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How long is a US visa interview?
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December 01, 2006

"How long will my visa interview be?"

This question often worries a visa applicant. As do questions like whether or not you will get the visa or how easy will it be to answer the questions during the visa interview.

Peter G Kaestner, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs and US Consul General, New Delhi, answered these and other visa related queries during a chat on November 29.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript.

Part I: US visa rejected? Here's what you can do

Nov2006 asked, I am planning a pleasure visit with my wife to the US sometimes in February of 2006, please, advise me on the VISA procedures

Peter Kaestner answers, The best place to get information on the exact procedures is from our website One important thing is that we have, in the last couple months, gotten rid of the NIV appointment backlog in India. It should be possible to get an appointment within a week whenever you want one. The only exception is Chennai, but applicants from south India can apply in Delhi or Mumbai if they need a visa appointment soon.

anoop asked, sir my brother is a green card holder and when and how can i apply for USA visa with my this relationship

Peter Kaestner answers, I am assuming here that you are looking to get a Green Card to join your brother in the United States. The process begins by your brother filing a petition with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the United States. Once the petition is approved, you go into a queue. Once you get to the front of the queue, the petition is sent to our office and you will be contacted. The only problem is that the queue right now for a Green Card based on a brother or sister is 11 years. Better get started.

Prasant asked, I have 212(a)(6)(c) stamped on my passport (year 2000) As you know, this stands for misrepresentation. will i ever be able to go to US in the future. my wife passport also has the same stamp because of my misrepresentation. does this affect her also ?

Peter Kaestner answers, A 6(c) ineligibility is serious and is for life. Once an applicant has misrepresented a material fact to a Consular Officer, it is almost impossible to get a visa. It sounds like it is too late in your case, but for the rest of the chatters, it is an important lesson to always be 100 per cent truthful during the interview.

prkhanna asked, Hi Peter, I am currently working in US holding a H1B visa.. my Girl Friend wants to see me in US for some time.. can you suggest me a way to sort this out.. Thanks..Prashant.

Peter Kaestner answers, Marry the girl!

suruze asked, my parents are green card holder and my sister is citizen so can i get F1 visa and i have been rejected twice

Peter Kaestner answers, For almost all non-immigrant visas, Section 214(b) requires the applicant to show that they have a residence in a foreign country that they have no intention of abandoning. In each case, the applicant's ties or obligations to his home country are measured against their ties to the United States. It appears in your case, since your parents are permanent residents of the United States, that it will be hard for you to show that you are coming back to India.

RAVIN asked, Hello Sir, I have my L1(Blanket) visa interview scheduled for this December second week. But, my passport is going to expire in Sep-2007. Will this cause any problem?

Peter Kaestner answers, The rule of thumb is that the passport has to be valid for six months past the expected return of the traveller. It would be advisable to get your passport extended. It is possible to travel with a valid passport and a valid visa in an expired passport. With the recent emphasis on security, however, it is a better idea to have your passport and visa in the same book to ease passage through borders.

anne asked, are more visa dates made available every week??i cant find any dates in december as of now..will i get in the next few dates??

Peter Kaestner answers, At present, we are encountering some excess demand in southern India so the appointments in Chennai have become scarce. Today, we are opening up Delhi and Mumbai for English speaking applicants anywhere in India to bypass the backlog in Chennai. I hope this works for you. And, yes, we do put out additional appointments regularly.

manishankarvarma asked, How many VISAs are going to isuue in this financial year...?

Peter Kaestner answers, In the most recent fiscal year, we have issued 358,734 temporary visas in India and 30,678 Immigrant visas (Green Cards). Since September, however, we have increased our productivity and are now processing between 3,500 and 4,000 visas a day in India.

Sumant asked, Sir, what are the differences between a J1 visa and an F1 visa. I have an offer for Phd, from a US university, and as I am eligible for both, being a student(for F1), and being fully funded (for J1), I am in a dilemma which visa I should apply for? Can you specify the differences between these two types?

Peter Kaestner answers, Congratulations! Sounds like you are in good shape. There is not much of a difference between J and F visas in your case. One big difference is the 212(e) residency requirement for J's in certain fields of study/ research. On the other hand, if you are working as part of a PhD, J feels right to me. Good luck, do well, and come back!

amit1983 asked, Hi Peter! I have applied for MS for fall 2007 to a few universities in the US. Can you tell me about the financial documentation that i need to carry for the visa interview in case i am admitted? Thank You

Peter Kaestner answers, Assuming that you do not have a nice fellowship like Sumant, you will need to show evidence of ability to pay for all of your costs for the first year and the ability to meet your expenses throughout your time in the US. Working on a student visa is possible but restricted. We do not have any specific rules on what you must present as documentation because the funds come from a variety of different sources. Most important advice is to be honest and not try to present false documentation. Good luck!

DubyaBudya asked, tejas1 says, hello sir..I want my parents to visit US for tourism and meet my elder brother there.. Can me and my father both sponsor the travel? donee says, Hi Peter, its been 2 months since i was issued a pink 221g, ive not yet heard from the consulate. What do i need to do? this is for a B1 visa ritesh_mehra says, Hello Sir, I'm working for an internet company. There are numerous exhibitions in the US that my company is interested in participating. I am designated to attend these fairs. Could you please advise what is the best way to procure visa for the US without much hassle. tejas1 says, hello sir..I want my parents to visit US for tourism and meet my elder brother there.. Can me and my father both sponsor the travel? harsha says, Hello Peter my H1B visa is issued in oct. would that be a problem for me if I enter US after 6 months

Peter Kaestner answers, You have a better chance of getting an answer if you post your question only once.

Faris asked, Is it hard for Muslims to get US visa these days?

Peter Kaestner answers, No. All applicants are screened against the US Government's visa lookout database. The religion of the people in the database and the applicants are neither requested nor captured. We do not consider religion as a factor in issuing a visa.

a.kaul asked, Normally how much time does the visa Interviewer spends , interviewing with the candidate ??

Peter Kaestner answers, There is no set time for interviews. The officer needs to come to a decision and takes as much time as he/ she needs. Simple cases can be handled within a minute or so; more complex cases, including refusals, often take several minutes. The officers do 50-100 interviews a day and get very good at determining the visa eligibility of an applicant quickly.

rajj asked, Hi Peter, My sister is newly married (in INDIA) to an Indian Born US citizen and a Spouse VISA has been applied for her a month back in US. How long will it take for this VISA to get processed. Thanks Raj

Peter Kaestner answers, It is hard to say how long it will take DHS to process the petition filed in the United States. Once it has been approved, however, it will be sent to the Department of State and the processing of the visa will commence. Once the initial paperwork is done, the petition is sent to India where we schedule the final appointment and process the case to conclusion. The State Department part of the processing usually takes a couple of months.

Peter Kaestner says, Wow! I see my time is up. I hope that this chat has been helpful to you and that all your visa dreams come true!

Part I: US visa rejected? Here's what you can do


  • Why you may be denied a US visa
  • Find a job in the US          
  • No issuance fees for US visas   
  • Planning to study abroad?

  • Note: Please note that all e-mails sent to are in the public domain unless otherwise specified. These e-mails can, and may, be posted on, unless you clearly indicate you do not want your e-mail to be published.

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    Sub: hi f

    hi thanks . i want to ask if i have my cousin sister married in the USA ./ ca n they sponsor me in my ...

    Posted by sachin


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