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user- ()     09/12/2001 07:34 AM

Note: New Zealand Citezens don't need Police Cetificates. In Packet III there should be a form for the release of information by the Police to the consulate. I never got this (instead I called the NVC and got my case no over the phone then sent Packet III forms I downloaded). I wrote to the consulate and they sent me the form which I filled out and sent back to them.

There are three doctors in Auckland that can do them. You have to do the Medicals at least one week before your interview (I was there 10 days before my Wife did hers 6 days before) as the results are sent to the consulate by the doctor and the bloodwork takes at least 2 days to get the results. You do not take the results yourself. You do a physical exam at the doctors then go to outside labs for the X-Ray and Blood tests. I went to the X-Ray then the blood lab then back to the X-Ray place to get my X-Ray which I took back to the doctors office in person where it was checked and I was told it was fine.

In and around consulate
The US Consulate General in Auckland is not a seperate building. It takes up the third floor of the Citibank buildnig in Auckland. There are local lawyers offices, Accounting firms etc on the other floors. If it wern't for the US flag hanging off the outside of the building you would never know it was there.

There are security gaurds with an X-ray macine just off the elevator. You go through them to get to the waiting room. There is only one waiting room which everyone uses no matter what the purpose of their visit.

Document Collection
All interviews are at 9am. This is because the consulate is only open from 9am to 12:30pm each day. We were the only IV interview that day. You go through Security and go to the Immigrant Visa window.

There is no "rough" local interviewer who makes your life miserable. We instead got a freindly and polite lady with a checklist of required documents. She would ask for a document, we would hand it over and she would check it off the list.

We gave Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificate, Employment Letter OF230pt 1&2 for me DS230 Pt 1&2 for my wife, Passports and Proof of assets (Bank statements etc: no I-134 Affidavit needed). She then cancelled my H1B Visa and took photocopies of the birth and marriage certificates.

Next we paid the Application and Issuance fees at the same time. We paid $US650 cash at the Window and got a receipt. They also take local currency cash or bank drafts. We then waited for the consular officer.

The Consular Officer appeared at the window. He looked at the documents and appeared to be certifying the copies of the birth and marriage certificates. He then called our names. We went to the interview and took the Oath. He asked us a few questions about when we went to the states (we went on seperate visas and married there about two months before the interview). He asked us if we liked the state we were living in. He then said everything was OK and the Visas would be issued.

Packet IV said they would be available in 3 working days but the lady that took our documents spoke up in the background and said the would be ready the next day. We said thank you and left.

Pick Up
The next day we picked up our visas. You have to show the payment receipt to get them. My Wifes had her married and maiden name on it. The nice lady from the previous day said that the maiden name had to be on it as that was the name in her passport and application forms (we decided it would cut down on confusion to do it that way). However since her married name was on the Visa the Green Card could be issued using that name. Her visa had something written on the top about only being valid if accompanying or following me.

Entry to US
I entered on Sept 11th 2001 at LAX. My POE experience will not be typical but here it is:

I was in the second to last plane on the ground. The airport had been evacuated for nearly two hours by then and US airspace had been completely shut down. I was the only new immigrant and my time at immigration lasted all of 30 seconds. I gave them my Visa and passport. They sent me through immigration to get my luggage and I went back to find my passport already stamped. They took the fingerprint and I signed the form. They then told me to leave the building as quickly as possible. No questions, no chit chat just get out fast. My wife will be joining me in a couple of months.

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