You should go there at the time of your appointment. Once they let you in, the officer checks for all the paperwork, and you are asked to pay the visa application fee. Then you are asked to sit down and wait until called again. Now the consular officer looks through all the paperwork. Then you are asked to go and pay the visa issuance fee. And then again you sit and wait. Everything you submitted is sealed in an envelope and on top of that, the immigrant visa is stuck. You are asked to check all the details on the immigrant visa. And then you are free to go.
The view of Sydney harbor is magnificent from the U.S. consulate, which is on the 30+ floor.
Hong Kong, China
You should go to the consulate at your appointment time and stand in line to show the appointment letter. First, you are called by a local Hong Kong officer who checks for all the documents. He/She may also ask some questions related to your application. He/she may ask questions like the name of your spouse, school/work history in the USA, date of marriage, etc. Then you are asked to pay the immigrant visa application fee and then wait. Then an American officer would interview you. He/She would cancel your “H1 without prejudice”, ask you to take an oath about the truthfulness of the application, and at the end ask you to pay the visa issuance fee. Then again you are asked to collect your packet containing all the documents you gave them and your immigrant visa on top of that. Sometimes you may be asked to come on some other day to collect your packet/visa. But if you are in an emergency to come back soon, you may request them to do it on the same day.
The process is very similar to the process at other posts: pass the security check, pay the fees, pass the documents to the consulate local staff, wait for my interview and finally talk to the visa officer. The interview with the consular officer is very short. You may be asked very few questions like “What did you study in college?”, “Which company are you working for?”, “What kind of project you’re working on?”, etc. You would also be asked for the latest non-criminal Notary from the Chinese police authority. (It is valid for only 1 year. It is pretty easy to get a new one, only takes about 20 days and RMB200. Even if you did not go to China after you got it and it is more than 1 year since you got it, you should get the latest one. The local officers may not know all the immigration laws and hence just follow the procedure.) It is also a good idea to bring some documents about your company, in case the consulate wants to know something about your company.
You should line up in front of the consulate at least about 1 hour before the appointment. After passing through the security check, you would be sent downstairs with little numbered tags indicating your order. You may have to stay in that holding room for half an hour to one hour or more – no bathroom. All those who have anxious bladders – you might want to avoid coffee or water prior to the interview.
Then you are taken upstairs in a secure elevator to the 19th floor. There are 25 or so booths scattered around the consulate, some for paying, some for interviews, some for preliminary processes.
You would be asked for your birth certificate, marriage certificate, police certificate, affidavit of support, etc. He/She would also ask you to give him/her your photographs and ask you to sign the edge of one. Then you would be told to pay $260, which is a visa application fee, bring back the receipt, go sit down, and wait for your name to be called.
Then you would be called to a little interview room with a divider and pass-through tray. The consular officer would ask you to take an oath and tell you that if you lie, you won’t get the visa. The consular officer may ask you questions regarding your work history (for employment-based) or marriage, children, etc. (for family-based). He/she would go over the documents and ask you if he/she has any questions. Then you would be asked to go and pay $65, which is a visa issuance fee.
Then you are told to wait again. When called again, you would be given a sealed envelope with all the documents you submitted inside it and immigrant visa on top of that. You would also be asked to examine the top sheet carefully as mistakes can not be easily corrected once you leave. You are also instructed not to open the envelope, but rather hand it to the immigration official, and that they would complete the process.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
You should report to the embassy sometime earlier than your appointment time. Upon arrival, you should show the appointment letter. To actually get into the embassy compound, you will have to give them a piece of identity and then they give you a tag to wear while in the embassy. They also check your bags at that time and ask you to leave all electronic items behind. Once you actually get into the building, you will have to go through another check with a metal detector.
You would be asked to produce all the required documents, i.e., civil documents, DS-260, medical report, offer letter, a letter from employer, IRS9003, current and all previous passports with U.S. visas and photographs. You are then told to pay the visa application fee and then asked to wait or come back at a later time of the day.
As in other posts, the interview with the American officer is very short and he/she would ask you to take an oath regarding the truthfulness of the application. He/she would check that everything is in order, cancel your current non-immigrant visa, and ask you to pay the visa issuance fee, $65. He/She would remind you that you need to work for the same employer who sponsored you and you have 6 months to go back to the U.S. Then you are asked to wait to collect the envelope (which has all the documents you submitted and immigrant visa on top that.
London, United Kingdom
Information on the consular section of the U.S. embassy in the UK would be useful for the candidates applying there.
As you enter the embassy you face the security guards. Show them the interview letter and they will put your bags through the X-Ray machine. Step through the metal detector on the left and that was it. The immigrant visa office is up the stairs to the right. The stairs are behind the security guards, so as you walk through the metal detector, make a right U-Turn and the steps are right there.
The staff at the immigration counter would take your interview letter and tell you to sit down. Keep the documents and copies in the order listed in Packet 3. No other documents are usually requested (but then also, you should take everything related – never hurts to be prepared). After that, you would be asked to pay the standard application fee. You may be asked for a phone number where you could be reached in the next 24 hours (presumably should something go wrong). You may give your hotel phone number or any other phone number. Then you would be asked to sit down again until called by the consular official. You have to raise your right hand and swear that you would tell the truth. They may ask you a couple of questions: “How long have you worked at your current company?”
“How did you get the job?”
“What do you do?”
After that, you would be asked to go away and come back later, no later than noon (presumably while they waited for the medical results). When you are back, you would be asked to pay the issuance fee. Your original documents would be returned to you and you would be given two US Immigrant Visas. The visas are sealed brown envelopes with all the documentation for your case. On the front is taped a colorful document with your photograph, name, address, etc. and visa number. The primary applicant’s envelope would normally be quite thick while dependants’ would be normally thinner.
You should not go much earlier than the interview time. Once in, the local Bangladeshi officer would collect your documents. You would be asked to come after 10-15 minutes to pay the visa fee. You can pay either in dollars or in Taka. Then you would be asked to wait for the interview. The interview would be by an American officer and he/she would normally be quite polite. You may be asked a few casual questions like:
– Where you work
– Your current position
– Current salary
– Whether you entered the U.S. first as a student
– How long you had been married
– Whether you had kids
Then you would be asked to collect the passports at 3 PM the same day. You would be returned your original birth certificates, marriage certificate, pay stubs, and W-2’s. After that, you would be asked to go and pay the visa issuance fee.
In the afternoon they will return the rest of the originals (sailing permit, etc) along with your passports and the immigrant visas. The H-1B is canceled with a seal saying: “Canceled without prejudice”. You would also be given the IRS 9003 form along with a sealed envelope to be surrendered at the port of entry.
The consulate is located at
American Consulate General
Immigrant Visa Unit
60323 Frankfurt, Germany
Phone #: 069-7535-0 (01149-69-7537-0 from outside of Germany), 2 PM – 4 PM
It is located next to the “Palmengarten”, a major Arboraeum in Frankfurt. If somebody gets lost, there are signs giving directions to the Palmengarten all over the city.
The person at the visa check-in then takes the documents and checks that the photos are ok. There is a quick-photo machine located in the lobby, so it is possible to get photos there. Sometime later, they call your name over the PA and check the documents. All documents except Police Certificates can be provided as copies. At that time, the picture is signed. They also provide the option of picking up the visa or having it mailed. Mailing is done via registered mail, and it is priced at DM 7, which has to be provided in stamps. They said it takes 7 days to mail the visa. The visa usually is ready for pickup in two days, since they have to wait for the results of the medical. Finally, your name is called again over the PA for the interview. Many times, they do not want to see any tax returns or sailing permit, but no guarantee here.
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