|Consulate Review: London, United Kingdom
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||November 5, 2010
|Embassy Review :
||We arrived a little past 7 am for our 8 am interview. (There was a tube strike on, so we booked a cab for 6:30 am just in case traffic was bad.) There were four people in line ahead of us and they let us in after maybe a 30 minute wait. Even though we'd wisely left our cell phones at home, I had forgotten that I had two used AA batteries from my camera at the bottom of my purse, so that held us up an extra few minutes, but everyone was friendly and it was no problem. We were given our number and waited for about 20 minutes until it was called.
We went to the window and a very officious woman of few words took N's fingerprints and asked for our forms. She handed back a lot of them, which I'd expected (we figured rather safe than sorry and had a lot of things that were helpful but not required), but we were both surprised when she didn't ask for our co-sponsor forms. (I didn't make enough in the last year, so my father was co-sponsoring us.) N said, "Here's my sponsor, and here's the co-sponsor," and she said, "No, just give me the one from your fiance." So we figured maybe they'd ask for the co-sponsor I-134 at the next step. Nope! No one ever even asked for it! No idea how they approved us without that crucial detail (and one that my parents spent a long time working to submit everything just so), but we're not about to go looking gift horses in the mouth.
Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. She collected all the forms, and had us pay at the enxt window, and then asked if N had ever lived in another country. He said yes, he went to school in Hong Kong when he was 16, but since he was only there for 9 or 10 months, we hadn't gotten a police certificate. She put us in a panic by saying, "I think you're going to need a police certificate from there then," and then writing something in red ink on her paper. We said that it was our understanding that it wasn't required unless he'd lived there for a year or more, and she cut us off and said, "You'll have to take it up with the person who interviews you." Then she sent us back to our seats, where we stressed over what was going to happen next.
We waited maybe 15-20 more minutes, and then our number was called again. This time we had a very friendly man. He greeted N and smiled at me and said, "This must be your fiance." Then he asked N a few questions: how did we meet, when was this, had he visited me in the U.S., what kind of work did I do, what kind of work did he do. He was really kind and made us feel at ease.
Then he said, "I see you've been arrested once, what was that about?" N said, "Yes, several years ago, and I was released with a caution." The man said, "But no run-ins with the police since then?" and N answered, "No, nothing since," and here is where we held our breaths, because we've spent the past few months nervous wrecks that this was going to be a problem, even with the police certificate and subject access report and whatnot. But then he said, "Okay, your visa is approved, let me just tell you what's going to happen next..." and talked about the big brown envelope we shouldn't open and how once we're in the U.S., if we go to Niagara Falls, don't let anyone persuade us that the view would be better from the Canadian side because he wouldn't be let back in. Just like that, we were approved! He had no problem with the past arrest or the visa waiver program, and he never once mentioned needing a HK police certificate like the woman had. We were overjoyed and jumped up and down and hugged and kissed. All those late nights of worrying and not sleeping, all wiped away! We paid the courier fee (and ran into another approved VJer!) and were out of there by 9:30 am.
We still have no idea why they never asked for the co-sponsor forms, but at least now we already have them for the I-864.
I hope this makes someone else feel better like reading GoingGreen's did for us. And if you are approved, I highly recommend going straight to the bar of the nearby Millennium Hotel afterwards and celebrating with a champagne cocktail, even if it is 9:30 in the morning. You've earned it!