How to Book Your Visa Interview at the Embassy
By Rebecca Cohen
4 minute read
You’ve finished your application with InterExchange, your paperwork has been mailed, it’s now time to schedule your visa appointment at the U.S Embassy!
It may seem like a daunting process, but InterExchange is here to help! Keep reading to find out everything you need to know and the steps you need to take!
Are you a Canadian citizen? You do not need to go to the U.S. embassy to apply for a J-1 Visa! Your DS-2019 Form and SEVIS fee receipt is sufficient for entry to the U.S., and it will be stamped at the border.
Everyone else, follow the steps below!
Step 1: Complete the DS-160 form online! (Also known as the Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
Electronically submitting your DS-160 application is the FIRST STEP in the visa appointment process. To get started, watch the video below:
You will need to have the information listed below to complete the DS160:
- Your SEVIS ID
- Your Passport
- Digital Image of yourself that meets these requirements
- Name and address of the camp you will be working at
- Travel itinerary (If you have already made travel arrangements.)
- Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States.
All answers must be in English. Most questions are mandatory and must be answered in the spaces provided.
Be sure to print or save your Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) confirmation page when you are done! You’re going to need it at the embassy!
Still have more questions about the Visa Application DS-160? Check out these Frequently Asked Questions.
Important Note: If you are applying for your visa in the United Kingdom, Ireland, or the EU you may see a question while filling out the DS-160 that is determining if you are eligible for an interview waiver. Participants applying for the J1 Camp Counselor program are not eligible. You should answer “None of the above apply.” If you have answered yes to this question please reach out to InterExchange to let us know. If you’ve already mailed your documents in, you will need to wait to get them back and then schedule an in person interview.
Step 2 - Find the embassy nearest to you!
Visit the U.S. Embassy’s website and select the country and the embassy nearest to you!
Most visa applicants will need to schedule a visa interview, though some applicants may qualify for visa renewal. The embassy or consulate information may include specific local instructions about scheduling interviews, submitting your visa application, and other frequently asked questions.
Once you locate the Embassy or Consulate near you, it’s important to thoroughly review all information on the specific Embassy or Consulate Visa Section website for local procedures and instructions, such as how to make an interview appointment. Embassy and Consulate websites will also explain any additional procedures for exchange visitors who need an earlier visa interview appointment. The procedure varies from country to country!
Be sure to check for visa appointment and processing wait times. You are applying for the “Exchange Visitor Visa” category.
Step 3 - Pay the non-refundable application fee.
To get started, visit the U.S. Visa Information and Appointment Services website. Select “Temporary- Non Immigrant visas”. Then select the country of the embassy you chose in Step 2.
Click apply (because never used this site before and you have completed a DS-160). You will need your SEVIS ID and the Program number (P-3-05381).
Finish that process to pay for your visa appointment. You can save and come back if you can’t complete it all at once! The cost of the visa appointment is $160 USD. This fee is separate from the sponsorship fees you paid InterExchange.
Most embassies will allow you to complete the process and also schedule your appointment! If so, schedule the next available appointment! If not, go to Step 4!
Step 4 - Schedule your visa appointment!
If you weren’t able to schedule your appointment at the end of step 3, you’ll need to contact your embassy directly. Review the embassy information, contact them directly and they will help you schedule your appointment.
Step 5 - Attend Your Visa Interview
Finally, interview day has come!
You are required to bring your Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) confirmation page with your application ID number on it so the embassy can retrieve your application.
Some embassies and consulates require visa applicants to bring one (1) photo, which meets requirements, to the interview. Review the embassy or consulate instructions where you will apply to learn more.
During the interview, applicants must demonstrate to the consular officer that they have binding ties to a residence in a foreign country which they have no intention of abandoning, and that they are coming to the U.S. for a temporary period. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence should take since applicants’ circumstances vary greatly.
Step 6 - Pick up your passport with visa
Processing time varies. Check with the embassy or consulate you apply with for specifics on when and where to get your passport and visa.
You’re ready to travel!
Once your visa has been approved, it’s safe to book your flights. Log in at app.interexchange.org to check your travel directions, or contact your camp if you have any doubts about when, where and how to arrive.
Good luck and stay in touch. See you at camp!
Rebecca joined InterExchange in January 2017 working with the Work & Travel USA program, helping international students work seasonal jobs around the United States. Having lived and worked abroad herself in France and Israel, Rebecca is enthusiastic about helping international students fulfill their dreams of cultural immersion. She is thrilled to continue working at InterExchange with Camp USA to make the program a success.
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