|Cambodia|| Review on June 30, 2019:|
|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.