10 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Success in a Consular Interview
A consular interview for your immigrant or non-immigrant visa can be a nerve-wracking experience. After the lengthy process, the interview is the last hurdle before receiving the visa. Here are some tips to ease the process:
Have you read your pre-interview instructions?
- This is the most over-looked, yet most important source of information to make sure your visa is not unnecessarily delayed for minor issues.
- For example, some consulates require you to sign up for a courier service so they may return your stamped passport.
- Others require medical examinations to be completed prior to the interview.
- Make sure you read all instructions carefully, and prepare for every detail specified in the instructions.
- You can access most Embassies pre-interview instructions here. Please scroll down to 'Step 2' to download the relevant PDF.
- Take the original and a copy of all your documents.
Do you need your documents to be translated?
- Consulates usually require an official translation and a photocopy of both the original document and the official translation. Make sure the translation has all the official certifications and stamps required (this depends from country to country).
- Do you know where your interview will be held?
- Do you know how you will get there? If you drive, do you know where you can park your car? Most consulates have strict rules on entry – make sure you’ve researched all of this ahead of time.
Get there early:
- It seems obvious but I have had several clients underestimate how long it will take them to get to the actual location of the interview. Make sure you are there with plenty of time to spare.
Know your visa:
- Are you applying for a non-immigrant or immigrant visa?
- A non-immigrant visa is for someone who wants to be in the U.S. temporarily. Make sure that your answers reflect your intent to be in the U.S. for a short time.
Do you need an interpreter?
- If yes, know that you will likely only be allowed to bring one person to assist you.
- This person usually must register prior to the interview and bring photo identification.
- In some cases, an interpreter will be provided by the consulate; you can check with them in advance.
Is your passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry?
- Please note, some consulates require the passport to be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry while others require more time.
Do your photographs meet the online photo requirements?
If you are told your visa is denied, keep calm and ask the consular officer what information he or she needs to approve the visa.
- Ask for specifics on next steps – do you need to schedule another interview or is there another way to submit the information?