|Consulate Review: Senegal
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
|Review Date :
||September 20, 2010
|Embassy Review :
||Based on some of the reviews I\'ve read on here about consulate experiences, I consider my husband and I quite fortunate:
We arrived about 90 minutes before our scheduled time. There was a line of about 20+ people waiting at the other end of the campus. About 30 minutes before the consulate opened, a guard came and walked us all over single file to the door of the consulate. Each person had to check in and go through security, so it took some time. There was only one door and one security guard, so you can imagine...
For a consulate that has jurisdiction over a handful of countries, I must say that the consulate was not very busy. We waited in the main waiting room for about 2 hours before being called into a smaller waiting room, where we had to do fingerprints, confirm identity, etc. The wait times in the smaller room ranged from about 15-25 minutes for each individual request.
The interview itself was conducted in a booth that had a solid partition behind the beneficiary and the petitioner and a glass partition separating us from the CO. She was very polite and kind as were all the employees at the consulate that day. She asked VERY basic simple questions and didn\'t ask for any of the additional 10lbs of documentation we hauled over to argue our case. 3 minutes later, the battle that my husband and I have been fighting for over 9 months was over. We got our visa.
2 days later, we returned to collect our visa. We were told to come after 2PM, and we arrived at 2:30. We stood outside for another 90 minutes before we were able to go through security, check in, and be seated. About 20 minutes later after we sat down, my husband was called to come collect his passport with a shiny new CR-1 visa inside.
The very next day, we were on a plane back to the States.
1. As much as you can, front load your application. Hit them with everything up front. That was the advice our lawyer gave us at the beginning of this process, and that\'s what she made us do, and I think it made a huge difference in the interview because they had a thick file in front of them. Of course, we were ready for any and everything they might hit us with, but I sincerely believe that it went so smoothly because we submitted SO much documentation up front.
2. If the petitioner can be there at all in any capacity, try your best to be there. Not only does that help in the interview (especially for consulates with high fraud rates), but it\'s a nice emotional boost. All the running around my husband and I did for all the medical examination requirements were a little less hellish because there were two brains trying to sort through the maze rather than one.
3. The consulate in Dakar is pretty solid. My only complaint would be that they are not built to handle large volumes. 20+ people isn\'t a lot, but it becomes very cumbersome when there is 1 door and 1 security guard working to get everyone inside. The points of entry for that consulate need to be reconfigured so that they can improve on their crowd control.
4. Having my husband around is even better than I thought it would be, and that\'s saying a lot, because I already thought it would be awesome.
Good luck to everyone.
(updated on September 21, 2010)