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Immigrant Visas

Processing at the National Visa Center

Once United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves a petition, the petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will send the visa applicant instructions asking to prepare all of the required forms, documents and payment of fees. Once the NVC has received all of the forms and documents, they will review and schedule a visa interview appointment. The NVC then forwards the case file containing the petition, forms and documents submitted by or on behalf of a visa applicant, to the Immigrant Visa Unit of the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo or the U.S. Consulate General, Naha where the applicant will be interviewed.

Getting ready for the immigrant visa interview

Take the following actions after the notification from the NVC that your interview has been scheduled:

Step 1:
Read the instructions carefully.

Carefully Review the information sent by the NVC noting the date, time, and location of your immigrant visa interview.

Step 2:
Gather required documentation.

Ensure that all required Original Documents will be available at the time of the interview. Any original documents that were requested by the NVC but were not submitted to the NVC must be brought to the visa interview. Any documents that you submitted to the NVC will be transferred to the interviewing officer.

Step 3:
Get your medical examination done.

Prepare for the Medical Examination. You should complete your medical examination before your interview with one of the approved physicians. Check our online list of approved physicians. The medical examination results must be brought to the visa interview in a sealed envelope.

Step 4:
Obtain the required Photographs and a self- addressed return envelope "LetterPack Plus."

If you did not submit photographs to the NVC or if the photographs submitted to the NVC were taken more than six months before your visa interview, you must provide two identical color photographs at the interview. Review Photograph Requirements for size specifications and more information. The "LetterPack Plus" can be purchased at post offices throughout Japan.

Step 5:
Review the Interview Guidelines.

On the day of your scheduled appointment, please follow the guidelines.

Step 6:
Review the Immigrant Visa Interview Frequently Asked Questions.

This FAQs should be able to answer most of your questions regarding how to prepare for the visa interview and what you should know when your visa is issued.

Important Notice:

  • Do not send anything to the Embassy or Consulate unless you are specifically instructed to do so. Bring all pertinent documents to the interview. Your application will be refused if you fail to bring all required documentation.
  • Once the appointment is scheduled by the NVC, try your best to keep the appointment. If the schedule does not allow you to obtain necessary documents in time, please submit the form located at the end of this page to request a different date.

    Please note we CANNOT change an appointment before we receive your case file from the NVC. In this case you will be required to submit the request again. Also, for Employment and Family preference visa categories, a visa allocation cannot be guaranteed if your application is not processed to conclusion during the same month of the original interview date.