Please follow the steps below before your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney, Australia.
The U.S. Embassy in Canberra and the U.S. Consulates General in Perth and Melbourne do not process Immigrant and K visa applications. These applications are processed at the U.S. Consulate General in Sydney only.
Please refer to the below visa classification links to assist you in preparing for your interview:
As soon as you receive your appointment date, you must schedule a medical exam in Australia. Click the “Medical Exam Instructions” button below for a list of approved physicians’ offices in Australia. Please schedule and attend a medical exam with one of these physicians before your interview.
Read our interview guidelines to learn about any special actions that you need to take before your visa interview.
All immigrant visa applicants, regardless of age, require a medical examination prior to the issuance of a visa. Only a physician approved by the U.S. Consulate General can perform this exam. It is your responsibility to schedule a medical exam with an approved physician before your visa interview appointment at the U.S. Consulate General. Medical examination results from other physicians will not be accepted. Please click the button below for a list of approved physicians in Australia. Medical examinations cannot be performed in the United States.
All medical examination fees, including x-ray and blood test fees, must be paid directly to the examining physician. The required medical examination forms will be provided and completed by the physician at your appointment.
The medical examination will include a medical history review, physical examination, and chest X-ray, gonorrhea testing, and blood tests (for applicants 15 years of age or older). The United States also requires tuberculosis (TB) testing for all applicants two years of age and older. Please be prepared to discuss your medical history, medications you are taking, and current treatments you are undergoing. More information on general medical requirements for U.S. immigrants is available here.
U.S. immigration law requires immigrant visa applicants to obtain certain vaccinations prior to the issuance of a visa. Current immigrant visa vaccination requirements are available here. You can also read Frequently Asked Questions about our medical examination requirements online.
The panel physician will send exam results directly to the U.S. Consulate General, Sydney.
A copy of your vaccination record will be returned to you on the day of the examination by the panel physician. Keep the copy for your records. If you received a CD of your x-rays, you must bring it with you to the United States.
Medical reports are valid for three (3) or six (6) months from the date of examination, depending on the examination results. Your visa will be limited to the expiry date of the medical exam.
You must submit an Express Post Prepaid Satchel that we will use to mail your issued visa in your passport (and visa package if applicable). Please be sure the satchel contains your name, contact number and the address where you would like us to mail the visa (within Australia). Keep the tracking number for your records and complete the “Return” address field as the U.S. Consulate address.
a. Express Post Prepaid Satchel (SMALL size) (Invoice number begins with “IVSCA”)
b. Express Post Prepaid Satchel (LARGE size) for all other applicants including Ks
Rescheduling or cancelling your interview
There may be a significant wait before the next available appointment, so please attempt to attend the date already assigned. For some family-based and employment preference visa categories, a visa became available within the month your interview was scheduled. There is no guarantee that a visa will still be available on the date of your rescheduled interview. Please carefully consult the Visa Bulletin before you request to reschedule your interview.
To reschedule your appointment, please email our office with the subject line “Reschedule IV Interview” and provide several dates when you will be available for an interview. Visa interviews occur on Tuesday mornings only. Please note, not all requests can be met.
Security screening procedures
On the day of your interview please go to Level 10 of the MLC Centre for security check-in. Applicants are requested to bring as few personal items as possible to the interview. You should arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to clear through the security screening process. Once you pass through security, you will be directed to the Consular Office on Level 59. You should plan on spending up to three (3) hours at the consulate.
Petitioners may accompany the applicant(s) to the visa interview or, if the applicant is not fluent in English, one interpreter may attend. Please email the following information at least two (2) weeks before the interview so the petitioner or interpreter can be approved for access to our office:
Immigrant visa fees
If you have not paid all required fees to the National Visa Center, please be prepared to pay these fees on the day of your interview. Please note that if you are found ineligible to receive a visa, the application fee cannot be refunded. A list of fees can be found Fees for Visa Services webpage.
Visa processing times
Immigrant visa processing times vary. There may be unexpected ineligibilities that become apparent only at the time of your interview which require additional time and processing. Generally, it will take 15 business days to print your visa and prepare your visa package (if applicable) after the consular officer has reviewed and adjudicated your case.
A Consular Officer can make a decision on a visa application only after reviewing the formal application and interviewing the applicant. There is no guarantee that you will receive a visa. Do not sell your house, car or property; resign from your job; or make non-refundable flight or other travel arrangements until you have received your immigrant visa.
If more information is needed
Sometimes a Consular Officer is unable to make a decision on a visa application because they need to review additional documents, or the case requires further administrative processing.
When administrative processing is required, the consular officer will inform the applicant at the end of the interview. The duration of the administrative processing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case. Except in cases of emergency travel (i.e., serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family), before making inquires about status of administrative processing, applicants should wait at least 180 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is first.
What happens after visa approval
Passport and Visa
Your immigrant visa will be placed on a page in your passport. Please review the printed information right away to make sure there are no errors. If there are any spelling or biographical errors, contact the consulate immediately.
What do I need to do before I travel?
You must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after you receive your immigrant visa and before you travel to the United States. Only children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents (SB-1s), and those issued K visas are exempt from this fee. Please visit the USCIS website for more information and to pay the fee. Please Note: USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 or Green Card until you have paid the fee.
When should I travel?
You must arrive in and apply for admission to the United States no later than the visa expiration date printed on your visa. An immigrant visa is usually valid for up to six (6) months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner, which may make your visa valid for less than six (6) months.
Entering the United States
When traveling to the United States, the primary (or principal) applicant must enter before or at the same time as derivative family members with visas. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customers and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to grant or deny admission. Learn about admission and entry requirements on the CBP website. When you are admitted, you will enter as a Lawful Permanent Resident, also called a green card holder, and will be permitted to work and live in the United States.
Getting a Green Card – Your Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card, also known as a green card, will be automatically mailed to the address in the United States that you write in your visa application form. This is a very important document that proves you have permission to reside in the United States. If you plan to travel outside the U.S. before your green card arrives: Please consult USCIS’s and CBP’s websites for rules about what documents you need to re-enter the country. We also recommend you check with the airline to ensure you are in compliance with their rules. Once your card is issued, you should not stay outside of the United States for more than one year. If you do, you will lose your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident.
Children’s Issues – In the United States, children are required to have certain vaccinations before they can enroll in school. We recommend that you bring your child’s complete vaccination records with you to the United States. If your child is adopted, you have full custody as a result of a divorce, or you share custody with another parent, you should bring a copy of all applicable adoption or custody papers from the authoritative court in your home country. You will need these papers (translated into English) for issues such as school enrollment, medical care, and eventual citizenship.
When You are a Permanent Resident – Learn more about your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident. You may also wish to review Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants.
Social Security Number – To learn about the U.S. Social Security Administration benefits available to Legal Permanent Residents, and how to apply for a social security number card, visit the Social Security Administration website.
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