|Consulate Review: London, United Kingdom
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||April 4, 2016
|Embassy Review :
||Provided by my fiancé :D
My interview was at 1300 today, but I have something of a habit of getting lost, even in a city where I've lived most of my life, so I decided to get there as early as possible. I'm one of the lucky ones who works in central London, so a quick tube ride and short walk later, I was at the embassy by 12.15.
There wasn't a queue at the entrance, just a gentleman with a rather complex question for the gate guard, who stopped him mid-flow and asked if there was anyone here on an immigrant visa, to which I put up my hand. And, naturally, received a bit of a filthy look from the chap in question, but that can't be helped.
The guard checked my passport and appointment letter, then sent me through to the security hut where you enter and exit the embassy's grounds. This was airport-style security, and after a brief moment where I forgot to remove my iPad from my bag, I was through. The gentleman at the front desk attached a number of stickers to my appointment letter with my number - I207 - and directed my up a small flight of stairs to the waiting room.
This is an airport gate-style room with a large screen at the front. People with special appointments sit in the back few rows while everyone else is free to sit toward the front. A woman bursting into tears just as I entered wasn't the best start, but I tried to put it at the back of my mind and focus on a book while I waited.
This was about 12.20. As I mentioned, I was super early, but the number on the screen for the immigrant visa appointments was on I201, and rapidly ticked up to I202 with the window number that you're meant to go to. It was about 40 minutes before my number came up, at which point I went to the window, 14, around the corner. There's a big queue that you'll see when you round it, but go straight to your window, I think that's for holiday visas.
The gent at the window asked me for my invitation letter, passport, DS-160, police certificate, birth certificate, affidavit of support and the receipt for my visa fee. He then asked me when I was planning to fly out and reminded me I had 90 days to get married once I do, handed me my chest X-Ray from my medical, and took my fingerprints. I was then told to go back to the waiting room and wait for my number to be called again.
When I sat back down the number being called was I204. So, despite the horror stories of being kept waiting for hours, I felt confident that I'd be seen soon. At 1340, just after I finished texting my fiancee that I was next up, I was called to the window.
I was half expecting to be in a room, but it is just a window like any other you'd see at a bank. The gent there asked how I was, and then asked me to hold my right hand up and swear to tell the truth at risk of perjury, I did so, and then he opened my file. He asked how we met, and having rehearsed this a number of times, I was halfway through the story when he said "fine", and then asked me about what she did. I explained that she had just finished law school and was taking the bar in July, and his questions became a little more pointed, but still friendly in tone - he remarked that the organisation of our affidavit and application made him believe it.
He asked a few more questions than others have experienced here, but they weren't direct as such - I'm quite chatty as a person, so he was mainly riffing off that. He did repeat some questions shaded in different ways, and asked when we'd last seen each other, whether she had any siblings, what her parents did etc.
The one part I was worried about was the affidavit of support - my fiancee is, as I mentioned, getting ready to take the bar and doesn't have an appreciable income at the moment, although we have savings enough. Her mother kindly agreed to be my substitute, and he was satisfied with that.
We had a pretty fast pace of chat going at this point, so I was taken aback a little when he looked like he was going to launch into more questions, but just nodded and said "Your visa is approved, you'll get your passport back in two weeks". The whole thing took around four minutes, if that.
Leaving the embassy after that was a bit of a haze. I don't really get nervous about much, particularly interviews as interviewing people is an integral part of my career, but I didn't quite realise how much adrenaline had been pumping through my system until I stumbled into the nearest pub, bought a drink, and my hands were shaking so much that they dropped the coins on the counter.
All in all though it was very efficient, if very serious all the way through. If I hadn't have arrived so early before, from 1300 to when I left I would have been done and dusted in around 45 minutes. These reviews really helped me before, so hope this helps others - will be happy to answer any questions people have.