For Fiancé and Marriage visa applicants, the interview at the Embassy can be the most stressful part of the process. The interview is also, arguably, the most important part of the process and, thus, it is important for applicants to be prepared. Though one might expect the application process to be somewhat standardized, each U.S. Embassy has different policies and procedures governing how validation applications are processed. Therefore, it is imperative for the visa applicant to research the Embassy they will be visiting in order to adequately prepare for the interview. It is highly advisable for any validation applicant to review the website of the Embassy they will be visiting for information on the specific policies and procedures of that Embassy. A Fiancé or Marriage validation applicant’s interview will be scheduled at the Embassy with jurisdiction over their residence abroad.
Visa interviews are conducted by appointment only and it is vital that the applicant be on time for the interview. There is usually some form of security screening at the Embassy and applicants should allow time for security when planning their visit. Generally, after entering the Embassy, the applicant will check-in with a Consular Official and may be required to provide their validation application(s)/documentation for review. Upon checking-in, the visa applicant will usually be told to remain in the waiting area until their name/number is called. At some point, the validation applicant will be asked to complete a digital fingerprint scan. The applicant’s documents , if previously collected, will be returned prior to meeting with the Consular Officer.
Once the applicant’s name/number has been called, they will proceed to their interview with the Consular Officer. The Consular Officer’s primary purpose is to determine the validity of the relationship underlying the Fiancé or Marriage validation application. Therefore, the Consular Officer will review the documentation provided by the applicant and ask questions pertaining to the applicant’s relationship with their U.S. Fiancé or spouse. Depending upon the Embassy and the type of validation application, the U.S. fiancé/spouse’s presence may or may not be requested at the interview. The questions asked during a Fiancé or Marriage visa interview are are selected at the discretion of the Consular Officer and usually not the same during each interview. Most of the questions, though, will be geared towards ascertaining the validity of the foreign national and U.S. Citizen/permanent resident’s relationship. A few examples of the types of questions an interviewee may be asked include:
- What is your fiancé/spouse’s favorite hobby?
- Where are (or did) you get married?
- When and where did you meet your fiancé/spouse?
- Do you and your fiancé/spouse currently live together?
- What time does your fiancé/spouse get up each morning and what time does he/she return home each night?
The amount of time an interview will last can vary greatly. As most Embassies conduct hundreds of visa application interviews each day, the length of the interview may be just a few minutes. However, some interviews will last longer than others for a variety of reasons. Once the actual interview has concluded, the visa applicant will be notified if they are eligible for a visa. If the applicant has qualified for a visa, they will leave their passport at the Embassy in order for the visa to be affixed. The passport is then returned to the applicant via courier or mail.
The Fiancé or Marriage visa interview at the U.S. Embassy can be intimidating, especially for foreign nationals who do not know what to expect. The fact that each Embassy has unique processes and procedures for processing visa applications does not help matters. However, a Fiancé or Marriage visa applicant can research the Embassy which they will be visiting and commonly obtain a plethora of Embassy-specific information just by visiting the Embassy’s website. Knowing the particular policies, procedures and documents required by the Embassy designated for the interview can go a long way towards calming one’s nerves prior to a Fiancé or Marriage visa interview