|Naples, Italy|| Review on October 17, 2019:|
|Review Topic: Direct Consular Filing|
My visa was approved yesterday! Overall, it was a pleasant experience, and staff, both at the clinic and the consulate, were super friendly.
HOTEL: I stayed at Hotel Mergellina (Via Giordano Bruno 115 Napoli) which is just a 5-minute walk from the consulate and the metro station; staff were really helpful and were able to call a driver for me very early in the morning to go to my medical examination appointment. The hotel is very close to a famous pizzeria where I had the best pizza ever. Mine was a solo trip as my husband is currently deployed. If you are, like me, a spouse of a deployed member of the military, you can attend your interview without the petitioner.
MEDICAL EXAMINATION: I went to the medical appointment an hour earlier the time indicated on the instruction received after my I-130 was approved, and I was already third in line. I would highly recommend that you come there early so you don't have to wait too much. I was out around 9:15. First, you get in a crowded hall, but don't be discouraged as most of the people there are locals having different appointments. Just head towards a ticket machine and press consulate to get your ticket which will have your number and indication of your position in the queue. A member of staff loudly asked if there were any patients there for a consulate medical appointment so I followed him into a separate waiting room. I entered a little room where this girl asked for my name, surname, phone number and my DS-260 form which I didn't have with me (I was going to bring it to the interview only). It was not an issue as the only thing she needed was the DS-260 confirmation number which I was easily able to retrieve using my phone. Then, I had a sample of blood taken (syphilis test), and I was given a little pot for collecting my urines (gonorrhoea test). After handing my sample, I had a little interview for my vaccinations' revision (I only had to take a flu shot), payment, and confirmation of my future address in the States. I did not give a specific one since I only know the city and military base we are heading to. I then had my chest Xray and, finally, an examination by the doctor (pressure, weight, height, questions about any diseases, addictions, mental health issues, etc.). Finally, the medical appointment was over and headed to the adjacent bakery for some well-deserved breakfast.
INTERVIEW: My appointment was scheduled at 8:30, but I turned up there around 7:30. Since the consulate was still not open, the guards checked my passport and made me wait in line behind other two applicants. The interview will take place in that specific order and it is not determined by the time you had the appointment. As a result, I was number 3 (again) throughout the whole interview process.
I passed a gate with airport-like security checks, and then I entered the consulate and sat down in the waiting room on the first floor. Everything takes place in that room where there are little counters similar to the ones of the post-office. I was first called to hand my documents and answer some questions. They asked for the original of my birth certificate, police certificates (Italian and British), copy of my marriage certificate, passport pictures, and affidavit of support. She asked me where I got married and where my husband was. The lady gave me an envelope (open) with the Xray cd, receipt of the medical appointment, and a form. You don't get the results of your examinations which are forwarded to border control (I guess). I was then invited to go to the cashier and pay a 325 $ fee (CR1 VISA). You can pay with cash or card (only Italian credit cards, American debit/credit card).
I was then called by the consular officer who asked me when my husband and I got officially together, when my longest staying in the States was, where my husband was at the moment. Then he saw we got married in Las Vegas and asked me what kind of ceremony we had. I explained we had a traditional one, and we are also having a big one with family and friends soon. He asked me whether my husband received my orders yet. He was very friendly. He then told me my visa got approved, and my passport would have been delivered within a week.
I was not given a sealed envelope, and I am not sure if I am going to get one with my visa.
I know the thought of your interview might be nerve-racking, but, as long as you have all your documents and are organised, everything will be fine. All the questions they make are about your life, and you know better than anyone else what it is like.