The Visa Interview
The Visa Interview
Access to the Consulate
Only applicants with a scheduled appointment will be admitted to the Consulate. We make an exception to this rule only for children under the age of 18 who may be accompanied by a parent, translators and assistants for the disabled. See Consulate Location and Security Information for details.
Applicants must bring their Appointment Confirmation Letter with them for presentation to the security guards at the Consulate entrance. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the appointment.
You should expect to be at the Consulate for approximately 2 hours.
On the day of your interview, a set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned. If you have a cut or blister on any of your fingers or thumbs, your application will not be processed. You will be required to reschedule an appointment for a later date.
Requirement to Leave Passport at Consulate for Visa Processing
Those flying to Northern Ireland from any other part of the UK should be aware that they will be required to leave their passport at the consulate for visa processing. Please check with your airline to determine what alternate form of ID will be acceptable to check-in for your return flight. We have an arrangement with Easyjet, Flybe, Aer Lingus and Manx2 in Belfast whereby we can provide a letter for check-in for the return journey if no other form of acceptable ID is available. If you require such a letter for the return journey with one of these airlines, you should request it on the day of your visa interview.
The average visa processing time for successful applicants is approximately three workdays but this does not include the time it takes to return your passport to you by courier which can take several additional workdays.
Applicants who answered "Yes" to any of the Security and Background questions on the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application should allow up to 18 - 20 weeks for their application to be processed.
Those who are advised at the time of the visa interview that their application requires additional processing should allow approximately 90 days for their application to be processed. However, in some cases, processing can extend to six months or longer.
When processing is likely to take many weeks or months, the passport will be returned to the applicant after the interview and applicants will be advised how to resubmit their passport when we are in a position to process their case to conclusion.
Note: The processing times quoted are approximate and cannot be guaranteed. It is important that you keep this in mind when applying for the visa. It is not be possible to expedite a case simply because an applicant has not allowed sufficient time for the application to be processed.
Return of Passports
After visa processing, passports are handed to a courier service. THE APPLICANT CHOOSES how their passport is returned to them as part of the online appointment booking process.
Applicants can choose to collect their passport after visa processing from one 31 courier depots around the UK or to pay an optional additional fee of £18 for courier delivery to their home or business address.
Note: The courier service does not deliver to addresses in the Republic of Ireland. Applicants from the Republic of Ireland should bring a prepaid self-addressed International Signed For envelope with them to the interview. These can be purchased at any Northern Ireland post office.
Passports cannot be collected from the Consulate under any circumstances.
We cannot guarantee visa issuance or processing times in advance. We therefore advise visa applicants not to make non-refundable travel arrangements until they actually have a visa.