The Interview

If you cannot keep the appointment, please notify this office at once by email: ConsularLusaka@state.gov

Preparation for the Immigrant Visa Interview

Once the petitioned is approved, you will be notified that the petition is being sent to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) or the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC), where it will receive a case number. If your petition is current, meaning that the State Department can process your visa application, you will receive instructions on how to prepare for your interview. For more information about priority dates, IV numerical limitations and cut-off dates please visit the Visa Bulletin.

If you have learned that your case file has been sent to the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka and you have not yet received instructions, please email VisaLusaka@state.gov and include your case number in the subject line of your email. Once we receive your case file, we will email you instructions on how to prepare for and schedule your immigrant visa interview, including scheduling the medical exam. Please visit the following sites for additional medical examination information and details on required vaccinations.

The Immigrant Visa Interview

Once your interview has been scheduled by the National Visa Center (or in K-1 fiancé cases, by the U.S. Embassy), arrive at the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka at your appointed time.  Bring complete and organized documentation.  An Embassy employee will review your documents and prepare your file for your interview with a consular officer.  Screening time averages approximately 30 minutes to one hour. Incomplete and unorganized documents can delay the process.  When your case file has been fully screened, a consular officer will call you to an interview window for an interview.  If your case is approved, the visa will usually be issued for pickup at the Embassy in approximately 3 business days. This processing time is an average; timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

We cannot expedite immigrant visa interviews except in cases of emergency, such as military deployment or medical emergencies.  In these cases, please inform us immediately by email so that we may do our best to be of assistance.

Applicants requiring additional administrative processing after the interview may experience delays (from several weeks to several months).  In some cases, the consular officer may recommend that DNA testing be used to verify a biological relationship.  We will inform applicants when this processing applies.  For information about timeframes for cases requiring administrative processing, visit here.

If you are found ineligible for an immigrant visa, the consular officer will inform you of the reasons for the visa denial and advise you if the law provides for a waiver of your ineligibility.  For information about cases refusals and ineligibilities, please visit the Department of State’s website.  Following a 221(g) refusal, applicants can write VisaLusaka@state.gov to reschedule for a follow-up appointment after they have collected the necessary documents or information that the consular officer requested in the original interview.  Appointments will be usually scheduled within 1-2 weeks.

NOTE: No assurance can be given in advance that a visa will be issued. A consular officer can make a decision only after your formal application and all documents are reviewed, and you have been personally interviewed by an officer.

You are advised not to make any travel arrangements, until the visa has been issued to you. An immigrant visa is usually valid for a maximum of four months from the date of issuance. You must travel and apply for admission to the United States within that 4 month period.