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Preparing for your immigrant visa interview

Ask US Embassy

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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Q: I'm expecting to interview at the embassy for my immigrant visa soon. What should I bring to my interview?

 

A: Congratulations! You are nearing the end of the immigrant-visa process. At the interview, your immigration petition, visa application, and supporting information will be reviewed for compliance with immigration law, verification of the facts and potential visa ineligibilities.

While your case file already contains extensive documentation, we do require you to bring several additional documents to your interview appointment. Without these final submissions your case will be delayed until we receive them. This can make the difference between receiving your visa a week or two after the interview and delays of additional weeks or months. If you ensure that you have everything you need prior to the interview you will enjoy a much quicker and smoother process.

When you are notified that it is time for you to interview at the embassy, you will receive a complete list of instructions.

Here are some of the items you will need to bring to your interview — you may print the list and check them off as you obtain them:

• Birth and marriage certificates and other civil documents: Bring the original and at least one good quality copy of your birth certificate and each of your civil documents that are relevant to your case (marriage and death certificates, divorce decrees, etc). If, for example, the person who filed for you (your “petitioner”) is your child, you need to bring both your and your child's birth certificates. If your child changed her name through marriage, the consular officer will need to see your child's marriage certificate.

In Jamaica the Registrar General's Department (RGD) generates certified copies of civil documents on forms slightly longer than standard letter-size paper. Those documents bear serial numbers at the very top and bottom. This means that the copy size must be reduced to 92 per cent to avoid cutting off the serial numbers. Copies missing serial numbers cannot be accepted.

• Name-change documents: If you or your petitioner changed your names, you must bring an original deed poll. If your name changed through marriage or divorce, bring your marriage certificates or divorce decrees with you.

• Passport and passport photos: Bring the passport and four colour passport-size photographs of each person applying for a visa. Please review our online specifications for the photos to ensure that they meet those requirements or your case will be suspended until you provide compliant photographs.

• Other photos: Bring any photographic evidence that would help you demonstrate to the consular officer the authenticity of your relationship with the petitioner, such as wedding photos. Photographs of life events like these can be helpful. You cannot bring your phone into the embassy, so please print out any photos beforehand and bring them to your appointment. If your petitioner is your spouse, it is often helpful to provide the consular officer with chat records between you and the petitioner. They can be downloaded from applications like WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger.

• Police certificates: These are required for all applicants 16 years of age and over. Applicants who have lived in any other country for more than a year must obtain police certificates from those jurisdictions.

• Affidavits of support (I-864): Please bring copies of the appropriate affidavits of support from your petitioner and joint sponsor (if applicable) along with their tax returns and W-2's (wage statements) and/or their tax-return transcripts. Joint sponsors also need to provide copies of documents showing that they legally reside in the US, such as a copy of a naturalisation certificate, US birth certificate, or permanent resident card. Generally speaking, a US driver's licence is insufficient to confirm immigration or citizenship status.

• Petitioners: Your petitioner may accompany you to your interview and is encouraged to do so when a marital or fiancé(e) relationship forms the basis for the petition.

• Your honesty: All applicants will be placed under oath and must answer the consular officer's questions clearly and honestly. If you do not answer the consular officer's questions truthfully and completely, you may be found permanently ineligible for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Spousal relationships usually invite a higher level of scrutiny, so be prepared to discuss your fiancé or spouse in detail.

In addition to the items listed above, immigrant-visa applicants, regardless of age, require a medical examination prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa. In Jamaica there is only one facility accredited by the US Embassy to perform this exam: Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston. Results from medical examinations performed by other physicians will not be accepted. It is your responsibility to schedule a medical exam at the hospital using the telephone numbers provided in your appointment letter. We strongly urge you to call the hospital to make your appointment immediately after you register your appointment for your visa interview online in order for the results of the exam to reach the embassy in time for your interview.

In order for the doctor to complete the medical form during the exam you will need to bring your visa-interview appointment letter, your passport, four passport-sized colour photographs taken recently (these are in addition to the ones you will bring to your visa interview), reading glasses (if used), a copy of your immunisation records, and all medication containers and/or most recent prescriptions. The doctor will complete the medical form and send it directly to the US Embassy.

In general, it's a good idea to bring as much information as possible to the visa interview. Having photos, original civil documents, and documentation, if relevant, of property titles, life insurance, tax or other financial activities on hand will make the process faster and easier.

Avoid unnecessary delays. Follow instructions and come prepared with everything you need!

 

You can find more information about how to travel to the US on our website, www.kingston.usembassy.gov. Keep on top of Embassy news on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Embassy-Jamaica and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

For safety and security reasons, the US Embassy asks that all individuals arrive at the embassy no more than 15 minutes before their designated appointment time.

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