USA Visa Interview

US Visa Interview Process

The interview is an important part of the US visa acquisition process. Getting a visa is easy if you are prepared. During your interview, you must demonstrate that you intend to stay in the U.S. only temporarily and have a genuine reason to not stay in America permanently. It is important that you answer all of the visa officer’s questions properly and truthfully.

Note : you can request for an interpreter if you are not comfortable in spoken English.

What happens inside the US consulate

  • You will go through a security check
  • You will have to give fingerprints. (Inkless, digital finger print)
  • You will be appearing for a face-to-face interview with a Visa officer.

Arrival at the Consulate or Embassy

Applicants are asked to arrive 15 minutes earlier than the appointment schedule. If they arrive earlier than that, they will be asked to wait outside the Embassy/Consulate. When you arrive at the Consulate you may be asked to wait in a queue. Only visa applicants can enter the Consulate/Embassy. Exceptions may be for people who require additional assistance like applicants who require translators, are hearing impaired, are mothers with new-born babies etc. In such cases, if no assistance is available then non-applicants who can assist may be admitted. The discretion to admit the non-applicants depends on the security personnel at the Embassy/Consulate.

Prior to entering the Consulate the security personnel will check the applicant’s passport, DS-160 confirmation page, and application fee receipt for verification purposes. At the consulate, the applicants have to follow certain security measures.

Assistance for people with handicap and Translators:

Some applicants require additional assistance for their interview. For instance, they are hearing impaired, are wheel-chair bound, or require translators. They should inform the Consulate or Embassy beforehand, at least 48 hours before the interview to get the required assistance.

Security Measures at the Consulate or Embassy

There are no lockers or storage area outside the embassy. You can carry your documents in an unsealed plastic bag where the documents are clearly visible and easy to check. In case of bad weather you can carry a small umbrella. Here is a table of items prohibited inside the embassy:

Laptops, digital diaries, e-readers, iPad, iPhone, mobile phones, blue tooth device, camera, digital watch, IPods, headphones, remote car keys, fobs, pagers, mp3 players etc. are not allowed.
No food is allowed.
No water and other kind of drinks are allowed. Water is available inside the facility.
No big bags like suitcases, briefcases, shoulder bags, backpacks, large purses, diaper bags, etc. are allowed. Only wallets are allowed.
No sealed envelopes are allowed.
Tools/ Weapons
No tools, weapons and explosives are allowed. Small knives, scissors, nail cutters, etc. are not allowed.
Flammable materials
Cigarettes, lighters, matchboxes, etc. are not allowed.
Cosmetics like make-up, perfumes, body sprays, cologne, etc. are not allowed.

After following the security measures you will have to go through a security check like a full body scan.

US Visa Interview with the Consular

At the Consulate an official will give you a token and might take your fingerprints to cross-check your identity. Please follow the requisite norms at the Consulate. After you receive the token you will be asked to wait in a seating lounge. You will have to sit quietly and wait for your turn. When your number flashes on a window please proceed to that window for your interview.

Please walk to the window, greet the interviewer, and follow the instructions given by the interviewing officer. The interviewer will be seated behind a glass counter. The officer will ask for some documents that you will pass through a slot under the glass counter. Give precise and concise answers to the questions posed by the officer. Stick to the point and provide answers only to the questions asked. Refrain from giving extra information. The interview is the final step to verify the authenticity of information provided in your application. After the interview you will come to know immediately whether your application for US tourist visa is approved or not.

Why Interview?

Visa officer want to check and verify the information provided in your application. They also want to make sure that you indeed have a legitimate reason and are requesting for the right visa.

How long does the interview last?

Interviews typically last no more than five to ten minutes.

What is the visa officer looking for?

The Visa officer wants to make sure that, after your trip is over, you must come back to your home country and not stay in America. The officer wants to see you have compelling reasons, like having strong ties or responsibilities in your home country.

Show proof of “strong ties” that bind you to your country of residence. The Consular Officers conducting visa interviews look for proof that you will return to your country. Evidence of “strong ties” includes proof of economic ties, business ownership or employment, social and family relationships.

  • Economic ties: These include your economic position , property, investment, you may own or stand to inherit.
  • Family and social ties: Do you have social and family liabilities with your home country? How many close family members live in your home country? How many and who among your family live in America? What kind of family and social responsibilities do you have?

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