|Consulate Review: Sweden
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||March 2, 2018
|Embassy Review :
||Mallory (the American) was able to plan a visit to Sweden during the time Paul's interview was scheduled, which was on February 22 (a Thursday). Paul resides in Gothenburg, which is a few hours away from Stockholm, so we booked a hotel for the night before and after the interview and took the train from GBG to Stockholm via MTR, which was a very pleasant trip that lasted about 3 hours each way. We picked the Radisson Blu Viking Hotel in Stockholm because it is literally right beside Central Station in Stockholm, so we were right there as soon as we got off the train and also had many amenities in walking distance, such as stores and restaurants located in the station. This hotel was very nice and worked for us, so we would definitely recommend that one. Others recommend booking a hotel much closer to the embassy instead (it was about a 15-20 minute cab ride from our hotel to the embassy), so it just depends on what works best for you and how you plan to travel to Stockholm.
Something to highlight, as this is something we had trouble with confirming beforehand and had to pretty much just try for ourselves and see - the American is NOT allowed into the embassy with the beneficiary. I was able to wait outside with Paul in line until he was called up to the security window, but then I had to leave. Because it was so cold, I couldn't wait outside for him and ended up having to take a cab back to the hotel to wait. For me, it was worth it to at least wait with him in line until he went in, but to each their own.
The interview was scheduled for 8:30 am, and they open at 8am. We left early enough to arrive at the embassy shortly after 7:30am, and we were first in line. If you read other reviews of the Stockholm embassy, you'll hear a lot about the two lines outside being confusing, which we found to be slightly true. The line for non-immigrant visas begins over by the outdoor vestibul (looks like a bus stop), and the immigrant visa line is just in front of it. The sign will say this line is for immigrant visa applicants and American citizens, and you line up along the sidewalk - this is where you need to be.
They called us up to the security window once they opened at 8am and asked Paul a couple of basic questions, asked to see his passport. This is all done through the window, they don't let you inside the security building yet. At this point, he asked who I was and we explained who I was and why I was there, also stated I was American. We asked if I could come inside to wait. The gentleman was very nice and at first said no, but did take the time to double check with some others inside before advising I was indeed unable to come in, so I left at this point.
At the security window (still outside), Paul was told to put his phone on airplane mode, or turn it off completely. He was told to remove his jacket and stand behind a yellow line and turn around so they could check his person. He also had to lift up both shoes so they could check the soles of his shoes. At this point, he was let inside the security building and went through something similar to an airport security check. All the items he had were put through a scanner and his phone was confiscated and placed in a locker, which they gave him a ticket for to retrieve once he left. This is all done in the security building out front.
Once this was done, he left the security building and was instructed to follow a yellow line through a parking lot to the actual embassy building. When he entered, there was a waiting area with a guard asking what he was there for. Once advising his business need, he went to a room full of chairs and spoke to a man at a window who also asked what he was doing there. Paul had to show this guy his passport. This gentleman advised him to go to the next window, where a woman (speaking English) asked him to speak Swedish. He complied and provided this lady his evidence. The lady mainly questioned the essential papers such as police records, divorce cree, and identification papers (Person Bevis). All papers were in English. She did not question original evidence and only asked to see more recent evidence, such as things that have occurred since initially applying for the visa. She explained this was not the actual interview, and asked mostly questions about the petitioner, such as what kind of work the petitioner does. The questions seemed more related to the petitioner's job/line of work. After she was done, she advised Paul to wait for his name to be called out. Personal assessment: it doesn't seem to be necessary to front load original evidence at this point, as they did not seem very interested in this and mostly in important papers (listed above).
After about ten minutes, he was called to the next window and spoke to a young American officer to complete the interview. Paul had to give his fingerprints and swear under oath. The officer asked if he read the IMBRA pamphlet (about beneficiary's rights). He then asked about how we met, and asked what the petitioner did for a living. He also asked what Paul did for a living and if he intended on continuing that profession in the US, which he does (he's a trained chef). He asked a lot of questions about the petitioner's job, what it entailed, etc. He advised Paul everything looked good, but because they had not yet received his medical papers from the doctor (Paul's medical was only the week before the interview), they couldn't issue the visa yet and had to wait until they receive those papers. (Based on our experience, it's best to try and plan your medical at least two weeks before your actual interview to avoid that lapse).
The interview was on a Thursday, Paul received his copy of the paperwork from the doctor the following Tuesday (which he was under the impression from the doctor that whenever he received the papers, the embassy had received theirs as well). The case was updated online that next Friday to Issued and he is currently waiting to receive the visa and his passport in the mail (he was advised it will arrive within 10 business days).
All in all, it was a very pleasant and non-stressful experience. Everyone we both encountered, both inside and outside the embassy, were very friendly and helpful.