The Interview

  1. The Interview
  2. After the Interview

On the day of their interview, applicants should arrive at the park located near the U.S. Embassy at Calzada and K streets half an hour before the appointment time with the original documentation listed above.  Only the applicant will be admitted to the U.S. Embassy, except when the applicant is a minor (17 years old or younger) or is disabled and requires assistance; also, if present, the petitioner will be admitted for IR1, CR1, F2A and K1 interviews.

Once all of the paperwork has been collected and any remaining fees have been paid, the applicant will be interviewed by a Consular Officer.  If there is documentation missing, the Consular Officer will provide a letter explaining what is missing.  This letter serves as the applicant’s pass to return to the U.S. Embassy to present the missing information.  If a case is missing documentation the applicant has a maximum of one year to return with the requested documentation.  After one year, the case automatically closes.

Some cases are subject to additional administrative processing.  If so, the officer will indicate this on the letter.  This additional administrative processing can take several weeks or up to a year or more to complete.  It is impossible to determine how long a particular case will take to bring to conclusion.  In these cases, the applicant will be contacted by telephone or telegram to continue the visa process once the administrative processing is complete.

If the applicant is ineligible for the visa category, the Consular Officer will give the applicant a written explanation of the section of the law under which the visa is being refused, and the next steps – if any – in connection with the case.

If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a pass to return to pick up the visa in one week.

Eligible immigrant visa applicants who are over 21 years of age may request parole for certain family members. On the morning of the interview, the applicant should advise the document checker that he or she would like to request parole for certain a family member(s) not included in the case. Final decisions regarding parole requests are made by an USCIS official after the DV visa applicants have been approved and have received their visas.

There is very high demand for the Family-Based Parole program and the U.S. Embassy Havana does not have the capacity to meet this demand.  As a result, there are very long wait times for an available interview.  In most cases, based on current processing times, it will likely be faster for the original immigrant visa or CFRP applicant who requested parole to enter the United States, obtain their Lawful Permanent Resident status or U.S. Citizenship, petition for their family members directly, and elect processing under the Cuban Family Reunification Program, which has much lower wait times.  Applicants can both request Family Based Parole at the time of their interview and, when they qualify to do so, later file I-130 immigrant visa petitions for their family members.

The U.S. Embassy appreciates the contributions that attorneys and family members may make to the expeditious processing of immigrant visa applications, especially in ensuring that all required documentation is in order and properly prepared prior to the interview.  Except in the following limited circumstances, the U.S. Embassy does not permit attorneys or family members to accompany immigrant visa applicants at the interview:

Family members who are assisting minors (17 years old or younger), the physically disabled or who are petitioners in IR1, CR1, F2A and K1 cases, may accompany immigrant visa applicants at the interview.

Attorneys may accompany a minor or physically disabled immigrant visa applicant at the interview only if no other family member is available to assist.