With the increasing digital dependency, most applications and documents are submitted online, but the US visa appointment must be attended in person.
Who Needs to Attend a US Visa Appointment?
There are some cases where the applicant does not need to attend a US visa appointment and can receive a visa waiver. To receive this waiver, 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.
You can either waive the biometric enrollment or the visa interview, but not both. If this is the case, you must make an appointment for the one that is not waived.
There are also certain visa categories that are not eligible for the Appointment Waiver: You are seeking an E-3, T, U, H-1, or L-1 visa. Even if you are renewing your visa, if you fall into one of these categories, you are not eligible for an Appointment Waiver and must attend a visa interview.
If you have a U.S. immigrant visa, it is very unlikely that you will be able to obtain an Appointment Waiver. Therefore, you will need to contact NVC for approval or to confirm the date and time of your appointment.
How do I get an appointment waiver?
To apply for an Appointment Waiver, you must select the option online or call the VAC to which you are applying; the VAC will check to see if you qualify for an Appointment Waiver and let you know if you need to make an appointment.
How to Schedule a US Visa Interview Appointment?
To be considered for a U.S. visa interview, you must first complete a DS-160 form. Once you submit this form and supporting documents to apply for a U.S. visa, it will be processed by the Visa Application Center (VAC) at the U.S. Embassy. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the type of U.S. visa you are applying for and the amount of work involved. Once your application has been processed, you will need to schedule an appointment to apply for your visa.
The interview appointment must be at least one day away from the fingerprinting appointment.
The interview appointment can be scheduled online.
- If you are applying from Asia, go to austraveldocs.com or
- ais.usvisa-info.com (if you are applying from outside Asia).
- If you would like assistance with the application process, please use Travel Assist.
What supporting documents should I bring at the appointment?
Please have the following documents ready to give us the information we need for your booking
- Your valid passport and passport number
- Your receipt number for the visa application fee.
- Your DS-160 confirmation page.
- Your email address.
- Documents specific to the type of visa you are applying for.
Completion of a Medical Examination for the US Visa Appointment
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants all applicants to complete an interview with an authorized physician in the country where they will be interviewed.
An “authorized physician” is one who is approved by the U.S. Embassy in your country. If you complete the medical check with another doctor, the consular officer will not accept it as valid.
What will happen at the medical examination?
The physical examination includes your
- Medical history
- Physical examination (at least eyes, ears, nose, throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen,
- lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia).
- Chest x-ray.
- Blood tests.
Documents to bring with you to the doctor’s visit
You will need to bring the following documents with you to your doctor’s visit
- Your letter for the visa interview
- Your passport
- Passport size color photos (the number of photos varies from 2 to 4 depending on the embassy)
- A copy of your vaccination certificate
After the examination
After the examination, the authorized physician will give the applicant the results of the medical examination in a sealed envelope (do not open the envelope) and present it with the other documents on the day of the visa interview or send it directly to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Make an appointment for your U.S. visa interview.
It is a good idea to prepare for your interview so that you are not confused when you arrive at the embassy. You will be fingerprinted during your interview with the consular officer. Do not bring food, laptops, backpacks, or large bags into the Embassy. Bring as few belongings as possible. Wear comfortable clothing and something more formal.
Arriving at the consulate
The first thing to remember is to arrive on time for your interview. It is true that you will often have to wait in line for your interview, and therefore your meeting with the consular officer may be an hour or more later than the arranged time. However, do not risk being late if you are told that there is a queue at the embassy. Try to arrive at least 10 minutes early as a precaution.
At the entrance to the embassy, you will be subjected to a security check, which almost always includes a full-body metal detector. You will then receive a token for your interview and will be required to submit your fingerprints. A staff member will scan your fingerprints and give you further instructions.
Getting started with the interview
After your fingerprints are taken, wait quietly in the lounge area until it is your turn to be interviewed. When it is your turn, you will hear your name called. Get your paperwork in order as soon as possible so there is no confusion when you meet the interviewer.
The questions the interviewer will ask you will depend on the type of US visa you have applied for. Here are some of the questions the interviewer will ask you during your interview.
- Visitor visa interview questions and answers.
- Student visa interview questions and answers.
- H1B Visa Interview Questions and Answers.
What if I am late for my interview?
In the unlikely event that you are 2 to 3 minutes late and there is no queue, your interview will be cancelled. In such a case, you will need to designate another person to wait for your interview.
What happens if I don’t show up for the interview?
If you do not show up for your scheduled interview, you must contact the Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible and let them know why you were unable to attend the interview. Please note that if you do not do so, your case will be cancelled and any fees already paid will not be refunded.
Can I cancel my appointment?
It is unlikely that you will need to cancel your appointment after you have applied for a U.S. visa and your documents are in order. However, circumstances may change and you may no longer wish to apply for a U.S. visa.
To cancel your U.S. visa appointment, call the VAC and tell them you are canceling and no longer need a U.S. visa. For U.S. immigrant visas, call the NVC and say you are not interested in a U.S. visa.
This is not advisable at all, as you have put a lot of work into your visa application and need to try to see if you can get a visa.
How can I reschedule my U.S. visa appointment?
Once an appointment is set, it is recommended that you show up on that day and time. However, if you are absolutely unable to make your appointment for the U.S. visa, you may reschedule your appointment.
Rescheduling an appointment for a nonimmigrant visa.
To reschedule your appointment for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa, call the VAC or change the date and time online. by calling the VAC or changing the date and time online, you can reschedule your appointment for the next available time slot. If you change your appointment, please provide a valid reason so that the U.S. Embassy can consider your reason.
Changing an appointment for an immigrant visa.
To change your appointment for a U.S. immigrant visa, contact the NVC and explain why you want to change your appointment. You will need to provide your case number or petition number and a time that is convenient for you. However, if the time slot you requested is not available, NVC will schedule an appointment in the next available time slot.
Therefore, you must make arrangements to keep your original appointment. Rescheduled appointments will delay the processing of your visa and increase the time it takes us to confirm the issuance of your visa.
It is not advisable to change your appointment more than once if you must. If you change your appointment more than once, you may have to pay a new visa application fee as a penalty.
US Visa Biometrics Appointment
Biometric appointments must be scheduled so that the applicant can provide biometric information. This includes photographs and fingerprints for U.S. visas. The U.S. requires applicants to provide biometric information to enhance border security and to verify who is entering the country.
For some countries and certain applicants, it is not necessary to make an appointment for fingerprinting, but you should check with the U.S. Embassy to see if you need to complete this part of the visa application process.
How to Schedule a US Immigrant Visa Appointment?
If you are applying for a U.S. immigrant visa, the fingerprinting and interview appointments are different. For non-immigrant visas, you must make all appointments yourself, while for immigrant visas, the National Visa Center (NVC) makes the appointments for you.
After USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) processes the immigrant visa petition from your employer or a family member, they will send the documents to NVC, who will assign you a case identification number and a fee identification number.
They will then schedule an appointment for you, depending on whether or not the visa has an annual cap.
If the visa you are applying for does not have a cap, your biometric and interview appointment will be set immediately. If there is an annual cap on your visa, wait your turn, which is your current processing date. When it is your turn to get the visa, you will be invited for an interview.
If you have an immigrant visa, you will not have a choice when you make your appointment for the US visa. Therefore, NVC will choose the next available time slot at the US Embassy to schedule your appointment. Therefore, you must plan ahead and take time off from work or appointments to attend the fingerprinting and interview.