Security Measures at the US Embassy / Consulate

Security Measures at the US Embassy / Consulate

The following are not permitted inside the visa sections of the US Embassy/Consulate:

  1. All battery-operated or electronic gadgets, such as mobile phones, digital diaries, digital watches, pagers, cameras, audio/video cassettes, audio/video playing or recording devices, calculators, torches / flashlights, radios, compact discs (CDs), VCDs, DVDs, MP3s, digital audio players (such as iPods), flash drives / memory sticks, Bluetooth devices, laptops, or portable music players (such as CD players), electronic items. Remote car keys are not allowed, either.
  2. All ladies’ handbags/purses. Only a small ladies’ pouch in hand will be permitted.
  3. All bags, such as travel bags, backpacks, briefcases, suitcases, and leather, jute, or cloth bags. Only an unsealed, transparent plastic bag containing your application-related papers, small cloth bags, and zip folders will be permitted.
  4. Any food or drink items.
  5. Sealed envelopes or packages. Do not push folders or sealed envelopes through any of the counter windows outside or inside the consulate. However, if you are an immigrant visa applicant and have a sealed medical report, you can enter the consulate. The medical report must remain sealed at all times.
  6. Flammable items, such as cigarettes, cigars, matches, match boxes, and lighters.
  7. Any sharp objects, such as scissors, pocketknives, pen knives, or nail files.
  8. Weapons, weapon-link objects, or explosive materials of any kind.
  9. Bottles of any kind.
  10. Any liquids including beverages, hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial gels, spray perfume/cologne, and talcum/baby powder.
  11. Long-handled umbrellas (longer than 40 cm when closed).

Bring only the items and documents that relate to your visa application. 

Consulates do not have any facilities to store any of the items that you bring but are not allowed to take in. You will have to discard them or store them somewhere at your risk or come back later with another appointment.

Umbrellas are allowed up to a certain size. Therefore, if it is a rainy season, or if you think it may rain on the interview day, remember to carry an umbrella with you.

Bottles for baby milk, diapers, a change of clothes for infants, etc., are allowed. If you are carrying any milk bottle, you will have to taste it in front of the security guard.

The list provided above is not finite. Other items may be prohibited based on security staff’s discretion. Due to security concerns, the consulate does not permit interested parties, such as friends, relatives, or business contacts, to accompany non-immigrant visa applicants to their interviews. However, interpreters are allowed to accompany hearing-impaired applicants.

Please do not bring extra people to your visa interview, including your American-citizen children. Food items and bottles of any kind are not permitted to be brought into the building. The consulate recommends that you find a babysitter for your minor US-citizen children.

Due to security issues and limited space within the consulate, only visa applicants are permitted entry. The consulate recommends that applicants keep to a minimum the number of persons escorting them, as the area around the consulate gets crowded. Friends and relatives of applicants are requested not to wait outside the visa gate, where heavy vehicular traffic can present a danger to those who congregate on the streets. Family members are instead encouraged to meet visa applicants at nearby restaurants and alternate meeting spots.

There is no facility at the US Embassy / Consulate / Visa Application Centers (VACs) to store prohibited items. You will have to make alternate arrangements to keep the same before entering the facility.

Due to security considerations, there is no information window for walk-in visitors at the embassy or consulate.

Interested Parties

Interested parties, such as friends, relatives, attorneys, or business contacts, are not permitted to enter the consulate or attend the visa interview of a non-immigrant visa applicant or intervene on their behalf during the interview.

If an interested party wishes to provide information to a specific consular section concerning a particular visa applicant, they are encouraged to supply this information directly to the applicant. The applicant can then bring this information to their visa interview. 

It is not advisable for an interested party to send letters to the Consular Section in anticipation of a visa application. Due to the high volume of applicants, the consulate may be unable to provide these letters to the Consular Officer who will interview the applicant.

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