Preparing For The Green Card Visa Interview

The idea of appearing for a visa interview may be nerve wracking for most applicants but you don’t have to worry. If you are well prepared you are less likely to feel the heat. Visa interviews may seem intimidating until you face one. You are not sure of what exactly is going to happen and whether or not you will be successful. If you do the basics right and prepare well for your immigrant visa interview, you will easily qualify it.

The Kentucky Consular Center located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, notifies the selectees of their visa interview schedule along with details regarding the visa application and processing fee. No other organization is authorized by the US Department of State to send interview notifications. In case you use a visa agency to submit your application, you may receive interview notification through your service provider. If you receive an appointment letter from any authority other than the KCC, or your visa agency, you are one of the victims of visa fraud or scam.

Normally, Kentucky Consular Center sends notification letters to the successful applicants about four to six weeks prior to their scheduled interview at their local US Consulate or Embassy. You have to keep in mind that although 50,000 Diversity Visas are available, there are more than 50,000 additional applicants competing for these limited openings.

During the selection process, KCC selects twice the number of applicants, i.e. about 100,000 successful entries are notified of their selection through notification letters. You will also receive an appointment letter notifying you of the date, time and location of your immigrant visa interview. Once you receive your letter, you must take a few quick steps.

First, go through the letter and note down the details of your interview carefully. You surely don’t want to miss an opportunity due to negligence. Put all your required documents and medical examination reports securely in one place so that you don’t forget any at the time of your interview.

Failure to produce documents on demand during the interview process may delay your case and may even put your dream of getting a green card in jeopardy. After you receive your appointment, you can make a checklist containing the list of original documents that you have to carry and other things you need to put in place.

You want your interview process to go as smoothly as possible and for this to happen, you need to be well prepared. It is better that you do a bit of research and talk to other people who have gone through the process earlier to give yourself an idea of the type of questions that may be asked during the interview process.

Most people wonder about what questions may be thrown at them. Unfortunately, there is no exact or definite set of questions you will be asked, but they may vary depending on your situation. Familiarize yourself with the information you entered in your application form regarding your education, relationships and employment. Most probably, questions asked by the Consulate Officer will be based on the information you provided.

You can make a list of your own set of questions and practice answering them to become confident and fluent. Remember confidence is the key to a successful interview. You brighten up your chances of qualifying for the interview when you speak confidently.

Signs of nervousness show that you are not well prepared for the interview or are not sure about the information you have provided. The visa officer may become suspicious, which may reduce your chances of qualifying the interview successfully.

Practicing questions will make you feel more comfortable when you have to answer questions related to your personal life in front of the visa officer. Practice interview sessions with a friend or a family member will also help you prepare yourself for the interview process in a better way.

You may be asked a variety of questions from your personal information to your professional life. The visa officer may inquire about your future plans and what you wish to do if you are given a chance to move to the United States. You may also be asked to elaborate your decision of entering the lottery program and why you should be granted a diversity immigrant visa.

Some of the questions may not relate directly to the information you provided. For example, you may be asked about your interests, hobbies and pastimes. In addition to answering all questions honestly and confidently, make sure you don’t talk about irrelevant things. Short and to the point answers are appreciated more than long and uninteresting answers.

If you feel you will not be able to make it to your interview on the scheduled date or time, you can contact your Embassy/Consulate where the interview has to be held and request them to assign you a different date. Some Consulates/Embassies have interview specific guidelines that have to be followed. These may include security requirements or specific document and photograph requirements. You will be advised of those in advance.

What You Need To Bring Along With You

On the day of your interview, try to reach the location at least 30 to 40 minutes before your scheduled time. Imagine how bad you would feel if something unexpected happened and you arrive late for your interview and miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime. It is also not advisable to reach the location too early, as it may seem like you are desperate for the visa, which also doesn’t look good.

You need to bring your appointment letter, a valid passport and two identical passport size photographs (meeting the technical requirements) at the time of interview.

You should also bring all original documents (in the same order as mentioned on your appointment letter). You may be rejected if you fail to produce any of the required documents on demand of the visa officer.

Note:

  • You should also carry an affidavit of support (if applicable) and your employment letter along with the required documents.
  • Documents that are required in a green card visa interview are mentioned on the section “After Being Selected” > “Updating Your Documents” of this ebook. You can also find them mentioned in your interview appointment letter.  Your documents will be returned after the interview.
  • All documents and evidence in any other language than English should be accompanied with a competent translation.
  • Reports of your medical examination by an authorized physician need to be brought along in a sealed envelope.
  • In case any of your kids is about to turn 21 before the visa interview, you can notify the Consulate and request the interview date to be changed. (Children over 21 years of age are not eligible to apply for diversity immigrant visa). As mentioned earlier, the US law may protect your child under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). You can find more information about this act from the Embassy/Consulate that holds your interview session.

Making Payments

You have to pay the visa processing fee at the time of your interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. Payments can be made in cash or other money transfer services such as Western Union.

To know more about the payment methods, you can contact your consulate or embassy before the interview day. You should make necessary payment arrangements before you go for the visa interview.

Visa processing fee for every applicant under the category of Diversity Immigrant Visa is $440 and the fee is non refundable. You will be given a receipt of payment immediately by the consular cashier. You should not send any money directly to the Kentucky Consular Center (for visa processing at the Consulate/ Embassy) via cash or money transfer services (such as Western Union) in any case.

What You Should Expect In A Visa Interview

You certainly cannot deny that luck has its role in measuring your chances of success in a visa interview but your chances are definitely going to improve if you go well prepared. It is important that you stay calm and relaxed before entering the room. Greet the officer with a smile, take deep breaths of air and sit down where appropriate. This will make you feel a lot more confident when you have to answer questions.

Remember to dress up formally for your visa interview and it is preferable that you use lighter shades. The interview session normally does not take very long but you should wear something that you are comfortable in. Throughout the interview, you should sit straight (maintain good posture) and look in to the eyes of the visa officer.

Your voice should remain clear and audible during the interview. The tone you speak in shows how much you believe in yourself and what you say.

Whatever you speak should be relevant and correct. Deceptive or vague statements during an interview may ruin your chances of clearing the interview successfully. It is possible that you may not understand the question instantly but there is no harm in asking the visa officer to repeat it. Take your time and think before you answer. It is better to ask for the question to be repeated than to provide a wrong answer.

There are occasions when the visa officers purposefully ask questions like, “what will you do if you are denied the visa,” or “what was the reason you left your previous employment?” In such situations, you should try to remain composed and refrain from being aggressive or rude. Consular officers do this to see how well prepared you are for the interview. Don’t just memorize basic details and vague statements like “I want to go to the United States because it is much better to live there.” You should give a clear personal or professional objective, which should convince the visa officer.

You must be able to show strong financial support to live in the United States if you are granted an immigrant visa. Depositing large sums into your bank accounts immediately before your interview will not serve your purpose. You will be required to show your bank account activity over a period of a year or more and support it with salary slips or any evidence that proves your income and your ability to support yourself in the US.

The financial evidence you provide must look realistic and convince the visa officer that you can manage your expenses on your own and will not become a burden on the US government.

If you plan to stay with your relatives, i.e. they will be supporting you, you will be required to submit an affidavit of support at the time of interview. If you plan to travel to the United States and join your new job, you will have to present an employment letter from your potential employer.

Documents showing your financial abilities and assets such as saving certificates, bonds, property ownerships, business standings, tax statements are also valuable during the interview process. This evidence can help you get the decision in your favor; however, strong financial status does not guarantee visa approval.

If you are in active employment, you may be asked to show your monthly/ yearly income and explain your job description. Normally, this type of questioning helps visa officers get a clue whether the applicants are competent enough to work in the United States and can fulfill the financial claims made during the interview.

The consular officer will interview you and your family members before making a final decision.