What do I need to bring with me to my immigrant visa interview?
Ask the US EmbassyWednesday, November 24, 2021
A: There are four types of documentation you will need to bring with you to your immigrant visa interview: identification, civil, financial, and relationship.
A valid, unexpired passport (good for at least six months beyond your intended date of entry into the United States) is required, as well as two colour passport photos taken within the last six months.
These documents include originals of legal documents not issued in the United States, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, divorce decrees, deed polls, adoption orders, police certificates, and court records. Copies are accepted of US-issued documents. Please review the specific requirements of your visa category to determine which documents are required for your case. This can include any documentation to show a name change of the petitioner or applicant – eg, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, or deed polls — or documentation to show the legality of a relationship — eg, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and birth certificates showing parents' names. Some visa categories, such as K-1 fiancé/fiancée visas, are only available to persons who are not married. Such cases require a certificate of no impediment to marriage, which is issued by the Registrar General's Department.
Police certificates are required for all applicants 16 years of age and over from every country where the applicant has resided for one year or more since reaching age 16, and from any country where an applicant has been convicted of a crime. Additionally, certified copies of each court record (showing the outcome/disposition of all charges) and any prison records are required.
Part of the immigrant visa petition process includes a guarantee from the petitioner or other financial sponsor of adequate income to support you once you arrive in the United States. Your petitioner must sign and complete – in full – an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864). If your petitioner does not meet the income requirements to financially support you, you may require an I-864 from a joint sponsor. If petitioners and/or joint sponsors are using combined income from a household member (someone who resides at the same physical address, usually someone with whom they jointly file taxes), that household member will also need to submit a Form I-864A: Contract between sponsor and household Member. Many times, petitioners and joint sponsors fail to accurately and fully complete these forms; this results in the forms being rejected and the sponsor(s) having to submit new forms.
All affidavits of support (from petitioner, joint sponsor, and household member) must be accompanied by their relevant tax documentation to demonstrate the income required to financially support you. These documents should be from the tax year immediately preceding the interview date (note: NOT the date the petition was filed) and can either be: (a) IRS tax transcripts OR (b) W2/1099 wage statements and a 1040 tax return. Many times, petitioners only submit a 1040, resulting in rejection of the application until such time as requisite documents are received.
Both joint sponsors and household members will also need to provide copies of documentation showing their legal status in the United States (such as a US birth certificate or passport, a naturalisation certificate, or a legal permanent resident “green” card).
One of the most important sets of documentation, and most often overlooked by applicants, is documentation that demonstrates to the interviewing officer the authenticity of the applicant's relationship with the petitioner. For relationship-based visas — such as parent-child, spouse, and fiancé/fiancée — this type of documentation is necessary to show a valid and ongoing relationship between you and the petitioner. For example, a biological relationship alone does not meet the requirements for a relationship-based visa between parent and child. Documentation including, but not limited to, photographs, money transfers, evidence of joint property, and chat logs should be provided in hard copy. You cannot bring your phone into the embassy, so please print hard copies to bring with you. It is your responsibility to demonstrate to the interviewing officer that your relationship with the petitioner is valid. Failure to bring such documentation may result in the consular officer refusing your case until such evidence is provided.
We urge you to check our “Preparing for your Immigrant Visa Interview” video ( https://youtu.be/nuUX5ZemDqA) prior to the date of your interview. Following the instructions contained in the video can significantly reduce visa processing times to ensure you receive your visa sooner rather than later. You can also watch our Consular Conversations video regarding immigrant visa documents required on your day of interview ( https://fb.watch/7Kjpht1Tus/) for additional information.
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