|Consulate Review: Manila, Philippines
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
|Review Date :
||January 4, 2013
|Embassy Review :
||Interview schedule: January 4, 2013; 6:15 AM
As others shared, there were a lot of "vendors" outside, reminding people that any gadgets are not allowed, bring black ballpen (not a sign pen or blue pen), etc.
5:45 AM - was in line by this time. It was a very rainy morning so I stood in line holding an umbrella, my bag of documents and my tiny purse. The inner line is for IV and Fiancee/Fiance Visa Applicants. Outer line is for non-IV applicants. Waited in line for approximately 30-40 minutes. Prepare the first page of the appointment letter and passport. A ziploc will be given for the passport. The 2GO delivery slip will be handed at this stage also. Proceeded to the main entrance, went through security check.
6:24 AM - got my magic number. Told to proceed to window 49 to drop the appointment letter with the attached number. Proceeded to the building entrance, another security check here. There are embassy staff around announcing where to proceed. Instead of dropping the appointment letter at window 49, a staff collected these.
7:30 AM - number flashed! went to window 41 for the finger scanning. Name and birth date were asked. Then went back to the waiting area to find a seat...
8:30 AM - number flashed! went to window 52 for the interview with the Filipino screener. Interview took about 10 minutes. Questions asked were: Name, birth date, age, who the petitioner is, when the petitioner went to the US, how did we meet, how did we reconnect (this was asked because I said we were classmates in high school), how many times he visited me, if I have been abroad, length of stay in the countries visited,when was the last time we were together, if I still have a valid US tourist visa (then she got my old passport). The Filipino screener also verified some information on the DS-230 such as the home address and e-mail address of myself and my husband. She was checking my documents while asking me these questions and writing some notes on some kind of a checklist. I noticed after checking a civil document, she marks something on the checklist. Then, I was asked to add my cellphone number in the DS-230 and sign part 2. I said that I brought an updated one because I changed jobs. She just asked me to update the DS-230 form which she reviewed. Aside from the old passport with the tourist visa stamp, no additional document was requested. She spoke to me in Tagalog. She was nice, speaks clearly and when I asked her questions about how to update the DS-230, she did not mind. She returned the other half of my NBI clearance, MC photocopy and photos submitted to the NVC.
~10:00AM - number flashed! went to window 62 for the interview with the CO. Interview took about 5 minutes, I think. Was asked to raise my right hand, to swear that I will be speaking of the truth, etc. I was given a pamphlet about domestic violence, then explained that reporting such will not in any way affect my status and to find time to read the pamphlet.
CO: So, your husband is the petitioner. What is his name?
CO: How did you meet?
Me: We were classmates in high school
CO: How did you reconnect?
Me: I briefly told him about our love story, haha, kidding.
CO: What does he do in the US?
CO: You've been to the US?
CO: For travel?
CO: To visit him?
Me: To visit relatives and him also
CO: You've been to other countries?
CO: How long did you stay?
CO: When did you get married?
CO: Can I see some wedding pictures?
Me: It's in an album, is it OK?
Me: [showing the album], it's kinda huge and won't fit. I'll just hold it up.
CO: It's big. So that's your husband.
Me: Would you like me to flip through some pages?
CO: Sure, show me your favorite photo. I'll be back. (He stepped down from his chair)
Me: [scanned through the pages, then picked 1 of my favorites]. Here is one, when we were signing our marriage contract
CO: [jokingly said] You have a few witnesses.
CO: Where did you have your wedding?
CO: Alright. Congratulations, your visa's approved. [Then he also said something like hope you'll enjoy living in the US.]
Me: Thank you! Have a nice day!
CO: You too!
The CO was going through the documents while interviewing me. It seemed like more of a chat, it was a pleasant experience.
~10:15AM - was called to proceed to window 73. Another Filipino screener, he checked my file, looked at the civil documents (BC, MC, NBI Clearance, CEMAR). Then told me to proceed to the 2GO window to give the shipment/delivery slip. He did not return the original copies of the civil documents.
A few notes:
Numbers are not flashed in chronological order, so keep your eyes on the board. Sometimes, they call out the name. It's important to pay attention.
No other documents were requested from me as all required civil documents were submitted to NVC. I did bring new originals though, except for the CEMAR because there was an error with it.
It can be chilly inside, bring a jacket or cardigan.