If you are immigrating to the United States part of the process will involve a visa interview conducted either at a consulate or a US Embassy which can seem exceptionally scary and stressful to some people. However, if you are prepared and have a strategy for the interview you can remove the fear and face the interview with confidence.
Your first strategy should be one of absolute honesty. The interviewers and processors are trained to spot fraudulent information be it during the interview or in reviewing your documents. Never misrepresent yourself or lie in the interview or on the documents you provide. If fraudulent information is uncovered it could potentially result in a permanent barring from entry into the US.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
- The interview letter that you will receive will tell you what documents to bring to the interview. Prepare or obtain them well in advance and have a duplicate copy available as well (including a copy of the interview appointment letter). Place the documents, photos and passport(s) in a folder in the sequence that is listed in the interview letter. This will allow you to quickly locate and provide the documents when the interviewer asks for them.
- If the visa that you are seeking is family based you’ll be asked to present photos from over time that shows you and the sponsor. Be prepared to go into detail as to when each photo was taken and what he circumstances of the occasion.
- Keep the answers to the questions honest and to the point. Just answer what was asked, do not volunteer any information.
- Bring copies of any documents that you may have submitted earlier in case they have become lost. The more complete your documentation the faster the process will go.
- Dress appropriately. Fashions will vary from country to country and culture to culture but wear whatever you would wear to a business meeting. However, make sure that whatever you wear is comfortable as the interview process could take most of a day.
- For the most part the interviewers are professionals and very good at their jobs. If however you and your interviewer lack chemistry and you believe that he or she is not being fair…do not get angry and don’t get disrespectful. If you feel you are being abused you can report it after the interview.
- Bring money. If you have not previously paid your nonrefundable application fees then be prepared to pay them at the interview appointment.
What to expect when you arrive at the consulate or Embassy.
Most consulates have serious security procedures. Do not bring a cell phone or electronic devices as they are not permitted inside the building. When you arrive at the consulate you will probably have to stand in line to gain entry so it’s a good idea to show up at least 30 minutes before your appointment. Have your interview appointment letter ready to show security in order to gain entry to the building.
Once inside you will go through a security scan. After the scan you will be taken to a station where your fingerprints will be digitally scanned (no ink). These digital prints will become part of your visa package.
From fingerprinting you’ll be taken to a waiting room where, eventually, your name will be called and you’ll be taken to meet your interviewer. How long this whole process takes depends on the work load of the consulate.
Te key is to remain calm, confidant and honest and prepared. For most of the immigration process you are just a bunch of forms and photographs. This interview is the only opportunity to represent yourself to the immigration authorities as a human being who will add value to the country if allowed to immigrate.
Eugene Jones is a principal in www.ImmiGreatNow.com.com which provides web solutions for family Immigration. Eugene is also a principal in www.connect4business.com a lotus domino manufacturing solution and www.nauvou.com.com web based solutions for customer support.