Chicago Law Office of Christine Contreras

Preparing For Your Consular Interview Outside the U.S.

After your visa petition has been approved and you have submitted all necessary fees and documents to the National Visa Center, it is time for your consular interview. Before your interview, you will normally have to go through the following steps:

1. Undergo a medical exam.

The exam should be with an embassy-approved doctor, if you have any outstanding vaccinations you should also get these before your appointment. You can find more information here.

2. Register for Courier Service/Other Pre-Interview Instructions

Many U.S. Embassies and Consulates require visa applicants to pre-register for courier services. This service is for returning applicant passports and visas to them after the interview. Each consular section also has unique entry and security requirements, including whether applicants can bring cell phones into the embassy or consulate.

Before your interview, read the specific requirements for where you will be interviewed.

Choose the city where your interview will take place from the List of U.S. Embassies and Consulates to review Embassy/Consulate requirements. The supplement may contain other requirements specific to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your interview will be held, so please read these instructions carefully.

3. Bring all necessary documents

If you do not bring all required documents to your appointment, your case will be delayed. You may need to return to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at another date and your visa may be delayed or denied.

The documents you need to bring are:

  • Interview appointment letter from the National Visa Center (NVC).
  • Unexpired passport valid for six months beyond your intended date of entry into the United States and a photocopy of the biographic page (where your name and photo are located).
  • Two color passport photographs measuring 2 inches by 2 inches (5 cm by 5 cm) with a white background.
  • Required civil documents on the list below (the original version and a photocopy), even if you submitted a photocopy to NVC. You may need to get an updated police certificate.
  • Translations of any document not written in either English or the official language of the country in which the interview will take place. Translations must be certified by a competent translator.
  • Medical exam results if the physician gives you these results. In that case, bring them to your interview in the envelope sealed by the medical office.
  • Confirmation page from Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
  • Family-based visa applications:
    • A signed Affidavit of Support from your petitioner and any additional financial sponsors who submitted a Form I-864 on behalf of your visa application.  Applicants may bring photocopies and scanned versions of signed Forms I-864 and associated documents.
    • Financial evidence showing your petitioner’s income, such as federal tax returns and forms W-2.
    • Proof of the U.S. petitioner’s status and domicile in the United States (photocopy of a U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or legal permanent resident card).
  • Employment-based visa applications
    • A letter from your U.S. employer dated less than one month ago confirming the essential elements of the job offer.

You may find the table on this page helpful when assembling your documents.

The video is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Urdu.

Are you a sponsor or immigrant in need of help with your consular processing? Contact us to go over the process in detail!