Congratulations on finally being scheduled for your immigrant visa interview! Here are a few tips to ensuring that your visa interview is as smooth as possible, and that your visa is issued without delay.
1. Get there on time! In advance, figure out where the Embassy/Consulate is located, make travel and accommodations reservations, arrange your transportation from the hotel, and time how long it will take to get from place to place. I recommend getting to the Embassy/Consulate approximately 30 minutes prior to your interview, to ensure that you are able to get through the security line and still be on time. Dress for the weather, because at many Embassies/Consulates you will need to wait outside.
2. Bring the original and one copy of all of your documents to your interview. This includes your birth certificate, adoption records, marriage certificate, marriage termination documents, military records, police certificates, passport, medical exam, and any court or prison records. Have your documents organized so that you can easily provide them to the Officer when requested.
3. If you have EVER been arrested anywhere in the world, bring an original or certified copy of the Certificate of Disposition, regardless of the outcome of the arrest. Even if the charges were dismissed, you were found not guilty, the records were later expunged, or you were pardoned, you are still required to disclose the arrest and provide the documentation.
4. Provide evidence that your Petitioner resides in the United States, or intends to move to the United States with you. The purpose of a family-sponsored immigrant visa is for you to be reunited with your family member in the United States. If your family member does not live in the United States, or does not intend to move to the United States once your visa is issued, then you will not be issued the visa. Such evidence can include a copy of a current United States passport or permanent resident card, a deed to a home, a lease agreement, recent utility bills, bank statements, etc.
5. Bring updated evidence that your Petitioner continues to meet the poverty guidelines for the Affidavit of Support. If a new tax year has passed since you filed your civil documents, bring a copy of your Petitioner's latest income tax returns and most recent Form W-2. Bring a few of your Petitioner's recent pay stubs to show s/he continued income. If your Petitioner meets the guidelines through assets, bring updated evidence of the value of those assets. If you also needed a co-sponsor, be sure to bring updated evidence that your co-sponsor continues to meet the poverty guidelines.
6. Make sure that all of your documents are still valid, including your passport, your police certificate(s), and your medical exam. If any of your documents are not valid, or you are missing any required documentation, you will be issued a Refusal Worksheet, and you will have one year to respond. Not having all of the required documentation at your visa interview will likely significantly delay the processing of your visa.
If you are going through the immigrant visa process and would like to speak with me about your case, please call my office at 716-832-2222 for a free case evaluation.