You are going to apply for one of the US visas or are in the process of doing so. Scheduling a US visa interview appointment and attending it is a crucial step you need to pass to receive your visa and move to the country. While almost all applicants need to pass the interview, a few are exempt from it.

Do you need to attend a US visa interview appointment?

The US visa applicants need a US visa interview appointment during the visa application process. There are some groups of applicants who are exempt from the interview, by the way.

The official visa applicants and those who apply for the Interview Waiver (IW) cases are exempt from the interview appointment.

What is the US visa interview appointment waiver?

The US visa applicants who are applying for the first time and are under 14 or older than 80 are also exempt from the interview.

A few candidates who apply to renew the visa could be exempt.

During the application process, the embassy or visa service informs you whether you are exempt from the interview or not.

The following visa groups come under the official category and do not require an interview appointment:

  • A-1
  • A-2
  • C-2
  • C-3
  • G-1
  • G-2
  • G-3
  • G-4 visa

If you want to renew the following US visas in the same category, you do not need to schedule a visa interview appointment:

  • BCC
  • B-1/B-2
  • C-1/D
  • F
  • J
  • M
  • O

Who can not use the visa waiver option?

A few US visas do not qualify for the visa waiver option. The applicants applying for the following ones are among them:

  • E-3
  • T
  • U
  • H-1
  • blanket L-1

The applicants who want to renew the above visas do not qualify for the visa waiver and need to apply for the US visa interview appointment and attend it.

The visa waiver option of skipping the interview is unlikely as the US officials evaluate the applicants through the interview. You would better be prepared and read the instructions for each visa type carefully.

How can you schedule a US visa interview appointment?

You cannot contact the US embassy or send an email and schedule a US vis interview appointment. There are steps to follow:

Step 1. Complete the DS-160 form

Completing the form DS-160 is the first step to scheduling a visa interview appointment. It is

Visit the Department of State consular electronic application center at the CEAC.STATE.GO website. There chose the D-160 form.

There are browser requirements that you need to read carefully and then initiate completing the form. Bear in mind that Safari Explorer is not supported, and you can not complete the form with it.

You need to select the location for your visa or the country you will attend the US embassy. The button to start the application is down the page.

There is an application ID and security answer that will be recorded through your voice. If you need to save and return again to your account, you have to remember the ID and security answer.

Complete the blanks with your personal information and all the information required.

If you have worked in the US before and have received a social security number, you can put it in the related box. If not, you can check the option “does not apply.” The same is true with the taxpayer number.

Step 2. Find the nearest US embassy in your home country or a neighboring one

The website of USEmbassy.gov provides the list of US embassies around the world. You can pick the nearest one in your home country or a neighboring country. For instance, there is no US embassy in Iran, a country in the Middle East, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Se people visit the neighboring countries for visa applications.

Each embassy might have instructions or rules over scheduling the appointment.

The way you schedule the appointment is up to the center, and their website explains further details required for arranging the appointment.

Step 3. Pay the fees

The process of completing the form finished by paying the visa fees. You can save your application and return it later if you are unable to complete all of it at once.

The fee or the cost of the US visa interview appointment is $160 USD which is nonrefundable.

Step 4. Schedule your visa appointment by contacting the embassy

In case there was a problem, and you could not schedule the appointment through the website, you can contact the embassy and book it through a phone call.

The staff would help you and guide you on what to do and how to schedule your appointment if there were problems.

Step 5. Attending the US visa interview appointment

You need to get to the embassy about 15 minutes to half an hour early as it could take you some time to get to the embassy or due to traffic.

At the date of the interview, you need to bring the printed confirmation page of the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) to the embassy.

As explained, read the instructions for each US embassy as they might require further supporting documents such as a photo of the applicant. You should bring all the necessary requirements as instructed for each visa.

Submit the requirements to the visa officer and provide the ties you have to your home country;

  • Financial
  • Occupational
  • Family
  • Ownership
  • Etc.

The embassy also takes your digital photo and fingerprints, which gets called biometrics.

Step 6. Pick your passport up with the visa stick

It takes some time for the embassy to process the visa and decide whether to issue it or not. When they decide and issue the visa, they will notify you to pick it up.

When you receive the visa, stick to your passport, you can move to the US.

Are US embassies open for visa interviews?

As restrictions start to ease, most U.S. embassies and consulates have resumed certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments.

US visa interview appointment requirements

The following are required for US visa interview appointment:

  • Visa interview letter
  • Passport
  • Passport-sized color photographs
  • A copy of your immunization records

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Are US embassies open for visa interviews?

After the vaccination of most of the population and reducing the number of infected people with the COVID-19, most of the US embassies are open. They process the visa applications and receive applicants for interviews.

It remains to be seen what will happen with the Omicron variant.

How long does it take to get a US visa interview appointment?

The time you have to wait for the US visa interview appointment is up to different factors:

  • The time of the year
  • How busy the embassy is
  • The embassy of the country you apply for
  • Whether your documents are complete or not
  • The number of applicants waiting in the line, so their visa gets processed

The wait you have to wait could have been risen due to the backlog after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is different for each US embassy, but you can ask ks them about the time you have to wait.

US visa interview appointment wait time

The time you have to wait until your US visa interview appointment comes is different for each US embassy.

A few things are in your control, and some are not. You can work on your application, requirements, supporting documents, so the embassy processes the visa faster. The workload of the embassy is out of control, and you need to wait.

US visa interview appointment India

The US visa interview appointment date for Indians has been increasing a bit after the COVID-19 pandemic. The US embassy in India is faced with large numbers of applications and has become a bit slower in providing results.

The Indians might have to wait a bit longer than usual for the interview. So you should apply as early as possible and consider some delay time.

US visa interview appointment Pakistan

Determining an exact US visa interview appointment date for a US visa is a bit hard. After the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination, and the Omicron variant, things have become complicated.

Also, each applicant is different, and as the embassy could require further documents, the wait time could be different.

You would better apply to the US embassy in Pakistan as early as possible. Consider some delay time so as not to miss your deadline.

Can you get a US visa without an interview?

The people who do not need a US interview for their visa got explained in the above section. People who are younger than 14 years old and older than 80 do not need an interview.

Also, a few visa groups are exempt, and you can see the list of them in the above section.

Let’s sum up…

The article explained how you can schedule a US visa interview appointment, who needs and who does not need it, and answered a few common questions.

If you need to find out about other types of US visas, look at the left sidebar.

Visa information about other countries is provided on the top menu.

If you have questions regarding US visas and interview, write them down in the comment section below.

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