. I feel like he was not convinced until he saw that I lived in Cambodia for a year. It was very nerve racking to have our lives picked apart by a stranger.

We returned to the embassy on May 17, 2019 (the following Friday) to pick up the visa. We only needed to bring the blue slip. The gate officers allowed me to go into the embassy and we went through the same security process. We did not need to go to window 7 to get a number, we just waited with a group of other people picking up their visas by window 1. The interview officer called the group forward to window 1 and explained how to enter the US at a Port of Entry. He also touched on domestic violence and the resources available in the US. They then called the names of each person and handed out the packets with the passports. Do NOT open the packet! (It is only for the Port of Entry officer to open). The group was then congratulated and we were let out.

The entire experience with the embassy was smooth and pleasant. The staff were helpful and kind. I was so nervous about the whole process, but everything went perfectly. My advice is to just come overly prepared and answer the questions truthfully, even if they are awkward.

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Cambodia
Review #26370 on June 6, 2019:





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Review Topic: K1 Visa

Had a wonderful experience today at the US Embassy Phnom Penh K1 VISA. My fiancé and I had a wonderful man very friendly and thorough but overall the experience was great. We were approved. Thank you God Thank you Jesus

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