Today I will share my CR1(Spousal Visa) Interview at the US Embassy in Manila, though, it was more than a year ago.
I am from Mindanao, yet, I lived (stayed) in Iloilo City, Philippines during my whole visa process. The National Visa Center (NVC) gave me an appointment ( Interview Sched) at 8:30 AM, January 10, 2012 at the US Embassy in Manila, 1201 Roxas Blvd, Manila 1000, Philippines ( http://manila.usembassy.gov/contact.html )
I flew from Iloilo at noon of January 9, 2012, arrived in Manila in the afternoon and stayed at Hotel Soriente. (http://www.hotelsoriente.com/). Hotel Soriente is 7 to 10 minutes walk to the US Embassy. I preferred to stay in this Hotel because this is where I stayed during my medical. I want to be comfortable a night before my interview and I love this place.
The night before my interview, I reviewed all my documents and make sure that I didn't forget anything. (But I didn't realized I forget 1 important thing). I prepared my clothes that I will be wearing the next day. I wore skirt, blouse
THE BIG DAY!!!!!!
Since, I haven't slept the whole night because of nervousness and I am scared to sleep because I might don't get up early and miss the appointment. I got up at 4:00 am. I prepared myself and left as early as 5:00 am. I preferred riding a taxi going the to the Embassy than walking. When I arrived, there are many people outside but they are not in the line yet. I met some friends that I knew online (Visa Journey). We're in the same Visa Category (CR1). At that point, I realized that I need a 2x2 ID, which is I thought I had :(. (Not so smart). But luckily there are people there who took pictures for an ID and got a set of them, of course I paid P120.00 pesos. I was so nervous because the line keeps moving and I don't have the ID's yet on my hand and I am very close to guard that will let us in. But thanks God, it came right before my turn to come in... So, don't forget your 2x2 ID before your Interview, so you will not be like me having an unnecessary stress.
So, while on the line you need to prepare your PASSPORT, APPOINTMENT LETTER and 1 more thing (honestly,I forget what was it). But you will know when you're there.The guard will give you a form base in your Visa Category. Also, be prepared for the guard will pat you down or search or check, whatever you call that when you enter the premises. Make sure don't bring any prohibited items inside the US Embassy.
* Electronic Devices ( cellphone, camera, etc)
* Food ( There are some food stand inside, hotdog, etc)
* Big Bags (purse or shoulder bag is allowed)
*** I am not sure if this is really what happened. There are vendors who are selling pens outside and one of them wants me to buy a pen because she said "sign pen" is not allowed to use. I bought one but when I was inside I forget if where I put the pen so I ask the lady behind the window if I can use my " sign pen" and she said, "of course". So, I used my "sign pen" for everything.
After the guard will check your passport, appointment letter and give you the form you will come in drop your belongings in a scanner plus another set of guards will check/search you.
Next, just follow their instructions or follow the line. You will be heading to the windows that will give you a "Number". Then, after you got your number go inside the US Embassy and another search/check/scan in the door by the guards. After the search/check/scan is complete find a seat. Make sure to sit to where your Visa Category belongs too. I sit on the right side, visible to the windows that calling numbers.
After, more or less 15 minutes my number was called ( I forget what is the number of the window) by a Filipina pre-screener. She asked for the 2x2 ID, Passport and ask me to sign the DS230 Page II (during the visa application or dS230 packet application, don't sign the DS230 Page II). So, that's where or the time the DS230 Page II will be signed and dated. She also asked me some questions like
*WHERE YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND MET ,
*WHAT HIS JOB, HIS BIRTHDAY, MY BIRTHDAY,
*HOW LONG I WORKED in HONG KONG).
*SHE ALSO ASKED A COPY of MY DS-230 ( Good thing I brought One)
After, I answered those questions she told me to have a seat and wait for my number to be called again.
Every interview is different and we don't know what documents they will ask inside the USEM.
So, make sure to bring a COPIES (photocopies) of ALL THE DOCUMENTS you submitted to the NVC.... BRING BOTH copies of AOS PACKET (Petitioner) and DS-230 PACKET (Beneficiary) to the interview. Don't forget to bring aa copies of all the LEGAL DOCUMENTS as well like Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, Divorce Decree, etc.
Then, after more that 2 hours of waiting, the lady in Window 67 (if I am not mistaken) called my number. She is a white lady with nice smile and very accommodating. She asked me if I preferred to use TAGALOG or ENGLISH. I told her that English is fine. She said " Okay" and we proceed. She place me under an "OATH" that I am going to say is only the Truth and nothing but the Truth. After the oath taking, she checked my documents/file on hand and asked some Questions:
CO: Who is your Petitioner?
Me: I gave my husband's name
CO: When is his Birthday?
ME: I gave my husband's birth date.
CO: When is your Birthday?
Me: I gave my birthday
CO: How did you meet?
Me: I told her how we met, when and where.
CO: What is the job of the Petitioner:
ME: I told her the job of my husband.
CO: You have co-sponsor, what is your relationship/husband relations with the co-sponsor?
ME: I told her about the co-sponsor.
CO: What is the job of the co-sponsor?
ME: Manager in ....................
CO: You've been to other countries?
ME: Yes, in HK, Thailand and England.
CO: How long you stayed there?
ME: HK more than six months and the rest less than a month.
*** The CO checked my documents/files***
CO: ah, okay, you have your HK Police Clearance here.
CO: Okay, Congratulations, Your VISA is APPROVED. Go, to the next window for your Visa Delivery instruction..
*** I went to the next window (I forgot the number of the window) - the guy in-charge in that window will ask you of where to deliver your Visa.
Me: Thank you.
Guy: Where do you want to deliver your Visa?
ME: Honestly, I am not sure because I am from Visayas.
Guy: Okay, I will give the address of the Mall of Asia and you can pick up your Visa there.
ME: Okay, Thank you.
*** He gave me the address of the Mall of Asia***
ME: I will be leaving on the 18th, do you think my visa will arrive then?
Guy: Actually, I am not sure... But you are fine.
ME: Okay, thank you very much.
I am DONE before NOON and happily eat my lunch in Jollibee next to the hotel while talking to my husband on the Phone and he is very happy too.... :)
Glory to God....
---- Don't miss my next post an awesome experienced and hopefully will be your inspiration too.
It is about my VISA pick-up, CFO Stamping and Departure ----------