How Long Does The U.s. Immigrant Visa Interview Take

By Tiara

Recent reports claim that it can take upwards of eight hours to get through immigration processing for a non-immigrant visa, such as a U.S. immigrant visa or work visa. This is simply not true! It takes longer than this only if there are major delays in your appointment, which unfortunately there always are.

There are many things that can cause a significant delay at an embassy or consulate outside of the United States. A lot of these causes are due to general overcrowding or lack of resources. For example, if there are too many people seeking visas then staff may be spread thin trying to meet deadlines while also conducting appropriate investigations and screenings.

It is very important to keep yourself organized and prepared before arriving for your appointment so that you do not waste time waiting for someone else or because of a last minute thing that was needed. Make sure to check out our tips here for more ways to prepare for your visit.

Another reason why appointments can drag on is because there might be a large number of applicants being interviewed by one officer or several officers at once, depending on how many applications they have.

Dress the part

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

When you’re applying for a visa, there is an initial interview which can last anywhere from half an hour to several hours depending on how in-depth the officials want to be. This depends mostly on whether they like your personal profile as well as what questions they ask about your life and career so far.

Some things that could affect how long the interview goes include if you are wearing expensive or flashy clothes, if you look too healthy (or even if you seem sickly), and whether you overstate your income.

If any of these apply to you then try and dress in more affordable, casual clothing and emphasize simplicity and classic looks when describing yourself on applications and during interviews.

Avoid showing off too much wealth or else you will come across as trying too hard which may not sit well with some people.

Dress comfortably

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

The length of your visa interview will depend mostly on how well you dress for it. If you are very nervous, then wearing more casual clothes may help calm you down. On the other hand, if you do not feel comfortable in formal clothing, try to find an adequate amount of time to prepare ahead of time so that you do not have to rush shopping or buying new clothes.

Most U.S. embassies require at least two weeks notice before their visa interviews. This gives enough time to buy necessary items such as shirts, pants, and shoes. Many employers also offer professional assistance with interviewing, which can be helpful too.

Research the location

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

The length of time it takes to get your visa depends mostly on two things: the city you are visiting for the interview, and how long the consulate or agency staff has as their working deadline in terms of reviewing applications.

Some cities have longer deadlines than others – for example, Singapore has an April 30th deadline while Australia has a September 30th one! This means if you apply in March then you’ll need to be fast to gather all the materials and submit everything by that date to ensure you don’t miss out.

But unfortunately, like most things related to visas, what people say about the timing of interviews is very different from what actually happens in practice.

Arrive early

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

The timing of your interview depends on how quickly you want to leave! Unfortunately, US immigration officials are not quite as quick moving themselves. They typically give yourself about an hour for your in-person consultation.

This is because they need this time to do several things including but not limited to: talk with other officers, run background checks, and gather documents and evidence.

So if you’re in a hurry to return home, make sure to allow enough time for the above mentioned procedures before your visa interview.

Also remember that it takes two weeks or more until you get confirmation from USCIS that your application was accepted! So once again, be aware of this lag period when planning your next vacation destination.

General tips: dress appropriately (visually), groom well, and bring copies of important documents (like proof of employment) in case they ask to review them.

Give yourself time to find your seat

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

After you arrive at the embassy, you will need to check in and they may have you wait for another hour or two before your appointment. This is because most people do not know what happens next!

Most visa applicants are asked several questions during their interview. These include asking about employment, proof of enough money to live on while in America, and if anyone knows you overseas.

They also ask if you have any medical conditions that could potentially be fatal without proper treatment. If this applies to you then they will require confirmation that you have adequate health coverage.

At this stage, the ambassador will usually tell you when your appointment is. They will probably give you a little bit of time to prepare and work out what documents you should take with you.

Be aware of the time limit

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

After you have been invited to interview, you will be given a set amount of time to finish your interview. This is called the visa interview schedule or timing deadline. Most times this is one hour!

If you do not leave enough time for the interview, then you may need to start over and find another country’t help process your application. This can really hurt your chances of getting into the United States as well as creating additional costs if you are traveling with others while waiting for your appointment.

It is very important that you know how long the US Embassy takes to get back to you so that you do not waste any time sitting around when you should be preparing for bed or going to meet someone else.

Know the topic

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

The process of applying for a visa in America is very specific and organized. Applicants are given time frames as to when they will be contacted for their appointment, so it is important that you know what day your appointment is being held at the embassy or consulate.

If you find out too late, you can always call back and re-schedule your meeting, but it is best to know early!

Some things that can affect how long your interview lasts include whether you have proof of income, health insurance, and/or residence permits. If you do not, then there may be an additional delay while these documents are gathered.

It is also important to remember that some days your interviewer may need more time than others to get through all of his or her questions. No matter what, your appointment should last no longer than one hour, and half of this time should be spent talking about your intended stay in the United States.

Be confident

how long does the u.s. immigrant visa interview take

Follow common sense advice before you go into your interview. Do not drink alcohol or use illegal substances one day prior to your visa interview, as this could negatively affect how you present yourself and what you say.

You do not have to tell immigration officers every little detail of your life during the visa process, but knowing who you are talking to can help you relate more easily and speak from the heart.

Be sure to research some basic information about your country and position in society, current events, etc. This way you will be able to talk about these things with ease and know that you have done your homework.

Also, practice responding to questions in advance so your nerves don’t get the best of you while interviewing. Having such knowledge will make you feel much better and give you a boost of confidence.

Lastly, try to understand why the officer is asking the question he/she has asked up until now. If possible, address their concerns directly and put them at ease.