Preparing for your Consular Appointment

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We here at the The Ranchod Law Group know how stressful any immigration process can be—especially if your case requires you to return to your home country for a consular interview! Here are some questions many of our clients have at this stage in their immigration journey.

  1. What should I bring to the interview?
  2. How long does the interview last?
  3. What should I expect during the interview?
  4. What happens after the interview?

What should I bring to the interview?

You should pay close attention to the items that are on the checklist available for download at the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Be sure to bring original documents, where needed, for example:

  • marriage certificate;
  • birth certificate(s);
  • police certificates;
  • court records;
  • divorce decrees;
  • etc.

You should bring copies of all original documents you are required to deliver

.

If you have updated financial records, like new Federal tax returns, please bring those as well.

Additionally, we always recommend that our clients bring 15-20 color photographs to show the relationship between beneficiary and petitioner.

Lastly, you should always refer to the appropriate consulate’s website for any specific information.

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How long does the interview last?

Based on feedback from our clients, the interview itself usually lasts about 15-20 minutes. Lots of preparation for such a short interview!

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What should I expect during the interview?

You will be called to a window —similar to the DMV- to have the interview. The officer will look at the documents they have in their hand, and also may ask you for some of the documents that are on the checklist. It is at the officer’s discretion what they would like to request, so it is important to be prepared.

The officer may also ask you some questions. The most common questions are:

  • When did you enter the United States?
  • How did you enter?
  • When did you get married?

They may also ask about whether you have worked in the U.S. without authorization

Whatever the question, it is important to answer truthfully and to the point. The officer already knows a lot about you, so it is best to not contradict the information they already have!
You will know at the end of the interview if your greencard has been approved.

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What happens after the interview?

You will need to wait for your passport, with your U.S. visa, and the sealed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) packet to be returned to you: This usually takes about 5 days, but could be shorter or longer depending on the consulate. In order to re-enter the U.S., you will need your passport, U.S. visa, and the sealed CBP packet.
After you re-enter, you are considered a green card holder (congratulations!). You should receive your greencard and social security card in the mail within a few weeks of your re-entry.

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If you or someone you know would like some guidance with this process, please contact our firm! call (916) 613-3553, email, or use the contact form to provide us with more detailed information.

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