Appointment Date, Time, and Location
Who Must Participate in the Interview
What Do I Need to Bring to the Interview
Last Minute Changes
When Your Visa Is Issued - What You Should Know
Although NVC strives to schedule appointments within three months of NVC’s acceptance of all requested documentation, this timeframe is subject to the operating status and capacity of the consular section. Currently, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most consular posts are operating at a limited capacity as they work through a backlog of immigrant visa applications and scheduling may take significantly longer.
To determine the proper procedure for rescheduling your interview appointment, please click U.S. Embassy/Consulate General-Specific Interview Guidelines.
You will receive instructions concerning interview preparation in the appointment letter that you will receive from the NVC. You should not have your exam until your interview has been scheduled. For further information about how to arrange for your medical examination click Medical Examination.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Medical examination results are valid for six months in normal circumstances. But if you have certain medical conditions your examination results could expire in as little as 3 months. In any case you should not have your medical examination until the NVC notifies you of your interview appointment date. You may be denied entry to the United States if your medical examination results expire before your arrival.
No, only applicants must appear to be interviewed.
Only the applicants who plan to immigrate must appear to be interviewed at the scheduled time. Applicants who will follow to join the principal applicant later do not have to attend the interview scheduled by NVC. They will be interviewed separately. You should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate directly to arrange separate interviews.
The immigrant visa application processing fee for each applicant must be paid before his/her visa interview can take place. Applicants whose fee has not been paid should be prepared to pay the fee on the day of the interview. You should contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate to understand what payment methods are acceptable.
Please review Interview Preparation – Required Documents for a list of the required documents you will need for your immigrant visa interview.
Yes, you must bring the original civil documents that you scanned and submitted through CEAC. If you do not bring your originals, you will delay the processing of your case.
Please do not submit any original documents to the NVC. Unless specifically directed to do so, please do not mail any documents to NVC, either original or photocopy.
Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, is required for all Immigrant Visa applicants and Diversity Visa applicants.
Yes, you may change your children's status from follow-to-join to accompanying by directly contacting the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where your interview is scheduled.
If the visa for which you are applying allows derivative children, your unmarried children under the age of 21 may be added as derivative applicants after your interview has been scheduled. You must directly contact the embassy/consulate to request specific instructions. At the interview the added applicant(s) will be required to pay the same fees, and submit the same forms and supporting documents as the original applicant(s).
If you plan to immigrate to the United States with your children, or to have your children join you in the United States later, you must prove that your children are:
- Eligible to be listed under your visa classification, and
- Under the age of 21 at the time they enter the United States
If your child will soon turn 21, your child could become ineligible to immigrate with you. If your child cannot immigrate with you because of their age, then a separate petition must be filed for your child and there may be a significant delay before your child becomes eligible for a visa.
If visas are available in your visa category before your child's birthday, the NVC may be able to expedite your case so that you and your child can immigrate together. Unfortunately, if visas are not available before the child's birthday, the NVC cannot expedite the case.
There is also a law called the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), which applies to a narrow range of cases and may allow the principal applicant's son or daughter to remain eligible under this petition. At the time of the parent's visa interview, the consular officer will determine whether or not CSPA is applicable in your particular situation.
Yes, although the type of immigrant visa that you can receive will change. 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 filed a petition for your spouse or minor children (under age 21 and unmarried) while you were an LPR, the visa category was family second preference (F2A). When you become a U.S. citizen, NVC will upgrade the petition to an immediate relative (IR) visa category. This benefits your immigrating family member(s) because there are no limits on the number of visas that can be issued each year in the IR categories.
- Important: If the family second preference (F2A) petition that you filed for your spouse included your minor children, now that you are a U.S. citizen you 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 or petition. (This is different from the family second preference petition, which allows minor children to be included in their parent's petition.)
- Children born abroad after you became a U.S. citizen may qualify for U.S. citizenship. They should apply for U.S. passports at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. The consular officer will determine whether your child is a U.S. citizen and can have a passport. If the consular officer determines your 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 filed a petition for your unmarried adult children (age 21 or older) when you were an LPR, NVC will change the visa category from family second preference (F2B) to family first preference (F1). However, under a federal law called the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), visa applicants can “opt out” of conversion to the F1 visa category and remain an F2B visa applicant. This may be beneficial because sometimes the wait time for an F2B visa is shorter than the wait time for an F1 visa. When you naturalize and become a U.S. citizen, you should check the Visa Bulletin to see if it would be helpful for your adult unmarried child to remain in the F2B category. (Applicants keep the priority date of their F2B petition when it converts to the F1 visa category.) Applicants who want to opt-out of conversion to the F1 category 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.
Review your visa when you receive it and also carefully note its expiration date. You must enter the United States before your visa expires, and before your medical examination results expire.