Scheduling your US visa appointment: The dos and don’ts to increase your chances of approval
Scheduling your US visa appointment, what to do and what not to do. For most people, wanting to go to the U.S. means applying for a visa. If you wish to enter the United States for a temporary stay, you must apply for a non-immigrant visa. The process of getting a U.S. visa can be long and stressful. It is important to follow the right steps and try not make common mistakes that would make the process even longer. Planning your travel in advance and an early visa application are really important. The process of Scheduling your US visa appointment usually involves: filling out a DS-160 form, gathering supporting documents and visiting a U.S. Consulate or Embassy for an interview with a consular officer. Despite the digital revolution, which has led to most application processes to be completed online, the US Visa application process includes an appointment in a United States embassy, which you must attend in person. This article will walk you through all the steps, as well as the dos and don’ts, you will have to follow in this process, schedule your visa appointment and get your visa ready as soon as possible.
Scheduling your US visa appointment Dos:
Fill your DS-160 form
When Scheduling your US visa appointment, the first step to follow is to complete the Form DS-160 and fill it in properly. You can complete this task online, accessing the form at the Consular Electronic Application Center website. This is not a complex task but it takes time. Make sure you have a good internet connection and enough time to complete it, preferably in one sitting. The form consists of two parts: the first part includes questions regarding personal information (family information, work, education, etc.), while in the second part you will answer to security-related questions (for instance if you have ever been arrested or convicted, if you have ever suffered from drug addiction, etc.). In order to complete all the questions, remember to collect some documents and keep them with you while you fill the form, so that you can answer swiftly and accurately:
- Your passport
- Details of your travel itinerary
- Information regarding your professional career and education history
- Information about your travels in the last five years, including dates.
After completing the form you will be asked to upload a photo of yourself. It’s important to know that the photo must be:
- taken within the last 6 months
- taken against a plain white background and with no shadows
- uploaded in a JPEG format
- with a size of 240kb or less
If your photo meets all the requirements and specifications stated above, you will get a US visa appointment confirmation letter which you must bring on the day of the interview at the Embassy. You will be given the location where you can finally submit the application. Remember to memorize it or write it down.
Locate the embassy closest to you
To continue scheduling your US visa appointment, once you have submitted your application and the U.S. Embassy Visa Application Center (VAC) has processed it, you will be asked to schedule the first available interview appointment. Any person between 14 and 79 years old is required to participate in a U.S. visa interview with a consular officer. Sometimes, if you don’t live in a capital or in a big city, finding the closest embassy to schedule an interview might be tricky. Here you can find a complete list of all U.S. Embassies all over the world. Locate the embassy closest to you and schedule the interview according to its availability. If you live in a city where there is no U.S. Embassy, you should contact your local Consulate, where you will receive information regarding the closest Embassy where you should direct yourself.
Check dates availability for your us visa appointment
Once you have submitted your US visa application and the U.S. Embassy Visa Application Center (VAC) processed it, you have to schedule the first available interview appointment. Any person between 14 and 79 years old are required to participate in a U.S. visa interview with a consular officer. You can check dates availability and schedule the appointment online here: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-US/countries_list/niv. But, if you’re applying from any country in Asia, you need to schedule it here: https://www.ustraveldocs.com/. Alternatively, in several countries you can also schedule an appointment over the phone.
Take all your required papers and identification
During the process of Scheduling your US visa appointment, it is fundamental you keep well in mind what supported documents you need to bring with you:
- A valid passport
- The number of the receipt of your visa application fee payment
- The D-160 confirmation page
- Any other documents required according to the type of visa you’ve applied for
Scheduling your US visa appointment Don’ts:
Planning too little time around your day as the US visa appointment can be long
First keep in mind one thing: be on time for the interview. It is likely that you will need to wait an hour or even longer before being interviewed by a consular officer. But don’t take the risk to arrive late. It’s better to be there at least 10 minutes before. According to the ESTA website the interview usually lasts between 5 and 15 minutes, but the appointment itself, from the wait until the end, can be very long, so plan accordingly and don’t take unnecessary risks that might severely hinder your application process.
Not considering the US visa interview wait time
When Scheduling their US visa appointment, people forget to consider and plan for the wait time. As said before, all the application process can be very long, and you might have to wait a significant amount of time before you receive a confirmation of your interview date. So, plan your trip to the U.S. with enough time and do not book a plane ticket too close to the date of the visa interview, because you may risk to not having the visa ready at the date of your departure. The Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State offers a useful online tool where you can check the current expected wait time for an interview according to the location where you are applying from. Remember that those are just estimates based on actual workload and staffing, hence it may change every week depending on the workload of each consulate or embassy. Also, remember that the wait time information by country never includes the time required for administrative processing, which may affect some applications. Generally, the wait time can range from days to weeks, so it is important that you make sure to schedule your interview as early as possible, and that you plan your trip accordingly and with sufficient flexibility. Under certain circumstances, you can get a shorter wait time, to know more and get a premium service with help from agents apply here.
Applying for more than 1 visa at a time
Last but not least, remember that even though you can have multiple visas in your passport, you can have just one status at a time while in the U.S. Therefore, do not apply for more than one visa. In case you have multiple visas, it is important that you enter the U.S. with the visa that is more appropriate with the activities you intend to carry out (tourist, work, etc.), to prevent you from violating your status.
Tips for your visa interview at the Embassy
Before scheduling your US visa appointment, one last thing you must consider is how to behave during your interview, in order to give a good impression to your interviewer. That will be an important factor influencing the final decision regarding the granting of your visa, so do not underestimate this point. Here are some tips that might be useful to you in this direction.
- Remember to dress appropriately. An Embassy is a formal and official environment, and you must behave accordingly. A suit or formal dress attire would be the most appropriate choice.
- Prior to your interview, revise all the information contained in your documents and try to remember it accurately. Inconsistencies between your answers and the information on the documents you provide will be considered as a red flag in your application.
- Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you must prepare yourself accordingly. Take into account that each type of visa has different granting requirements, so do some research on that before you attend your interview.
If you follow all these steps closely and carefully, your application process should be fine and you will get your visa in a short time. Find out more about your US visa appointment and the application process.