Preparing for a visa interview

Individuals preparing for a visa interview should be aware of several important guidelines. Failure to follow these steps may result in the application being denied.

1. Applicants should not make travel arrangements to come to the United States, dispose of any property they may rent or own, or resign from their current employment until the visa has been issued.

2. Individuals applying for a visa must complete the medical examination before the visa interview. Otherwise their application can be denied.

3. Applicants cannot receive assurance in advance that their visa will be issued. One the application is reviewed by a consular officer and the individual is interviewed, then a decision regarding receiving the visa can be made.

4. If an applicant is found to be ineligible, an immigrant visa may not be issued. The consular officer will advise those affected about how to become eligible. One example of ineligibility involves applicants living in the U.S. under the Exchange Visitor Program. They will be subject to the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence) requirement. This means those individuals will be required to return to their home country for two years at the end of their exchange visitor program.

5. Individuals whose 21st birthday falls before the interview appointment date should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the interview will occur immediately to request an earlier appointment. The applicant may become ineligible for an immigrant visa if they do not apply before their 21st birthday.

6. Immigrant visas are usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance. If the applicant’s medical examination validity expires sooner, the visa may only be valid for less than six months. Individuals must arrive and apply for admission in the U.S. before the visa expiration date.

7. The appointment letter is required for the interview, and failure to bring a copy of it may delay the appointment.