|Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: K1 Visa
|Review Date :
||October 24, 2010
|Embassy Review :
||Well let me first start off by sharing two of the things that were of the utmost concern to us going into this process.
Shortly after i met my fiance, his grandmother had fallen gravely ill and he eventually left his job to help in the care of his grandmother alongside his mother. She passed in late 2009 and my fiance hasn't been back at work since. The situation was understandably very difficult for the entire family. When we started this process we were naive in the fact that there would be a financial requirement, and when it came time for packet 3, we had to have discussions and find a cosponsor. His mother and father were more than happy to assist us with this application and began gathering supporting documentation. On our end we gathered tax returns for the last 5 years in order to show that when my fiance was working , his income was more than adequate to fulfill the requirements. This probably wasn't needed but we thought we would do so in good faith. I also have a 15 year old daughter that i am bringing with me so in total we have 4 affidavit's of support. The Consulate did not have any issues with co-sponsorship at all; I know that there are others that do, but Montreal does not.
The second thing that concerned me was the custody documents for my daughter and/or a note from the father indicating she could travel with me. In my situation i was never married, nor did i ever receive any support payments from the "father" and i am the only parent listed on her long form birth certificate. It was an impossibility, literally, to track him down and get any letter from him as he had never had any part of my pregnancy, the birth or my daughter's life, so i started doing my research. I was in no position to go to hire a lawyer and go to court, this was just going to be way too costly for me, so i did the next best thing and gathered documentation to support that i have sole custody of her. I got letters from all levels of Government in Canada to show i was her sole parent. I had a search letter run on my name to show that i had never been married, i researched every law in Alberta ( as my daughter was born there ) and laws in Ontario ( because i moved her here ). All in all my folder containing these documents was quite large. I was NOT asked for any of this information at all during the interview! I believe it's a "case by case" basis.
Everyone situation was different so i can't say what may happen with someone else but for me, nothing was asked for. I can only assume it's because i am the only parent shown on her long form birth certificate.
Our interview was on Friday, October 22nd, 2010. We arrived at the consulate at 7:20 a.m. and waited outside to the left of the entrance. We were let in at approximately 7:45. I showed our interview letter and our passports and the guard told us to go up the small staircase to the secondary area.
My purse was searched as was the bag i was carrying with all of my documents. ( my badge for work was mistaken for wires somehow, LOL ) We were then given letter A, attached to our interview letter and then told to go down stairs and wait for the guard to take us up the elevator to the consulate area. Once there, we were told to sit and wait.
We were then called up to window 10 and the blonde lady behind the counter asked for the DS 160, i provided her mine but she then asked for a separate one for my daughter. Well at that point i was freaking out because I don't ever remember the instructions stipulating this and i didn't have one. I had a huge bag with copies of everything but not this form. I was so angry with myself for missing that!! Anyway, she told us to go back out into the waiting room and use the computer there to fill one out and print. On the way back to the waiting room i told my fiance that the DS 160 requires you to upload a photo and this may cause us issues if there was no way to scan my daughter's photo onto the computer. We decided to try it anyway and see if we could override the system and bypass that portion of the form. Needless to say, after an hour of trying and losing my mind, my fiance went back into that room to look for the lady at window 10. When he found her he told her that both he and i work in IT and that there was no way for us to fill this form out to print without having a photo and that i was out in the waiting room, trying to make sure that the form itself didn't time out, as it always does, and that we were not getting any help. So she told him to have me come back there and we would forget about the form.
Once back there, i provided her with the birth certificates for both myself and my daughter, our passports, copies of the bio pages of our passports, affidavits of support, police check, medical records, fiance letter of intent, and two passport photos. She had us do our fingerprints as well and then asked us to wait in the waiting area again.
I have to be completely honest and say that during all of this running around, we had a sneak peek at the consular officers themselves because the doors to Room 7 and Room 8 were opened at times; and i wanted to catch a glimpse at who we could possibly be speaking to. I saw both the lady and the man in Room 8 and mentioned to my fiance that I had hoped we got the lady in room 7, LOL. The man looked nice but after the morning we had and the forms we couldn't get I thought he would give us a hard time. My fiance kept saying not to worry and that the officer we get is the one we are supposed to get. Not more than 5 minutes later we were called to ROOM 8!!!!LOL. OH NO i thought!!
We all went to the room together, shut the door and did the oath. He asked me how i met my fiance, and i said we met at work. He asked what i did for a living and at that point i was so nervous i couldn't even speak anymore. HAHA. I took a deep breathe and apologized and said that i was just so nervous. He was actually very reassuring and said that there was nothing to be nervous about, and that we were just having a conversation. So i proceeded to tell him what i did for a living , that I'm self employed and do contract work for the government and/or private sector.He then asked my fiance what he did for a living and at that point my fiance told him that he too worked in IT, but that he hadn't been back to work after the passing of his grandmother. The CO asked for more detail about how we had met so my fiance explained that i worked for the same company only i was in Ottawa and he was in Germantown Maryland and that he had called my office one day asking for support on something and we started talking from that day on. The CO then made a joke and said "well i guess you got the support you needed then".
We laughed and then he asked My daughter if she was born in Alberta and if she now lived in Ontario. My daughter answered him and that's all he asked her. There were two fingerprints that we both myself and my daughter had to re-do as well.
From there he said that he knew we were having issues with the DS 160 and that we could do things the old school way and instead fill out the DS 156 and DS 156K. THANK GOD !!! He said to use the computer in the waiting room to fill it out and then print and to bring it back to him as quickly as possible because he couldn't issues our visas without that information. The whole time i was thinking " are we approved?". He also gave us the "famous" 221, i didn't even realize that until the whole thing was over, lol. Anyway, we went back out into the waiting room, filled out the forms, made two copies of each , brought them back to the lady in window 12. I signed them and that was it.
As we were leaving, the CO, called out to my daughter and asked her to bring me in Room 8 again, so i off i went again to Room 8. he said he received the paperwork, that everything was fine, asked me if i had ever had issues crossing the border, i said no, he then handed me a paper stating that our visa was approved. He said he wanted to give us that before we left and to say Congratulations and Welcome to the United States. OMG!! I was sooooooo happy. I thanked him profusely for everything and told him to have a nice evening and a wonderful weekend, LOL.
I think we skipped out of there, LOL.
All in all, i have to say, that man was so nice. He did not have to go above and beyond as i feel he did, but he did, and then to call us back in to give us our approval letter; WOW!! I feel a happy letter for him coming on, LOL.
I did run a check for a reference number on http://canada.usvisa-info.com and we do have one at this point. I will check DHL on monday to see if anything comes up.