The interview is pretty much a strait forward process. I was at the interview with my fiancé as were many other men with their fiancés. For one thing, I wanted to be there to support her. My fiancé is very emotional and I knew that she would be an emotional wreck at the interview. I was there to bolster her courage.
Also, Warsaw is a big city and I wanted to be there to accompany her in a big city she didn’t know very well.
But the main reason I was there was primarily because I didn’t want any last minute glitches. To use a football analogy: The ball was on the one-yard line. I was going to make sure the ball made it into the end zone.
I would never forgive myself if something went wrong at the end. I had worked too hard to get things to this point. I wasn’t taking any chances.
I made airline reservations to bring my fiancé home the day after our interview. I was that confident that we would get the fiancé visa approved. After all, we had done everything we could to insure that the process would go smoothly.
The interview was scheduled for early morning. It took about five minutes. They asked me a number of questions such as how had we met, how long had we known each other, how many times had we met together in person.
They asked my wife the same questions in Russian that they had asked me in English. She gave them the same answers as I had given them, except in Russian. Our stories matched up. They were consistent.
After a few minutes, the man behind the glass said to her, “Welcome to America!”
My wife smiled and gave out a “Whippee!”
The man at the embassy then told us to come back at five o’clock that evening to get the visa.
When we came back, we were one of six people who received a visa. Three other couples – all the couples where the man accompanied his fiancé to the interview – were given visas.
Two other single women were given visas. Three other single women were not given visas. Their paperwork was not complete.
That night we celebrated at dinner. My wife called her mother on the phone and gave her the news.
Her mother cried and cried. She knew that it would be a long time before she would see her little girl again. She was off to America.
Recently, I have heard that some of the US embassies are not giving out fiancé visas the same day that they are approved because of extra security procedures implemented since the September 11 attacks.
It is best to find out beforehand if your fiancé will receive a visa the same day she has the interview – so you don’t make plane reservations you can’t keep.
In addition, I have also heard that US embassies were slowing down the processing of all visas, including fiancé visas, right after September 11. Fiancé visas that might have been handled in six months are taking nine months and longer to be processed.