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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Immigrant Visas

Where can I learn more about the DS-260?

For additional answers to common questions about the DS-260 form, please visit the DS-260 FAQs page.

How do I schedule an earlier interview?

Due to the large number of cases to be processed and the need to be fair to each applicant, we do not schedule interviews out of sequence except when there is an urgent need to travel due to emergency reasons.  If you have an urgent need to travel before your interview date, please contact us.

Can you interview me before my priority date?

We cannot take any action on a case if the priority date is not yet current.  There are no legal provisions to process immigrant visa applications out of chronological order, even for pressing humanitarian concerns.  We will schedule a visa interview as soon as the priority date becomes current.  In order to obtain up-to-date information on current priority dates for each visa category, you may visit the State Department’s Website.

Can you notify me of my interview date via email?

We notify applicants of their visa interviews by postal mail.  If you would like to change your contact information including phone number and mailing address, you must update it on your ustraveldocs account and also notify the Consulate by submitting an online inquiry form.

What if I did not get my Instruction Package Letter or Appointment Package Letter?

If you have not received the Instruction Package Letter (PKT3) or the Appointment Package Letter (PKT4), please contact us.

Do I need to translate all my documents into English?

English and Vietnamese language documents are acceptable and may not need to be translated.  Documents in languages other than English or Vietnamese must be translated into English.  Translations must include a statement from the translator affirming that the 1) the translation is accurate, and 2) that the translator is competent to translate.

We may require English translations of Vietnamese documents on a case-by-case basis.

Am I required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a part of the medical examination?

Starting October 1, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will require that panel physicians include COVID vaccinations as part of the larger visa medical evaluation process.  This new process will not impact those that have already begun the medical examination process prior to October 1, nor those that already have their visas and plan to travel after October 1.

How do I get a Vietnamese Police Certificate?

Requests for a “Justice Record Check #2” (Phieu Ly Lich Tu Phap So 2) must be made at the Department of Justice office located in the district where you currently reside, or at your official residence.  The official residence is registered in the “household registry” (Ho Khau) issued by the district police.  The record check takes approximately 10 working days to complete.  You have to apply in person and cannot grant authority to someone else to apply on your behalf.

If you live in Ho Chi Minh City, you may contact the Justice Department at 143 Pasteur St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

More information on the Vietnamese police certificate is available at the Department of State.

How can I get my Vietnamese birth certificate?

Individuals born in Vietnam who need new copies of their Vietnamese birth certificate need to contact the office of the People’s Committee of the district where they were born: the district where their mother was then resident according to her household book (Ho Khau).  The district People’s Committee can issue certified copies (Ban sao) of a birth certificate based on their records of the original birth certificate.

Alternatively, the office may provide an Extract (Trich luc) of the information in the birth record on file in their office.  If you are unable to obtain a birth certificate because records have been destroyed or the government will not issue one, you must obtain a statement to that effect from the civil registrar’s office and submit secondary evidence of birth.  Secondary evidence of birth can be old family household registrations, school records, or baptismal certificates.

My Petitioner is unemployed, does he or she need to fill out an Affidavit of Support?

Yes.  Your petitioner must still submit an Affidavit of Support (I-864) even if your petitioner does not have enough money to support you.  Your petitioner will then have two choices: 1) find a “joint sponsor” who will agree to also financially support you (use Form I-864), or 2) use the income of a household member to meet the Poverty Guidelines (use Form I-864A).

Every I-864 and I-864A must be accompanied by proof that the filer is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, IRS tax transcripts from the most recent year and evidence of current employment (usually recent pay stubs or a recent job letter that states the salary).

Photocopies and scanned versions of I-864s and other associated documents are acceptable.

Who can come to the interview with me?

If your name is not on the confirmation letter then you cannot attend the interview, unless you are:

  • The petitioner
  • The parent/guardian of an applicant under the age of 17
  • The parent/guardian of an applicant who is mentally/physically challenged (handicapped)
  • The son/daughter/caregiver of elderly applicants (over 70 years old)

If you have small children whose names are not on any confirmation letter, you should arrange for alternate child care during the interview as they will not be allowed access to the Consulate.  Any other family members, relatives or friends of the applicant who do not meet one of the four conditions above will not be allowed to enter the Consulate.

I cannot find the documents you requested, what should I do?

If you are unable to provide information requested by the interviewing officer, please submit a letter explaining the circumstances that prevent you from complying with the request.  After you submit the letter, a consular officer will review your case file.

Why was my visa refused?

There are many reasons a consular officer may refuse a visa. For immigrant and fiancé(e) visas, the most common refusal is under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This refusal means that the consular officer did not have all of the information needed in order to process the visa application to conclusion, so the visa could not be issued at that time. When the required information is submitted in a timely manner, visa processing can continue to conclusion, and the applicant does not need to reapply for the visa.

There are also several categories of visa ineligibilities, which may result in a visa being refused or denied. Other activities, such as corruption (PDF 20KB), may also result in a visa denial.

How do I withdraw a petition?

If you are the petitioner and you would like to withdraw your petition, please scan your signed and notarized letter of withdrawal and submit it here.  Once we receive your request, we will stop processing the case and return the petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Where can I report corruption or bribe offers?

We take all allegations of fraud or malfeasance very seriously.  If you have any information relating to such matters, please email us at HCMCFPU@state.gov and provide as much information as you can about the attempted solicitation including:

  1. the date, time, and place that the attempted solicitation for a bribe took place;
  2. the names of the employees involved;
  3. the names of the visa applicants involved; and
  4. any other evidence that will assist an investigation.

We will investigate all claims.  Thank you for your information.

What happens if the Petitioner was an LPR and is now a U.S. citizen?

If you filed a petition for your spouse and/or children when you were an LRP, and you have recently naturalized, the type of immigrant visa that your family members can receive will change.  Please provide us a copy of your naturalization certificate or U.S. passport.

For your minor children, if you filed only one F2A (spouse or minor child of a permanent resident) petition for your spouse and your child, you now should file a separate I-130 petition IR2 (child of a U.S.citizen) for your child with the USCIS.  Contact USCIS for more information.

For your adult children, because sometimes the waiting time for an F2B (unmarried adult children of a permanent resident) visa is shorter than the waiting time for an F1 (unmarried adult children of a U.S. citizen) visa, your children can “opt out” of conversion to the F1 visa category and remain as F2B visa applicants. Check the Visa Bulletin for more information.

Children born abroad after you became a U.S. citizen may qualify for U.S. citizenship.

For detailed information, please visit: TSG website.

What happens if the Beneficiary dies?

Please also tell us about the death by submitting a copy of the death certificate.  Unfortunately, if the principal beneficiary dies at any time before the derivative beneficiary immigrates to the United States, the consular officer will not be able to issue a visa to the derivative beneficiary.

What happens if the Petitioner dies?

Please tell us about the death by submitting a copy of the death certificate. Unfortunately, if the petitioner dies at any time before the beneficiary immigrates to the United States, the consular officer will not be able to issue a visa to the beneficiary. If this happens to you, please visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for information about “humanitarian reinstatement”.

The officer returned my case to USCIS, what can I do?

Even though a case is returned to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the petition is not revoked automatically. The petitioner will have an opportunity to rebut the adjudicating officer’s findings when USCIS reviews the case.  USCIS has the authority to re-approve the petition.  If the petitioner is interested in appealing this decision, he/she may do so directly with the USCIS Service Center where the petition was filed.  It can take several months for USCIS to receive the returned petition from our office.  Please be assured that the application and supporting information will be given every consideration consistent with U.S. law and regulations at our office and at USCIS.

What is the USCIS Immigrant fee?

This is a required fee for immigrants entering the United States.  We strongly suggest you pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee before you depart for the United States, but please wait at least five days after the visa issuance date before attempting to pay.  USCIS will not issue your green card until USCIS receives payment of the fee.  However, even if you have not paid the fee, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers can admit you into the United States if you are otherwise eligible.

All applicants issued immigrant visas must pay the fee, with the following exceptions:

  1. Children adopted under the Orphan (IR-3/IR-4)
  2. Hague Processes (IH-3/IH-4)
  3. Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. Government
  4. Returning Residents (SB-1s)
  5. K Visas (K-1s)

How much does a visa cost?

The price of a visa varies based on the type of visa and other requirements.  For a full list of fees associated with immigration, visit our Fee page.

Where can I find more answers?

If you still can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us.