How To Prepare for a US Visa Interview
After you have applied for your U.S. visa and submitted the required documents online, the final step before being issued a visa is an interview at the U.S. consulate. You and your attorney (if you have one) will be notified of your interview date by mail. Once you receive the notice, you should make sure you are prepared before you go for your interview. If you do not have everything that has been requested, issuance of your visa will be delayed. In this post, we take a deep-dive into how you can best prepare for your US visa interview, so you have the best chance of getting accepted.
Your 4-Step Guide to Preparing for a US Visa Interview
First, schedule a medical exam for yourself and all family members who will be accompanying you to the United States. The exam must be done by an approved physician, also known as a Panel Doctor. A list of approved physicians for your locality may be found on the U.S. Department of State website here. After your examination is complete the doctor will give you a sealed envelope with your examination results. Bring the sealed envelope with you to your visa interview. Do not open the envelope. If you have not received all required vaccinations, you may have to arrange to get them before your visa will be approved.
Second, make sure you have a valid passport with an expiration date no less than six months after the date you intend to travel to the United States.
Third, make sure that you have all required documents. The above link will also take you to a list of documents required by the consulate where your interview will take place. These documents usually include:
1. Your visa interview letter
2. Both your current and expired passports
3. Original and one copy of the birth certificates of yourself and any family members travelling with you
4. If you are married, the original and one copy of your marriage certificate.
5. The originals and one copy of all documents you submitted with your visa application. This may include marriage certificates, divorce certificates, death certificates, etc.
6. The original police clearance certificate submitted with your visa application.
7. Two passport-type photos of yourself and any family members who are travelling with you.
The final step you can take to prepare for your US visa interview, is to collect the information you may need to prove that you are eligible for the type of visa for which you have applied.
For example, if you have applied for a visitor visa, you may be required to prove that you intend to return to your home country after your visit. You may need to show proof of ownership of property in your home country, proof of employment or enrollment in school, bank account statements, and/or evidence that you have family members living in your home country.
You may also be required to show proof that you can support yourself while in the United States. This may include bank statements, an affidavit of support from the person whom you will be visiting, or letters from parents or other family members.
If you are immigrating as the fiancé or spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will need to prove that your relationship with your spouse/fiancé is bona fide. This may include proof of financial support, letters and cards, email and/or text messages, evidence of jointly owned property, birth certificates of children, and/or affidavits from family and friends who know you and your spouse/fiancé.
Always check the U.S. embassy interview instructions for the embassy where your interview will be held and follow any instructions listed. Prior to your interview date, make sure you know where the consulate is located so you will not be late for your interview. Being late to your interview may result in a significant delay in rescheduling, or even in a denial of your visa.