This morning we had our consular interview in Nairobi. It went as follows:
7.00 am - Dropped off at Gigiri and took time to orientate ourselves to the surroundings. A crowd was already gathered at the taxi bays next to Warwick Centre.
7.10 am – A security guard called for green card applicants and we went forward and were admitted through the first gate after a body check. We then queued in two lines. One for immigrant visas and the other for non- immigrant visas. We were allowed through into the building in batches and underwent further check s including our belongings.
7.30 am - We entered the hall and sat waiting to be called to the counter.
8.15 am – We submitted documentation for checking. We did not have it in the correct order i.e. original in one pile and copies in the other, so sent off to do the right thing and then to resubmit.
8.20 am – The immediate applicant in front of us was sent off. Appears due to gaps in records from what we could surmise.
8.35 – Presented documents in correct order which were accepted. Instructed to pay USD 775 to cashier – principle applicant only and to present receipt to the same counter. Thereafter we exited the hall to sit in the external waiting area.
9.00 am – Summoned over the microphone to another counter where we were fingerprinted. Instructed to exit hall and await the call for the interview. We people watched as we waited. Indulged in guessing game to guess who has been successful and who has not from body language.
9.45 am – Called in for interview. We swore to tell the truth and signed our forms. All the questions we were asked related to the documentation we presented. Consular office was friendly …. Asked my high school going teenager whether he was involved in the recent strikes and burning of schools … Son replied in the negative.
9.55 am – The fateful words “You have qualified for your Visa, Congratulations” were uttered. We were given the date for visa collection and the option to pay the fees for the beneficiaries either today or on date of visa collection. We opted for the latter and paid.
We exited the Embassy in great decorum well aware that others were watching our body language too…….. Outside the Embassy, greatly relieved that 14 months of suspense were over, we fell over each other with hugs, ululations and kisses!
My two cents……… the key to success is in meticulous preparation. The visa process is transparent and all the information you require available on state.gov website. Follow it to the letter.