K-1 Visa Interview Experience at the US Embassy (Manila, Philippines)

Here is my US Embassy Interview Experience at Manila Philippines.

Interview Date: January 17, 2006

I stayed in Lotus Garden Hotel in Ermita. It is probably 10 minutes taxi ride from the U.S Embassy in Manila, Philippines. I stayed there too during my Medical Exam which was held a week before the interview. I liked the hotel because aside from being nice and tidy, the hotel service was also great. It is also close to the venue of the medical exam, just one block from St. Luke Extension building where they do the Medical exam for all the U.S. Visa Applicants. Some U.S. Visa applicants stayed in Miramar hotel (located opposite the US Embassy).

I was getting ready for the my big appointment around 3 o’ clock in the morning. I figured the embassy would be crowded. I arrived outside the Manila U.S. embassy around 3:40 am and I was right, there were so many people already, waiting in line and some sitting. I heard some of them were already there as early as 2 o’ clock in the morning.

Before the security guards let us inside the embassy waiting shed, they checked our Appointment letter and Valid ID (with picture). He checked the applicants appointment time too and guided us which line to join. US. Visa applicants were arranged according to their appointment time.

We were sitting on the waiting shed until around 6:30 as our appointment time set. When the U.S. Embassy finally opened, another guard checked our appointment letter and Valid ID (with picture). Yes! AGAIN. Upon entering inside the embassy building, we went through a scanner. We were told to turn off our cellphones and were asked to deposit phones to a counter. Those that left their cellphones on the counter were given a claim stub to claim it later after the interview. I didn’t have to fight the crowd there because I already knew that I had to leave my phone in the counter (from reading other applicant’s experiences online). I heard it takes longer to get it back because if there are many applicants that leave their cellphones, you’ll have to wait in line again. That’s why I didn’t bring my cellphone. I left it in my hotel room.

Inside the Immigrant Visa Room, we were lining up at the ticket booth area. There, we showed our appointment letter, DS 156,DS157, and DS156K and the proof of payment; the assigned stuff asked for my passport and I told him that the crew at Saint Luke’s Extension took it when I had my medical appointment (it is part of St. Luke process that they get applicants passport and will forward it to the embassy). Another U.S. Embassy staff at the entrance took the 2 sets of DS 156 and 157 (stapled sets A and B) and DS 156K. I am thankful that my forms were completely filed up because some applicants recieved their forms back and were asked to fill up the missing lines. That alone caused more delays for them.

We were asked to sit down and wait for our name to be called at either Window X or Y. The Manila U.S. Embassy used Overhead speakers in paging for our name and directed us which window to go. I was given my appointment number stub. That time, I and the rest of the applicants had to stay focused on the monitor where they flash numbers along with the cubicle number in which applicant need to go. We were all focused on the monitor because the numbers were not flashed or called in order. The flashing boards is located in front where all applicants are asked to sit down.

The various cubes that we need to go were manned by Filipino interviewers. There’s a flat-paneled glass between you and the interviewer. The Filipino interviewer checks and decides whether or not our papers are complete. They don’t make the final decisions, but they do forward their reports to the consul. All U.S. Visa applicants have to be interviewed by them first, before facing the U.S consular officer.

When it was my turn, the Filipina US Embassy interviewer asked me to hand her over our pictures, emails, cards I’ve received from my fiance’, my Birth Certificate, NBI Clearance, Affidavit of Support(notarized), W-2&1040 forms (I’ve given my fiance’s last three years).  As I handed her my documents she asked me few questions like;

  • my name
  • my petitioner’s name
  • my relationship with my petitioner
  • how I met my fiance
  • when did we met
  • when was the last time we met
  • have we seen each other in person
  • some questions about our love story
  • what my fiance’ does for a living
  • when is his birthday
  • have I meet his parents

While I am answering the questions of my Filipina interviewer, she was also scanning at my paper works and looked at some of our pictures and the details I wrote below each pictures. She smiled at me and told me that my papers were complete and gave me a compliment of the way I arranged my papers. That felt good knowing the hard works I’d done arranging those documents and pasting those pictures. After that she gave me back some documents, she showed me my Fiance’s paper works too, the folder he sent to petition me and smiled at me again saying that my fiance’s papers were also complete and well organized. Ah!!!! double compliments. It felt very very good. She seemed friendly and in good mood. I guess I didn’t gave her headache with my papers. Some other Filipina applicants said, they were asked more questions by their Filipino interviewers. I guess it depends who’s handling your case. I am thankful that I wasn’t nervous that day. I knew all about my sweetheart important details and our relationship is genuine. I am thinking that they do all these checking and questioning to check and catch fraud relationships. She gave me my number back, told me to sit and watch for my number in the blinking board for my fingerprinting. She bid me Good luck.

Five minutes later, I was called for fingerprinting. It was quick. Then I had to wait again…wait for my number for the consul interview. I was a little nervous this time because I seen some fellow U.S. Visa applicants crying after coming out from the U.S. consul room. Later my number was flashed and I went to the room I was assigned to go. Inside the room, I smiled and greeted the American Consul, he was in his 40′s. I was asked to raise my right hand and take oath to tell the truth. Then he told me to sit and we had the interview proper. He did not asked me much question, he checked my documents first (these are the papers that the Filipina interviewer handed her) and asked then he asked me;

  • when was I and my fiance’ last talk or saw each other?

I told him we talked on the phone just lastnight before I went to bed. I told him that my fiance’ and I do chat eveyday, we see each other on the webcam and talk on the phone almost twice a day. I waited for his next question. He scan the documents again, he silently read some sample chats and emails we submitted, looked at our pictures together during ,my fiance’s visit and looked at me again. Then he asked me again.

  • what is my fiance’s work?
  • asked if me and my fiance’s parents have seen each other in person

I answered him about my fiance’s job and I told him that I and his parents have not seen in person yet but we talked on the phone. I was waiting for his next question but he didn’t asked anymore. I was a little surprised because most applicants that were interviewed told me the Consul asked them several questions. I believe them too because many of them took so long inside the U.S consul’s booth.

He didn’t asked me again. The American Consul took the huge diagonally striped green and white sticker with the print APPROVED IV, a stack of it was clipped at bottom of the glass window. There’s another stack beside it, but don’t know what those are. I was glad he took the one that says approved. He said we’re done and told me to pay attention to the blinking number board and wait for my number. He did not told me if I am approved or not, but seeing that approved sticker he was holding, even though he had not stick it to my folder yet made me think I am approved. I thanked him and left the room. Some other applicants, those that are still waiting for their number to be called, were wondering why I came out from the booth already. My interview was very short.

Our personal documents (photos, snail mails, receipts) were returned at window 35. All financial documents were kept by the US Embassy. When I was called, the man in window 35 gave me a a pink slip and said that I have to proceed to DELBROS to pay for the visa delivery fee. That’s the time that I felt relieved and this time I am sure that I am approved. I was so happy.

For those US Visa applicants, If you missed seeing the sticker while at the consul’s cube, you may try and take a quick peek during this last step. The sticker should be at the bottom part of your folder cover. Should you be taken into AR (Administrative Review), you will also know during this last part, as they will give you a paper that says so. The person in this counter will also tell you that you are indeed in Administrative Review and to wait for further advice from the embassy.

I paid Php315 at the US Embassy Cashier. I and some other U.S. Visa applicants were glad that we were approved. In the few days that I was processing, I eventually met some US Visa applicants in Manila. For US Visa applicants out there, K-1 or K-2 and other Visa applicants, your path will cross in the Medical Exam building, internet cafe’s close to different hotels near the Embassy, you will meet friends or companions as you go through the process. After I got my K-1 Visa delivery receipt, I hurried back to Lotus Garden Hotel. I was so happy and was so excited. I could not wait to tell my fiance’ that our application was approved. For a while I thought that I should have brought my cellphone, but then seeing the long line of applicants waiting to get their cellphone back inside the embassy, I thought I made the right decision of leaving my cellphone at the hotel.

goodluck visa interview, us visa interview manila, fiancee visa experience manila, manila visa k1 experienceI was approved and we will finally be with each other again, and this time, its for keeps. Three days later, I got my visa. Truly, God is so good!!! When I went outside the embassy, I saw groups of ladies that were looking so sad, their application was put to Administrative Review. I was sorry for the delay of their papers and visa processing. For those applicants who will soon have their interview, be sure you have your papers complete and make sure you know whats in your form, know your inputs, remember important dates and just be ready to anything interviewers might ask. There is nothing to be scared about, as long as you know your fiance/ spouse details and your relationship is for real. It’s okay to be nervous but don’t fear. Just be yourself and don’t forget to bring your heart!

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Readers Comments


  1. Ray & Melanie Ash on February 11, 2011 at 12:05 am said:

    WOW great story!!!
    Congrats on getting your visa approved. My fiance just went through the same thing she described many things as you did however they did not ask for the pictures; she like you took her time cut out nice looking back rounds and pasted the pics to them (I am not saying they wont ask for them, they just didn’t ask her for them), she was also asked a few minor questions and also got approved. The main problem that we had was with her son he is 2 1/2 years old. It was my fault as I was not aware that I had to also pay the Visa fee for him I had looked all over the embassy website and could not find where it stated that I will need to pay the fee for him. So ladies if you have a child that will be included on your K1 make sure your fiance pays the Visa fee for him or her also.

    My best advice is to make sure you have all the papers filled out COMPLETELY. When we would chat through Yahoo I would act like I was doing the interview and would ask her every question I could possibly imagine. She knew all of the answers and then more; I am going to go pick her up and bring her & our son back on 2-28-11 I am so excited to finally have my family with me.

    What many of you do not know is the side of the story of the men that are here in the states trying to get everything organized from filing the paper work to getting the fiance ready to go to the embassy, it is a long and tedious process trying to locate and find out all the information that you will need, the best thing I can tell the men on this side is to search the internet for everything that you will need. Go to the website for the US embassy Philippines, and look for non immigrant visa (required documents) go over the list several times, be prepared to fill out the forms DS-156, DS-156k, DS-157 & DS-160. (fill out these forms completely) Make at least 3 copies of them and Fed-ex them to your fiance it will take a minimum of 3 days for the forms to make it to the Philippines and to be delivered. So make sure you have them ready and there before the appointment date. You will find on the DS-160 form that it will say that it takes place of the other forms, do not believe that they will ask for the other forms mentioned above.

    Also make sure you have your fiance get a minimum of 8 passport style photos, it says on the site 3 however that is not enough. I say 8 as a minimum I had my fiance make 10, she used 8 total. Along with the passport photos have your fiance bring a USB flash drive and have them put a passport style photo on it as you will need it for the DS-160 form (have her upload the pic and email it to you). I also suggest when you are finished filling out the DS-160 form email it to yourself that way you have it and will be able to print it from there. Read through all of the forms and double check spelling, dates, names as any small mistake can delay the visa approval.

    My fiance’s appointment was at 6:15 am I figured she would be in and out in no time, do not fool yourself once they enter the embassy it takes quite a while to get everything done, I did not hear from my fiance until midnight (USA time) the day of her appointment. I also suggest that she leave her cell phone at home or at the motel, make sure you comfort your fiance before she has to go to her appointment as it is a very tiring time for them also. I am not trying to tell anybody how and or what to do just telling of my experience and what I had to do to get my fiance approved.

    I used a lawyer out of Ga even though I live in Tx. They are very good and fast at getting everything done, also not expensive, I think total I paid them not including the fees that have to be paid to different places was just under $1000.00 I will post their contact info if you are interested in giving them a shot at taking care of your K1. They will take good care of you and your fiance.

    Thanks for reading.
    Ray

    Pei-Yao (Monty) Chiu, Esq.
    Monty Chiu & Associates, P.C.
    4491Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross, GA 30092
    (770)416-1850, Fax (770)416-1849
    montyc@montychiu.com
    http://www.montychiu.com

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check immigration status CHECK YOUR CASE STATUS
Track the status of your immigration application or visa petition.

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Schedule a free appointment to visit a local USCIS office and get answers on your case

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K-1 Visa Interview Experience at the US Embassy (Manila, Philippines)

April 29th, 2008

Here is my US Embassy Interview Experience at Manila Philippines.

Interview Date: January 17, 2006

I stayed in Lotus Garden Hotel in Ermita. It is probably 10 minutes taxi ride from the U.S Embassy in Manila, Philippines. I stayed there too during my Medical Exam which was held a week before the interview. I liked the hotel because aside from being nice and tidy, the hotel service was also great. It is also close to the venue of the medical exam, just one block from St. Luke Extension building where they do the Medical exam for all the U.S. Visa Applicants. Some U.S. Visa applicants stayed in Miramar hotel (located opposite the US Embassy).

I was getting ready for the my big appointment around 3 o’ clock in the morning. I figured the embassy would be crowded. I arrived outside the Manila U.S. embassy around 3:40 am and I was right, there were so many people already, waiting in line and some sitting. I heard some of them were already there as early as 2 o’ clock in the morning.

Before the security guards let us inside the embassy waiting shed, they checked our Appointment letter and Valid ID (with picture). He checked the applicants appointment time too and guided us which line to join. US. Visa applicants were arranged according to their appointment time.

We were sitting on the waiting shed until around 6:30 as our appointment time set. When the U.S. Embassy finally opened, another guard checked our appointment letter and Valid ID (with picture). Yes! AGAIN. Upon entering inside the embassy building, we went through a scanner. We were told to turn off our cellphones and were asked to deposit phones to a counter. Those that left their cellphones on the counter were given a claim stub to claim it later after the interview. I didn’t have to fight the crowd there because I already knew that I had to leave my phone in the counter (from reading other applicant’s experiences online). I heard it takes longer to get it back because if there are many applicants that leave their cellphones, you’ll have to wait in line again. That’s why I didn’t bring my cellphone. I left it in my hotel room.

Inside the Immigrant Visa Room, we were lining up at the ticket booth area. There, we showed our appointment letter, DS 156,DS157, and DS156K and the proof of payment; the assigned stuff asked for my passport and I told him that the crew at Saint Luke’s Extension took it when I had my medical appointment (it is part of St. Luke process that they get applicants passport and will forward it to the embassy). Another U.S. Embassy staff at the entrance took the 2 sets of DS 156 and 157 (stapled sets A and B) and DS 156K. I am thankful that my forms were completely filed up because some applicants recieved their forms back and were asked to fill up the missing lines. That alone caused more delays for them.

We were asked to sit down and wait for our name to be called at either Window X or Y. The Manila U.S. Embassy used Overhead speakers in paging for our name and directed us which window to go. I was given my appointment number stub. That time, I and the rest of the applicants had to stay focused on the monitor where they flash numbers along with the cubicle number in which applicant need to go. We were all focused on the monitor because the numbers were not flashed or called in order. The flashing boards is located in front where all applicants are asked to sit down.

The various cubes that we need to go were manned by Filipino interviewers. There’s a flat-paneled glass between you and the interviewer. The Filipino interviewer checks and decides whether or not our papers are complete. They don’t make the final decisions, but they do forward their reports to the consul. All U.S. Visa applicants have to be interviewed by them first, before facing the U.S consular officer.

When it was my turn, the Filipina US Embassy interviewer asked me to hand her over our pictures, emails, cards I’ve received from my fiance’, my Birth Certificate, NBI Clearance, Affidavit of Support(notarized), W-2&1040 forms (I’ve given my fiance’s last three years).  As I handed her my documents she asked me few questions like;

  • my name
  • my petitioner’s name
  • my relationship with my petitioner
  • how I met my fiance
  • when did we met
  • when was the last time we met
  • have we seen each other in person
  • some questions about our love story
  • what my fiance’ does for a living
  • when is his birthday
  • have I meet his parents

While I am answering the questions of my Filipina interviewer, she was also scanning at my paper works and looked at some of our pictures and the details I wrote below each pictures. She smiled at me and told me that my papers were complete and gave me a compliment of the way I arranged my papers. That felt good knowing the hard works I’d done arranging those documents and pasting those pictures. After that she gave me back some documents, she showed me my Fiance’s paper works too, the folder he sent to petition me and smiled at me again saying that my fiance’s papers were also complete and well organized. Ah!!!! double compliments. It felt very very good. She seemed friendly and in good mood. I guess I didn’t gave her headache with my papers. Some other Filipina applicants said, they were asked more questions by their Filipino interviewers. I guess it depends who’s handling your case. I am thankful that I wasn’t nervous that day. I knew all about my sweetheart important details and our relationship is genuine. I am thinking that they do all these checking and questioning to check and catch fraud relationships. She gave me my number back, told me to sit and watch for my number in the blinking board for my fingerprinting. She bid me Good luck.

Five minutes later, I was called for fingerprinting. It was quick. Then I had to wait again…wait for my number for the consul interview. I was a little nervous this time because I seen some fellow U.S. Visa applicants crying after coming out from the U.S. consul room. Later my number was flashed and I went to the room I was assigned to go. Inside the room, I smiled and greeted the American Consul, he was in his 40′s. I was asked to raise my right hand and take oath to tell the truth. Then he told me to sit and we had the interview proper. He did not asked me much question, he checked my documents first (these are the papers that the Filipina interviewer handed her) and asked then he asked me;

  • when was I and my fiance’ last talk or saw each other?

I told him we talked on the phone just lastnight before I went to bed. I told him that my fiance’ and I do chat eveyday, we see each other on the webcam and talk on the phone almost twice a day. I waited for his next question. He scan the documents again, he silently read some sample chats and emails we submitted, looked at our pictures together during ,my fiance’s visit and looked at me again. Then he asked me again.

  • what is my fiance’s work?
  • asked if me and my fiance’s parents have seen each other in person

I answered him about my fiance’s job and I told him that I and his parents have not seen in person yet but we talked on the phone. I was waiting for his next question but he didn’t asked anymore. I was a little surprised because most applicants that were interviewed told me the Consul asked them several questions. I believe them too because many of them took so long inside the U.S consul’s booth.

He didn’t asked me again. The American Consul took the huge diagonally striped green and white sticker with the print APPROVED IV, a stack of it was clipped at bottom of the glass window. There’s another stack beside it, but don’t know what those are. I was glad he took the one that says approved. He said we’re done and told me to pay attention to the blinking number board and wait for my number. He did not told me if I am approved or not, but seeing that approved sticker he was holding, even though he had not stick it to my folder yet made me think I am approved. I thanked him and left the room. Some other applicants, those that are still waiting for their number to be called, were wondering why I came out from the booth already. My interview was very short.

Our personal documents (photos, snail mails, receipts) were returned at window 35. All financial documents were kept by the US Embassy. When I was called, the man in window 35 gave me a a pink slip and said that I have to proceed to DELBROS to pay for the visa delivery fee. That’s the time that I felt relieved and this time I am sure that I am approved. I was so happy.

For those US Visa applicants, If you missed seeing the sticker while at the consul’s cube, you may try and take a quick peek during this last step. The sticker should be at the bottom part of your folder cover. Should you be taken into AR (Administrative Review), you will also know during this last part, as they will give you a paper that says so. The person in this counter will also tell you that you are indeed in Administrative Review and to wait for further advice from the embassy.

I paid Php315 at the US Embassy Cashier. I and some other U.S. Visa applicants were glad that we were approved. In the few days that I was processing, I eventually met some US Visa applicants in Manila. For US Visa applicants out there, K-1 or K-2 and other Visa applicants, your path will cross in the Medical Exam building, internet cafe’s close to different hotels near the Embassy, you will meet friends or companions as you go through the process. After I got my K-1 Visa delivery receipt, I hurried back to Lotus Garden Hotel. I was so happy and was so excited. I could not wait to tell my fiance’ that our application was approved. For a while I thought that I should have brought my cellphone, but then seeing the long line of applicants waiting to get their cellphone back inside the embassy, I thought I made the right decision of leaving my cellphone at the hotel.

goodluck visa interview, us visa interview manila, fiancee visa experience manila, manila visa k1 experienceI was approved and we will finally be with each other again, and this time, its for keeps. Three days later, I got my visa. Truly, God is so good!!! When I went outside the embassy, I saw groups of ladies that were looking so sad, their application was put to Administrative Review. I was sorry for the delay of their papers and visa processing. For those applicants who will soon have their interview, be sure you have your papers complete and make sure you know whats in your form, know your inputs, remember important dates and just be ready to anything interviewers might ask. There is nothing to be scared about, as long as you know your fiance/ spouse details and your relationship is for real. It’s okay to be nervous but don’t fear. Just be yourself and don’t forget to bring your heart!

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