The Interview

Important Notice – Process Changes for Immigrant, Diversity Visa and K visa applicants in South Africa

Effective 01 March 2017, the US Embassy will implement mandatory processes for all immigrant visa (IV), diversity visa (DV) and K visa applicants.  The changes require these applicants to register and/or schedule their visa adjudication appointments online, using this website PRIOR to their visa interviews. Applicants who fail to register will not be allowed to attend their interview.

For information regarding immigrant visa processing, please visit https://za.usembassy.gov/visas/family-immigration/

For information regarding K visa processing, please visit https://za.usembassy.gov/visas/fiancee/

For information regarding DV visa processing, please visit https://za.usembassy.gov/visas/diversity-visa-lottery/

This link supplies further information:  https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/interview/prepare.html

A consular officer interviews you on the day of your appointment and that officer determines your eligibility for the visa. You will either be issued the visa or given an explanation of why you are ineligible for the visa. Often, overcoming an ineligibility involves bringing in more documents. However, some more serious ineligibilities require a waiver from USCIS, which takes additional time and documentation. If a person is found ineligible to receive a visa under one of the ineligibilities, a waiver may have to be submitted. The process can be a lengthy one. The fingerprints of the beneficiary are taken. Then the prescribed waiver application form, together with the accompanying documents, including the FBI fingerprint check results are sent to the local DHS office in Johannesburg. The process can take between 3-6 months.

In all immigrant visa cases, only a U.S. certified attorney may act on behalf of the client. The attorney should execute the Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance), a copy of which should be attached to the petition. The attorney may assist in completing the necessary forms. However, on the final day of interview, only the applicant is interviewed. The attorney may accompany but may not participate in the interviewing process.

Types of Immigrant Visas

Immediate Relatives (no numerical limit):
IR-1 Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
IR-2 Minor Child of a U.S. Citizen
IR-3 Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
IR-4 Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. Citizen
IR-5 Parent of a U.S. Citizen

Note:  Immediate relatives each require their own petition. Derivative applicants (spouses, minor children) are NOT allowed to travel with the beneficiary of an IR petition.

A fiancé(e) of an United States citizen can apply for a special visa which will permit him/her to travel to the U.S. for the purpose of marrying within ninety days of entering the United States and residing permanently there. The U.S. citizen is called the petitioner. The foreign fiancé(e) is called the beneficiary.

Applying for a fiancé(e) visa takes place in two steps lasting several months. The first step is for the U.S. citizen – the petitioner – to file an I-129F fiancé(e) visa petition in the United States. I-129F visa petitions can be approved only by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. The fee for filing an I-129F visa petition is USD $340.

The second stage of the fiancé(e) visa process will begin when the consulate in Johannesburg receives the approved I-129F petition from the U.S. At that time, the foreign applicant – the beneficiary – will be sent a detailed list of the supporting documents needed to apply for the visa.

After the beneficiary informs the Consulate that all the documents are ready, a visa interview will be scheduled. There is a USD $350 visa application fee for the fiancé(e) visa itself, but there are additional fees charged for the mandatory medical examination and for some of the required documents.

Once the visa is issued, the non-American beneficiary must enter the U.S. within six months. The couple must marry within three months of that entry date and report this marriage to the nearest USCIS office so that the beneficiary may obtain a resident alien card (a.k.a. “Green Card”). The alien fiancé(e)/spouse must NOT leave the United States until the USCIS process has been finalized and residency has been granted, otherwise your adjustment request will be considered abandoned and you will have to reinitiate the immigration process at the Embassy abroad.