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The Visa Interview

The Visa Interview

Applicants aged 14 - 79 are required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer through a pre-arranged appointment.  

Access to the Consulate

Only applicants with a scheduled appointment will be admitted to the Consulate.  The exception being children under the age of 18 accompanied by a parent, translators and assistants for the disabled. See Consulate Location and Security Information for details. 

Applicants must bring the 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. 

The Interview

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.

Processing Times

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

All visaed passports are returned by courier. You are required to register for the courier service at the time you schedule the appointment.  Your passport will be delivered to one of their 31 hubs in the United Kingdom where you can collect it.  There is no additional fee for this service, the cost is included in the visa processing fee.  Home/Office delivery to any address in the UK is available at $30.00 per applicant and you will have the option of requesting this when scheduling your appointment.   
Note: The courier service does not deliver to addresses in the Republic of Ireland. Applicants from the Republic of Ireland should therefore bring a self-address prepaid Airsure envelope with them to the interview.  These can be purchased at any Northern Ireland post office.

No Guarantees

You should also note, that no assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of your passport.