|Costa Rica|| Review on May 16, 2019:|
|Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa|
On Monday we had our visa interview at the US embassy in Costa Rica.
The night before, my wife happened to notice a line in the instructions, saying that if any of your civil documents are from a country other than Costa Rica, they need to be affixed with an apostille. If taken literally the way it is worded, this suggests that a marriage certificate from the United States would need an apostille.
Obviously it makes no sense to have a document from the US apostilled to present to the US, but the thought of maybe being delayed because of something that stupid worried us.
The wording of the instructions is a bad choice. We presented our US marriage certificate without an apostille, and it was accepted without problem (it was the original certified copy with the embossed state seal on it).
Before entering we rang the bell and said we were coming for our visa interview. A lady came outside, asked for my wife’s name and took the medical exams. They later returned the envelope closed with staples.
At the door to the embassy, I learned that a 1980s-era Casio calculator watch is considered a "smart watch" by the United States of America. Fortunately my suegro drove us and was able to park on the street a short walk from the door, so I could put the watch back in the car. Really, don't bring anything. If you can, get someone you know to wait outside for you to guard the surprisingly prohibited items you might inadvertently bring with you.
First we were seen by an agent, who collected our civil documents (marriage, birth and police certicate), passport size pictures and the Correos confirmation page, he also asked for my wife’s CR address and our US address and made my wife scan her hands. We brought our own photocopies, which sped things up. Our originals were returned to us.
Then we waited for a while before the consulate officer saw us. I don't know how long we waited, because Casio calculator watches are forbidden. The air conditioner in the room works very well.
Our consulate officer was extremely nice. She was a young woman with short black hair. She didn't ask us very many questions.
We did the interview in English.
My wife (the beneficiary) had to swear that the information was true to the best of her knowledge.
We were then asked the following questions (that we can remember):
- When were we married?
- Where were we married?
- Did we live together or separate?
- How did we go so much time living apart? (We were married two years ago)
- Why has it taken us so long to ask for a green card?
- How often did we visit each other?
- What is the longest my wife (the beneficiary) had stayed in the US?
- Has my wife ever been in trouble with the law or immigration?
- Where do I work?
- Where does my wife work?
- Is my wife planning to work as a doctor in the US?
- Are we excited to be together now after so much time apart? (We are)
The interview went by super quick. They didn’t ask for the proof of relationship. We almost didn't believe it was done when we left. Two days later they emailed us the tracking number of the passport.