|Consulate Review: Mumbai, India
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||December 4, 2018
|Embassy Review :
||Ok, this review probably isn't going to be like the others - it's as real as it gets, emotional, comical. I hope that it helps you in any way, and since "K1" and "India" are tagged, that it helps any and future filers as well - or at least makes you laugh.
I am the US petitioner, he is the beneficiary. Our case is somewhat complicated, I have been married previously to my first husband on a K3 (spousal visa) from England, divorced, have a child from a relationship after that divorce, we have an age gap, his family does not approve - therefore I've never met them and no photos with them aside from some screenshots of videochats with his mom and sister, I find engagement rings/photos frivolous (let's spend money on a trip to Bali instead!), our personal preference is to have a marriage in a courthouse with my son present - therefore there are no invitations or receipts for a venue, etc.
Were you one of those couples who agonized about if your fiance should be present at the interview or not? We read review after review and I started to panic, thinking I should have done whatever it took to be there, but in the end I realized that for us - there was zero way I was going to be able to be with him at the interview. #4 if approved, he would be her soon, #3 money #2 vacation and schedule issues (care for my son) but #1 reason - I would have been a mess, in tears, probably vomiting and freaking him out. He, however was Mr. Cool, Calm Collected and Confident. I hated to break it to him that I was CONVINCED we would get a 221g.
Aren't almost all male Indians notoriously late ; ) ? he is no exception. I mean 7:15 am is early, right? Navigating traffic, if you didn't stay at a fancy hotel across the street (or if you're my fiance he stayed, against my better judgment at a place called TeePee Hostel for $4 per night -which turned out to be pretty cool, along with the boy from Kolkata who works long hours to make sure you have what you need. He also managed to find an awesome rickshaw driver from Noida who not only gave him a wake up call but waited for him outside the Embassy on his interview day - message me if you want his name and number to use). So use YOUR best judgment on where to stay, but it seemed the traffic was light in the early morning and you wouldn't have an issue taking an Uber, Ola or rickshaw there early and a rickshaw back.
If you want to know what you can NOT bring into the Embassy - do not ask my fiance. Because he missed that memo. As I was reviewing the info for last minute "just in case", I saw you couldn't bring in "zip folders", no metal. So panic set in. I couldn't get a hold of him to warn him as he was still primping in the shower yet at 6am (yeah right, he was leaving at 5am).
l called "ds2" from Visa Journey (he had his interview the same date) to please meet him outside the Embassy to help reorganize (aka = look for man-bun, frantically tear apart zip folders). My fiance finally called me back at 6:10 am, we said our goodbyes. He laughed at my zip folder panic and said "I'll be fine".
I think I died.
When ds2 got there and searched for him, my fiance was already sitting calmly inside, with the zip folders.......... Just HOW does he do that?
If you want a proper review from someone with an articulate memory, please read ds2's consulate review, then come back and start here:
At one station The consulate took the I134 financials, but he can't remember if they made a copy of it or what they took, and handed it back.
So, for "proof", after reading over so many interviews and 221gs, we printed everything we could possibly think of, 2.5 years of chats and call logs from Messenger. This came out to "only" 14k pages. He managed to narrow this to "only" 7k pages by printing to 2 sided. The stack was half as tall as he was. We would have to rent a rickshaw to carry that. Next we included all hotel receipts, things like Zomato, BigBasket orders, airline tickets/itineraries, evisas, screenshots of videochats, FB/Instagram posts, witness declaration statements (not notarized), etc. All necessary papers, I 134 we had my tax returns (not transcripts).Some in duplicate like it asked, none were original copies. Basically, if it was proof of "us" - we had it. I suggested he make sure the consulate saw this huge stack, that when he sat down to interview (it sounds like you do not sit for it) that he basically shove the stack in between them so that they could see our life...on paper?
This is what my fiance remembers:
16 counters available for various languages
1st people start getting tokens then asked to sit
Your number is displayed and your name is called
Because he was up for 38 hours with no sleep, waiting in a room with nothing to do (also hungry with no vending machines), he was ready to fall asleep/pass out. When his name and number were called for the last time, instead of standing up - - - - he raised his hand. A few times. Then, suddenly, realized he needed to get up and go.
Previously, he had gone to several stations where they looked at his passport, they took his medical and police verification, verified the I134. But - he didnt realize he was at the final interview station so he PUT THE ZIP FOLDERS OF PROOF ON THE FLOOR - the consular never saw them.....jeez. In the end - the consular only looked at what I sent in the I129f, which was a total summary and no proof of relationship from February 2018-present. Good to know.
When my fiance got to the window, the consular said - "where were you? I've been waiting for you for at least 10 minutes". (At this point I would have fainted, or gotten on my knees to beg for forgiveness). My fiance laughed and said, "no you have not". I said - "you said WHAAAAAAT???" (We forget though that the consular's ARE human, they do try to lighten up the situation, I can't say if that was the case here or not).
The consular had the I129F packet in front of him and was paging through it, looking at our pictures, etc.
For us - they asked a ton of questions, all the "how did you meet"(in great detail), "when", "how long was 1st visit", "how many times during visit did u meet", "why was she here that visit", "what did u do together" (I mean come on - what is the elephant in the room here, what is our favorite thing to do as soon as we see each other??? My fiance said - "we did spend a lot of time in the hotel, yes, but we also did sightseeing, etc".)
The interview went on - "how many times visited total", "what do u do together each time she is here", the are trying to establish and build a timeline of our relationship. "Tell me about ur engagement". "Why did she get divorced". "Tell me info about her son". "Wedding plans". "Did she meet your family, why not". "Have you been to the US". "What is her work/role". "Date of your travel 2 US". "I see there is an age gap, how much? How do you feel about it?" He nodded his head or said ok after each answer given, he neither encourages you or discourages you. It he wants further clarification, will ask. He did not ask the same question in different ways (but having been through the K3 process years ago, I can assure you - it happens).
He said the consular then typed and typed and then said he was APPROVED.
But then........he looked at I134..or the screen or both and then said - WAIT....uh oh (pause)....oh no...then said...does your fiance share everything with you about her finances? He said yes (explained some things). Checked on his screen... then starts looking at our chats from the I129F. Paging through, squinting at the font. (My fiance was like is this a prank?). My fiance offered him the stack of Messenger chats but was ignored. Finally the consular hands him a paper and tells him ok, sir you are approved.
Then he proceeded to get stuck in traffic on the way back to the hotel so it took forever for me to hear the news! Such relief, it feels so surreal.
He did receive a paper that says Approved. #7 on the list talks about immigration fees - this does not apply to K visas. Lastly, if you are approved and you check your status on CEAC, it should move to Administrative Processing to Issued. Ours took until Monday to say this, quite quick. Yours might change from Ready to Application Received, then to AP or might skip all and go right to Issued.
I think the best advice I can give is to submit the best I 129F packet with as much info as possible, be ready to tell your story even if it is complicated (the more complications to the story, the more it probably IS real), I know that they don't seem to even look at proof that you bring with - but, they might.
Lastly, many people think that their minds are made up before you even get there. My fiance thinks this is a 60/40 chance. This, maybe combined with your 15 minutes of trying to solidify a presentation. Every case is different, every consular is different, even the security who let you in the door - with or without zip folders. So when you are reading other 221gs, or other reviews, just keep in mind that this will be unique to you and your fiance.
Good luck to all, please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.
(updated on December 4, 2018)
(updated on December 4, 2018)