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Visa Interviews

How will I know when my interview is scheduled?

If your petition was filed with the USCIS in the United States.

The National Visa Center (NVC) will send notification of the date, time, and location of your interview to you, your petitioner, and your attorney/agent of record (if applicable) when the interview has been scheduled.

If your petition was filed with U.S. Embassy Tokyo or U.S. Consulate-General Naha.

The Embassy or consulate will notify you of your interview date and time upon receipt of your request through the on-line Interview Request Form for Tokyo and Naha.

What if I need to change the interview date and time?

If you need to change your appointment, please submit the Interview Request Form for Tokyo and Naha to request a different date. Indicate that you are changing an existing appointment in the “Remarks” box. We will send a new appointment notice by email. Please note we CANNOT change an appointment scheduled by NVC before we receive your case file from the NVC. In this case you will be required to submit the request again.

My interview hasn’t been scheduled yet, but I want to get started on my medical examination. Where should I go to get an examination?

You should not have your medical examination until your interview has been scheduled by the National Visa Center (NVC), or until you are advised to do so by the Embassy or Consulate.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Medical examination results are valid for six months in normal circumstances. But if you have certain medical conditions, your examination results could expire in as little as three months. Most visas are set to expire on the same date as the medical examination. If you cannot arrive in the United States before the expiration date of the medical examination, you must repeat the examination so that a valid visa may be issued.

How long can I expect to be at the Embassy when I come for my visa interview?

You can expect to be at the Embassy at least three hours.

Does my child need to attend the interview? 

All applicants including children are required to come to the Embassy or Consulate in person for a formal immigrant visa interview with a U.S. consular officer.

My spouse, who is a U.S. citizen, has filed the immigrant petition on my behalf. Is he/she required to attend the immigrant visa interview with me?

No. The U.S. citizen petitioner is not required to attend the immigrant visa interview. There is also no requirement that your spouse remain in Japan until you are issued with your immigrant visa; he or she may travel to the United States ahead of you.

I’m divorced; do I require permission from my ex-spouse to take my child out of the country?

In general, proof of consent by a non-accompanying parent is not required.  However, during your visa interview, a consular officer may inquire into custody status with the parents or whether the child is permitted to depart the country with the local authority.

When will I get my visa?

Provided you are found eligible for the visa, your passport and documents will be returned to you by mail. Processing and mailing time will take approximately one week.

How much does the immigrant visa cost?

The “Immigrant Visa Application and Processing Fees” for all visa categories are available at Fees For Visa Services.

The visa processing fee cannot be refunded even if the applicant is refused a visa.

When do I pay this fee?

If your petition was filed in Tokyo or Naha, you will pay the fee on the day of your interview. If the petition was filed in the United States you will pay the fee to the National Visa Center.

How can I pay this fee?

The Embassy and the consulate accept the visa processing fee in cash, or by credit card – VISA, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover, JCB or American Express. For those whose application is processed through the NVC, instructions on the on-line fee payment will be sent to them by the NVC.

What if my visa is refused?If your visa is refused under the provisions of Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for lack of documentation, you will have twelve months from the date of refusal to mail in the missing documents.

Some applications may require additional administrative processing after the interview before the applications can be processed to conclusion.  The consular officer will inform you if additional administrative processing is necessary.

Based on U.S. law, not everyone who applies is qualified or eligible for a visa to come to the United States.  Under U.S. law, many factors could make an applicant ineligible to receive a visa.

How soon do I have to travel to the U.S. once the visa is issued?

Immigrant and fiancèe visas’ validity will be limited to a period of the validity of the medical examination. Medical examinations conducted in connection with immigrant visa applications have a maximum validity of six months.

What if I cannot travel during the validity period of the visa?

You should return the unused visa to the Immigrant Visa Unit with your passport, a letter explaining why you were unable to travel, the sealed yellow envelope if any, and a self-addressed return envelope (this envelope will be used to return your passport. Please use Letterpack Plus or other form of registered mail, so that you can track the shipment. Letterpack Plus is available at post offices and convenience stores.). Depending on the reasons for you not using the visa, it may be possible to re-issue you with a new visa on payment of new visa processing fees.

Can I travel overseas if I have not gotten the green card but have an immigrant visa?

When you enter the United States on the immigrant visa, the officer at the airport will endorse your immigrant visa showing admission into the U.S. as an immigrant. The endorsed immigrant visa in your passport is normally valid for one year and may be used to apply for readmission to the United States if you need to travel prior to receiving your green card.