|Consulate Review: London, United Kingdom
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||October 5, 2018
|Embassy Review :
||I know there are a lot of these, but I found reading a lot of them to be super helpful to me!
My interview was at 10am, at the (new) US Embassy in London. It's a pretty nice building, surrounded by ongoing construction works, with a lot of (armed) security walking around the perimeter. Not sure what sort of guns they were but to me it was intimidating.
I stayed at a nearby hotel, a Holiday Inn, the night before because I didn't want to risk train strikes interfering with my interview! I made use of the daylight hours to walk up to the Embassy before the big day, it only took 15 minutes, though pedestrian traffic was much quieter in the evening than it was in the day!
On the day itself, I got there at 9.20, and one of the ladies outside (there were two), asked me to return in ten minutes. She pointed out where the nearest shop was (Waitrose), which is a five minute walk away, and I went to get a bottle of water. Returned at 9.30, and was told that once I got inside, I should bypass the massive queue and head straight for the desk.
First was security, they had no problem with me taking water, I just had to sip it to prove it was actually water. I didn't have a bag, just my folder, car keys and bag. It's similar to airport security, but also easier as you don't need to remove shoes and they only let a limited amount of people through at a time. Then the short walk up to the Embassy building itself, and skipping the queue (I felt awful, and was definitely stared at) but was dealt with immediately, and told to go to the first floor, and turn left, and left again at the end.
As I began making my first left out of the elevator, a lady at the desk on the first floor asked me what my number was, because she'd just instructed a group to go right and I'd ignored her. She directed me to where I needed to be, again, and I went around to the small immigration waiting area.
When I got there, there were three windows and a cashier open. I waited about ten minutes, before I was called to the first window, and asked for my paperwork; passport and ds160, birth certificate, police certificate, affidavit of support and one US sized photo that was returned to me. If you don't have a photo, there's a photo booth all the way down the other end of the building - I didn't use it, so I don't know if it accepted card or the prices, but it WAS there.
I was asked routine questions, such as, had I been married before, had I ever had any military training, had I ever had a name change through deed poll, and had I been adopted. My medical results had been sent through, and I was given my X-Ray CD back. I was also asked if I had any other evidence of support, such as a tax return, because I'd only handed over six pay stubs and a job letter, but it didn't seem to be an issue that I didn't have anything else. My fingerprints were taken, and then I was told to sit down and wait for my interview.
I was sat down for another ten minutes, and a fourth desk was opened while I was waiting. Things sped up a little then, and I was called up for my interview by a friendly American man. I was asked to raise my right hand and swear to tell the truth. Then I had fingerprints taken, and he asked me a few questions;
1) When and how did I meet my fiance
2) Where did my fiance live (for those like me who wondered if they want an address, city and state are just fine)
3) Was my fiance born where he lives
4) Had I ever visited Michigan (where his family lives)
5) Had he met my family
6) How often did we see each other, roughly
7) Did we alternate visits
8) When did we plan on getting married
It was more like a conversation, than an interview, most of the questions lead into one another. Then he said that as they had everything they needed, he was going to go ahead and issue my visa. He wrote a big "A" on my file, and that was it! He said it would be between one and two weeks for my passport to be delivered back to me, but that he didn't see why I couldn't book tickets for travel as long as they were refundable (most one way tickets are).
Just a note, and I don't think it was just me who noticed, but the doors at the Embassy are HEAVY.