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DCF Interview Success in Athens

DCF Interview Success in Athens

Old Sep 11th 2002, 12:19 pm
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Default DCF Interview Success in Athens

We're back in Rhodes, visa in hand!
Our timeline:
August 7: Submitted I-130 to INS window at Athens Embassy
September 6: Medical at Euro Clinic
September 10: Interview
Me: USC temporarily resident in Greece
DH: My Darling Husband, UKC resident in Greece

The interview, as most experienced users have noted, is not so much an "interview" as a personal appearance. We arrived at the Embassy at about 10:15am, late with permission as we were flying in on the first available flight that morning. There were (for the first time I've seen) two big lines of people waiting to get in. Thanks to the experiences I've read here, I knew we should be able to line jump since we had an appointment.

Line jumping in Greece is not easy.

After badgering the Greek contract security employee several times with the words Visa. Immigrant. Interview! we were admitted to the security checkpoint. There was much muttering behind us as we entered, the line-waiters, no doubt were restless. We noticed that the non-immigrant visa section would only be open for 1 1/2 hours on the following day, September 11.

We went inside to Window 21 and announced our presence and were immediately shown to one of the Interview rooms, a glassed-in booth with us behind a security window with one of those little pass through slots. We were asked for our documents to be placed in the order she requested (a preprinted note was passed through to us). NOTE: the order was different than the checklist, so some shuffling took place. Originals were not asked for. My big spring clip holding the whole thing together was not admired, nor were the colorful tabs at the bottom of each page.

After the staffer had collected our docs, she asked us to wait for the Consular Officer to see us. We waited until gone 1:15pm (starved by now...we really should've brought a snack) and amused ourselves watching the goings on with the non-immigrant visa applicants and eavesdropping on the newlywed couple trying to get their green card completed in one day.

Our "real" interview took place with the CO. She asked me to leave the room so she could speak with DH in private, but she wanted to ask me later about my finances. DH reports that she asked him some basic questions: how we met, how long we'd been together, if he lives in Greece full time & for how long, what ties or property etc he has in England (none), She asked to see some photos of the wedding (oooh, pretty location), confirming dissolution of previous marriages. She asked about work, what does he do (none), his retirement (Fire Brigade...oooh, firemen are popular), and then about me and my work (none), and my future work in States (heh). Lessee...his income (pension), does he own property in Greece or rent (oh yes, renting is a *much* better idea here), previous visits to States (mmmm, my son lives in the city you're moving to...beautiful)

When she called me in, she got right to the I-864 and tried to sort it out. I confirmed that I'd had a high income through Sept '00 and had been living off savings since then and that I own property in the States and have stock/bond accounts. We showed how we had included DH's pension income as family income since we've shared household for over 6 months and she noted that based on HIS income and assets alone, he qualified. She wanted to know what I was going to do for work when I got back to the States & if I had a job offer (I have several) and what i had done before my interim retirement.

She then clarified, for once and for all, how this part works. AT HER DISCRETION, she accepted our JOINT income/assets to support DH. She said that she wasn't *really* supposed to, as he was not a citizen or PR, but she had the leeway to make the call. Mainly, because she felt she'd profiled ME as someone who had the real potential of returning to a sufficient income level (she mentioned that I wasn't too old, what a comfort), she was confident that we would not become a public charge, which is what it's all about. She cautioned me that should something tragic happen to DH, we would not be able to apply for Medicare. So, we'd better start the insurance shopping

She really quite harped on what a favor she was doing us, by accepting our I-864, and seemed on the verge of talking herself out of it. I told her that I knew our situation was unusual, but that her confidence in us was well placed. I then told her that I had a completed co-sponsor Affidavit and she relaxed completely. The spectre she had raised was that she could accept all our smooth words and approve us and the POE officials could reject it. Not wanting to risk it, I pulled the sealed envelope my parents had sent me and she ripped into it with glee. Seeing the numbers certainly put her at ease. I still don't know what it said, and I didn't even peek

The CO then starting bundling up all our documents and told us to come back at 4pm. I said, is that it; he's OK? And she smiled and said "yes". With huge grins on our faces we gathered up our folders/binders/bags of all the stuff we never needed and made our way out for a gorgeous lunch in the Athenian sun. When we returned at 4, we waited another 20 mins or so with the other 4 IV candidates, were called in first and given the Mysterious Brown Envelope, instructions for removal of conditions and sent on our merry way.

We then spent the evening celebrating the US's newest Alien Husband (I think this now makes him my AH, not DH) and what glee it it to have this part over with. 33 days total, but at least 6 months of research and all credit goes to the resources of this newsgroup. THANK YOU, all, for your participation, opinions and knowledge!

meauxna & her DAH

Follow up, FWIW:
We can file a new I-864 (I think) at Removal time, lifting my co-sponsors off the hook.

ANY Greek, including UCS Greeks, can do DCF in Athens.

"They" are supposed to confirm residency of the beneficiary (they are supposed to be truely resident (living) in Greece). The petitioner can be any USC, but it is once again AT THE DISCRETION of the INS workers in Athens. Our residency cards/status was never confirmed, but they took DAH's word for it that he'd lived in Greece for 8 years.

Conversation with the CO confirmed that there is a bias in favor of certain foreign citizens, mainly that DAH being a UKC meant (in her judgement) that he likely was not searching for financial gain by moving to the States (ie marriage of convenience). I think the couple we saw petitioning - Greek American with the new Albanian wife - might be in for a tougher time than we had (no slander intended).

Relations we courted with the workers we came in contact with throughout helped; if only with my peace of mind. They've all seen our wedding pics and two, as they passed by behind our interviewer gave positive comments (oooh, those two are *such* a love story etc). It gave me more confidence to know we had established our "history" with real time people.
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Old Sep 11th 2002, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: DCF Interview Success in Athens

Big time congrats to you guys....When ya gonna be here???
Good luck......
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Old Sep 12th 2002, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: DCF Interview Success in Athens

Originally posted by jcsutton:
Big time congrats to you guys....When ya gonna be here???
Good luck......
Tx Jerry...after a stop in England for a couple of weeks, we plan on entering the States mid November. We thought the weather in Oregon would be nice about then (ha!) Just don't ask me what *exactly* we're going to do after that!

Will of course post any exciting POE info, but for now DH is feeling like a real resident alien!
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