Skip to main content

What to Expect at an Embassy Visa Interview


Visa applicants are advised to arrive at the embassy no more than 15 minutes before the scheduled interview; however the queue will start to form outside the embassy gates about an hour before hand. Most embassies have a kiosk at the embassy gates where you will be asked your name and appointment time. The guards have a list of those attending their interviews that day. You are not permitted to bring cell phones or bags into the embassy building and will be asked to leave these in the kiosk while you go into the actual embassy.
Once inside, you will be directed to take a seat or a number. Embassy appointment offices look similar to (run-down) banks with (unhappy) bank-tellers. There will be a number of officers working at different windows. When your number or name is called you will speak to an officer, hand in your documents and make any necessary payments. The officer will check to make sure that you have the right kind of passport photos, a copy of your approval notice, completed application forms, a mailing or courier envelope etc. A list of the items you need can be found on the US embassy website for your country. As exchange rates change daily, it’s a good idea to bring extra money into the embassy in case the fees have gone up slightly. Embassy staff do not always have change available so bring small denominations or you may end up overpaying significantly. This officer will also take your fingerprints and photograph. You should expect to spend less than 5 minutes at the first window.
Once you hand in your documents and pay, you will be told to sit and wait while your visa application and passport are reviewed. Interviews take place in public so you will be able to watch and listen to other interviews while you wait. This will either help calm your nerves or terrify you depending on your disposition and the immigration history of those being interviewed. You will eventually be called to a second window to be interviewed. Officers generally do not make eye contact, smile or make small talk. A typical visa applicant can expect to be asked about their immigration history and what they intend to do in the United States. The Officer is trying to determine whether or not you have previously breached your immigration status; whether you’re eligible for the visa that you are applying for and whether or not it is your intention to comply with the terms of that visa. This generally takes less than 5 minutes.
If the Officer makes a favorable determination, he or she will advise you that he will courier or mail your passport to you within 3 business days. Embassies no longer issue same day visas because they have to wait for your background checks to clear. In the event that your travel plans do not allow you to wait a week to have your passport returned to you at home, you can usually make arrangements with the officer to come back to the embassy to pick up your passport three business days later. If the Officer does not make a favorable determination, you should ask for a decision in writing and contact a qualified immigration attorney.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…

LOS DERECHOS DE LOS EXTRANJEROS EN LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS

Todas las personas en los Estados Unidos, incluidos los extranjeros y aun los con ordenes de deportacion, tienen ciertos derechos básicos que deben ser respetados por los agentes de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE). Estos derechos se derivan tanto de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. y las leyes de Estados Unidos. Como extranjero, usted tiene los siguientes derechos:

SU DERECHO A DENEGAR LA ENTRADA A SU CASA
Usted tiene el derecho de negar la entrada a un agente de ICE a su casa sin una orden válida. Esta orden debe ser firmado por un juez. Usted puede negarse a abrir la puerta, o se puede cerrar la puerta después de descubrir que el agente no tiene una orden válida. Los agentes del ICE generalmente no vienen con una orden judicial. Estos agentes suelen venir a la casa de alguien con una orden final de deportación, muy temprano en la mañana. Si alguien está golpeando en su puerta a las 6:00 am, no le es requerido abrir la puerta. Mirar fuera de primera. Si es un agente del gobierno, ust…