Posts Tagged 'visa interview'

The visa interview

It was an average Tuesday morning on which husband and I took off for a trip to the local US Consulate. We’d been ‘camping’ in our home since the weekend, because all our stuff had been picked up and moved to people in need. Not that we didn’t throw things away, but compared to the boxes and boxes of plates, pots, knives, and the bags of pillows, blankets and actual furniture, we really only discarded the most used up things.

So, we got up off our mattress on the floor, used our two remaining knives to make some breakfast, grabbed seven inches of paperwork and left.

We were early. When we arrived, no one else was there yet. Fifteen minutes later a long line had formed, and by the time the consulate opened, there were some 30 people present. They let me in first (preparation is key: bring your appointment letter, bring _NO_ electronics and prepare to take your shoes off and leave all your bags at security) and I entered a tiny little building. There are no private interview rooms. First, you get called over to one window, for fingerprinting, passport checking (you won’t get it back) and general red tape. Then, another window, for the actual interview. The consular officer was done with me in five minutes, after asking me about Beloved’s name, our wedding date, where we’d move to and what I’d do there and the story of how we met.

A passport lighter (and about half a gallon in sweat because I was nervous), I stepped back out, wishing some people still in line the best of luck.

The next day, the mail man arrived and asked me to sign for my passport and the notorious brown ‘envelope’  (it’s the size of a street tile and weighs about as much).

Housing matters

Picture by Vanderbolt-0 under a Creative Commons LIcense


Ten days until our lease of an apartment in California starts.

Thirty-something days until we hand over they keys to this house to the buyer we found.

Wait, maybe I should announce that with a bit more fanfare..




We didn’t even make a loss. Sure, alright, we didn’t make much money on it either, but to sell – in this market – in six months, without losing money.. It’s a rarity. People are positively envious.

And we’re mostly happy because it helps us leave everything behind and proceed on the road to owning less, to simplifying and to living life lightly. We start packing up our books today, have some possessions already ‘labeled’  for their new owners and will otherwise do a lot of donating, giving away and throwing out. It will be glorious. Life will be compacted into a trekking backpack and a  carry-on bag for each of us.

I can start planning for a goodbye party. And I can start fretting about the medical appointment that I have to undergo before I can go to my visa interview on June 25.

Interview date

The next step after a case complete, is the assignment of an interview date at your local consulate.

Which has happened. *yay* *squee*. Unfortunately it has also happened later than I had hoped (and, frankly, expected). Not that it matters all that much, because an appointment is an appointment and as far as visa timelines go we’ve been incredibly lucky (and pretty well organized) and are ahead of the curve in terms of how long these processes frequently take.

A quick timeline:

  • NOA1 (confirmation of petition received by USCIS) November 8, 2012
  • NOA2 (USCIS approves petition by US citizen and allows case to progress to national Visa Center) January 2, 2013
  • Case Complete (National Visa Center has formally ‘accepted’  original petition by USCIS + evidence of monetary sufficiency by US Citizen + visa application by foreign spouse), April 15, 2013
  • Interview Date (with local consulate), June 24, 2013

General counsel is to not make any travel arrangements until after the interview is passed and the visa is ‘ in hand’. However, the summer holidays are coming, ticket prices are skyrocketing and we’ve got a lease on an apartment that starts June 1st. So, we’re seriously considering booking tickets already. Due to the time needed to actually put the visa in my passport, we’re not comfortable leaving less than 8 days after the interview. Which places us right in the first week of the high season (and the 4th of July rush).

We’ll have to see about how to handle that one..