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Visa Interview


An applicant registered in the family-based, immediate relative category will be informed by mail about their visa interview appointment within 4 to 6 weeks of an Immigrant Visa Unit completing visa application processing.

An applicant registered for immigration in the family-based, preference category or employment-based category is subject to the annual numerical limitation on immigrants admitted to the U.S. An applicant in one these categories will be informed by mail about their visa interview appointment after their priority date becomes current. The applicant should refer to the tables of cut off dates.

In the pack mailed to the applicant there will be a visa interview appointment letter and a document pack called "Information for Immigrant Visa Applicants - Packet 4". The applicant should note their visa interview appointment date. They should also read the document pack very carefully before proceeding.

Note: The schedules for immigrant visa interview appointments are posted monthly on the Embassy and consulate websites. Dates for the current month are posted approximately by the 15th of the previous month. To view the schedule for immigrant visa interview appointments for a specific location, click on a link below.

Note: If the applicant does not receive a visa interview appointment letter 14 days before their scheduled visa interview, the applicant should do the following:

  • If the applicant's case is being processed at the Embassy, a person should come to the Consular Section of the Embassy at 4:00 p.m. on any business day and locate the Inquiries Window. At that window the person can obtain a duplicate letter.
  • If the applicant's case is being processed at the U.S. consulate in Chennai or Mumbai, the applicant should contact the relevant consulate to find out how to obtain a duplicate letter

How to proceed

  • The applicant should follow the instructions given in "Packet 4"
  • The applicant should come to the Embassy or appropriate consulate on the date given in the visa interview appointment letter
  • The applicant must pay the immigrant visa fee at the Embassy or relevant consulate on the day of visa interview unless the fee has already been paid to the National Visa Center (NVC)

Important information & reminders

  • If an applicant cannot keep their visa interview appointment, the applicant should notify the Embassy or appropriate consulate by e-mail and phone
  • Before a visa interview, the applicant must pay a courier fee so that their documents after returned to them after the visa interview. The courier fee is paid at a VFS U.S. Visa Application Center.
  • The immigrant visa fee is nonrefundable and the cost of the medical examination is not included in the immigrant visa fee
  • All immigrant visa applicants, no matter what age, must attend the visa interview
  • Before an applicant obtains a demand draft for the immigrant visa fee it is advisable that the applicant checks the consular exchange rate
  • An applicant needs to show their visa interview appointment letter to gain access to the Embassy or a consulate on the day of their visa interview

After the visa interview

When an applicant's visa application is successful, the consular officer retains the applicant's passport and documents. The passport then has the visa placed inside it and the documents are placed in a sealed packet.  The passport and document packet are delivered to VFS for distribution by courier.

The courier delivers the passport and document packet to the address given by the applicant. It will take up to seven business days after the interview for delivery.

When the applicant receives the sealed document packet it must not be opened by anybody. It must remain sealed. If the packet is opened, it must be returned to the Embassy and may result in significant delays.

Once received, the visa and accompanying document packet can be used to travel to a U.S. port of entry and seek admission as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).