Note: This K1 Visa Interview Walkthrough might be outdated as this was based on my experience at the US Embassy Manila (USEM) in June 13th, 2013. This should give you an idea on what will take place though.
The K1 Visa Interview appointment date you have scheduled has come. Make sure you’ve gathered all your required documents. Always check the U.S. Embassy Manila’s Website for news/announcements, most especially about updates on required documents. As far as I know, all interviews are held at the New Office Annex Building of the U.S. Embassy, also called as NOX1. Again, check their website, or call their hotline.
I know how you feel. I was nervous myself even though my then-fiancé-now-husband was there with me. Yes, US Citizens are allowed to enter the US Embassy premises without hassle. They just have to have their U.S. passport with them.
Dress like you’re showing up for a Job Interview. Demand respect for what you wear. Wearing flashy clothes is a no-no. Also, don’t go looking like you just got out of bed. ;)
Be on time. Show up at least 30 minutes before your appointment.
No electronics allowed. No cellphones, mp3 players, tablets, nothing. Not even a USB Flash drive. Please leave it at home or at the hotel.
Backpacks are not allowed either. Sling bags/Purses, Plastic File folders, Messenger Bags are good.
Eat a heavy breakfast. Your appointment starts early in the morning and would end at almost lunch time.
Most of all, Be honest.
1. K1 Visa appointments are usually at 7:30am. Be there at least 30 minutes before your appointment.
2. Get in line. There is a line for Fiancé(e)’s/Spouses separate from other Visa applicants (Seafarers, Tourists, etc.)
3. Prepare the following as these will be checked by the attendant at the front of the line:
4. The attendant will affix an appointment sticker on your passport and it will be placed inside a ZipLock bag with the page turned to your Bio page. It will be given back to you.
5. You will be directed to a door where you as the applicant is supposed to enter. You will go through a security checkpoint. If your US Citizen Fiancé(e) is with you, they will go through a separate door.
6. Outside the security room, after you’re cleared to pass through of course, you will line up to get your Queue Number. This line leads to a window where you need to show your Passport, Interview Appointment Letter / Confirmation Email, and your DS-160 Confirmation Page.
7. You will be given a queue number. You must remember this number (or at least keep it handy) because this would be your number throughout the process inside USEM. Your number will be flashed several times on the Queue/Number Boards.
8. You will then be instructed to drop those items mentioned above at Window 39 inside the main annex building. There’s another security checkpoint here.
9. Drop your documents at Window 39 and wait for your number to flash on the Announcement Boards.
10. From the first step until Window 39, it should all just take 15 minutes. Waiting for your number to be called might take 30 minutes to 1 hour each step.
11. There are a lot of seats with ample leg room. You’d be more or less comfortable. If you get hungry or thirsty, just outside the building (still inside the US Embassy) is a waiting area with concessionaires. I’d still recommend eating a heavy breakfast because food there is a bit pricey.
12. There are 4 main parts of the process (Biometrics and Pre-screening are interchangeable in order):
13. Your number will be flashed on the Announcement Board and it will direct you to a window where a step has to be taken.
14. Biometrics Window – Your information and petitioner’s information will be asked of you. Fingerprints for both your hands will be taken by through a biometrics scanner.
15. It will probably an hour wait from the Biometrics (or Pre-screening, whatever comes first) to the Pre-screening (…or Biometrics) Window. Watch out for your number on the Announcement Boards.
16. Pre-screening Window – You will be greeted by a Filipino Consular Officer. You will be asked of the following documents:
17. You will be told to sit down and wait for your number to be called, this time for the Interview. Wait for your number on the Announcement Boards again.
18. Interview Window – An American Consular officer will interview you. This would last about 5-15 minutes. They will verify your information. Ask you questions about you and your petitioner. They may or may not ask for some documentation and/or photos from you and if they do, they will return the photos to you after. Three (3) things you need to remember:
19. If you have been previously issued a B1/B2 Visitor Visa before, the consular officer will ask you to submit it to him/her so he/she will be able to cancel it. Also, The Consular Officer *may or may not* tell you right away that you are approved, denied or if they are going to issue you a 221(G) (Request for Additional Documents). You will be asked to be seated again.
20. You will have to wait for your number to be flashed on the Announcement Boards again. This time, it’s in the Releasing Information Window.
21. This will be one of the last steps. And hopefully, you will be hearing good news: Your visa is approved, it will be delivered to the address you specified on your online scheduling (or you may ask them if you need to change the delivery option)
22. If you are given a 221(G) Request for Additional Documents, don’t despair. Just comply with what’s needed from you. If they tell you that you need to wait to hear from them, then just follow-up by contacting the US Embassy through phone. They may need additional time to process your visa application, doing background checks and such. Just standard procedure. Do not lose the two (2) sheets that will be given to you. You need to submit these sheets when you send your 221G to USEM through 2GO.*
*Note: 221G instructions are now sent through the applicant’s email.
23. If you get refused, my sincerest apologies. You may want to look at your entire case and see if there are red flags. You may want to contact an immigration lawyer afterwards.
24. If you want to change your delivery address to SM Mall of Asia pickup, you have at least until 12 midnight of that day of your interview to change it online, where you scheduled it. They will hand out a leaflet with steps for you to follow.
25. Track your Passport / Visa Status through CEAC, The US Embassy’s Passport Tracker and 2GO.
If you do get approved, please accept my Congratulations. :D You will be on Cloud 9 …and of course, Best wishes! :)
NOTE: Some Consular Officers need some time to review your case that’s why they don’t tell you right away if you’re approved or not. Don’t Worry, just keep track of your Visa Status on CEAC »
Disclaimer: I do not work for nor am I affiliated with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and the U.S. Embassy Manila, Philippines. This guide was made with the sole intention of helping other K1 applicants to understand what goes on during the K1 Visa Process. For the full disclaimer, please click here.