|Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: FB-3
|Review Date :
||February 6, 2019
|Embassy Review :
||We stayed at DoubleTree Hilton, which is joined to the Desjardin Center (indoor mall with food courts, grocery and shopping), underground self parking at $21/day or $32/day with valet. I strongly recommend staying there, only 5mins walk, esp. in Montreal winter!
Be sure to check the weather and dress appropriately. The ground was VERY icy and puddles of slush, so- waterproof boots, layers of clothing, etc. They don't clean the sidewalks very well because of the cold temperatures, but they add tiny pebbles on the ground to aid in traction, most people walk around with spikes on theirs shoes.
Appointment- Tuesday 5th Feb, 7.30am; Got there at 7.10am- Wife, son- 15yrs & daughter 9yrs.
Thank God, it was 4'c, day before was -13'c with sleet.
We walked to the Embassy, 5min walk, slightly uphill and very icy sidewalks- it was a bit of a challenge, the entrance to the embassy is on a slight hill.
The guard opened the door at 7.25am, the people in front of us tried to enter and he said NO, not yet- He then placed a sign outside outlining all the prohibited items (it's listed on their website).
He then opened the doors at 7.30am EXACT and told everyone to form a single line to the right side of the entrance doors and have your appointment letter & passport ready. He then let in about 6 people at a time (the security check point is very small inside).
Once you enter there is a lady there asking for your appointment letter and passports, she checks your name in the list/system and issues your a laminated checklist with your number on it (we were #3) and places a sticker on your passport and gives it back to you.
Then to a standard airport security check- except none of their probited items. The security asked me no phone or keys sir, I told him I read the rules and decided it was not worth the time- he laughed and said he wished everyone was like me. Meanwhile, there was another guy, backpack, keys, etc- of course they gave him a hard time.
Side note; while we were in line- two sets of people said this was their second appointment, the first time they tried to enter with prohibited items and the security did not allow them and told them they had to get rid of it- thereby they had to rebook new appointments!
READ THE SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS!!!
Once you pass security you go down some stairs (building is on a slight hill) to a basement waiting room (photo booth here for $10 if you need it), where you have to wait for an elevator. Once they gather enough people, they pile you into the elevator like a bunch of sardines, (seriously.... a bit intimate, lol).
Onto the next waiting room.... the guard tells you to have a seat or you can use the available desks to organize your papers in the order of this new checklist you just received with your number! Windows behind, left side is Immigrant Visas (us), right side seems to be for US passport processing and little clock on the wall ahead of you... tic tic tic. The guard doesn't say it out loud, but seems to prefers if everyone just sits and don't move around too much, as soon as you get up, he promply asked, what do you need- one guy was trying to look outside, but he ushered him to sit. Two vending machines- poorly stocked- one has snacks (chips and few Caramilk bars) and one coca cola drinks (out of water on my visit), $1.25 Cdn funds per drink, I put in $2 coin and got no change- I wasn't about to launch a complaint :-)
At about 8am, I was called to window, guy was not very personable, just there to check documents and take finger prints (robot sytle) he was behind a glass at a stand up counter. They asked for all my original documents- did not even ask for the copies. My suggestion- when you organize your documents, keep originals together and copies together. Passports, pictures, birth certificates, marraige certificate, police reports, AOS, tax returns, W2. That took about 15mins, it was four of us.
Side note- The guard normally allows you to leave you jacket on the back of those chairs while you go for document verification.
We were back at the waiting chairs :-)
At about 9am, I heard something mumbled that sounded like- #3 to window 9. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY, THE P.A. SYSTEM IS NOT THE BEST AND THEY SPEAK QUICKLY! I turned to guard and asked him, Was that #3 to window #9? He said he didn't even know, so I asked if there was a window #9? (it's way in the back and I couldn't see from where we were sitting), he said yes. I said well could we go check, he said ok let's go. He walked up to counter #9 and asked the lady if she called #3? She said yes she did, he said will we couldn't even hear it out there! So I went back and called my family.
The interviewer was very nice, she was from the soutern states and did not enjoy the Montreal weather. She was getting a 'cleaning error' on her fingerprint scanner and gave me a piece of sticky paper and asked if I could clean it, which I did. She then finger printed my wife, myself and my son, my daughter was not old enough.
She was a very nice lady, basically verified my sponsor and where she lives- my mom. As about my wife and I and our backgrounds, what we do for work and how we met, etc. Very personable coversation. My mom is retired so my friend sponsored us, so she asked about him how we knew each other. She asked about our plan to move to the US if I had any job offers- I said no, because I don't. She typed away on her computer in between conversations. after about 5mins of 'chatting' she said..... well.... let me be the first to tell you- "Welcome to the United States!"