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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. 

Prohibited Items

If you must bring a mobile phone or key fob or a small bag or small backpack with you, you may do so.  DO NOT bring any electronic devices such as iPods, iPads, laptops, or PDAs.  DO NOT bring large bags, backpacks, rucksacks, suitcases or packages. If you bring any of these prohibited items, your appointment may be cancelled.  There is no storage facility at or close to the Consulate where you can store such items. 

How long will it take?

You should expect to be at the Consulate for up to 2 hours.  The interview itself is the last step in the process and typically lasts just a few minutes but prior to the interview staff have to collect, data-enter and review your application.  


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.

Processing Times

Refer to Visa Wait and Processing Times for details.  

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.

No Guarantees

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.