Step by Step: The U.S. Visa Interview Process

Posted by Matthew Green | Apr 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

If you are applying for a U.S. visa, you will likely be required to participate in an interview. The interview will be held at a U.S. embassy or consulate and it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of the interview process and what you should expect that day. As described on path2usa.com, the following is likely to occur at your visa interview:

(1) Arrive at the consulate. You may need to stand in a line outside of the facility. Only visa applicants are allowed inside the consulate and be prepared to show your passport, appointment letter, and U.S. visa fee receipt to security personnel before being permitted to enter.

You will not be allowed to bring a cell phone, backpack, bag or sealed package with you inside the facility. Prohibited items must be disposed of before you can enter. Water and restrooms are available in the building.

(2) Security check and fingerprinting. Similar to airport security, you will go through a check that may include a full body scan. After completing the security check, you will receive a token for your visa interview. At this point, your fingerprints will be taken in order to compare them with the fingerprints you have already submitted.

(3) Waiting Area. Upon finishing fingerprinting, you will be escorted to a waiting area. Plan on sitting quietly and waiting patiently for your name to be called. Have your documents ready. Once your name is called, proceed to the proper window. The interviewer will begin by giving instructions.

(4) The interview. There will be a glass window separating you and the interviewer. You will be answering questions through a microphone placed near the partition. There is also a speaker that will allow you to hear the questions asked by the interviewer. A slot is available for documents to be exchanged with the interviewer.

During the interview, the interviewer will ask you questions and expect you to verify your documents. Try not to be nervous. It is helpful if you are able to answer the questions with confidence. Always answer truthfully. Answer only what was asked and do not offer additional documents if they are not requested.

Believe it or not, if you are approved, you will know immediately. In most cases, the interviewer will simply say “Your visa has been approved.” Typically, you will receive your new passport in the mail. If your visa is denied or put on hold, you will be informed promptly.

(5) If you are unable to attend your visa interview. If you fail to appear for your scheduled interview, you will be marked as a “no-show” and must reactivate your U.S. visa fee receipt before scheduling another interview.

A visa application fee receipt is valid for 365 days. This means that in most cases, the same visa application fee can be used, as long as the second interview is rescheduled within the 365-day time frame.

If you have questions about a visa application or the visa process, give my office a call and we can schedule a consultation. Immigration rules and procedures are often confusing and detailed. We can help.

About the Author

Matthew Green

The Law Offices of Matthew H. Green focuses on the aggressive defense of immigrants. A native of Arizona, Mr. Green understands the difficulties that immigrants and families of immigrants face when a loved one is charged...

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