30 Nov 2022 Six Tips On Scheduling Your Interview At The Embassy
So many people have been waiting for months or years for their interview at the embassy. The COVID-19 pandemic, with the shut downs, lockdowns, as well as the immigration ban, created tremendous backlogs and increased waiting times.
Is there something that you can do to speed up your interview? While the following tips will not “guarantee” your interview will be immediately scheduled, they could help facilitate or increase your chances:
- Monitor your priority date. If your priority date is earlier than the dates for filing or application filing date chart, then you should already be receiving notices from the NVC (National Visa Center) to start preparing your paperwork.
If your priority date is earlier than the final action date, that means your priority date is current, and you are eligible for your visa already. If you have not received a notice from the NVC, then you really should check to see what happened and why you have not received those notices.
- Make sure to keep the NVC or Embassy informed of any change in your contact information. This includes your address, phone number, or email. If you move, notices may be sent to the last address they have on file for you, and you’re typically given one year to respond, or your case will be terminated. If you move but never advise the NVC or Embassy of your new address, you may find that your case has been canceled.
- Be aware that it is not the NVC‘s job or duty to keep track of your case, your change of address, or try to find or track you down, and you should not wait to hear from them if your priority date is current. I have come across many cases where the person’s priority date was current for many years, but the family took no action on the case because they were waiting for the NVC. If your priority date is current, you should look into the matter as to why you were not receiving notices, or risk having your case terminated.
- Make sure you are documentarily complete. If you submitted your fees and forms, and you are waiting for your interview date, make sure you have received confirmation from NVC that your case is “documentarily complete,” meaning the NVC or Embassy has acknowledged you have submitted all the appropriate forms and fees. If your case is not documentarily complete, you will not be queued up for an interview, even if your priority date is current.
- Expedite your case if necessary. In some cases, it is possible to request that your interview be “expedited” based on some unusual situation or emergency, such as a sickly or elderly petitioner, a child who is aging out but not covered by the CSPA (Child Status Protection Act), etc. But it has to be a legitimate emergency, as opposed to stating that you have been waiting a long time and are anxious to go to the U.S. In that case, everyone would have the same emergency.
- Make sure to contact either the NVC or the U.S. Embassy at least once a year to confirm you are still interested in pursuing your visa. There is a law that requires a person to contact the NVC within a year, or their case could be terminated. I have encountered many cases where a visa applicant received an email from the NVC that their case was documentarily complete, and they should simply await word from the NVC on when their interview will take place. Relying on those emails, the family just waited to hear from NVC as instructed. But then along comes another email advising that their case is being terminated under section 203(g), because they did not contact NVC within one year, even though they were told to wait. Then, you have to immediately rush and argue to get the case reinstated.
In fact, if your petitioner is elderly or sickly, I think it is vital that you get your interview and arrive in the U.S. while they are still alive. If something happens to them, then the petition would be considered “dead” and you would be required to file for humanitarian reinstatement, which can sometimes take 2 to 3 years for the service center to process that request. At some service centers, such as the California Service Center, the approval rate of humanitarian revalidation requests is less than 7%.
I hope you have found these tips helpful, and if you have any questions, I would suggest that you consult with an attorney, who could evaluate your case to see if it is on track, documentarily complete, has not been terminated, and perhaps assist in finally getting you an interview. I also invite you to subscribe to my YouTube channel, US Immigration TV, as I regularly post videos which I believe will be informative and useful in connection with immigration news, laws, updates, and developments.
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