Most of MY clients pass their interview and are approved for their visa’s in under 5 cordial minutes.
This is because we provide the information we want the consular officer to see, ‘up front’ as part of the petition submitted originally to USCIS. The consular officer will typically review the package prior to the interview. When he reads the extensive and persuasive evidence that we have logically laid out for him, he should be convinced of the ‘bona fides’ of the relationship before the interview even starts.
This makes asking any remaining questions more a formality than a fact finding, truth finding mission, and leaves very little for the consular officer to say besides ‘Welcome to America’.
At the very end of the CR1 Spouse visa process. Your spouse is required to visit the nearest US Embassy or Consulate where he or she will be subjected to an interview conducted by an American Consular Officer. The officer’s role is not to be Santa Claus handing out tickets to the USA but his job is to enforce immigration rules to weed out those who might be fraudulently applying for immigration benefits to the USA.
Under current President Trump the Consular Officer has been given orders to reduce legal immigration and prevent any illegal immigration. He has pressure on him from above, President on down as well as his immediate supervisor, not to make any mistakes, while making his decisions as quickly as possible so that he can interview as many as 60 to 90 applicants in a day.
Most applicants, both genuine and fake tell the same story and his job is to weed out the honest from the bad. Sometimes in his rush to make a decision he makes mistakes and denies couples that are bona fide. And given the choice to make a mistake approving a bad case, or making a mistake to deny a legitimate case. He is better off turning down the honest case.
Our objective, when you and I work together as a team is to make the Consular Officer’s job easier by placing at his fingertips all of the evidences and information he needs so that he can quickly understand your situation, and realize that you and your spouse are “good guys”. We want to help him to understand that you are a bona fide couple and that he should feel confident he is making a good decision by approving your visa application.
On the day of the interview your spouse is tempted to bring what she or he feels are evidences of your relationship to the interview. Often this is some kind of pretty notebook or album filled with pictures and stickers such as hearts and Cupid’s and flowers accompanying your photos. While assembling this art project has kept your spouse happy and occupied it really has little use at the interview itself.
The Consular Officer has been instructed by the Department of State, that he is not allowed to look at new evidences that are brought to the Consulate on the day of the interview. He is only allowed to look at evidences that have passed through the hands of USCIS that have been vetted by USCIS.
On the day of the interview your spouse may bring her or his art project which the Consular Officer will politely, decline to see. He’ll just say “Well, just close that and put it away. Let’s have a friendly conversation”.
Of course this is not really a friendly conversation because the Consular Officer has an agenda. His agenda is to trip your spouse up to unearth fraud. It is like having a friendly chat with a detective from one of the crime shows. A detective who is expert in breaking down suspects until they confess their guilt.
He can ignore the new evidence brought by your spouse because before the interview has begun he reviews the original application that had been submitted many months earlier. In the Consular Officer’s day he meets one applicant after another and since he is booked with so many interviews for the day, he does not have very much time for any individual case. So he will say goodbye to his last applicant kind of clear his mind and then pick up a new case File. He reviews it quickly. Usually only giving it a few minutes. While he reviews he takes note of those issues that he considers suspicious or odd. He may look at previous Visa denials, age differences, how long a couple has known each other, the circumstances of the marriage proposal, language and communication difficulties, previous marriages and so on. When his list of red flags is complete, he leans over and buzzes your spouse in for the interview. Depending on what he has on his list it is possible the interview can go sour very quickly ending in tears.
My signature philosophy, is that the brief review that the Consular Officer conducts going through the original case file is actually a golden opportunity for me and you, to speak (virtually) directly to the Consular Officer. We speak his American English in order to convince him why he should trust you and why he should approve your application.
This process starts months before the application is even submitted. I work with each couple to get to know their history and their situation. Based on what I learn from you and your spouse, I estimate what suspicions the Consular Officer will probably have, and what questions he might ask.
The purpose of the Front Loaded Petition is to answer and address those questions, even before the Consular Officer thinks to ask them, before the interview starts. We start with the basic application with all required forms properly filled in, with all necessary civil documents attached, then we add to the application solid and logical proofs and evidences to demonstrate your bone fides.
I help you assess what the weaknesses of your case is then I make suggestions as to what actions you can take and can document with solid evidences that will help to defuse potential problems.
Each case is unique. After I get to know your situation, I counsel you on what needs to be done to improve the likelihood of success, by addressing your potential problems with actions, and how to document these actions. It’s not good enough to do the right thing. We must also document the right thing and include those evidences as part of the “front loaded” application.
The Consular Officer reviews your application before the interview starts. The application that he sees was submitted to Homeland Security many many months earlier. A couple could take action to remedy their problems while the case is pending. But unfortunately to do so means that these remedies are not included in the application that the consular officer sees. Instead the new info is included in the materials the spouse brings to the interview. This can be a recipe for disaster. Cause remember the consular officer is not required to look at any new documents brought on the day, and often he will ignore anything brought to him on the day.
What I recommend you to do is: do EVERYTHING that needs to be done, before I finalize the application. It should include proofs of all these actions. To accomplish this, I will give you a list of issues that we should work upon and encourage you to do what is needed solve these problems and document the solutions. The results are included as part of the application.
This is what I call “front loading” a petition. In crafting a Visacoach front-loaded petition I start with the basic forms information and civil documents that are required. These are sufficient to get your foot-in-the-door. These are sufficient to get your spouse to the desk of the consulate officer for the interview. But getting one’s foot in the door is not enough. We need to convince the Consular officer he is making a logical and safe decision to approve your case.
Including evidences of the quality of a couple’s relationship is not mentioned in the government instructions on “How to Apply for a Spouse visa?”. This lack may be what makes including these kinds of evidences so effective. Most applicants provide very limited information and the consular officer must dig in order to make his decision. We, by front loading our application make it easier for him to make his decision. Once the consular officer sees logical and good quality evidences that allow him to visualize you and your new spouse living as his neighbors in the USA we have helped make his job easier, and we have helped you get your approval. By the time the consular officer finishes his review and puts down the case file he should be mentally predisposed and ready to say yes. Then he buzzes your spouse into the interview. As he is already is comfortable with your story his remaining questions will generally be short and friendly leading to fairly prompt approval.
The VisaCoach “front loaded” application is truly a case of “Art” over “Science”. The consular officer is making a holistic decision, based on “gut feel” and “intuition”. Crafting these winning applications is where I spend most of my dedicated time working on your case. On the day your “shoe box” full of evidences arrives I carefully spread out, and touch, each and every photo, correspondence, affidavit and civil document, picking and choosing the very best to effectively tell your story. To be consistently successful, I consistently push you to do your best at this stage to give me what I want to place on the consular officer’s desk. When I have gone over your materials, IF I think you are light, I won’t hesitate to call you to ask for more. We have only one chance to make a good first impression, and this is all in the preparation of the application. We do not submit until we working as a team have done our utmost to tell your story.
The results ? While most interviews last 15 to 30 minutes, most of MY client’s interviews take only 3 tor 5 minutes only. If the consular officer has already found what he needs in order to say yes, he won’t use up too much more of his or your time, and will speedily get to “Welcome to America”
By Fred Wahl