As mentioned before, getting your visa interview is not easy. Even having all of the right documents can be tricky. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone! You are allowed to hire an immigration professional or consultant to help you navigate through this process.
While there are plenty of companies that offer such services, some may try to add additional costs in fees way up front or by adding service charges once you’ve secured your visa.
We were able to find one company that was very affordable, but they don’t cater to individuals. A team member from The Re-Entry Program (TRE) told us that as long as we were considered self-employed, our fee would include a lawyer cost per person.
This sounds excellent because lawyers are expensive! Luckily, this cost is totally covered during your initial application stage with TRE. During this period, you will need to pay only a small monthly membership fee which is more than enough coverage for your legal needs.
After your application has been accepted, their hourly rates drop tremendously making it much less costly per person. This is important to note since most people when looking into hiring a consultant spend hours waiting for them while they work and then bill extra for travel time and expenses.
With The RE-ENTRY PROGRAM, these things are already paid for so you won’t be overpaying.
A few days before your visa interview, you should contact the consulate that will be conducting your visit. This way, they can confirm the appointment time and give you any additional instructions or reminders for the day of your meeting.
It is very important to arrive early for your meeting, as most consulates require at least an hour to get ready. Some take longer than one!
Some things you need to know about your meeting include: what questions are being asked, what answers are needed, and how long it takes them to ask their questions. They may also tell you if there is anything you need to prepare in advance.
If possible, do not bring anyone with you to the interview. Sometimes, people who want to attend the interview are not able to due to work commitments or other obligations. Having someone come along for the ride can make this difficult.
Before you begin gathering all of your documents, make sure that everything is in order!
You can never start looking for work until you have proof of legal status and adequate employment authorization.
It’s very common to forget something before an interview, so be prepared!
Don’t wait till the last minute to gather everything you need – trust us, we know from experience.
Start by making copies of important documents (like I-9 forms) and then save those papers somewhere safe. You don’t want to be scrambling to find them later!
In addition to having our official document collection, there are some things that can help you get started. We like to recommend using VISAStore as they offer free store credit while you prepare for your visa interview.
This way you won’t spend any money up front, and you’ll always have enough time to purchase what you need.
It is not enough to just show up at your visa interview, you have to make sure that you actually attend the meeting. You can check if your interview has been scheduled by visiting our website or app at MyUSCIS.gov/visas where you can also view your interview location and time.
If you do not receive notice of your interview within one week after it was originally scheduled then you should call us directly. The USCIS does update this information so please do not worry about being forgotten!
We cannot tell you how many times we have seen people wait until they get home to look up their interview date and time, and then find out that there was no record of them attending. So, be sure to check frequently to make sure that you are able to come to the meeting!
It is very important to remember that your failure to appear in person may hurt your chances of getting approved for immigration or citizenship.
Even though you will probably be asked about your life several times during this process, do not seem too prepared or nervous. If possible, try to arrive early so you can relax and prepare properly.
Most visa interviews are held at a government building, which have a dedicated area set aside just for these meetings. Make sure you know where the meeting takes place before arriving.
Many of the time constraints we mentioned above also apply to visa interview days. For example, it is best to arrive well in advance to find out what time your appointment is.
Some things that may affect how long you have to wait include traffic, timing of flights, and amount of people waiting outside the venue.
Follow all of the visa interview instructions given to you in writing, but do not wait until the day of the interview to find out where it is being held.
Knowing the exact place your interview will take place can make a big difference in how well you prepare. If you know there’s going to be a two-hour lunch break, you may want to eat something that can be packed and easily transported.
If they tell you at the airport which country you will be entering, then packing according to that itinerary is probably best. But if you don’t know what city or state you are traveling to, then figuring out where in the area around the airport is most accessible after the meeting is important.
General guidelines about whether the interview takes place at the embassy or outside are helpful as well. For example, if you have to pick up an item somewhere, knowing the area makes things easier.
Many employers require you to bring your documents with you during an interview, even if they are already stored or verified. This is so that the potential employer can confirm that you have access to these things and make sure there aren’t any discrepancies between what you said in your application and how well you represent yourself in person.
The next step in the process is to gather all necessary documents and be prepared to bring these documents to the interview at the appropriate time.
Making sure you are well-prepared will help ensure that your visit goes as smoothly as possible. Try to organize and pack up early so that you do not have to rush through things.
Remember, your success during this meeting depends mostly on how organized and ready you are! So make sure you keep yourself prepped and be aware of any announcements or notifications regarding the day’s events.
The USCIS may ask about previous visits to America, if you mentioned anything about traveling here before, there might be something fishy going on.
It is important to give some notice of your interview time so that you do not have to wait for someone else’s schedule or no one can find you at the embassy.
Many employers coordinate meeting times with their employee’s work schedules, which makes it hard for employees to prepare for their own visa interviews.
It also may be difficult for them to get home after the interview if they are staying in a hotel close to the consulate.
Some people cannot afford to pay for a room alone, especially since most employers require two witnesses when verifying employment eligibility.
In these cases, finding affordable lodging becomes very tricky. Some possible solutions include sharing an apartment with other individuals or spending money on expensive taxis back home.