|Consulate Review: Jamaica
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||September 15, 2009
|Embassy Review :
||We stayed at The Prestige (also known as Sandhurst) which isn't too far from the embassy. From driving by the embassy the day before, I didn't want us to have to deal with finding parking the morning of the interview, so we left the car at the hotel where it was safe & took a taxi. It took 10 minutes to get to the embassy from the hotel, due to the traffic. We arrived at 8:55 for our 9:00 appointment.
Outside the Embassy:
At the embassy, Steven realized he'd forgot to take his phone out of his pocket, so he gave it to Ms Nikki to hold. She charges $200 to hold anything you're not supposed to bring in. She told us where the end of the line was, but from reading previous reviews, I knew that that wasn't the line for us. We walked to the front of the line and a yellow shirted woman told us to start a different line since we were filing for a K1 visa. Once we pulled out all of the papers, she came to us to check them. She stapled the passport pictures and interview receipt onto the DS156 forms. Once she checked that we had all the forms (excluding the I-134 & supporting docs) she sent us to the door on the right.
Security, Number Assignment:
In there, we went through security. By the time we finished that, it was 9:05. We walked across the pavilion to another building. There, we were given the yellow form to fill out for DHL (passport #, address) and got in line. The lady who worked at that counter didn't find our names on the list, but since we had the interview letter, she gave us a # (A144) and told us to go through the door behind her. Really, we could've gone through the door right in front of us. It would've put us in Section B, but we could've walked over to Section A.
Interview Part 1:
It wasn't too crowded in Section A. We sat on the front row, in front of the windows to the right, since I knew (from previous reviews) that we'd get called to those first. In less than 20 minutes, we were called to window 7. The lady there was nice enough & quite professional. She took the forms but gave us back the duplicates. I was hoping she'd keep the duplicate birth certificate instead of the original. Oh well. There was one paper that she ripped up, but I couldn't tell what it was. Perhaps it was the interview letter. She sent us over to window 17 so Steven could have his fingerprints taken. We got there by 9:30. The woman working there seemed new, as she had to find assistance. It took about 10 minutes to get Steven's fingerprints, even though there was no line. Afterward, she sent us back to Section A.
Interview Part 2:
We sat waiting for just over an hour, but the time went by pretty quickly. This time we sat in front of windows 8 and 9, so that we (I) could hear what was happening with the other people having their interviews. We saw at least 4 people get blue slips: 2 for not having medical results, 1 for not having the father's name on the birth certificate, and one for both of those reasons. We also saw at least 3 approvals: 2 spousal visas & 1 family visa. There were a few others that I couldn't tell the results due to the quiet talking & blank expressions. While we were waiting during this hour, every time I noticed Steven slipping into a nervous look, I'd do something to distract him: hand massages, playing with the one gray hair he has, commenting on peoples' outfits, playing tic tac toe. 70% of my reason for that was to keep him from looking stiff & nervous. The other 30% was for anyone watching. I definitely noticed that everyone else there looked quite solemn.
We were called up at 10:44 by a blond woman at window 8. She asked when we met. I let Steven answer: "2007, November." He said it very nervously, and stumbled a bit, which is understandable. She asked where we met and he told her at a resort where he worked. She asked if I worked there, too. He said no, my family was visiting. She asked how long I'm usually there when I go. I told her 4 days to a week. She asked if all (10 of) my trips were to visit him specifically. I said no. The first few were just because I liked Jamaica, but we met up each time. The rest of the trips were because of him. Then she told me to sit down. I did, and that's when I remembered that we forgot to show pictures (and they never asked) or any other evidence. I thought about bringing it up to the window, but I didn't want to disrupt them. She'd already had Steven pick up the phone. She asked him if either of us has kids, which we don't. She then asked which of my relatives he met. He said my parents, sister, aunt, and cousin. (I guess he doesn't remember my grandmother, other aunt, or other cousins from the first trip). She then asked which of his relatives I've met. He said "All of them." She then called me back up. I said "We have pictures if you'd like to see." She said "That's not necessary. You've been approved. Go to window 26 to make arrangements with DHL." The entire questioning part of the interview took about 5 minutes.
After the Interview:
At the DHL counter, we paid with a credit card. After waiting in line for a bit, Steven made arrangements on where to pick up the visa. The guy said it can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 months to be ready for pick-up. I'm hoping for 4 days or less. We exited the embassy at 11:08, seemingly one of the last ones there. All of the non-immigrant visa people were already gone. There were no more lines outside. It seemed like they were about to close. Steven found Ms Nikki, the cell phone holder, and asked her how much (even though she said $200 earlier). She said, "You can give me $1000 if you'd like." To her (and my) surprise, Steven did just that. She called one of her taxi driving friends to come get us. He brought us back to the hotel for $300. We got in our car and headed back to Negril, glad to have our backs to the interview.