Ask the Consul – Applying for a Nonimmigrant U.S. Visa: What to do during the Interview

An image of a visa.

In the previous Ask the Consul articles we discussed how to complete a nonimmigrant visa application, schedule your appointment, and prepare for your visits to the Visa Application Center (VAC) and the Embassy. Now we will discuss what to expect the day of your interview.

On the day of your interview, you should arrive at the Embassy no more than 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.   The Consular Section does not offer parking for visa applicants, so you should make arrangements ahead of time in order to be on time.

To avoid delays and for safety reasons please follow all instructions from the Embassy and security staff.

Before you are allowed access, you must undergo a security check. The purpose of this check is to verify that applicants are not carrying items that are not permitted into the Consular Section.  Examples of such items are cell phones and other electronic devices, weapons, chemicals, sealed envelopes, large bags, hand luggage, and briefcases. To see the complete list of prohibited objects, please visit Embassy webpage at

After you have passed the security checkpoint, Embassy staff will tell you where to wait for your appointment.  After verifying your fingerprints, you will be directed to a window where your interview will take place. When you approach the window for your interview, you should first submit your passport and DS-160 confirmation page to the consular officer.

If you have brought any additional documents with you, have them ready in the event the consular officer needs to review them. Please remove documents from envelopes before submitting them in the interview.

During the interview, it is important to remain calm and listen carefully to the officer’s questions so that you can respond accurately and correctly. Always speak clearly so the consular officer can hear and understand your answers. Answering questions with complete and truthful information is important.  Providing inaccurate information can negatively impact your ability to qualify for the visa.

After completing your interview, you will be told if your visa application is approved, denied, or if your case will remain pending.  In the next article, we will discuss what to expect after your interview.