Yesterday I finally completed the K1 Visa Process & I’m so happy to say that we got APPROVED! I honestly cannot explain the relief we’ve felt – my anxiety has honestly been through the roof for the last month waiting for this to come to an end! It was the perfect birthday present and made turning 25 a lot easier to digest haha!
I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about how the day went and what paperwork etc., was asked for, so I’ll try to explain below in as much detail as possible.
Arriving at the Embassy
My appointment time was for 1pm, this is the last batch of K1 visa appointments of the day and because of this – there was no queue. I arrived at 12:30pm and went straight to the tent outside the embassy which was for ‘US Immigration’. I spoke to a friendly woman who asked for my name, passport & letter from the embassy. She reviewed everything and checked my name off of her list. I was then directed to the main door (ring the buzzer if they don’t see you), to go through security – very similar to what you would experience at an airport. You can take liquids and some electronics into the embassy, however laptops aren’t permitted from what I saw on the information boards.
From there I walked round to the right and up the stairs on the left hand side and into a reception area. I gave the lady at the desk the same documents I’d given outside and she gave me a ticket number which was stuck to my embassy letter (my number was I-1919) and told me to go up the stairs to the left hand side and wait for my number to be called.
My arse had literally just touched the seat when my number flashed up with a ping on the big screen at the end of the room! I approached window 5 and a friendly American lady greeted me. She asked for the same documents (passport & embassy letter with ticket stickers on it) the others had asked for, entered some information on her screen and then told me she was just going to get my case file and would be right back.
She came back about 2-3 minutes later with a big file with my name on it, I spotted my medical results – which was a relief as my medical had only been a week ago and I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t reach in time – but they did! She took my finger prints electronically and asked me to pass over the following paperwork:
- Confirmation of MRV and courier fee payment
- Birth Certificate (original only)
- Police Certificate (original only)
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-134)
- I was asked for Anthony’s W2’s as evidence but when I explained I also had a letter from his work too, she took that instead & said if they needed more information it would be asked for at the next window
- One US sized passport photo (Scanned onto the system and then handed back to you
[Side Note: I had more paperwork with me DS-160, NOA2, approved I-129f, a little bit more relationship evidence, my medical forms etc., but none of this was asked for]
She spent a few minutes organising all the paperwork and asked me to confirm that this was both Anthony and I’s first marriage and that I’d never lived anywhere else for longer than 12 months, other than the UK. I was given a CD copy of my chest x-ray from the medical and told to travel with this in my carry on baggage when entering the US as Immigration and Customs may request to see it. She then confirmed that the visa would be valid to gain entry in the US until the 23rd of December 2017 (exactly 6 months from the date of the medical examination) and told me to take a seat and wait for my number to be called again.
The next part was by far the worst part of the whole embassy experience, I waited for 2 hours to be called to the next window. It honestly felt like an eternity, I had a book to read which helped a little and the number’s were going in order, which was good because it wasn’t necessary to watch the screen like a hawk – even though I still did – but yeah it was probably the most anxious I’ve ever felt in my life haha!
We were down to only myself and another guy in the waiting room, FINALLY ticket I-1919 flashed up on the screen and requested I go to window 15, which is round the corner from the main windows where I’d handed in my paperwork! I took a deep breath, got all my stuff together and proceeded to the window!
The window’s are really similar to what you’d find in a bank I think – except there’s solid partitions separating each window, for privacy I guess. I was surprised to see there were two people (a woman and a man) on the other side of my window. I had read somewhere that if they are training a new member of staff, they will have a second person adjudicating their performance. Immediately I thought aw bloody typical, I bet I get absolutely interrogated because of this ha!
The first thing I was asked to do was give my left hand finger prints again, then I was asked to hold up my right hand and swear to tell the truth etc. – very American. He then asked if it was ‘John’ I was marrying, which I replied no, it’s Anthony (in fairness John is his middle name – but it’s also my father in law’s name so it made me stifle a laugh a little). He then asked the following questions:
- How did you first meet?
- How long have you been together?
- So you’re ready to get married?
- When did you get engaged?
- When are you getting married?
- What does Anthony do for work?
- Where is Anthony right now?
- Do Anthony’s family live in New York?
- Have you met Anthony’s family & has he met yours?
All fairly straight forward questions, he actually asked a couple of them twice. I don’t know if it was because he was training or if he wanted to make sure my answer was the same. He paused for what felt like ages, but was probably only about 10 seconds and then said “OK well that’s all good, we’ll get this printed and put in your passport and you’ll get it back in about 7-10 working days”. I guess I was waiting for an approved stamp or something to smack me on the forehead because I just kind of looked at him and was like “Oh OK, so that’s it?” and the woman behind him laughed and said “Yes, Congratulations” and he echoed her!
I left the embassy over-excited, phoned Anthony, half my phone book, stopped a few people in the street, told them, (kidding, but I did have the urge to haha!) and then made my way back to the airport.
All in all, the interview experience lasted about 5-10 minutes and the whole process in the embassy was very straight forward .Providing you have your paperwork ready and you’re prepared for a bit of wait, it really wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be, everyone was really nice!
I’ve now booked a one way flight to New York from Glasgow for the 11th of August, so plenty of time to get my passport back!
I’ll be tracking my case status using my LND case number via the CEAC Website . From what I’ve read it changes to ‘Administrative Processing’ for a couple of days and then to ‘Issued’ and the courier should send you an email, 24 hours before it’s due to be delivered. As my interview was on a Friday and the 4th of July is also next week, I expect a little bit of delay but I’ll do another post about receiving the passport etc.