I had my Green Card Interview at the American Consulate in Frankfurt this morning. Wow, I was so nervous.
I got up at 3 a.m. after about 4 hours of not-so-sound sleep. My Dad and I left around 4 a.m. – it’s a 2,5 hour-drive to the Embassy in Frankfurt from here. I checked about three times if I had all the required documents that I needed.
We got to the Consulate at 6:45 a.m. – still 45 minutes before my actual appointment time. There were already about 15-20 people waiting in front of the entrance [= very typical situation].
My Dad and I had some coffee in the car [we had brought a thermos flask] and at 7 a.m. got in line as well. My Dad was allowed to accompany me into the building. I had to show my passport and appointment letter at the entrance booth. Then we went through security [it’s pretty much like at the airport!].
I received a number and had to sit down in the atrium until my number was called. At the intake window I had to turn in my passport, a completed application form and a passport-type photo. I had gotten my photo taken a few weeks ago at a local photo shop and I thought they were so ugly, because there are certain requirements for immigrant visas now [like “full-face photo including the hair, showing both ears, facing the camera directly… etc.], but thought there was nothing I could do about it. When I handed the lady one of the photos, she told me that she could not accept it. It had a light-blue background and part of my head was cut off. I had to obtain new photos [which, in fact, looked a lot nicer!] from an automatic photo-machine within the building. I was so pissed and I am definitely going back to the photo shop where I had my picture taken originally and tell them what I think of them for making me pay for photos that I couldn’t even use. I would only be half as upset, if they hadn’t pretended like they knew the new photo requirements for immigrant visas by heart. Morons!
When my number was called again, I had to go to another window for the checking of my documents. The lady was extremely nice [and so was the lady at the intake window] and I started to calm down a bit, even though I was still nervous about the actual “interview”. She went over all my documents with me and gave me some information about what’s going to happen next. Then I was asked to take a seat again until the consular officer summoned me for the formal visa interview.
The first two parts of the process had been in German and I was told that the interview was going to be in English. Fine – no problem here. I was still kind of nervous what the interview would be like. When I was finally called to the window, the consular officer [clearly an American] addressed me in German. He asked me to solemnly swear that all the statements which appear in the submitted documents are true and complete to my best knowledge and belief… [blabla]. He also had me sign one of the documents and then took my fingerprints. When we were done with that, I thought he’s going to start the interview… but he didn’t ask me a single question. He told me that my case was complete and that I was all set. They’d be going to send me the passport and the documents in the mail in the next few days [remember, all in German!]. I was somewhat baffled.
So that was it? No questions for documents as proof of an ongoing relationship? No questions about my husband’s habits and preferences? Nothing. Nada.
I was almost disappointed that I couldn’t show off all the photos of Jon and I and other documents that I had brought along ;)
But, all joking aside, I was beyond happy that it was over and that everything went so smoothly! When I enter the US, I will become a permanent resident and will be able to enter and leave the country as I please. Wow, this is going to be such a relieving feeling :) I will be able to apply for a job right away and the actual green card will be sent to me by mail. Bureaucracy is over [at least for the next two years!]
So we were in and out of the Consulate building within 2,5 hours. That’s pretty quick, I’d say. We got back home around 1 p.m. and after a small lunch, I took a 2-hour nap. I was tired and relieved and slept like a baby :)
Thanks to all of you who thought about me today and who have been crossing their fingers for the last couple of weeks and months. It was all worth it. *smooches*