Once you have submitted all the requirements documents to the National Visa Center (NVC) and your case has been documentarily qualified, you will be scheduled for the next available interview at your US Consulate or Embassy. You are required to appear in person for the interview and must bring the required supporting documents. Read here for what to expect at the immigrant visa interview.
How will I know my immigrant visa interview has been scheduled?
The National Visa Center (NVC) will notify you by email once an immigrant visa interview has been scheduled and your US Embassy or Consulate. The notification will include the date, time, and place of the interview. It will also include important details about the interview and what you should bring with you. The notice will look similar to the one pictured above. It is important to carefully read and follow all instructions prior to attending your immigrant visa interview.
Step 1: Schedule a Medical Exam
Do not schedule a medical exam until the NVC has notified you of your interview and instructed you to do so. Bring your appointment notice with you to your medical exam. You (and each family member or “derivative applicant” applying for a visa with you) are required to schedule a medical appointment with an authorized physician in the country where you will be interviewed. This exam can only be performed by an embassy-approved doctor (Panel Physician). No other medical exams are acceptable. You must complete your medical examination, along with any required vaccinations, before your scheduled visa interview date. The Panel Physician will either send the exam results directly to the embassy or give you a sealed envelope. Do not open it. Bring it to your visa interview and give it to the consular officer.
Step 2: Follow your Country Specific Pre-Interview Instructions
Civil and personal documents may differ from country to country, depending on availability. There may be additional instructions for obtaining civil documents or additional documents you need to submit. Check theU.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for a visa to verify any additional requirements.
Step 3: Assemble all required supporting documents for the Interview
All applicants for an immigration visa, children included, must bring required supporting documents to their interview, this includes:
- A copy of your NVC interview letter (does not apply to Diversity Visa, fiancé(e), adoptive, or asylee/refugee applicants).
- Two (2) recently taken photos of each person applying for a visa (5 cm x 5 cm).
- Medical examination results in a sealed envelope from an approved physician
- Your original birth certificate and that of your petitioner if applicable, English translation, along with a photocopy.
- Original or certified copies of birth certificates for all children of the principal applicant (even if he or she is not accompanying).
- If you are married: Your original marriage certificate, English translation, along with a photocopy for each applicant.
- If you were previously married or your petitioner was: All original final divorce or spouse’s death certificate(s), English translation, along with a photocopy.
- If your name has changed: The original court name change document along with a photocopy.
- If you are adopted: Adoption papers or custody documents, English translation, along with a photocopy.
- If a sponsor filed an I-864 (Affidavit of Support) AND provided the NVC with proof of an IRS Federal Income Tax Extension in lieu of a Federal Income Tax Return, you must upload it and bring the sponsor’s most recent Federal Income Tax Return to the visa interview.
- For employment-based visa applications: A letter from your U.S.-based employer dated less than one month ago confirming your employment.
- Police certificates. For your country of residence, a police certificate is considered valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. Police certificates obtained from other countries where you previously resided are valid indefinitely, provided that you have not returned to the country and resided there for six months or more. You may need new police certificates if the ones submitted have expired.
- If you have ever been convicted of a crime: The original court and criminal records, English translation, along with a photocopy.
- If you have served in any country’s military: Military records, English translation, along with a photocopy.
What happens if I don’t bring the required supporting documents?
If you do not bring the required supporting documents, they will not be able to complete the processing of your immigrant visa. This can cause delays in your case and even denials. You will be provided a list of the required documents and details to submit them and may have to come for additional interviews. This can cause delays in your case and even denials.
Who can attend the immigrant visa interview?
Only those listed on the appointment notice and who are intending to immigrate with you can attend the interview. If you are being sponsored by your US Citizen Spouse, they will not likely attend the interview with you. Attorneys are not permitted to accompany clients into the consulate. The following persons may accompany a visa applicant to their interview:
- Interpreter: Applicants may bring ONE interpreter if they do not speak English well enough to participate in an interview.
- Special Needs Visitors: Applicants may bring ONE person to help if they are elderly or disabled.
Who Must Attend the Interview?
You, your spouse, and any qualified unmarried children immigrating with you must participate in the interview. All traveling applicants required to participate will be named on the interview Appointment Letter you receive from the National Visa Center (NVC).
What if my spouse or children will be following me at a later date?
If your spouse and/or qualified unmarried children will immigrate at a later date and travel separately from you, they are not required to participate in your interview. They will be scheduled for a separate interview appointment. You should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate directly to arrange separate interviews if needed.
Does my sponsor attend the interview with me?
Your sponsor/petitioner does not attend the visa interview.
When will I be able to travel after my interview?
If your visa is approved, it can take up to two (2) weeks to receive your immigration packet and passport with your immigrant visa. Your passport will be returned to you via courier services only.
What If I need to reschedule my interview?
If you are unable to attend your appointment, go to ais.usvisa-info.com to select a new appointment date. There may be a significant wait before the next available appointment. We recommend doing everything possible to attend the initial interview date scheduled by NVC. There is no guarantee that a visa will still be available on the date of your rescheduled interview.
If you fail to bring the required documents and follow in detail the instructions in your appointment notice, the consular officer will not be able to complete the processing of your visa. You will have to gather the missing items and provide them to the embassy or consulate and may have to come for additional interviews. Failure to bring all items on the above list can delay visa issuance or denial.
Additional Outside Resources
- DOS: Immigrant Visa Preparation
- DOS: Country Specific Instructions
- USCIS: Form I864 Affidavit of Support
We Can Help!
The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 20 years of experience helping people to live and work in the United States. Contact us today for a free assessment of your legal situation.