Who Needs to Attend a US Visa Appointment: Most individuals who apply for a US visa will need to attend an in-person interview at a US embassy or consulate in their home country. However, there are some exceptions.
Generally, applicants for nonimmigrant visas, such as tourist, business, student, or temporary work visas, will need to attend an interview. This includes first-time applicants, applicants who have previously been refused a visa, and applicants who are renewing an expired visa. Additionally, applicants who are under the age of 14 or over the age of 79 may be exempt from the interview requirement.
In some cases, individuals applying for immigrant visas, such as family-based visas or employment-based visas, may also be required to attend an interview. The interview will typically be scheduled after the applicant has completed other application requirements, such as submitting a petition or completing a medical exam.
Who Needs to Attend a US Visa Appointment ?
US Visa Appointment : It’s important to note that the US Department of State reserves the right to require an interview for any applicant, regardless of age or visa category. Additionally, applicants may be required to attend additional interviews or provide additional documentation if deemed necessary by the consular officer.
There are some cases where an applicant does not need to attend a US visa appointment and can get a US visa waiver. To receive this exemption, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- Apply for an A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visa.
- Be under 14 years old or over 79 years old.
- You are applying for a renewal of a BCC, B-1/B-2, C-1/D, F, J, M, or O visa within the same classification.
There are cases where you may be eligible to waive biometric data collection or the visa interview, but not both. In that case, you still have to schedule an appointment for the one you can’t miss.
There are also some visa categories that do not qualify for an appointment waiver. These are applicants who wish to obtain an E-3, T, U, H-1 or L-1 flat-rate visa. Even if they are extending their visas, those who fall into these categories will not be allowed a visa waiver and must attend a visa interview.
For US immigrant visas, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to get an appointment waiver, so you need to discuss this with the NVC and get permission or confirm the appointment date and time.
How do I get an appointment waiver ?
To request an appointment waiver, you must either select the online option or call the VAC where you are requesting. VAC will verify whether you are eligible for a visa interview waiver and tell you whether or not you will still need to schedule an appointment.
How to Schedule a US Visa Interview Appointment?
In order to schedule your US visa interview, you must first complete a DS-160 form. Once you apply for a US visa by submitting the application form and supporting documents, they will need to be processed by the US Embassy’s Visa Application Center (VAC).
This can take a few days to a few weeks depending on the type of US visa you applied for and the workload they have. Once they have processed the application, a visa appointment must be arranged. You can also schedule an emergency appointment if you meet certain conditions.
The interview must be scheduled at least one day between the fingerprint appointment.
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What supporting documents should I bring at the appointment?
- Your valid passport and your passport number.
- Your visa application fee payment receipt number.
- Your DS-160 confirmation page.
- Your e-mail address.
- Documents based on the type of visa you are applying
Completion of a Medical Examination for the US Visa Appointment
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services wants each applicant to have a medical appointment with a licensed physician in the country where they will be interviewed.
By “Authorized Physician” we mean a physician who is approved by the US Embassy in your country. If you undergo your medical examination with another doctor, the consulate will not recognize it as valid.
What will happen at the medical examination?
The medical examination includes a review of your
- medical history,
- physical examination (which includes at least eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin, and external genitalia),
- chest X-ray,
- blood tests.
Supporting documents to bring at the doctor’s appointment
When you go to meet the doctor, you need to have with you the following documents:
- Your visa interview letter
- Your passport
- Passport-sized color photographs (the number varies from 2 to 4 depending on the embassy)
- A copy of your immunization records
After the exam
After the inspection, the authorized doctor will either give the applicant the results of the medical examination in a sealed envelope (do not open!) to present on the day of the visa interview along with other documents, or send the results directly to the US embassy or consulate.
Attending the US Visa Interview Appointment
Before attending the interview, prepare in advance so that you do not feel lost on the way to the embassy. You will be interviewed by a consular officer and have your fingerprints scanned as part of the process. Do not bring any food, laptops, backpacks or large bags with you to the embassy. Take as few things as possible with you. Wear something comfortable but a bit formal.
Arrive at the consulate
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to be on time for the interview. It is true that many times you will have to wait in line to attend the interview, so you will meet with the consular officer an hour or later than scheduled. However, don’t risk being there late even if someone tells you there is a queue at the embassy. Be there at least 10 minutes early to be safe.
At the embassy entrance, you will go through a security detector, which in most cases includes a full-body scan with a metal detector. You will then be given a token for your interview and then you will be required to give your fingerprints. The officer will scan your fingerprints and give you further instructions.
Enter the interview
After your fingerprints are taken, you will have to wait in the lounge where you have to wait quietly for your turn. When it’s your turn, you’ll hear your name. Have your documents organized beforehand so you don’t have a mess on your hands when you meet the interviewer.
The questions the officers will ask you depend on the type of US visa you have applied for
What if I Am Late for my Interview?
If you are only a few minutes late and there is no queue, your interview will be cancelled. If this happens, you will have to appoint someone else and wait for an interview.
What Happens if I Don’t Show Up For My Interview?
If you do not appear at the embassy for the scheduled interview, you must contact the embassy or consulate as soon as possible and inform them of the reasons that made it impossible to attend the interview. You must act this way or your case may be terminated and fees already paid will not be refunded.
What if I Need to Change my Address on my US Visa Appointment?
If you need to change your address after scheduling your US visa appointment, you must log in to one of the online services you used to schedule your visa appointment and find a button that may include “update my profile” – depending on which online service you used. You then need to select a reason for the update, eg ‘change of mailing address’ and enter your new address. You have until 23:59 to change your address. on the day of your interview at a US embassy or consulate.
Can I Cancel my Appointment?
It is highly unlikely that you will need to cancel your appointment after going through the hassle of applying for a US visa and obtaining supporting documents. However, circumstances change and you may no longer wish to obtain a US visa.
To cancel US visa appointments, you can call VAC and let them know you are canceling and will no longer need a US visa. For US immigrant visas, you should call the NVC and inform them that you are not interested in obtaining a US visa.
This is not recommended at all because you will put a lot of effort in applying for a visa, so you should try to see if you get it or not.
How to Reschedule a US Visa Appointment?
Once you set up an appointment or NVC sets it up for you, we recommend that you attend the appointment on the day and time. However, if you absolutely cannot attend your US visa appointment, you can reschedule it.
Rescheduling a nonimmigrant visa appointment
To reschedule your US nonimmigrant visa appointment, you can either call VAC or change the date and time online. This will move the meetings to the next available time slot that works for you. You must provide a valid reason for rescheduling in order for the US Embassy to consider it.
Rescheduling an immigrant visa appointment
To reschedule your U.S. immigrant visa appointment, you must contact NVC and explain your reasons for rescheduling. You need to provide your case number or application number and tell them a time that works for you so they can try to get you an appointment. However, NVC will schedule appointments for the nearest available time slot if the one you request is not available.
For this reason, you must make arrangements and try to attend the original appointments. Changing the date will only delay the processing of your visa and increase the time you have to wait to know whether you have received your visa or not.
It is not recommended to reschedule an appointment more than once unless absolutely necessary. If you change your date more than once, you may be asked to pay a new visa application fee as a penalty.
US Visa Biometrics Appointment
A biometrics appointment must be scheduled for applicants to provide their biometrics. This includes a US visa photo and fingerprints. The United States requires applicants to provide their biometric data to increase the security of its borders and to check who is entering the country.
There are some countries or specific applicants that do not need to schedule a fingerprinting appointment, but you need to contact the US Embassy to ask if you need to complete this part of the visa application process.
How to Schedule a US Immigrant Visa Appointment?
When you apply for a US immigrant visa, scheduling your fingerprinting and interview appointment is different. Unlike non-immigrant visas where you have to schedule everything yourself, the National Visa Center (NVC) is responsible for scheduling appointments for immigrant visas.
After the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes an immigrant visa application from an employer or family member, they send the NVC documents. NVC will assign you a case identification number and a charge identification number.
Then depending on whether the visa has an annual cap or limit, they schedule appointments.
If the visa you are applying for does not have a cap, they will immediately schedule biometrics and interview appointments. If the visa has a one year limit, they will wait until it is your turn, that is until you get the current processing date. When it’s your turn to get your visa, then they schedule appointments.
With immigrant visas, you have no choice when you are scheduled to apply for a US visa. Therefore, NVC will schedule it whenever there is another available time slot at your US Embassy. This means you need to plan ahead and take time off work or commitments to attend fingerprinting and interviews.
In conclusion, if you are a foreign national who wishes to travel to the United States, you will generally need to obtain a visa and attend an in-person interview at a US embassy or consulate in your home country. The specific visa requirements and interview process may vary depending on your visa category, country of residence, and other factors. It’s important to carefully review the requirements and follow the instructions provided by the US Department of State and the embassy or consulate in your home country to ensure a successful visa application process.