Consulate / USCIS Member Review #18692

Bulgaria Review on January 9, 2016:

Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa

Here's a summary of my interview experience at the US Embassy in Sofia.

I arrived half an hour earlier before the actual appointment time listed in the interview letter. The security let me in (they did not want to see the appointment letter, only checked my passport). I went through the same type of security inspection as the one done at an airport (I did not carry anything else with me except for a big extendable folder with docs, no cell, no tablet, etc.)

I waited exactly half an hour for the first part of the interview to take place. I was called at a window to present the original documents that were not previously submitted to NVC:
- Original Birth Certificate in Bulgarian + Translated in English and legalized
- Original Marriage Certificate (original, issued by the state of MA)
- Original Certificate of Clean Criminal Records in Bulgarian, Свидетелство за Съдимост + Translated in English and legalized (Police/Court Records are unobtainable in Bulgaria)
- Original Certificate of Marital Status in Bulgarian, Удостоверение за семейно положение + Translated in English and legalized (This document is an extra one, required by the US Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria)
- Medical Examination (the sealed envelope with the medical examination forms I was given after I completed the medical tests and vaccinations)
The person who was collecting the documents returned a big pile of papers which my husband submitted to USCIS, initially, when I-130 was sent (these papers were about 600 pages, including Skype logs, iMessages logs, pictures of us organized and placed on an A4 timeline). He made a comment that that's a big pile of unnecessary papers, I just smiled and said that my husband and I thought they would be of help for the person reviewing the petition, and that's why my husband sent them.
I was asked if I have any proof that I returned back to Bulgaria after I left the US, such as a boarding passes. I did have my boarding passes and showed them (I had a J1 Visa with a 2-year home residency requirement long time ago, that is why this question was asked).
I was given a DHL shipping label and asked to write down the address I would like to receive my passport back in case of approval (I chose and wrote 'Sofia DHL Main Office' in order to save some delivery time).

I had to wait about half an hour and was then called at a window to give fingerprints. After that, I waited a little less than an hour for the actual interview.

The consular officer was a very nice, very polite lady. She saw that I brought lots of papers and said that she didn't think I would need anything for the interview, and all would be fine. She only asked the following questions:
1. How you and your husband met, and where?
2. When your relationship became romantic?
3. When did you marry?
4. Have your husband visited you? When was his last visit?
During the whole time, she was typing something on her computer.
She made a comment that it's been a long journey for us, and admired our love story. She asked me to show her our photo album I brought with me. She saw couple of pictures, and exclaimed: "You guys are so cute! I'm convinced! …Congratulations! Your visa is approved! You will be home for the holidays with your husband!"
She said I would get the passport in a couple of days (I got the passport from Sofia DHL main office I chose on the 3-rd business day after the interview day).

That was it, a very smooth, quick interview day. I wish everyone's interview goes as smooth as mine, and to be reunited with his/her loved one soon!