Ask the Consul
Ask the Consul is your chance to ask the Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad your visa related questions. To see answers to your questions featured in this column in the Embassy’s bi-monthly magazine Khabr-o-Nazar, please write to Non-Immigrant Visa Inquiries | Embassy of the United States Islamabad, Pakistan with the subject line "Ask the Consul."
- What are the most common reason applicants are sent home before their nonimmigrant visa interview?
Incomplete CEAC Form: All applicants are required to review and fill out a DS-160 form before arriving at the U.S. Embassy for their interview. If they fail to fill out any sections of the form like the "location and Preparer Information" section, they will be sent home without being interviewed. If they have assistance filling out their form but fail to review any section of the form like the "Security and Background Information" section, they will also be sent home without an interview. When applicants are turned away, they are required to electronically reopen the DS-160 forms, revise any incomplete information, and resubmit to the U.S. Embassy before they are permitted to return for an interview. The best way to avoid this situation is for applicants to ensure that they review the questions in the DS-160 forms carefully and provide all of the information requested the first time! (TIP: Also, remember that it is possible to read the questions in Urdu by choosing this setting from the "Tooltip Language" drop down menu on the DS-160.)
Touched-Up Photo: All applicants are required to submit a recent photograph; one taken not more than six months ago. This photo should be only from the neck up, facing straight ahead, with a white or off-white background. Despite this requirement, we often see photos that have been "touched-up" to smooth out wrinkles, lighten skin tone, and erase facial features such as moles and birth marks- submissions which, unfortunately, result in applicants being sent home before their interviews. The best way to avoid this situation is to submit a photo that adheres to the required specifications the first time! Many Pakistani photographers automatically use computer software to touch-up you photo - please ask them NOT to do this, and provide you with a natural shot. Your photo should look like the reflection you see in the mirror in good lighting. The required photograph measurements are 2 inches square. The head of the applicant including both facea and hair must be shown with the ears exposed. For more detaile information on the correct proportions visit www.travel.state.gov. Dark and tinted glassses are not acceptable; medical exceptions are possible with a doctor's prescription. Computer-scanned photographs are also not permitted.
Damaged Fingers: Any applicants who have dry, cracked, peeling, cut, or otherwise injured fingers may potentially be sent home before their interviews because they are unable to provide quality fingerprints. he best way to avoid this situation is to take care of yourself (and especially your fingers) so that you can provide quality fingerprints the first time! (TIP: To provide quality fingerprints: avoid harsh cleaning products, wear gloves when it is cold outside, apply lotion when your fingers are dry, cracked or peeling, and drink 8-10 glasses of water each day to help stay hydrated, especially during summer months.)
Insufficient Proof of Relationship: Applicants need to present sufficient secondary proof of their ongoing relationship to their petitioner. Visa officers find such things as family photographs, letters, cards, phone records, copies of emails, etc. very helpful in establishing a relationship. Although none of these items are required, they are very useful. Please bring anything you have that link you to your petitioner. The visa officer may not ask for them, but it's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.