|Consulate Review: Costa Rica
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||February 6, 2019
|Embassy Review :
||My fiance (CR Citizen) and I (USC) both attended the K1 interview. We arrived super early and spent about an hour and a half across the street at the little shopping center. We went over to the embassy about 15 minutes before our appointment time. We waited in the line marked 'Visitors', where there was already a man waiting. The procedure was unclear, so we rang the buzzer and told them we had an appointment for 1:30, and they said someone would be out shortly. A young lady came out and asked what time our appointment was for. I answered, "1:30," and she looked confused for a second, then looked at her sheet, and then asked, "Oh, he is the beneficiary and you're the petitioner?" to which I replied, yes. She then asked if we had any electronics and we told her we had cell phones, and she told us we couldn't enter with our cell phones.
Years ago you used to be able to go into the little front security office and leave your cell phone in a locked zipper bag and then collect it upon your exit. This is no longer the case. They WILL NOT LET YOU THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR with your cell phone or other electronic device. We didn't have any friends to leave them with, so we returned across the street to the shopping center and rented a locker at a locale called something like "Global Visa", or something similar, on the side of the shopping center that faces the embassy. They have a bunch of signs advertising help with visas, translations, passport photos, etc. They rent the lockers for 2000 colones, and you have to put your phone on silent before leaving it in the locker.
Devoid of our phones, we returned to the embassy and someone came out shortly and let us into the security office where we had to empty our pockets and go through the metal detector. They took the X-ray CD, put it into one of those aforementioned locked zipper bags, gave my fiance the key, and reminded us not to forget to collect it on our way out. We then proceeded through the door into the courtyard, and there was a desk to our left and someone there looking expectantly at us, so we walked up and gave her my fiance's passport, and I don't remember exactly, but I think she may have asked for our appointment confirmation. She then told us which button to press to get a number out of the number machine to our right, and to proceed on into the lobby. We headed straight, then took a right up the steps and through the doors.
We took a seat to wait our turn, and we were called up fairly quickly to review our documents. All of our interactions were in Spanish, as I am quite fluent, and my fiance doesn't speak much English yet. She asked for originals of his civil documents with translations (I translated them myself), medical results, the I-134, and "tax papers". I gave her my 1040 and W2s for 2017 and said, "I also have a letter from my employer and recent pay stubs," to which she didn't respond, so I slipped those under the glass as well, to prove my current salary. My 2017 tax return showed income below the minimum threshold due to taking a 4-month leave of absence to spend time in CR with my fiance, and I was nervous that she might accept only that as evidence. She picked up the employer letter and pay stubs and looked at those as well and didn't say anything, but added them to our file. She asked us for evidence of our relationship, for which I furnished about three months of phone records over the past 3 years, emails from the past 10 years, samples of WhatsApp chats over the past year, and more photos of us together (about 20), including photos of us with each other's families. None of the photos were labeled or dated, but it's pretty clear whose family is whose. She opened the medical paperwork and gave us our copy of the DS-3025 vaccination report (I was not expecting this and had no idea what it was for, but it's needed for AOS, so hold on to it!). She gave my fiance a copy of the domestic violence brochure and told him he had to read it before his interview at the next window. He had already read it online beforehand, but he went over it again. She had him sign a paper stating that he was aware that the K1 visa is intended for marrying in the U.S. and that marrying before entering the U.S. would void the visa. She then told us to have a seat and we would be called shortly. The doc review took about 15 minutes. I was prepared with an identical packet of photocopies of everything, but she didn't ask for them, she only asked for the originals.
After maybe a half hour, we were called up to another window. The interviewer began by returning the relationship evidence we had provided at the document review. She then asked my fiance where we met (I hadn't written anything in the original I-129F application about how we first met) and he gave the hyper-specific answer, "On a farm, where she was at that time." The interviewer kind of looked at me a little confused, and I explained that I used to live in CR, and that we had been neighbors. She then asked my fiance if he had been to the U.S. before, and for how long, which he answered accordingly. She also asked if he had been to Italy, and for how long (I had included copies of passport stamps with the I-129F), and then she asked me, "And you were in Italy...?," and I told her that I had been living and studying there and he had come to visit me. She then asked how long we have known each other, and we both sort of looked at each other and both answered, "Twelve years". "How long have you been dating?" "Ten years." "How long have you been engaged?" "Five years," to which she incredulously replied, "What took you so long?!" I responded that I had been in college and wanted to finish my studies and get a job and all that good stuff first, and she nodded. Then she said, "Well everything seems to be in order, you will receive your passport back with the visa in about 10 days." My fiance asked if that meant we were approved and she replied, "Yes, congratulations, I wish you all the best," and my fiance grabbed me and gave me a big hug and kiss. I was sort of expecting to get some sort of paper or something back from her, but there wasn't anything, so we tried to gather up our remaining papers and quickly make our way out before they changed their minds.
I've tried to be thorough here, but if you have any questions, send me a message, I'm happy to help in any way I can! Also, check out the forum thread for CR filers to get the most up-to-date info! https://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/684405-%E2%80%8B🇨🇷%E2%80%8Bpura-vida%E2%80%8B🇨🇷%E2%80%8B-costa-rica-filers/