|Consulate Review: Peru
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||October 30, 2014
|Embassy Review :
||Our interview in Lima was, surprisingly, a piece of cake. Our interview was at 08:45, we arrived at approximately 08:20am to find a hug snaking line. My fiancee stood in the long line while I approached one of the workers and asked if we should stand in a different line. She asked to see our official "carta de cita" that listed the interview type and time, and then put us at the very front of the line (saved us easly about 45 minutes of waiting).
Passing through security is similar to in the airport - cramped, remove belts and items in pockets, pass through the metal detector, you know the drill.
Once inside, the process was very similar to what I read in previous reviews on Visa Journey with a few small exceptions:
- Payment. You no longer make payment at the same block of windows where the interview is held. After sitting for only about 30 seconds, my fiancee was called up to window 13. We were instructed to leave the current building we were in, return almost to the main entrance and make a left, and enter a separate building usually reserved for "citizen services" such as lost passports of US citizens, etc. The security guard was a little perplexed why we were there but let us through, and then directed us to a small room once we were able to convey that we were only making one payment for the fiancee visa. In a small room with about five windows, you are instructed to take a number and wait - not necessary. The window to the far left that says "payments" is where you can pay the $265.00 without hassle and without waiting. (We waited for our number to be called, and then approached the window only for the nice man to point us two windows over). Once you have made the payment and have the receipt in hand, you return to the original building.
- The other (quite large) difference that we experienced, different from all of the other reviews I have read on Visa Journey, was that I (the petitioner, USA citizen, currently living in Peru) was not interviewed at all. When we returned to the main interview/waiting/window area, after only about 2 minutes my fiancee was called up. I approached the window with him, but was told I could return to the benches to wait. He was asked a few different questions (I could only hear his responses, but they were similar to other questions other posters have discussed - how did you meet, have you met her family, etc.). My fiancee was asked to show photos of him with me and my family during their January 2013 trip to Machu Picchu, but that was the only evidence he needed to show. (We had an entire album of photos with captions, our engagement announcements, receipt from our wedding rings, boarding passes for a trip we took together to the jungle, etc., just in case!) After the round of questions (in nervousness, he kept referring to my older brother as being my younger brother, which I was convinced would set off a red flag, but nothing ultimately came of it) they took his fingerprints and documents and told him to take a seat.
We waited for about 20 minutes together, when he was called to window 9. I stayed back this time, waiting for him to motion me over, but he just talked with the man behind the window, answering very similar questions as the first time (how we met, what his plans are for the USA, if we have a set wedding date, etc.). My fiancee read a sworn declaration with his right hand up, shuffled some papers, and then FINALLY called me over - I assumed it was to begin our interview together but he said nope, we'd been approved! They didn't need to talk to me. Even though he had mentioned to the consular official that I was there with him, they never requested to see me or talk to me.
All in all, the embassy experience was pleasant, which was just what we needed on a day filled with nerves. The security guards and helpers are genuinely courteous and helpful, the interview questions were not designed to be difficult or trip you up, and everything was generally very efficient. All of the interviewees now read the sworn declaration on a one-by-one basis during their individual interviews, payments are made in a separate building, and I guess if you make your case credible enough, they don't even need to speak to or interview the petitioner/USA citizen! We were out of the building and celebrating with a late breakfast across the street by 11:00am. FYI, there is a fancy shopping center directly across the street, with a few good restaurants/clean bathrooms/apparel stores, in case you need anything before or after your interview.
Things to keep in mind for future interviews:
- Arrive early, and ask around to make sure you are in the right line.
- Have $265.00 in cash with you (good, clean bills - they were very picky when looking our bills over)
- AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT - we hired a lawyer to help us out throughout the process, and my brother signed the Affidavit of Support to help us out. I was not aware that I, too, needed to fill out and sign the same Affidavit of Support form, so it came as a shock when my signature on an Affidavit was the only document missing! It was no problem for us, as they gave me a copy to fill out and sign then and there, but for petitioners who cannot be present at the interview, or who are doing everything from afar in the USA, it could have caused a lengthy delay. If you have someone fill out an Affidavit of Support, make sure that the petitioner ALSO fills out and signs a separate copy! It will make your life easier!