Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Frequently Asked Questions

Who may accompany me to the visa interview?  

A. Visa interviews are between the applicant and the interviewing consular officer, and third parties (e.g. family members, friends, business associates, attorneys, etc.) will be directed to take a seat during the course of the interview.  At the discretion of the interviewing officer, third parties may be asked to provide information pertinent to the applicant's qualifications.

How long will I wait in line for my visa interview?

A. On a typical day, the Embassy schedules 10-20 visa interviews. Our goal is to interview everyone within one hour from the time of entry onto the Embassy compound. For example, if you have an appointment at 8:00am, you will be permitted to enter the compound at 7:30 (30 minutes before the scheduled time), and we hope to complete your interview by 9:00. During this time, prior to the actual interview, your application will be reviewed for completeness and entered into a database and your fingerprints will be scanned by a digital reader. The wait time could vary - shorter or longer - depending on a variety of factors. The Embassy provides chairs and restrooms for those waiting in line.

How long is the average interview?

A. On average, the interview will last 5-10 minutes, but can vary depending on the complexity of the case. The interviewers must complete mandatory checks of the database (name and date of birth, fingerprints and photo recognition) for each applicant, and enter notes into the system. All interviewing officers are American citizens and commissioned officers of the Foreign Service of the United States.  The point of the interview is to clarify or expand on the information provided on your application.

How do I get my passport back?

A. Passports are returned through DHL courier service.  It takes  five business days to receive your passport and visa from DHL.  Same day service is not available.

Can I pick my passport and visa up sooner?

A. We do not make exceptions to the requirement to use DHL for return of the passport and visas 

What are the required documents?

The applicant is responsible for ensuring that all required documents are available at the time of the interview. Failure to send all required documentation prior to the interview may result in cancellation of appointment, delay in visa issuance or a visa refusal. The following documents must be available before the interview:

Complete DS-230 Part I and Part II  available on web page: Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, Forms DS-230 Part I and Part II

Copy of Appointment Letter

  • Copy of Biographical page of the Passport(s) valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States
  • Original Police Certificate(s) (Nation Wide)
  • Original Birth Certificate(s)
  • Sealed envelope with Medical Examination results
  • Court and prison records, if applicable
  • Military records, if applicable
  • Two Color photographs
  • Marriage Certificate, if applicable
  • Evidence of financial support (e.g. Affidavit of Support, a notarized offer of employment,    or evidence of assets)
  • Divorce Certificate and Divorce decree or death certificate of spouse, if applicable
  • Family-based cases: Photos and all original documents used to establish the relationship between the petitioner and the applicant. (PDF 23KB)
  • Employment-based cases: A recent letter from the prospective employer confirming the essential elements of the job offer
  • The day of the interview you will need to pay a fee U$400 for each applicant.
    You may review all the requirements which are available on the web page: Interview Preparation
  • Required Documents for K-1 and K3 Visas
  • A passport(s) valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States (unless country-specific agreements  provide exemptions).
  • Original Birth certificate
  • Divorce Certificate and Divorce Decree or death certificate of any previous spouse for both the applicant and the petitioner
  • Police certificate (Nation Wide) from all places that applicant has lived since age 16
  • Sealed Envelope with Medical Examination Results
  • Evidence of financial support (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support)
  • Two Nonimmigrant Visa Applications, Form DS-156 (A Form DS-156, prepared in duplicate.)
  • One Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application, Form DS-156K
  • Two nonimmigrant visa photos (each two inches 50 X 50 mm square, showing full face, against a light background)
  • Evidence of relationship with fiancé
  • Visa fee U$ 131 payable at any agency of BISA Bank in Bolivia.
    You may review these requirements, which are available on our web page: Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé(e) (K-1)

Information on Returning Resident Alien

Returning Resident Alien Visas

In the majority of cases, legal permanent residents (LPRs, or “green card” holders) who have been outside the United States for less than one year need only present their green card and a valid passport to reenter the United States as residents. Once an LPR has been outside the United States for more than one year, however, it is necessary to apply for a special returning resident alien visa (SB1) in order to reenter the United States.

This one-year limit does not apply to the spouses or children under the age of 21 of members of the Armed Forces of the United States, nor does it apply to U.S. government employees who have been assigned abroad under official orders.

To qualify for the SB1 visa, applicants must show that:

They were lawful permanent residents when they departed the U.S.
When they departed they intended to return to the U.S. and have maintained this intent.

They are returning from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay was protracted, that it was caused by reasons beyond their control and for which they were not responsible.

They are eligible for the immigrant visa in all other respects.
In order to apply as a returning resident, applicants should visit the immigrant visa window of the consular section between the hours of 9:00 am and 10:00 am, Monday through Friday (except Peruvian or U.S. holidays). At that time you will be given the necessary forms as well as additional information on how to apply.

If an SB1 visa is denied, applicants have two possible avenues of action.

If your SB1 visa application was denied because the consular officer determined that you have abandoned your residence in the United States, you can apply for a nonimmigrant visa. Please visit the nonimmigrant visa section of this website for information on the requirements for this visa.

If you do not qualify for the nonimmigrant visa because you were unable to establish that you have strong ties to a country outside the United States, you may attempt to re-apply for the immigrant visa, as long as you still qualify.

In the event that a green card holder living in the United States needs to return to the home country for a period of time longer than one year, there is a process to follow to maintain his/her residency and avoid having to apply for an SB1. If you are a green card holder, do not intend to abandon your U.S. residence, and know ahead of time that you will have to remain outside the United States for a period of time greater than a year, you can apply for a reentry permit. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS, previously INS) handles all applications for reentry permits.

What should I bring on the day of the interview?

Please read and follow all Interview Preparation Instructions located on the Department of State’s web site at: Interview Preparation

What should I do before the interview day?

All the applicants who are schedule for an interview have to send the requirements listed on “What are the required documents” via DHL at least 5 days in advance of the appointment date. Visit DHL.

Adobe Reader

  • Download Free
    Download Free

    All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format.  To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.  You may download a free version by clicking the link above.