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Updated on 21.04.2021

Visa interview at the American consulate

questions, procedure and tips

As part of the US nonimmigrant visa application process, all but a few applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must appear in person at the US consulate. We have summarized below what you can expect at the consular interview appointment and what you need to be aware of.
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What to expect at the visa interview at the US consulate

When & how to book the visa interview

Appointment

First of all, you should plan enough in advance and arrange your visa interview appointment as early as possible; ideally several weeks before your planned trip to the USA.
In the summer months or during peak travel times, there may be longer wait times, so even more lead time is often needed here.

Attention: Due to the accumulated visa applications during the Travel Ban as a result of the pandemic, there are still longer waiting times for certain visa categories at the US consulates in Germany. Be sure to plan for these waiting periods, some of which can be several months, when planning your trip.

The arrangement of the interview appointment takes place either online via the Visa profile or by telephone via the visa service provider call center.

With the web-based appointment system, you can view the available appointments at the US consulates in Berlin, Frankfurt/Main and Munich in a calendar.

You will then receive an appointment confirmation ("Appointment Confirmation"), on which, among other things, the day as well as the time of the appointment is written.

Waiting time in front of the US consulate

On the day of your consular interview appointment, you should prepare for the following: Your appointment refers to the admission to the US consulate and not on the actual visa interview with the consular officers. Therefore, please do not arrive too early for your appointment! It is sufficient if you arrive at the US consulate 30 minutes before your visa appointment.

You should have the following documents handy:

  • Your appointment confirmation,
  • Your passport and
  • Your DS-160 Barcode Sheet

Unfortunately, the waiting time in front of the US consulate can be several hours. Please also note that some items may not be brought into the building (see e.g. Security advisories of the US consulates in Germany).

Ablauf des Interviews

Procedure and questions at the US consulate

In the building you will be given a slip of paper with a waiting number, under which you will be called later.

The actual interview at the counter can usually be conducted either in English or in the national language of the home country (in Germany, for example, in German). The questioning on the part of the US consular officer usually takes only five to ten minutes.

During the interview, the consular officer will review your application documents. In addition, you may be asked questions about your purpose of stay, i.e. the reason for your entry into the USA.

Tip: In any case, you should be able to explain what you intend to do in the United States and in this context it is essential that you also inform yourself about the visa category to be applied for. This means, for example, that you should know that you will not be applying for a B-2 Tourist visa be allowed to apply for a proposed work assignment in the US.

Your passport will then be issued in the US consulate retained and sent with the visa by registered mail after a processing time of about one week.

How can the US Visa Service assist you?

If the application is made through The American Dream's US Visa Service, we will handle the appointment and any rescheduling for you.
We also take care of the preparation of the complete application documentation and prepare our clients in detail and individually for the visa interview.

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Date:

Updated on 21.04.2021