Immigrant Visa Interview – What to Expect

Immigrant Visa Interview - What to Expect

Let us help you start your application today!

Last updated: April 8, 2024.

Approximately 4-6 weeks before the scheduled immigrant visa, the applicant and petitioner will receive an appointment notice via email that contains the location and date of visa interview. The applicants must carefully review the consulate-specific instructions available on the U.S. Department of State website and prepare all the required original documents, including medical examination.

The applicants should keep in mind the following rules:

  • Failure to bring a copy of the appointment letter to the interview may delay the interview
  • Applicants should not make any travel arrangements such as airline tickets purchase or sale of property in their home country
  • It can take some time for the U.S. Embassy/Consulate to make a decision on the visa application
  • No assurances can be given that an immigrant visa will be approved

Many U.S. Embassies/Consulates also require applicants to register for courier services used to return passports with stamped visas.

During the interview, a consular office will confirm the information contained in the Form DS-260, determine if the applicant is admissible as immigrant, review the supporting documents, review the medical examination, Affidavit of Support and sponsor’s proof of income. If a petition is based on marriage, a consular office may ask questions about the validity of the marriage. 

If the applicant is found inadmissible on a ground that has a waiver available, the applicant will be required to submit a waiver form and supporting documents to USCIS. Once the waiver application is processed by USCIS, the decision will be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

An approved immigrant visa is typically valid for 6 months. To become a permanent resident, the immigrant visa holder must travel to the U.S. before the visa’s expiration date. 

If an immigrant visa application is refused, the applicant will receive a written notice informing of the reasons for denial. If the reasons for the refusal may be overcome by submission of additional evidence, and the applicant is willing to provide it, the case will remain open for 1 year. If no additional documentation is provided within one year after the interview date, the application will be terminated.  The applicant has the right to have the application reinstates within one year if the failure to provide documentation was beyond applicant’s control. 

USCIS Immigrant Fee. Immigrant visa holders are required to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee of $235 after receiving the visa packet from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. The fee must be paid online on the USCIS website and the confirmation page must be saved for your records. Anyone can pay this fee using a debit or credit card, or a U.S. checking account. The green card will be delivered by mail after the applicant enters the U.S. to the address provided on Form DS-260. Upon arrival in the U.S. the immigrant visa will be stamped, this stamp is used as a proof of the holder’s permanent resident status for 1 year.

Specific interview instructions for each U.S. Embassy/Consulate are provided below:

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – ABJ

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates- ABD

Accra, Ghana – ACC

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – ADD

Algiers, Algeria – ALG

Almaty, Kazakhstan – ATA

Amman, Jordan – AMM

Amsterdam, Netherlands – AMS

Ankara, Turkey – ANK

Antananarivo, Madagascar – ANT

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – AKD

Asuncion, Paraguay – ASN

Athens, Greece – ATH

Auckland, New Zealand – ACK

Baghdad, Iraq – BGH

Bangkok, Thailand – BNK

Beirut, Lebanon – BRT

Belgrade, Serbia – BLG

Belmopan, Belize – BLZ

Bern, Switzerland – BEN

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – BKK

Bogota, Colombia – BGT

Bratislava, Slovakia – BTS

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo – BRZ (Immigrant visa applicants residing in Republic of the Congo must attend an in-person visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Bridgetown, Barbados – BGN

Brussels, Belgium – BRS

Bucharest, Romania – BCH

Budapest, Hungary – BDP

Buenos Aires, Argentina – BNS

Bujumbura, Burundi – BUJ (Immigrant visa applicants residing in Burundi must attend an in-person visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya)

Cairo, Egypt – CRO

Caracas, Venezuela – CRS

Casablanca, Morocco – CSB

Chisinau, Moldova – CHS

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico – CDJ

Colombo, Sri Lanka – CLM

Cotonou, Benin – COT

Dakar, Senegal – DKR

Damascus, Syria – DMS

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – DRS

Dhaka, Bangladesh – DHK

Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti – DJI

Doha, Qatar – DOH

Dublin, Ireland – DBL

Dushanbe, Tajikistan – DHB

Frankfurt, Germany – FRN

Freetown, Sierra Leone – FTN

Georgetown, Guyana – GEO

Guangzhou, China – GUZ

Guatemala City, Guatemala – GTM

Guayaquil, Ecuador – GYQ

Hamilton, Bermuda – HML

Havana, Cuba – HAV

Helsinki, Finland – HLS

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – HCM

Hong Kong – HNK

Harare, Zimbabwe  – HRE

Islamabad, Pakistan  – ISL

Jakarta, Indonesia – JAK

Jerusalem – JRS

Johannesburg,  South Africa – JHN

Kabul,  Afghanistan – KBL

Kampala, Uganda – KMP (Immigrant visa applicants residing in Uganda must attend an in-person visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya)

Kathmandu, Nepal – KDU

Khartoum, Sudan – KHT

Kigali, Rwanda – KGL

Kingston, Jamaica – KNG

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo – KIN

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – KLL

Kuwait City, Kuwait – KWT

Lagos, Nigeria – LGS

La Paz, Bolivia – LPZ

Libreville, Gabon – LIB

Lilongwe, Malawi – LIL

Lima, Peru – LMA

Lisbon, Portugal – LSB

Ljubljana, Slovenia – LJU

Lome, Togo  – LOM

London, U.K. – LND

Luanda, Angola – LUA

Lusaka, Zambia – LUS

Madrid, Spain – MDD

Managua, Nicaragua – MNG

Manama,  Bahrain – MNA

Manila, Philippines – MNL

Monrovia, Liberia  – MRV

Montevideo, Uruguay – MTV

Montreal, Canada – MTL

Moscow, Russia – MOS

Mumbai, India – BMB

Muscat, Oman – MST

Naha, Japan – NHA

Nairobi, Kenya – NRB

Naples, Italy – NPL

Nassau, The Bahamas – NSS

New Delhi, India – NWD

Niamey, Niger – NMY

Nicosia, Cyprus – NCS

Oslo, Norway – OSL

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – OUG

Panama City, Panama – PNM

Paris, France – PRS

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – PHP

Prague, Czech Republic – PRG

Praia, Cabo Verde – PIA

Pristina, Kosovo – PRI

Port-au-Prince, Haiti – PTP

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – PTM

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – PTS

Rangoon, Burma – RNG

Reykjavik, Iceland – RKJ

Riga, Latvia – RGA

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – RDJ

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – RID

San Jose, Costa Rica – SNJ

San Salvador, El Salvador – SNS

Santiago, Chile – SNT

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – SDO

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – SAR

Seoul, Korea – SEO

Singapore – SGP

Skopje, North Macedonia – SKO

Sofia, Bulgaria – SOF

Stockholm, Sweden – STK

Suva, Fiji – SUV

Sydney, Australia – SYD

Taipei, Taiwan – TAI

Tallinn, Estonia – TAL

Tashkent, Uzbekistan – THT

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (DV, Diversity Visa) – THT

Tbilisi, Georgia – TBL

Tegucigalpa, Honduras – TGG

Tel Aviv, Israel – TLV

Tirana, Albania – TIA

Tokyo, Japan – TKY

Tunis, Tunisia – TNS

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – ULN

Vancouver, Canada – VAC

Vienna, Austria – VNN

Vientiane, Laos – VNT

Vilnius, Lithuania – VIL

Warsaw, Poland – WRW

Yaounde, Cameroon – YDE

Yerevan, Armenia – YRV

Zagreb, Croatia – ZGB


Related Articles:

DS-260 Form – Step-By-Step Guide

Civil Documents Checklist for Immigrant Visa Application

Consular Processing – How to Apply for Immigrant Visa