|Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||November 7, 2009
|Embassy Review :
||Interviewed November 6th, my fiance (USC) came with me. Arrived approximately 7:10am and was 4th in line. by 7:30 there were at least 30 people waiting in line outside. I received letter "D". We didn't really wait for the elevator, because we were the first batch through. We were brought upstairs, and we waited in a bank of separate chairs on the far side. The next group of people they brought up, and all subsequent, were directed to line up for a number.
Those of us with letters were not called up in order - presumably each person taking the documents was assigned a case, and we were called up in the order those people were ready to receive the documents. When I was called up to the window, the woman was very cheerful and smiling. She asked me for documents one at a time, including original + 1 copy of my long form birth certificate.
I had things organized as follows - one folder of originals and one of copies in the same order (each flagged and labelled so I could pull out the right doc regardless of what order she asked for them). In all I was able to put my file folders including additional evidence (which was never requested) into one file pocket/portfolio, the kind with the elastics to hold it together. This allowed me to only need to rifle through two different piles, and not have to separate out copies she didn't ask for. I didn't bring the x-ray.
As a sidenote, they folded my xpresspost envelope so it is more convenient to put in the file, so don't worry about doing the same, it's SO much easier to carry that way.
We were then sent to pay, and told to return to the window to get fingerprints taken and give her the receipt of my payment. The line up for the cashier is beside the line up where people were waiting for numbers. You line up to the left of the sash to make payment, and a couple in the other line were going to go ahead of me but she actually stopped them to move us through to pay. It all seemed very efficient. The cashier asked for bills -- so don't bring change. They check if the bills are counterfeit. They do give change if needed. (We supplied $100 + $40 + $1)
Upon returning to the document lady to get fingerprinted, I supplied the receipt and had to give fingerprints of all fingers on each hand, and then thumbs of both hands. While I was doing this, the man who was to interview me dropped by and said hello, and then he said 'Oh this is Karen and Jason? The famous KnJ! Excellent, I'll see you soon, and we'll chat about VJ after the interview." He was very warm.
I was told to sit back in the original bank of chairs and wait, and they will call me by name. It was nice to have cdn_gewels (who, by the way, was the first one done!) and Missa to talk to. The room kept getting busier and busier! Some people had to use the computer terminals to fill out more forms. Others had giant messy stacks of paper, or tiny Xpresspost envelopes, and I wondered how they'd fare.
We were called into a room with a door, and closed the door behind us, the CO was very friendly, smiling, and made warm eye contact. I think he was a supervisor, but I'm not sure of his name. He asked me to hold up my right hand and he gave the oath. Then we chatted, he asked how we met and when. He asked J directly what he does. He also asked when we got serious and decided to go forth with marriage, and if there was any period of time after that when we broke up. I answered that we had a rough patch for a bit when I stayed wth him as a visitor and got sick, but we worked through it and I said ultimately it made us stronger.
Then he had us leave the room and wait outside, he said there was a finalization of the background check or something. Very shortly after that we were called back in, and he told me I was approved! He said congratulations, and gave me a sheet with information on "what's next", said it would take 7-10 business days to get the visa. asked if we had any questions. He explained the ability to travel outside the country etc.
After the interview, he remarked to us that the people who come in and have used VJ are the most organized (he even gave nods to cdn_gewels!), and that they really like doing K-1s and CR-1s because it is a happy situation. They are very cognizant of how much our lives are on hold and in uncertainty because of delays and such, and they really are doing everything they can. He said in terms of receiving the visa, they are working overtime, he's bringing his people in on Saturday, to process visas. It was very reassuring to hear that, he said even though he doesn't want to be making people work overtime like that, they are doing whatever they can to speed things up. The fact that he was working (turns out he was the head of the consulate), conveys that they are working overtime and are all contributing to speeding up the proces.
I think we were out of the building at 9:30am, elated and we spent a bit of time in MTL kicking around before J drove back to Boston and I took the train to Toronto. Huge huge kudos to VJ for making this sooo much easier and less stressful than I think it otherwise would've been.