USA visa interview at the embassy
To enter the United States it is mandatory to obtain an ESTA electronic travel authorization or a US visa. The two processes are different but both are done online.
For a stay of less than 90 days in the United States, you can complete the formalities directly on the Internet by clicking on the online form. An appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate is not required.
If your stay requires a US visa, we explain everything you need to know about the appointment at the US embassy as part of a visa application.
How do I get an appointment at the US Embassy?
To travel to the United States for more than 90 days, for example, you must first obtain a visa. To make an appointment with your U.S. embassy, you must apply through the U.S. Citizen Immigration Services website uscis.gov. You will be able to choose the date and time of the appointment. Appointments are most often available Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 9:30am.
Then you will have to pay the visa application fee to validate your application and get your appointment with the embassy. On the date you choose for your interview, you will go to your U.S. Embassy to meet with an embassy representative. You will have an oral interview about your personal profile and your reasons for wanting to travel to the United States.
How is the meeting at the US Embassy going?
Regardless of what time you have an appointment, you will only be permitted to enter the Embassy 15 minutes before your interview. You will have to respect a few safety rules:
- The first step takes place at the entrance to the embassy, where a security guard will ask you for your name, the time of your appointment and you will be passed through a manual detector (as in an airport);
- The second step concerns a more thorough search of your bags and pockets: electronic equipment (telephone, tablet, etc.) or even liquid products (cosmetics, drinks, etc.) are prohibited inside the embassy. They will therefore be kept in a numbered plastic bag until the end of your appointment.
Once out of the security checkpoint, you are in US territory. A US representative will give you a number and you will have to wait to be called. When your number appears on the screen, your identity will be verified again, but this time using your fingerprints! Finally, you will be taken to the interview room.
The appointment at the embassy lasts about ten minutes and is done either in English or in French, it depends on the person with whom you are interviewing. You need to prepare for this interview. Each appointment is different but in general, the key points are as follows:
- For what reason(s) do you want to go to the USA? ;
- When and where are you going? You must be able to prove your reservations and a planned itinerary;
- How will you pay for your stay? Presentation of your bank account statements;
- How did you receive this money? You will then have to prove your financial income, such as presenting your employment contract.
- If you are applying for a work visa, you will be asked to present a job offer from a US company on paper.
At the end of the interview, your interviewer will tell you whether or not your visa application has been accepted. However, you will not be able to leave with your passport the same day. Embassy officials will hold your passport for up to one week. They will then return your stamped passport with the desired visa by mail.
Finally, keep in mind that even with your visa, it is when you enter the territory that the customs officers will decide whether or not you are accepted.
Important: If you wish to travel to the United States for a stay of less than 90 days, you do not need to make an appointment at the embassy to apply for a visa. You can very simply and quickly apply for an ESTA online.