Failure to Appear for Interview - If you cannot appear at your scheduled interview, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible. If you do not contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate within one year of receiving your interview appointment letter, your case may be terminated and your immigrant visa petition cancelled, and any fees paid will not be refunded.
Need to change the interview date and time - Review Interview Guidelines for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your interview is scheduled.
My spouse and/or children were going to follow me to the United States after I immigrate. Can they accompany me instead? - Yes, you may change your spouse’s and/or children's status from follow-to-join to accompanying by directly contacting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your interview is scheduled. This may be done prior to your immigrant visa interview, and additional forms and documents may need to be provided.
Can my children also receive immigrant visas, even if they were not originally part of the case? - If the immigrant visa category in which you are applying includes derivative children, your qualified unmarried children under the age of 21 may be added as derivative applicants after your interview has been scheduled. Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for specific instructions. At the interview, the additional applicant(s) will be required to pay the same fees and submit the same forms and supporting documents as you.
Visa eligibility: My child will turn 21 years old soon - Children generally must be unmarried and under age 21 to qualify as derivative visa applicants, or to qualify for immigrant visas individually in the IR-2 or F-2A visa categories. Also, they generally must enter the United States with immigrant visas while still under age 21.
Under, the Child Status Protection Act, some children might continue to qualify for a visa and enter the United States after reaching the age of 21. If you have a child who will be turning 21 soon, you should have already notified the NVC. The NVC may be able to expedite your case. If you did not notify the NVC, then you should immediately contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your interview is scheduled. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will determine whether an earlier appointment is needed. If your child no longer qualifies to immigrate with you based on age, then a separate petition must be filed for the child. There may be a significant delay before your child becomes qualified for a visa.
Visa eligibility: My petitioning spouse/parent became a U.S. citizen -
If the family member in the United States who petitioned for you has become a U.S. citizen, you should immediately contact the U.S. Embassy where your interview is scheduled. They will need proof of your petitioner’s naturalization, so please obtain one of the following documents:
- A copy of the biodata page of your petitioner’s U.S. passport; or
- A copy of your petitioner’s certificate of naturalization.
Effect on spouses and minor children: If you are applying for a visa in the family second preference (F2A) category, when your petitioning spouse/parent becomes a U.S. citizen you become eligible for the immediate relative (IR) visa category. This benefits application because there are no limits on the number of visas that can be issued each year in the IR categories.
- Important: If your minor children are listed on your F2A visa application as “derivative applicants,” now that your petitioner is a U.S. citizen he/she must file new and separate petitions for each child. This is because children cannot be included as “derivative applicants” on a parent’s immediate relative (IR) visa. (This is different from the family second preference (F2A) petition, which allows minor children to be included in their parent's F2A petition.)
- Children born abroad after a parent became a U.S. citizen may qualify for U.S. citizenship. They should apply for U.S. passports. The consular officer will determine whether the child is a U.S. citizen and can have a passport. If the consular officer determines the child is not a U.S. citizen, the child must apply for an immigrant visa if he/she wants to live in the United States.
Effect on adult children: If you are applying for a visa in the family second preference (F2B) category as an unmarried adult child (age 21 or older), when your petitioning parent becomes a U.S. citizen you become eligible for the family first preference (F1) visa category. However, under a federal law called the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), you can “opt out” of conversion to the F1 visa category and remain an F2B visa applicant. This may be beneficial because sometimes the waiting time for an F2B visa is shorter than the waiting time for an F1 visa. You should check the Visa Bulletin to see if it would be helpful for you to remain in the F2B category. (Applicants keep the priority date of their F2B petition even if it converts to the F1 visa category.) If you want to opt-out of the F1 category, you must submit a request using these guidelines:
- Applicants whose case is at NVC should submit requests using NVC’s online inquiry form. NVC will forward the request to USCIS and change the visa category back to F2B upon receipt of USCIS’s approval.
- Applicants whose case is at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas should ask the embassy to submit a request on their behalf. The consular officer will forward the request and adjudicate the visa application in the F2B category only upon receipt of USCIS’s approval.