|Consulate Review: London, United Kingdom
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||May 1, 2009
|Embassy Review :
||I was flying in from Belfast, so I left the house at 5am in a taxi bound for Belfast City airport. I arrived in Stansted just before 8, and got the 8 o'clock Stansted express into London. My interview was at 9, so I knew I was cutting it close. At Liverpool Street station I got on the Tube for Bond Street, which took about 10 minutes. A short run to Grosvenor Square later, and I was there, only 20 minutes late; whoops!
I needn't have worried though, no one mentioned anything, and I think I looked suitably ruffled and out of breath. There wasn't much of a queue thankfully, and in less than 10 minutes, I was inside the embassy. I took my number from the front desk (5024!), and headed up the stairs and through the door. The room was absolutely packed, and it was a hot day, which didn't really help with the atmosphere.
I found a seat at the far end of the room and sat down. According to the screen, they were serving immigrant visa number 5012 or something, so I knew I was in for a bit of a wait. I bought some sandwiches to pass the time, and they were probably the worse sandwiches I've ever had. The bread was totally stale. I was absolutely famished though, so I ate them without complaining. Then after I had finished I looked at the packaging, and they were out of date. Nice!
Anyhow, after about 2 hours, I was finally called up. At the window was a little Asian woman, and what with all the noise in the room (they had two large fans going due to the heat) and the thick glass, it was a little difficult to hear her. There was a lot of smiling and nodding happening on my side of the glass. She asked for my number (they give you a little ticket with a barcode on it), passport, birth certificate and copy, and police certificate and copy. She then asked for my support information. My fiancée's father had sent in an I-134 incase we needed a joint-sponsor, and I mentioned this to her. She said she couldn't see anything, and then hand a look through my file and found it. My fingerprints were taken using a little electronic device, and she noticed from my notes I have Asperger's Syndrome, and we spent a little time chatting about that and Autism in general. She then sent me off to pay the visa fee, which on the day was £89. It was a couple of pounds less than I was expecting, so that was nice. I took the receipt back to her, and she gave me a form for the courier which I was to complete while waiting, and an enormous envelope with my chest x-ray in it. I was then instructed to go sit down and listen for my number again.
So, off I went to sit down again. A glance at the screen told me that number 5014 was having his/her second interview, so I knew I had another little wait ahead of me. I had a Sherlock Holmes book with me, so I bought a cup of tea and tried to settle in. In one of the stories, Holmes mentioned Grosvenor Square, which was kind of cool. Another two hours passed and I was called up again. This was it - the big interview. They don't seem to do the second interview in numerical order, so make sure you listen out. They had just done 5020 when I was called.
At the designated interview window was a friendly American lady. She said "hi" and asked how I was, and then checked my fingerprints again (presumably to ensure I was the same person from earlier), then asked me to raise my right hand and swear that the information I was about to provide was true to the best of my knowledge. She then had me sign my DS-156K to the same affect. She started sorting through forms and ticking stuff, and the interview started. She asked how long I had known my fiancée, how we met, what her birthday was, where she worked, and when we intended to get married. She then said "I'm delighted to approve your visa", and that was it. It must have lasted about 2 minutes if that.
Off I went to pay the courier £14, and then I was done. I left the building and went out into the sunshine, and it was a nice day to find oneself in London. I sauntered back to Bond Street station, where I called my fiancée and told her the good news.
There is a lot of waiting involved, but the interview is nothing to worry about. If you have all your paperwork in order, you'll sail through it. My visa arrived a week later, and I have my flights booked for the 3rd June. It feels so nice to not have to worry about immigration stuff for a few weeks!