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The Immigrant Visa Process

Prepare for the Interview

Important Notices

All applicants -
Read the below information carefully. If you do not bring all required documents to your appointment, your case will be delayed. You may need to return to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at another date and your visa may be delayed or denied.

Spouses of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (IR-1/CR/1 and F2A visas) - You should read the Rights and Protections pamphlet before your visa interview to learn about your rights in the United States relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and protection available to you. The consular officer will verbally summarize the pamphlet to you during your interview.

After NVC schedules your visa interview appointment, they will send you, your petitioner, and your agent/attorney (if applicable) an email or letter noting the appointment date and time.  After you receive an interview appointment letter from NVC, you must take the following steps BEFORE the interview date.

Step 1: Schedule and Complete a Medical Examination

You (and each family member or “derivative applicant” applying for a visa with you) are required to schedule a medical appointment with an authorized physician in the country where you will be interviewed. You must complete your medical examination, along with any required vaccinations, BEFORE your scheduled visa interview date. This exam must be with an embassy-approved doctor.  Exams conducted by other physicians will not be accepted.

Read embassy-specific instructions and get a list of approved doctors on the Medical Examination page. After your exam, the doctor will either send the exam results directly to the embassy or give you a sealed envelope.  If the doctor gives you an envelope, do not open it.  Instead, bring it to your visa interview and give it to the consular officer.

Step 2: Register for Courier Service/Other Pre-Interview Instructions

Many U.S. Embassies and Consulates require visa applicants to pre-register for courier services. This service is for returning applicant passports and visas to them after the interview. Each consular section also has unique entry and security requirements, including whether applicants can bring cell phones into the embassy or consulate. Before your interview, read the specific requirements for where you will be interviewed. Select the city of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate from the box below:

This document may contain other requirements specific to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your interview will be held, so please read these instructions carefully.

Step 3: Gather Documents Required for the Interview

Every visa applicant no matter their age must bring certain documents to the interview, including photographs, the original version of all civil documents submitted to NVC, copies of those documents, and financial documents from the petitioner and any other financial sponsors.  Please review Items Your Must Bring to Your Visa Interview. You must bring the documents on this list even if you submitted a photocopy of them to NVC. 

What happens if you forget to bring something on this list?  The consular officer will not be able to complete the processing of your visa. You will have to gather the missing items and provide them to the embassy, and may have to come for additional interviews. Failure to bring all items on the above list can delay visa issuance.

Step 4: Read Additional Information

Read our Interview Preparation Notices and the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will be interviewed for additional information. You can also read our Frequently Asked Questions. Remember, failure to bring all required documents to the interview may cause delay or denial of the visa.