EP19: How Do I Prepare For A Visa Interview? Free eBook Download
Be Prepared For The Interview
Avoid Administrative Processing
What To Expect From The CO
Get USCIS Insider Tips
- What To Bring – which documents you should bring to your visa interview.
- What To Review – learn what you need to review to help you answer questions that will be asked.
- What To Wear – find out what you should wear on the big day.
- What To Expect – know what will happen before you arrive for your visa interview.
- When To Arrive – learn the best time to arrive for the interview (yes, you can go early!)
- What The CO Will Do – find out what to consular officer will do and why.
Overall, the visa interview is about 15-20 minutes long and will focus on the information you’ve already provided to USCIS. The consular officer will ask you to clarify information or confirm what you’ve already submitted.
Related Post: CR1 Spouse Visa Case Sent Back To USCIS After Interview?
What To Bring To The Visa Interview
You’ve made it all the way to the visa interview, congratulations!!! 👏
It’s now time to prepare for it the right way. Don’t take this visa interview lightly because you aren’t “out of the woods” yet so to speak. There is still more work to do to convince the consular officer that you are eligible for the immigrant visa.
But, the good news is that if you’ve made it this far it means that your eligibility isn’t in question anymore and there are just a few more hurdles to overcome. The first is the background check, and then there are the interview questions and final review of your application.
Gather all the documents before arriving for your interview. If you’ve been listening to me during the beginning stages of your petition application, you would know that I tell everyone to make a complete copy of the petition before mailing it to USCIS.
Related Post: CR1 Interview Documents To Bring To The Consulate
By making yourself a copy, you can review the answers you’ve given when you get to the interview stage.
- Documents To Bring To Your Visa Interview:
- Entire copy of petition
- Tax transcripts
- Medical exam results
- Financial documents
- Utility bills
- Health insurance documents
- Life insurance documents
- Photos of you together
Remember, the list above is not a complete list. You should bring everything you have so far proving your relationship and supporting documents for the affidavit of support.
It’s a good idea to bring originals of these documents in case the consular officer wishes to see the originals in place of the copies you’ve sent in the past.
Related Podcast: EP10: K1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers
Related Podcast: EP4: CR1 Spouse Visa Interview Questions & Answers
What To Review Before Your Visa Interview
After you’ve gathered all the documents and evidence, it’s time to start reviewing them and getting familiar with your answers. Some people think that you should really have to study if you are telling the truth on the paperwork but this isn’t the case.
These forms ask for so much information, dates, and places that you can get mixed up if you haven’t looked at what you’ve written in almost half a year!
Ideally, you’ll want to briefly go over all the forms and evidence you’ve submitted. Be sure that he dates that you met are accurate and that it matches what you will tell the consular officer at the interview.
Unfortunately, if anything doesn’t match your case will likely be placed in administrative processing until they can verify the information you’ve given at the interview with what they have on file.
Next, let’s go over how to prepare for a visa interview by choosing the right clothing.
What To Wear To The Visa Interview
This is the fun part! If you like getting dressed up or like making a good impression, by all means, go for it!
It’s time to put on your nicest outfit or maybe the most professional attire. But, if you prefer to dress a little more casual than consider some khakis or dress pants with a button up shirt or blouse.
Additionally, try to avoid wearing shorts, jeans or really tight fitting or too short clothing. Of course, the consular officer can’t deny your visa based on how you are dressed but they can deny you based on their own judgement.
So, why risk putting the consular officer off before you even have a chance to open your mouth? Put yourself together looking decent and save the crazy attire for after you are approved and living in the United States. That’s when you can really show off your quirky personality by what you wear! 😂
What To Expect At The Visa Interview
I remember when I received my interview appointment letter, I felt excited but nervous at the same time. Why? Because so much of my future was riding on this going well that it scared me a little.
Just the simple fact that someone who doesn’t know me will judge my relationship and tell me if it’s real or not kind of put me off. Of course, I had not choice but to attend and do my best with answering their questions.
However, I will say that consular officers are people first. They have families just like you and are not out “to get you.” 😏
Ultimately, it’s up to you to convince them that you are eligible for the visa you’ve applied for and that you are a good law abiding human that just wants to be with their loved one.
Try your best to be agreeable, kind, honest and mild tempered. The last thing you want is to blow up at a consular officer for asking you a question you find offensive.
Remember, all questions are allowed. Even the most intimate questions about your relationship are not off limits so be prepared for them by staying calm and responding with a straight face. 😐
Related Post: K-1 Visa Interview: Top 21 Questions That Will Be Asked
When To Arrive At The Visa Interview
Being tardy to a visa interview is big no no! Be sure to set your alarm if you aren’t an early bird so you don’t miss the appointment. This is probably one of the most important tips to prepare for a visa interview.
Most of you may want to go 30 minutes before your interview but for others that want to be the first one there, you can wait before the Consulate actually opens. (yes, this is possible!)
That’s exactly what I did. I went to the US Consulate in Montreal about 45 minutes before they opened. It was cold and raining but I was determined to be the first one there.
Unfortunately, I was number 2 in line. So, there was one other person that was thinking like me and beat me to it. 😂
Once you get to the Consulate, you will be in line and an officer will ask to see your interview letter to confirm you are supposed to be there. They will give you a ticket with a number on it and then you will go through security.
The security is similar to what you see at an airport. Try not to bring electronics with you because they won’t let you in with them. Yup, that means no cell phone or laptops. This may not be case at every Consulate or Embassy but be prepared to have those electronics confiscated. 😭
What The Consular Officer Will Do At The Interview
Once you’re in the door of the Consulate or Embassy and your name is called, it’s now time to meet your interviewer! I promise they are usually very nice people who want to see you get approved too.
But, of course, there are some consular officers who are all about business and may not even start off with small talk. Don’t worry! Be nice and respectful when they ask you questions. You don’t need to impress them or make them your friend to get approved for the visa.
The consular officer will ask for your name, your fiancé or spouse’s name and information about your relationship. They will request certain documents be given to them to make copies and then they will review your case in their system.
After this, the questions will begin! 😨
Don’t mind the scary emoji above 🤣, the questions are not that difficult. It will mostly focus on your relationship and the answers given on the petitions you submitted many months ago.
This is why I say you should review those documents completely to be sure what your answers were. That way, your answers will stay consistent and you won’t trigger any red flags about your case.
Conclusion: How To Prepare For A Visa Interview
Alright, folks those are my tips on how to prepare for a visa interview. I hope you’ve found this helpful and will take this information with you to your immigration interview.
Download the FREE Guide To Immigration Interviews ebook to learn more and be better prepared.
Finally, I want to say that if you remain calm, confident and positive I’m sure you will be approved for the visa. Many people think of it similar to a job interview when you really want to land the gig. Which is the main reason why you should prepare for a visa interview!
If getting approved for the visa is your end goal, you need to visualize it and then put the tips in the ebook to practice. Being nervous is normal but don’t let your nervousness get you down.
If you want to REALLY prepare for the CR1 spouse visa interview or K1 fiancé visa interview, join the Migrant Academy today. It’s an interactive online course that teaches you step-by-step how to get approved for the visa and prepares you for the interview with quizzes and practice sessions.
Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.