Tuesday, May 3, 2011


[direct copy and paste of my review on VisaJourney]

I’ve been waiting months to write this review, and now I finally can! ^_^

So, I got up at 5:15am this morning. Didn’t get much sleep. Only about 2 hours. Couldn’t stop thinking about the interview and what questions I would be asked. I somehow managed to get dressed this morning, do my hair and makeup, and remember to bring everything I needed to. Phew!

My father and I left at 5:45am and got to the consulate faster than I thought as there was no traffic. My dad dropped me off at the front of the building at 6:30am and he went off to Tim Horton’s to wait for me there. I was the first one at the consulate!

I was pretty much all alone waiting by the side doors for about 30 minutes until fellow VJ member Minted7 arrived with her husband. A couple of people arrived soon thereafter and within the next 30 minutes, the line got pretty long, maybe 15-20 people.

Around 7:30am, the lights inside turned on and I spotted 3 guards. A few minutes later, one of them came down and took off the chains and unlocked the front doors. Someone tried butting in front of us, but the guard didn’t let him go. So, the guard waved me forward, showed him the first page of my interview letter and my passport. He looked inside my bag and then directed me to go up a small flight of stairs and then wait. A second officer opened the doors and let me through. I was instructed to take off my sweater and anything in my pockets as well as any watches or bracelets. I passed him my bag with my folder in it and everything was passed through the scanner. I then had to walk through a scanner myself and collected my things. The officer told me to go through the door, walk down the stairs, and wait for someone to bring us up by elevator at 8am.

I was the first one down in the basement and sat in the chair closest by the elevator. Minted7 then came a few minutes later and they both sat down beside me. We had to all wait down there for about 30 minutes until an officer arrived by elevator at 8am to take us up. He wanted to see the interview letter and then let us board. I immediately went to the back and stood to the left. Let me tell you, it’s a good thing I’m not claustrophobic, because that officer herded a lot of us inside. And also to mention, that was the smoothest elevator ride I’ve ever had. I barely felt like I was moving.

As soon as the doors open, the receptionist was standing there and directed all of us to the left. We then lined up in front of window 14A/14B. The receptionist told me to wait till the lady behind the window was ready. Within a few seconds, the lady pulled up the blind behind the window and waved me forward. She asked for my interview letter and my passport, checked it then handed it back to me. She asked what I was here for, I replied an immigrant visa, and then she issued me two pieces of paper with a number on it. I got C1!!

I was then told to go sit down and wait to be called. But by the time I got to the middle of the room, my number buzzed on the board, and the receptionist told me to go down the hallway to window 10. The man behind the window asked for my number. He tore off one of them and handed the other to me. He then asked for my passport and interview letter. He kept the passport, but handed me back the interview letter. After a few seconds, he then asked for my 2 passport pictures. I took them out of my plastic bag and handed them over. Finally he asked for my medical results. He didn’t ask for the X-ray as I presumed. My fingerprints were then taken. He then handed me a DS-230 and told me to fill it out. I smiled and told him I already had a copy that was filled out. He said great, just go over to the next window, 11, and the lady there would take the rest of my paperwork.

So, I saddled over to the next window. The lady asked for my DS-230 which I handed over. She then asked for my original birth and marriage certificate. Handed that over. She asked for the AOS package. Had that out already and gave it to her. She gave me back the cover sheet, cover letter, as well as the pay stubs. When she got to the transcripts, I told her I had 2010 ones, so I gave those to her. In return, she gave me the 2007, 2008, and 2009 transcripts. Then finally she asked for my police certificate and told me to go back to the waiting room, sit down and wait to be called.

By the time I got back to the waiting room, it was only 8:15am. Sat down next to Minted7 and her husband and waited. Within 5 minutes, they were both called up to the interview room. About 10 minutes later, I was called up by name to booth 7. They were just leaving and said they were just approved!

The booth is slightly more private than the other windows. There’s a chair inside that you can put your stuff on. There was a really nice blonde-haired lady behind the booth. She never asked me to raise my hand or swear to any oath like I’ve read in other reviews. She just looked over my DS-230 and asked me 2 questions. Just two! She first asked where my husband lived. I replied South Dakota. We kind of laughed how it was going to be a big change, going from a big city to a small one (I love you, dear husband, I do <3). Her second question was how did we meet. I replied online and she asked what website. I told her it was through a video game actually, World of Warcraft. She said she’s heard of a lot of people meeting there. She then slipped me the DS-230 and asked me to sign Part II. Which was hard as my hands were shaking, but I managed. I can’t really recall if she said “you’re approved”, but she slipped me the “welcome to the USA letter”. I have yet to even read it, lol. After that, she told me I would have to come back later as there was a problem with my fingerprints. She asked if I could come back in a few hours and if I can stick around Montreal for awhile. I told her I lived north of Montreal. She then told me to just go wait in the next room where I had handed over my documents and to tell one of the guys to call for her, Joan, and she would re-do them for me. I was so thankful she was willing to re-do them right away instead of waiting a few hours.

So, I headed next door and sat down. After about 5 minutes, one of the guys behind the windows called me up. I told him I had to re-do my fingerprints and that I was told to call for Joan. He said alright and told me to sit back down, they’d go get her. Waited about a minute, then I spotted Joan who had just interviewed me. She typed a few things on the computer and then told me to put my fingers on the screen. After they scanned everything, she told me they turned out good and smiled. She asked if she had given me the confirmation letter from the interview, and I said yes. I asked her if I was all done and could leave. She said yes and smiled. I thanked her and left, smiling.

I quickly left the building. It was just a little before 9am! So, it definitely pays off to get there early because you get out super fast. Even though I’m only running on 2 hours of sleep, it was worth it as I got out in less than 2 hours. There was a lot of people when I left and I’m sure they’re gonna be there for awhile.

Now all I have to do is wait for my visa by DHL and then moving next week! Yay! ^___^


  1. Yayyyyyyyy congratulations!!!!!!! Very happy for you and ur hubby...I too will be moving next week to Florida. I've already done my POE and it was busy due to the Easter weekend but all went well. Sad that I had to come back but I needed to make sure I gave my job 2 weeks notice to be able to transfer to one of the companies in Florida..all in all good luck with all the packing if you have any and WELCOME TO AMERICA

  2. Thank you! Ohh, where in Florida? I used to live in Naples, Florida for 2 years! :)

    Hopefully it won't be too busy at the border next week as I have to pick up a car rental in Vermont. no holiday next week so I should be fine. Glad I don't have a job so no 2 weeks notice required from me. And I don't have much packing to do. It's been pretty much all done for months now, lol.

  3. Lol that's really good!! I'll be in fort lauderdale..my problem is I'm wondering if since I already did my POE if I have to declare my personal effects. I already started writing out every item that's in my bag..lol..can't seem
    To find much info on that...all i really have is two suitcases of clothes...

  4. Ah, Fort Lauderdale. I think I've only been there once to take a flight, lol.
    I think you just need to declare what you're bringing over, but not item by item. If it's just 2 suitcases of clothes, then you're fine. You can always call up CBP and ask them.

  5. That's true!!! Well good luck with everything!!!

  6. And good luck with you too! :)

  7. I was about to read your post when a friend came over to visit... all the time he was here I kept thinking about your post and couldn't wait to read it!!!
    I'm so so happy you got it :)
    I have a question regarding the DS230 form, I wonder if I need to fill in one too... anyways we need to wait to get a CC first, ha!
    Congrats, Lindsay!

  8. Congrats! I totally met my wife on WOW as well. Was expecting a look of shame for that one.

  9. Haha, Sarai! That's too funny! Glad you finally got to read my post.
    If I were you I'd bring a copy of the DS-230 just in case. It would never hurt. I'm so glad I did as it's pretty much mandatory at the moment at Montreal until they get used to the new system.
    And thank you!

    And Blake, thanks! And no shame on meeting your wife through WoW. Great place to meet people! :D

  10. Congratulations! Jake and I are so happy for you. Your blog has helped us SO MUCH through this whole process. Really, you have been key. We finally just got our NVC case number, and are looking forward to being in the States soon...a big thanks to you! You were a shoo-in for that visa. Congrats, again! (PS - love the hair!)

  11. Thank you so much! And I'm so glad my blog has helped you! That was the whole reason behind it! And congrats on getting your NVC case number! The next week or two is gonna fly by as you'll be busy! If you're quick in NVC, you can be in the US late summer/early fall! And thank you, I am in LOVE with my hair, omg. I spend way too much time in front of a mirror now just admiring my hair! XD

  12. congratulations!!! did they say how long you have to wait to get your visa in mail? do you have to select the DHL service before your interview?

  13. Nope, the lady at the interview didn't say anything. But it can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks (or even longer). And yes, you have to sign up before the interview unless you want to delay things.

  14. Congratulation Saylin!!! Wonderful news, very happy for you and your husband!! Wow just two questions!!

  15. Thank you! ^___^ And yes, only 2 questions! I still can't believe how lucky I got! I was so expecting to be asked about my 2 previous denials. And maybe a question on my previous visa. But nope! :)

  16. I am going to Montreal as well for my interview. In regards to the DS 230, I filed mine online- I have a copy printed out to take with me, but do I need to fill one out there? If yes, do I need to fill out parts one and two, or just two because you have to sign it there?? Soooo confusing.

  17. Yes, I did the DS-260 online as well as it's mandatory, but Montreal has still not gotten used to the new system. So they require everyone to fill out the WHOLE DS-230 (this includes both parts). Just don't sign part 2, you'll do that there in front of the person who interviews you.

  18. Sigh, Just when I think I'm all done. It seems kind of counter productive, doesn't it? The DS 230 asked for such ridiculously detailed information, I was so happy to eliminate some of that with the online version.

  19. Actually, back in February, the DS-260 asked even more information than the DS-230 and was even more ridiculous. But within a month, the DS-260 was edited and no longer asked that information. Trust me, the DS-230 is a piece of cake to fill out compared to the DS-260 I and many others had to fill out.

  20. When I orginally thought that I had to fill out the DS 230, I couldn't believe that it asked you to account for EVERY trip you had ever made to the US (umm... does that include shopping trips to Buffalo, airport pick ups, etc?!) and all my jobs for the past 10 years - no way I can remember all that. But the DS 260 didn't ask for as much detail.

  21. It asked for that on the DS-260 that I had to fill out. Except they limited the trips to the last 5. But for Canada, since we border the USA, it's common for many Canadians to travel across the border frequently. So, for the DS-230, I listed the last 7 or so that I remembered, then I made a note below that since I was born, I had been making trips each year for short durations to the USA and that I was properly inspected each time by a CBP officer. Voila. As for the employment, be grateful. On the DS-260 I had to fill out, they wanted name, address, and phone number of the company, as well as supervisor's name and position. But apparently, they removed all that on the DS-260 and barely ask anything now.

  22. So, even with a copy of the DS 260 I filed online and then printed afterwards, I can't just give them that when they ask? I still have to fill out another form. Ugh I leave in the morning and DO NOT want to fill out another form! I'm too sleepy lol.

  23. Yup, they'll still want a DS-230 filled out. As sleepy as you are, either fill it out now or wait till the interview and fill it out then, but you'd be wasting time. Up to you :P

  24. Haha yeah definitely don't want to do it at the interview. Ok 2 more questions:

    I noticed on your blog that you said you got denied while trying to go into the US. This happened to me as well. Did you explain this on the DS 260/ DS 230. How did you explain it?

    Also, all my original documents were sent to NVC. Did they ask you for yours because you had filed everything online? I was also a little confused as to why they asked for your I864, as I provided them with that and the documents, and had a freak out tonight bc I didn't have a copy of hubbys 2009 tax return to put with my I864 copy.

    Sorry for all the questions- as I'm sure you can understand, I am kind of freaking out!

  25. Yes, there's a question on both the DS-260 and DS-230 asking about this. I got denied twice, so I had a paragraph for each, and just explained what happened. This is what I wrote:

    "Yes, I have been refused twice before.
    The first time I was refused was on August 17th, 2010 at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport in Montreal, Quebec. I was planning on going back to live with my husband and I thought I could adjust status once back in South Dakota. I was informed by an officer that this was not allowed and to move to the United States I would need an immigrant visa first. The officer created an alien registration number for me and I signed a ‘Withdrawal of Application for Admission’ form.
    The second time I was refused was on August 28th, 2010 at the Montreal/Plattsburgh land border. After mailing the I-130, I wanted to go visit my husband in South Dakota for a few weeks. I was told by the officer there that I am no longer considered a visitor, but an intending immigrant instead since I filed the I-130 and that I will have to wait for an approved visa before entering the United States."

    Of course, you should write your own explanation as to what happened to you as I'm sure the exact same thing didn't happen to you as it did to me.

    I did electronic processing, so they didn't have any originals. They asked for the original birth certificate and marriage certificate (which they later gave back) and then for the original police certificate (obviously didn't get back). If you sent yours already, then they probably won't be requested of you, but given back to you instead. And they asked for my I-864 since I did EP and they want the original package. That's the agreement when you do EP. You agree to bring all original forms and documents with you so they can be handed in at the time of the interview. If you didn't do EP and submitted everything by snail mail, then they won't ask this of you either as they already have it.

    And don't worry about the questions. I'm here to answer them :)

  26. Ok perfect. Thanks so much, you have really helped me a lot today as I was doing my last minute "google freak out" lol.

    My interview is on Monday so I hope you won't mind if I send you anymore last minute questions over the weekend!

  27. Glad I was able to help! And yes, if you have any questions at all, don't even think of hesitating to ask! I'll answer as soon as I can :)

  28. I was approved!!! Your info on filling out that form and being there early, etc definitely helped! The second guy, that took the DS 230 was so intimidating, and kind of rude- he fired so many questions at me that I was thinking to myself "wait, am I in my interview right now?!" but then he told me to go sit down. I was so nervous, but I couldn't believe when I was called back up and the blond lady asked me to sign it with no questions at all! I was like "That's it? I can leave, and this is all over?!Don't you have to like...give me something saying I was approved??" lol.
    One more question- I signed up for the DHL thing like a month ago, and I can't remember if they gave ma any instructions or anything. How will I know when my passport has been shipped, or track it??
    ALSO- I was chating with a very nice woman in line in the morning and I told her how I had found this blog that was very helpful, and she was like "Was it Saylin's?" Hahah- you're an immigration superstar!

  29. Yay, grats on getting approved!

    I think I know what guy you got. When I was handing in my documents, a VJ friend was the window over, and I overheard her answering a bunch of questions from this guy. I'm guessing you got the same one.

    And wow, the blonde lady didn't ask you any questions?! Lucky! She's the actual interview person. She was supposed to give you this paper, saying welcome to the USA or something, with instructions on the back for DHL. But if you didn't get it, it's not a big deal.

    For the DHL, if you log onto the CSC site, there should be a 7-digit reference ID number in the box with your name and passport number. Take that number and use it on DHL.ca. You can track your package that way, although it might not show up until the package is actually at the DHL location. You might also get an email/call from DHL with a waybill number. On the CSC site, the waybill number will be eventually posted.

    And omg, really?! I didn't realise my blog was that well-known! I am so glad it's helped so many people though. It's the reason I created it in the first place! :D

  30. Ummm...CSC website? I don't think I know what that is...lol. Could you explain? (I feel like I find out something new every day!)
    Yes, the second guy was terrible! So many questions and I could barely hear him because he kept moving around with all my papers and stuff, not speaking directly to me. The blond lady pretty much gave me my originals back, then asked me to sign, and then asked afterwards where we met and if we had kids, but it seemed more like she asked just being friendly. The first thing she said when I walked up was "So you married an American eh?" lol. She did give me the DHL sheet, but there was no welcome to America thing on the back. She just said my passport would be mailed back to me and there would be info on the next step with it.

  31. The CSC website is where you signed up for DHL :P Here: http://usvisa-info.com/en-CA/selfservice/ss_country_welcome

    And I know what you mean about not hearing them. That glass is thick, and sometimes I was like what did you just ask.

    And yeah, with the blonde lady, it was more like a friendly conversation than an interview.

    I didn't really look at the sheet that the lady gave me. I know it was DHL information on one side, then a lot of paragraphs on the front, talking about the visa I believe.

  32. Hahahaha wow. I love that half the time I should know something, but I have no idea what I'm doing.
    Thanks for all your help!! When are you going to the US??

  33. Haha, you're welcome!
    I'm leaving tomorrow actually! Gonna drive there, so I should get there Saturday sometime.

  34. hi, where can you find the DS 230 form online to print out and fill in before the interview?

    are there any other forms needed to be filled out ahead of time?

    also, whats the AOS package? is it the I-1864 ez form package with the tax/pay stub info?


    my husband wants to come to the interview with me (hes a us citizen) will they allow him to come with me??



  35. The DS-230 can be found here: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81807.pdf

    Nope, that's the only form that needs to be filled out ahead of time.

    Yes, the AOS package is the I-864 and tax documents package. Make sure you bring it all as they'll request it at the interview.

    Yup, of course US citizens are allowed inside! It IS a US consulate after all! And they're even allowed inside the interview room as well :)

  36. Thanks so much for posting about your experience. My husband and I have our greencard interview coming up this Thursday in Montreal. I was wondering if you were assigned an interview time? we have an interview time of 10am. Do you think we should still show up at 6am because of wait time outside? Or do you think our given interview time would allow us to get in front of others waiting without a slotted time?

  37. *visa interview, not green card

    And yes, I was assigned a time for 8am. Everyone gets assigned a time. Despite this, I still got there super early to get in first. I think you'd still be able to get in early despite your interview being later than mine was. The worst that can happen is the guards to tell you to return later. I've seen this happen with people whose interview times were for the afternoon. Worth a short though!

  38. Good to know, thanks so much!

  39. No problem! Good luck at the interview this Thursday!