Embassy Interviews – What to Expect
We get asked everyday about Embassy interviews so we’ve put together this article for our readers to get a flavor as to how Embassies process applications.
What is a Visa?
A visa is an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay in a country for a specific period of time. A visa can only be issued by an Embassy or Consulate. The visa will appear in your passport as a stamp, often covering the entire passport page. When you arrive in the US with your visa in your passport it will be scanned by the officer and he/she will officially record your entry into the US. When you have a visa you can make repeated trips to the US until your visa expires.
A visa is not a petition approval notice, however a petition approval is fantastic news because it means that you are that much closer to getting a visa.
Getting a Visa Approval
Some of our clients go to the Embassy to have their visa application adjudicated. This is more common with those applying for an E2 investment visa, F1 Student Visa or B1/B2 Tourist Visa. In each of these cases a final decision is made on that day as to the merits of your case.
In contrast, some of our clients will have previously received an approval notice, perhaps for an EB1 Green Card petition, H-1B Graduate visa or O1 visa. In these cases, we may have filed a petition (application) which was approved administratively within a branch of USCIS. Therefore, the purpose of a trip to the Embassy is to complete the process of having their written approval converted into a visa stamp in their passport.
So how do you prepare for your Embassy interview will depend on whether you are seeking an initial adjudication (E2, F1, B1/B2) or a visa stamping formality based on a previously approved visa. We use the word “formality” because USCIS has already approved the petition and thus the visa stamping should present no problem there could be legitimate reasons why the Embassy or Consulate might not issue the visa, despite the approval notice. Such reasons could include a criminal record, previous overstay or other detail of serious consequence not previously considered by USCIS.
The Embassy Interview Experience
Every interview is a unique experience, whether you are attending an interview for your E2 Visa, Visitors Visa, Family, Marriage/Fiancee Visa or any other type of visa, following these points are extremely important to keep in mind:
What to do Before Your Interview
Ask anyone who has attended an interview at the US Embassy and they will always say, as long as you are prepared, your interview will go smoothly. Before the date of your interview, you will receive a copy of your application, which may have been submitted prior to the interview We suggest that you review your application prior to your interview date. Familiarize yourself with the location of important documents and be ready to point the officer to them at a moment’s notice.
In addition, review the appointment letter that the Embassy sent you. This letter will indicate who is required to attend the interview and will only allow those who are designated to attend into the Embassy. The appointment notice also contains a list of required documents that you must bring to the interview. Review this list as well and include any other documents not already present in your application.
Arriving at the Embassy
We always suggest that our clients arrive well before their scheduled interview. While the check-in process varies from Embassy to Embassy, our clients have often reported that there are long lines for those entering the Embassy. While your interview may be scheduled for a specific time, be prepared to wait past your scheduled interview as the Embassy often schedules several interviews at one time.
It is important to note that certain electronic devices such as cell phones are not allowed inside most Embassies. Lists of restricted items are posted by the Embassy on their individual websites. It is important to check this list as you prepare for the interview.
While the interview process differs between Embassies, all our clients go through a similar four-part process. First, applicants are instructed to under go biometrics. Second, they go through a pre-screening with a local officer who will collect certain documents. Third, the interview will be conducted with an American officer. Fourth, applicants are released with further instructions.
During the interview process it is important to remain confident and answer the officer’s questions to the best of your ability. This is where being prepared comes into play. Reviewing your application before visiting the Embassy will allow you to have the answers to the officer’s questions right at your fingertips.
We Can Help
The interview at the U.S Embassy is one of the most important steps towards attaining your visa. Thus, our goal is to make sure that you are extremely prepared and ready to obtain that visa approval. Whether your interview is for an E2 Visa, Visitors Visa, Family, Marriage/Fiancee Visa or any other type of visa, we will work with you to ensure that from start to finish you are ready for that Embassy interview. Contact our firm today and we can start the process of preparing you for that interview. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.
Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
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