|Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
|Review Date :
||October 20, 2019
|Embassy Review :
||Wow - what an experience! I hope this helps others.
My case was pretty straight forward but of course, like everyone, I was nervous and excited.
For those staying in hotels along Rene Levesque Bvld in downtown Montreal and flying into YUL - spend $10 (plus $6 for the card) and get a single day 747 BUS Transit pass at the airport! You can also get an unlimited 3 day pass for the price of two single rides. There are BLUE signs all over the place and directions on where to buy them with maps. I got a 3 day unlimited pass and you can travel up and down Rene Levesque Blvd as much as you want during your stay. It's way cheaper than the flat rate taxi's or an uber. The bus has luggage racks, too. It was stupidly easy. Just know where your hotel is first and which stop to get off of. You can Google the map before you even get to the airport but they have them available at the kiosks where you buy the card, too. I stayed at a hotel a literal 3 minute walk from the consulate because I was paranoid, but I'm glad I did.
The two Marriott's are a literal block from the consulate, on the opposite side of the street. I also saw a Travelodge very close by as well.
The consulate itself is unassuming. You can't see it from Rene Levesque as it's immediately around a corner which as of the time I write this review has a little construction.
A note for the ladies: Small purses ARE allowed. It's like going through security at an airport. You put your stuff into a grey bin and it goes through a machine and then you walk through a metal detector and they use a detecting wand on you too. If you did bring your cell phone in, they'll take it and give you a ticket for it that you turn in at the end to take back. A reusable bag (like a grocery shopping bag) is permitted to carry your documents in. I just had a small purse and a file folder.
My interview was at 8:30am and I arrived at 7:50 with 3 people ahead of me. It opens at 730 but I heard to not show up too early or you'll have to stand outside. After about 5 minutes I was let inside. A guard will let only a certain number of people inside at once. Have your passport and your interview letter confirmation ready. When they let you in, a man at a little desk will have a tablet and ask for your passport. He did not ask me for my interview letter confirmation, or my DS 260 confirmation, both of which I had. The person will look you up on his list and then put a sticker (what looked like the courier sticker to set up sending it back to you) on the back of your passport. He'll hand it back to you with a pink slip that they write some time on AND a laminated sheet with a number on it. Keep the pink sheet in your passport. The laminated sheet is an instruction sheet on how to order your documents. MAKE SURE TO DO THIS EXACTLY AS LISTED. You'll then go through another set of doors to the security part. Don't bring anything bigger than the small purse and the reusable bag. They'll make you throw out anything bigger.
You may notice that some of the things that were listed on the interview prepare checklist are NOT on the laminated sheet. I don't know if this is a case by case basis or if it's for EVERYONE with this visa type, but I brought a lot of extra stuff I was never asked for. Oh well, better safe than sorry!
After security, you'll be told to go through another set of doors, down a pretty big flight of stairs and to an elevator and get up to the 19th floor.
IF YOU FORGOT 2 PASSPORT PHOTOS, FEAR NOT. There's a photo booth right before the elevator and they cost $10! Pretty smart thinking on their part if you ask me!
The elevator is so silent and smooth you won't be able to tell you're moving. Seriously! LOL We were all like "uh....is this thing moving --DING OH WE'RE HERE!"
Then you'll get into a pretty decent sized room. It's split into 2 sections - one for non immigrant visas and U.S citizen things and another for immigrant things. Take a seat and wait for your turn to be called. I waited about 45 minutes to be called. You'll do the DOCUMENTS first at the windows to the far left of the room.
When I was there, there was easily 10-15 people there for immigrant visa's and only 3 windows open for documents and 2 rooms open for interviews.
They'll ask for your documents in order quickly and then most likely confirm some information like addresses with you and get your biometrics from both hands. If everything is in order, they'll give you a little handout on domestic abuse for immigrants. You can put it away if you want or keep it out. Then you'll go sit back down and wait for your number to be called for the interview.
A note: if you're hungry or thirsty, there are two vending machines. There are also bathrooms. Also, take a look outside the window! You're on the 19th floor in downtown Montreal - it's BEAUTIFUL. You can see the mountain and a lot of gorgeous architecture. Enjoy it
After about another 40 minutes or so, I was called for the interview (again by number). I walked in, expecting a chair and an officer in a uniform but it wasnt anything like it at all. The woman was very kind and polite. She asked how I was doing and I smiled and said I was doing good and excited to be there. She handed some of my original documents back to me, asked if I saw the pamphlet about domestic abuse, asked for my fingerprints again for one hand only and asked me to take an oath that I would tell the truth.
Was asked a total of 3 questions:
-Date of marriage
-What does spouse do for work? (I said the title that's on the affidavit of support)
-What was the longest I've ever been in the US for at one time
After another 20 seconds, she smiled and said "well everything is in order here, we will issue you a visa" and handed me a welcome to the united states letter!!!!!!
I was so overjoyed and she said to expect my passport back within 2 weeks. I said thank you very much and to have a great day and that was it! You leave the way you came and make sure to get your cell phone or other devices you checked! Everyone was polite and nice. It was also Friday morning and people seemed relatively laid back.
THAT'S ALL! Be calm and confident and SMILE! You should be HAPPY to be at this stage! Best of luck to everyone!