|Montreal, Canada|| Review on August 4, 2021:|
Kai G. Llewellyn
|Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa|
So this was quite a nervous experience given that I had never been interviewed for a visa before in my life, but it went as routinely as I could've asked for, here's how it went:
I ended up heading out a bit early and got to the consulate an hour before my appointment to make sure I was familiar with the location and to my dismay Spousal Purgatory (Second Cup) opposite the consulate was closed due to an issue with their coffee machines! D: Undeterred, I went out in search of another coffee shop, and found Starbucks which closed in Feb...I finally found Joe's Panini which provided me a 'coffee' and much needed breakfast. After that, I made my return to the Consulate for 9:20am. The security guard came out at 9:30am and confirmed who I was and asked me the following:
-Have you been outside of Canada in the last 14 days*
-Do you have any symptoms of Covid?
-Have you been in close contact with someone who tested positive?
After saying no to the above, I proceeded to have my docs X-Rayed and put my phone in the lockers. (There's plenty of lockers here and not many were in use thanks to reduced interview capacity due to Covid), following that I proceeded up to Window 6 and checked in and handed over my passport, quietly hoping the next time I would see it that it would have a shiny IV foil.
I proceeded to sit and about 10 minutes later I was called over to Window 4 and spoke to one of their Admin people and provided my birth certificate, marriage certificate and police certificates. They asked me to confirm my status in Canada, and I said that I was a Canadian PR, they didn't ask to see my PR card. No other docs were needed, we uploaded a new I-864 to CEAC so no need for them to see the physical affidavit.
After what felt like an eternity and figuring out which 'queue' was for the actual interviews in their ticket callup thingie, I was called up to Window 2 and I spoke with a young male Consular Officer who thanked me for my patience (I wasn't sure whether he was referring to the wait for the appointment or to see him specifically...maybe both). Anyways, the questions were very routine, they were:
What is your name and date of birth?
What is the petitioner's name?
How and where did you meet? "I mentioned how we met through an IT Professionals telegram group and that we started talking after we noticed we were both furries and into running servers in our apartments!" - I went to explain what furries are and he said "Yeah, I know what it is, we get a few of those people"
When did you meet for the first time in person?
When did you get married? He said 'Jeez, just before the pandemic huh?'
What does the petitioner do for work?
What do you do for work?
What was the longest stay in the US?
Have you ever overstayed?
Have you ever been refused a visa?
Have you ever been denied entry?
Did you read the pamphlet and do you have any questions? I said "no, was pretty straightforward tbh"
After that he mentioned, everything looks 'very good' in your file and that he informed me that he was 'planning to approve my visa', he handed the Welcome to the USA letter and I was outta there!
I give this Consular experience a solid four out of five...the Consular Officer was very friendly and welcoming but I'm docking a point for the long wait in anxiety and the fact that it took ELEVEN DAMN MONTHS to get this interview. I am over the moon this is over.
*N.B. the Consulate confirmed to me that if you're fully vaccinated you can still be interviewed if it's less than 14 days but I did not want to try and be the guinea pig for this and returned to Canada over 14 days ago.
** There were two officers actually performing interviews there, it's producing a pretty major bottleneck. No wonder it took 11 months.
(updated on August 4, 2021)