Visa Interview


Step 1 – Create an online profile

You can create a new profile on this site. This will be your profile for the remainder of the visa application process. If you ever need to log back in to your account, you can do so here.

Step 2 – Pay the visa application fee

Once you have created a profile you will need to pay the visa application fee. The fee information is available here, and the easiest way to pay is by credit card through your newly-created account.

After you pay you will receive an email confirmation with a receipt number. Print a copy of the confirmation and make a note of the receipt number, you’ll need it for your visa interview.

Step 3 – Book your visa interview

You will need three pieces of information to book your interview appointment:

  1. Your passport number.
  2. The receipt number from payment of the visa application fee.
  3. The 10-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.

You can schedule your appointment by clicking the link on your account home page. The site will show you the available time slots at your chosen consulate for you to pick from. Remember that the wait times vary a lot depending on the consulate. I booked my appointment on a Wednesday and the first available slot was the following Tuesday, but that was in Perth, which has very short wait times. Sydney and Melbourne can have wait times of two weeks or more, depending on the time of year. Canada and the U.K. tend to be longer, Barbados shorter. You should take this into account when booking any flights.

If you’re in a rush, you can request an emergency appointment, but only in certain (and very rare) circumstances. If you don’t qualify for an emergency appointment, your best bet is to keep checking your account for an earlier availability to open up due to a cancellation.

Step 4 – Attend your visa interview

What documents should I bring?

In most cases the interview is verrrrrrrrry straightforward, but you do hear some horror stories so it’s always better to be over-prepared. You should check this website to make sure you have all the required documents, but the following is a list of documents that I brought with me to my interview:

  1. Visa interview appointment confirmation – The consular officer asked to see this.
  2. DS-160 confirmation page – The consular officer required this.
  3. Current passport – Required.
  4. Letter of offer from employer – Required.
  5. Letter of support from employer – Required.
  6. Visa application fee payment receipt – Required.
  7. Original certified and signed LCA – Required.1
  8. Original and copies of university degrees – The consular officer asked to see the originals and took the copies.
  9. Original and copies of university academic transcript – I wasn’t asked for these.
  10. Resume – I wasn’t asked for this.
  11. Old passport – I wasn’t asked for this.
  12. Letter from previous employer confirming employment – I wasn’t asked for this.
  13. Itinerary for travel to New York – I wasn’t asked for this.
  14. List of previous employers – I wasn’t asked for this.
  15. Bank statements from local banks detailing connection to Australia – I wasn’t asked for these.

What was the process on the day?

The interview confirmation states that you should arrive no more than 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time. I arrived for my 10am interview at 9:50am. Security put my bag through an X-ray machine, asked me to walk through a metal detector, and once that was all clear, asked me to put my bag, laptop, phone and other electronic devices in a locker. I could only take my documents and wallet through with me to the interview.

A security guard then escorted me via elevator up to the interview area, where I was told to take a numbered ticket and wait until my number was called.

When my number was called, I went to the appropriate counter to speak with a consular officer. The consular office sits behind a glass security screen, similar to a bank teller. The officer scanned my fingerprints and asked me to pass my documents through to him. He then reviewed the documents and asked me to sit down and wait to be called for my interview.2

It took half an hour until my name was called for my interview with another consular officer, but the interview itself was very straightforward. The officer looked over my documents and asked me three questions:

(i) What does my company do?
(ii) What is my new job title?
(iii) Where have I been traveling in the last year?

That was it. The officer said my visa was approved and that I could expect my passport and visa to be returned by courier within a couple of days. Security then escorted me back downstairs to collect my bag and other belongings and I was done. The whole process took approximately an hour and a half.

How long does it take to get my passport and visa back?

It depends on your location, but you can track the status of your visa on this site. My passport was back within two days. I had my interview at 10am on a Monday, and the tracker indicated that my passport was logged for processing for the remainder of Monday. I then received confirmation of dispatch on Tuesday, and the courier attempted delivery at 1pm Wednesday. I wasn’t home at the time, but I was able to collect my passport from the courier depot on Thursday, ready for my flight back to the U.S. on the Saturday.

Important Note: When you get your passport back, double check that all of the information on the visa is correct and matches your passport information. If not, contact the embassy to get it fixed before you head back stateside.

Step 5 – Arrive back in the USA

I arrived back in New York via a connecting flight in Abu Dhabi, so I went through U.S. customs at their pre-check service in Abu Dhabi.

The customs officer asked me what the purpose of my trip was, and I explained that I had a job and visa approval. The officer took a quick look at my visa, asked me what the job was, and then stamped my passport for two years to match the two-year visa period. He didn’t ask to see any other documents, but I had my letter of offer, DS-160 confirmation and LCA handy just in case.

After that is was on to New York and my new home.

Final Note: A lot of people have contacted me to ask how they can thank me for the advice in this guide. A few options are below:

  1. If you don’t currently have an account with Uber of Lyft, use my invite code (JON832345 for Lyft and jonk661 for Uber) to get $10 credit for yourself and a little for me as well.
  2. Drop me a Venmo (@Jon-Karolczak).
  3. For the tech nerds out there, shoot me some:
    1. Bitcoin (wallet address 35zmJHEzxgFdD2hNhhUtbm8KKWDygDHmnR); or
    2. Ether (wallet address 0xe2109e813b416521FEBF06de5E080efEC753369E).

Have fun in NYC 😉


  1. The U.S. Canberra Embassy FAQ says that a copy of the LCA is sufficient, but I brought the original. You should do the same if you can.

  2. If you get the documents wrong here, the consular officer will turn you away.