|Austria|| Review on April 3, 2023:|
|Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa|
I had my IR-1 visa interview today, April 4, 2023. Originally I received an appointment for April 17th, but I then contacted the consulate directly, asking them for an earlier date - I said that I had no particular reason other than myself and the kids really wanting to join my husband as soon as possible. They immediately said that it should be possible, they just had to wait for my case to get there. A few days later they emailed me and gave me an appointment for April 3rd.
My appointment was at 1 pm and I got there at about 12:35 pm. The security guard was friendly and told me to come back about 5 minutes before the appointment time, since at the moment everyone was at lunch break anyway. I came back about 10 minutes earlier and waited the rest of the time in front of the entrance. A few minutes before 1 pm I was called towards the security area, where I gave them my name and passport. The guard nicely explained the security procedures and I want through it without problems. I went into the waiting area, which was completely empty. A few minutes later, another visa applicant came in and it remained the only person I would see in the visa section, it was not busy at all. The other person was called up first, so I had to wait 10 or 15 minutes for my turn. I was called to window 5, where a local employee (who was just filling in for his colleague who was out sick) asked me for exactly the documents specified in their email (passport, photo, birth certificate, marriage certificate, police certificates) and checked that they all were correct and valid. He also made sure my medical was there and that I had signed up for my preferred method of having my passport returned. I was also asked to give my fingerprints. This was all done in a very friendly manner, it all felt very relaxed.
I then went back into the waiting area and waited another 20 minutes or so - this was probably the most difficult time, since I was getting a bit anxious, knowing that the interview was coming up. Finally I was called to window 7, which is in a slightly separated section, almost like a tiny room with a door that can be closed (though it remained open for my interview and the one before). The consul greeted me and asked me to raise my hand for the oath. He then started by asking what kind of visa my interview was for and if my husband is a US citizen. He asked how we met and the interview developed from there. Some of the questions asked were the following, I don't remember in what order:
How did you meet?
What does your husband do?
Why have you decided to relocate?
Where are you going to live?
Do you have children?
Where do the children stay?
When will you travel?
So you already go all your affairs in order?
When was your medical?
Did your husband already move to the US?
On what basis was he in Austria before - student, work...?
What is your job?
When did you get married?
Overall it was just like a normal conversation, he was friendly, I tried to supply the information requested but without oversharing (which I tend to do). He didn't ask for any further documents, but when he asked about the children I offered him to have a look at their birth certificates and CRBAs, which he accepted. At the end he said "It looks like we have everything. You are approved!" and he wished me all the best. It was a great experience and the entire interview lasted less than 10 minutes for me. I was out of the door by 1:55 pm.
One thing - which might throw some people off - is that the consul kept typing in his computer while I was talking and then after I finished my sentence he kept typing for a while, looking quite serious while he did that. It didn't mean anything though, because after he was finished he always looked at me with a smile/friendly face again.
So overall it was a great experience, every single person at the Vienna Consulate was nice, including the cleaning lady!