|Consulate Review: Morocco
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||February 6, 2010
|Embassy Review :
||Our interview was scheduled for January 28, 2010...We hoped that it was a sign of good luck that this was Salim's birthdate as well, but we still went into the interview feeling quite a bit of worry because of all the recent ups and downs in Casblanca. Salim was the last one of the day to be called, and he approached window #7 and was met by a moroccan man who asked for his medical reports and the translations of all his documents. He spoke to Salim in english, and then asked him 4 questions, also in english:
1. Where did you first meet your fiancee?
2. He asked Salim about his job as a private teacher
3. He asked about where in Morocco Salim is from
4. He asked, "Did your wife convert to Islam?" Salim reminded him that I am not his wife yet, and then told him no, she has not converted to Islam, she is Christian.
Then he asked Salim to have a seat until his name is called again.
In a little while the blonde woman called for him and he stood in front of her. First she gave him the DS157 form on which to write our names, and then she asked him her list of questions:
1. Where did you first meet your fiancee? He told her that we met on a website called Interpals.net, which is a correspondence site. She typed it in to her computer and briefly looked at the website. Then she nodded in agreement, and asked the next question.
2. For how long were you just friends? Salim answered that we corresponded as friends for about 1 to 2 months before we began to be interested in each other romantically.
3. Where was your fiancee born? Salim knew this readily from the "bio" I had written up for him while we were awaiting our interview date.
4. What are the places she has lived? Again, he knew all of the places from my bio, including the names of the Air Force bases where we lived while my father was in the service. He actually got one date wrong, saying my father had completed his service the year after my birth, and she caught him on it! She said, "That does not make sense, if he got out of the Air Force the year after she was born." To his credit, Salim did not panic, he just calmly corrected himself and reiterated the timeline of where I had lived and the year my dad was discharged. He knew all of the information, but in his nervousnous had reversed a date. She seemed quite sympathetic towards Salim, saying to him, "You seem a little nervous." When he answered "yes", she said, "Don't be. There is nothing to be nervous about." Salim felt she was actually quite compassionate and not as frightening as we had anticipated! LOL
5. Where did she do her studies? Salim knew the names of the schools I had attended and which 2 colleges I had studied at, as well as the degree programs I was enrolled in.
6. How long was your fiancee married? He knew the date of my marriage and the date of my divorce, as well as my ex-husband's name.
7. How many kids does your fiancee have? What are their names and ages, and where do/did they go to school? What subjects do they study? Where do they live? Again, Salim knew ALL of this information from the lengthy bio I sent him that told the entire story of my life from birth until now!!
8. What does your fiancee do for work? How long has she had this same job?
9. Where does your fiancee live? I am so happy that I sent Salim maps of both Maine and the whole United States, because he was able to tell her exactly where Maine is and also to describe many of the towns and cities that are close to the city where I live.
10. Did your fiancee stay with with and your family when she was visiting in Morocco? He was able to answer "yes", as I stayed in the home where he was raised with his Mama and also his sister and her family were there as well.
11. What does your fiancee do in her free time? (Hobbies, activites, etc.) Salim gave her many answers and described the things I like to do as well as the people I like to spend time with. I guess it was at this point that she said to him, "I think that you could talk about your fiancee all day if I did not stop you!"
Something that we found very interesting was that neither of the consular officers looked at a shred of the evidence we had brought. NOT ONE THING. I had made sure it was very organized, with photos in one folder, emails in another, snail mail in another, etc., and everything was clearly marked. I guess I went to all that trouble for nothing, but I found it very curious. It also made me think a lot about the notion that people have voiced on VisaJourney that the decision of whether to give a visa is already made before you even have the interview. The fact that they looked at nothing tells me that it was one of two things: either the decision was made beforehand, or the interview decides it all. If that is the case, it is even more important that people go in VERY prepared, and I don't mean just with their hard-copy evidence. In fact, because Salim was the last person of the day to be interviewed, he had a chance to sit and observe all of the other interviews, because you are not in a private room, but rather standing at a window in front of everyone else who is waiting. He noted that many of the men who were being interviewed did not speak with much detail about their wives/fiancees, and he thought that this hurt their cases. In fact, when the blonde lady made the joke with him about his being able to talk all day about me unless she stopped him, he laughed a little, but she went on to say, "You wouldn't believe the men who can't tell me very much about their women!" Now this is not to say that these men don't love their ladies or know much about them, but it seems to indicate that they are not going into the interview as prepared as they should be to answer the questions in good detail. I think that everyone must have a different yardstick when they determine that they are "prepared", but her comment seems to tell me that there needs to be a little more preparation done. Above I mentioned the "bio" that I emailed to Salim so that he could study the timeline of my life....although he knows and loves me, that love is not going to help him come up with the answer to "where did she go to school?" if that has never been discussed! I don't know the names of the schools that Salim attended in Morocco other than the University where he studied, but then again I am not the one who is gong to be asked those things in an interview! I think it would be a very good tool if, while a couple is awaiting their interview, the petitioner composes a biography for the beneficiary to read and become familiar with, including MAPS of the U.S. and the state where they live. It may seem like a lot of "studying" to do, but it may be the difference between getting a visa and not getting one!!!
Anyway, at the end of the interview, she kept Salim's passport and gave him a blue slip of paper, saying the consulate would call him when the visa was ready. In his excitement he wasn't exactly sure what she was saying, so he asked her, "Am I approved??" And she smiled and said, "Yes, you can tell your fiancee that you are approved." It took one week to get the call: the consulate called him on Thursday February 4, and he went to Casablanca for the third and last time on Friday February 5th to pick up his passport with the visa in it. Hamdulillah, this part of the process is over, and now we just have to work on getting him here as soon as possible. He has about 2 weeks of obligations to finish with his students, and then, insha'allah, he will be here by the end of February. I hope some of what I have written will help other couples, the way that so much of the information we got on VJ has helped us. GOOD LUCK to everyone who is going through this process!!