FAQ: Non-Immigrant Consular Processing
Non-immigrant visa consular processing can be a stressful process. This guide will help prepare those seeking a new visa at a consular post and facilitate the process.
What should I do before the interview? Obtain one (1) 2×2 passport-style photograph.
Complete the online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160, which can
be accessed at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and print the confirmation page with
Pay the visa application fee and print the payment receipt.
Schedule your interview and print the interview appointment confirmation.
What should I do to prepare for the interview? Review all paperwork for accuracy and to ensure that you have all documents required.
Do not staple documents together. Please use binder clips as necessary.
Submit clear and legible photocopies of all documents required.
In each category, place documents in reverse chronological order. Place oldest
documents at the bottom and newest documents at the top.
Do not submit oversized documents, as all documents must be 8.5 x 11.
What should I wear for the interview?Dress neatly and professionally. Do not overdo it, like wearing an American flag tie or
red, white and blue attire.
Who can attend the appointment? Only visa applicants may attend the appointment.
Applicants under age 18 may be accompanied by a parent or guardian, if desired.
Children under age 14 do not need to appear in person to apply for a visa. If you are also
applying for a visa, you may carry your child’s application documents with you, along
with one photograph of the child on a white background (2 x 2 inches or 51 x 51 mm in
When should I arrive?Arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to your appointment time and be prepared to
stand outside in line with other interviewees.
What items can I bring?Bring only the required documents in an unsealed transparent plastic bag or folder.
Mobile phones and most purses/bags are not permitted. Many other items are not
permitted. For a full list of items that are not permitted, please check the Consulate’s
website. Most Embassies or Consulates do not have storage capabilities.
What is the interview like? The interview with the consular officer is short and typically last 5-10 minutes.
Answer truthfully and consistently throughout and you will maximize your chances of
success. A successful interview will result in the issuance of a visa.
Do not try to engage in unnecessary conversation with the officer, as that might cause
more questions and possible some problems.
What is a visa? A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first
obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport.
It is an endorsement within the passport indicating that the holder is allowed apply for
admission into the U.S.
Is there a guarantee that my visa will be approved? No guarantees can be given in advance that a visa will be issued.
A consular officer can make a decision only after all of your visa application and all
documents have been reviewed, and you have been personally interviewed.
Applications are rarely denied on the spot.
If there are problems, kindly ask the officer to put any requests for more documents in
writing, stating exactly what you need and why. The consular office should give you a
document listing the documents required.
What kind of questions will the officer ask me?For an employment-based interview, you may be asked questions about your job title,
job description, your employer and immigration history.
What should I look for when I receive my visa stamp?Your new visa will have several notations. If you see a mistake, please contact the post
as soon as possible. The end of this PDF has an outline of the notations to help you review
your visa and ensure there are no mistakes: http://www.marksgray.com/wp-content/uploads/1970/01/FAQ_Non_Immigrant_Consular_Processing.pdf.