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Frequently Asked Questions

Immigrant Visa Interviews

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

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

Does my child need to attend the interview?

All applicants are required to come to the Embassy in person for a formal visa interview with a U.S. consular officer.  If your child will be moving to the U.S. with you, then he/she needs to be physically present at the Embassy for the immigrant visa interview.

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

No.  There is no requirement that the U.S. citizen attend the immigrant visa interview.  However, it is highly recommended that the U.S. citizen petitioner attend the interview with you so that any questions or concerns that the Consular Officer might have can be properly addressed.

I'm divorced.  Do I require permission from my ex-spouse to take my child out of the country?

If you are divorced and you are applying for a visa for your child(ren) by a previous marriage, you WILL be required to present on the day of your visa interview proof that you have been awarded full/sole custody of the child(ren) by the court and that permission has been given for the child(ren) to immigrate to the United States.

If you do not have full/sole custody, or if you were not legally married to your children's father, you will still need a notarized statement of consent from the remaining biological parent of your children giving them permission to immigrate to the United States.  

When will I get my immigrant visa?

Provided you are found eligible for the visa at the time of your interview, your passport, visa and supporting documents will be returned to you by courier.  Processing and mailing time will take approximately 5-7 business days.

How much does the immigrant visa cost?

Effective April 13, 2012, the Department of State has adjusted visa processing fees. Please see the following U.S. Department of State webpage for the current fees.

When do I pay this fee?

If your petition was filed at U.S. Embassy Bridgetown, you will pay the fee at the time of your interview.  If the petition was filed in the U.S. you will pay the fee directly to the National Visa Center.

How can I pay this fee?

The Embassy accepts the visa processing fee in cash (U.S. dollars or Barbados dollars), a certified money order or by credit card - Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.  For those whose application is processed through the NVC, instructions on fee payment will be sent to them with the form DS-3032.

What if my immigrant 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 in which to present the missing documents.  Once the Consular Officer is satisfied with your documents, he/she will issue your immigrant visa.  You can then enter the United States on the immigrant visa.

What if I do not enter the U.S. on my immigrant visa within six months after its issuance?

The immigrant visa will be null and void and you will be required to re-apply from scratch for the immigrant visa,  pay a new visa application fee, and re-do your entire medical exam, including paying the exam fees again.

After the visa is issued, how long do I have before I MUST travel to the U.S. on the visa?

Immigrant and fiancé(e) visas are normally valid for travel to the United States for six months from the date they are issued.  You must travel to the U.S. before the expiration date printed on the visa. 

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

You should return the unused visa to the Immigrant Visa unit with a letter explaining why you were unable to travel. Unless your failure to use the visa was entirely outside of your control, you will be required to reapply for the visa from the beginning, including re-paying the fees and re-doing the medical exam.  If you failed to immigrate due to reasons entirely outside of your control, in rare cases it may be possible to re-issue a new visa to you after you re-pay the visa processing fees.

Can I travel overseas after entering the U.S. on my immigrant visa if I have not yet received my green card in the mail?

When you enter the U.S. on the immigrant visa, the Immigration 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 1 year and may be used to apply for readmission to the U.S. if you need to travel abroad prior to receiving your green card. The endorsed immigrant visa in your passport is a de facto green card until you receive the actual card in the mail.