|Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||September 22, 2016
|Embassy Review :
||I had an early interview scheduled for 8:15 am, and I showed up at around 7:00 am just in case, and there was a rather lengthy line outside the consulate. Looking around, I could tell I had waaaay less documents than most of the people in the line, as some people brought boxes of info with them to the interview, and that made me feel initially underprepared as I only had a 1-inch thick binder.
Eventually one of the officers start interacting with the line, asking everyone to have their DS-160 and their passports together. Eventually, one at a time, the line started moving forward as they check our passport and DS-160 print-out (make sure it's printed out! They told the guy in front of me who only had a copy on his phone to get it printed out and come back). They also want you turning off your phones at this point too if you brought one with you (it's okay if you do, some people didn't but they will give you a ticket with a number on it to let you reclaim your phone. Don't lose this ticket or you won't get your phone back!). Eventually they will have you go through security, a metal detector (airport-style) and that's when they'll confiscate your phone. They will also give you a laminated sheet with a number on it.
This laminated sheet has a number specific to you (mine was #4), and you'll stick with this number until you're done, and the sheet also outlines exactly how to order a number of documents to prepare. If you're a K-visa, make sure you read the K-visa portion at the bottom only, ignore the rest of the ordering. I also remember the sheet stating you only needed to prepare the original birth certificate, however THIS IS WRONG as they also asked for the photocopy I made, too. Fortunately I had it set aside just in case, so I'd say make sure you have your photocopy ready in order with the birth certificate. You can also put your DS-160 printout away at this point, as you won't need it going further (I had it on top of everything else, just in case, but they never asked for it).
When you get downstairs, they give you about 5 minutes to sit down and make sure all your documents are in order as per the sheet before going up the elevator.
When you get to the top floor, they'll have you seat in a designated area for immigrants, and you can just sit and chat with neighbors during this time if you want, or watch the video on the display, use the restroom (high advise against in case they call your number), etc. Interestingly, there was also a little play area for small kids.
They will eventually call you twice, once for paperwork and fingerprint scanning, and the second time for the interview itself.
The first time I was called to booth #1, and was greeted by a very friendly lady who asked how I was and such, and she collected all the paperwork from me that I had to get out and ready as per the sheet. What's really interesting, is the order they ask for the documents is not the same order as what was on the sheet for some reason, but they do eventually collect everything from the sheet. This process took about 8 minutes for me, due to some technical difficulties (computer was taking it's time loading, fingerprints needed to be re-scanned since they weren't good the first time, etc.). After she collected everything she needed, she gave me a pamphlet and wrote my #4 on it, stating that you'll be called by the same number for the interview proper. The pamphlet itself is about what to do if you find yourself being a victim of abuse as an immigrant, a lot of it reiterates what you would have received before when you received a copy of your approved I-129F in the mail. After that I sat down in the same area as before and waited what felt like an eternity (but actually more like 5 minutes).
The second time I was called to booth #8, and was greeted by an overly enthusiastic young guy, smiling lots and very friendly. He asked how I was, and I stated a bit nervous, but he was like "Oh, there's nothing to be nervous about, don't worry!", and then he asked me to scan the fingerprints on my left hand to verify I was the same person who was at booth #1 earlier, and then he said "I'm going to be working away on this computer, but why don't you start by telling me about you and your loved one!". That was the only question he asked me, and never asked for anything such as photographs, additional evidence, or anything like that, so even though my binder was an inch thick, I didn't even need 3/4ths of it! Anyways, I went on a spiel as to how we met on deviantart.com (a website where you post your artwork), when we got interested in each other, that I would visit him 2-3 times a year, and he visited me a couple of times, too, and even one time he stayed with me for a month here in Canada and we got a good grasp as to how we'd probably be living together through that visit (the interviewer really liked that sentence) and what our plans for getting married are! He really liked my spiel and didn't ask any further questions beyond the first one aside from some procedural, yes or no questions such as (this is your first time being married, and his, too?). After all that, he reached down and was like "DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNNN, Welcome to the United States!" and pulled up a letter and handed it to me, also titled at the top with "Welcome to the United States of America". It looks like it's just a generic photocopy they hand to everyone who's approved, and it states that my immigrant visa will be put into my passport and mailed to me, along with other instructions regarding point of entry, social security, green card, and eventually, citizenship. Afterwards he thanked me for my time, and he let me go and said I can go home and await my visa in the mail, and they'll do some quick background checks and what-not in the mean time but if they have any questions they'll call me.
Overall experience was very positive! Everyone was very friendly, and I was nervous for nothing. I'm back home in Calgary now and awaiting for my visa to come in the mail!