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  #1  
Old 18.07.2015, 13:38
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US visa appointment in Bern

Hello all,

Im wondering how much time should I reserve for my appointment at the US embassy in Bern.

Im applying for a tourism visa.

Any experience in that?
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  #2  
Old 19.07.2015, 13:19
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

Hello,


I basically spent the entire morning in Bern. I think my appointment was around 9:30am but even with one, you still have to queue in front of the embassy with a bunch of people having the same time slot, then another wait inside the embassy.
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Old 20.07.2015, 16:06
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

Hi

It is more than enough that you arrive there at US Embassy just 5 or 10 minutes before your appointment time. As Emily161 wrote, you still have to wait in a queue depending on your appointment time that is ":00, :15, :30, :45".

For the above reason, it is just waste of time to arrive too early than your appointment time.

Upon my experience:

1. Arrive 5 minutes before your appointment time (for example, if yours is 09:30 then you arrive 09:25 to the US Embassy and talk to the Security there)

2. After this, you will be send to an another queue to meet the receptionist who records your presence and take the printed confirmation page and the appointment confirmation page and place everything in a file and give it to you.

3. After this step, you will go into a small room where you go through security check. They also give you a token with a number on it.

4. Then you enter into the main building where you will have to join the long queue which leads to one of the counters of the Embassy staff. After interviewing you shortly about your trip to the US, the person in the counter will take your file then he/she will ask you to wait.

5. After 10 to 15minutes of waiting, they will call your name then you should approach the right counter where the person will inform about the visa approval. After this, you will receive all the documents that you have already submitted in the above step.

Hope it helps.

Best regards
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Old 20.07.2015, 17:40
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

Above all, make sure you read and understand the security restrictions to get into the embassy.

"Security Notice
Consular customers may bring one modest-size bag into the waiting room area. The size of bags allowed is: 35 cm (length) x 30 cm (height) x 20 (width). Bags larger than this size will not be allowed.

You are not allowed to enter the U.S. Embassy while carrying any of the following items:
  • Electronic devices are not permitted, including: Battery-operated or electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital diaries, digital watches, pagers, cameras, audio/video cassettes, compact discs, MP3s, floppy disks, laptops, or portable music players
  • Food and liquid items
  • Sealed envelopes or packages
  • Cigarettes, cigars, match boxes, lighters
  • Sharp objects such as scissors, pen knives or nail files
  • Weapons or explosive materials of any kind
This list is not exhaustive. Other items may be prohibited at the discretion of security staff.

There is no facility at the U.S. Embassy to store prohibited items. You must make arrangements to store these items before entering.

Due to security considerations, there is no information window for walk-in visitors at the U.S. Embassy. Only visa applicants with scheduled interviews will be admitted."

http://bern.usembassy.gov/visas.html

Note that they are VERY strict on this. When I renounced a couple of years ago I took only the papers I thought I might need, money for the fee and that was it. They still ummed and aahed over me having a tissue and pedometer in my pockets. In the end they held on to the pedometer for me to collect on the way out, but let me keep the tissue.
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Old 20.07.2015, 21:06
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

I'm not sure if things have changed in the last few years...but the last time I was there they had two queues outside the door to the security room. One for citizens and one for everyone else. All citizens were allowed in before anyone from the "everyone else" line. This meant that some people had been standing in line quite a while and got annoyed every time another citizen walked up.
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Old 20.07.2015, 21:22
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

Yes, same when I went there. Around 6/7 people waiting in the other line to go in and because I was American I was the only one in that line and guard waved me in straightaway. Only to be expected though, it is the American embassy and it's here to serve American citizens first and foremost. Do other embassies do the same? I don't know as I haven't been to the British embassy/consulate for years. Used to go to the consulate in Geneva to renew our passports, but the last couple of times it's all been done by post instead.
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Old 25.07.2015, 10:29
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

I have a question relating to a tourism VISA application at the US Embassy in Bern, but didn't want to open a new thread:

I would like to plan a trip (vacation) to the US with my wife (she has never been to the US). She's Brazilian and is currently still learning English.

What kind of "interview" does she get if she goes in for a visa application interview? Are there any standard questions that are asked that I can prepare with her?

Also, can I go with her to the interview to act as some kind of translator? I am afraid she won't be able to communicate fully with the interviewer, which might increase the chances that they reject her application.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 25.07.2015, 10:59
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

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I have a question relating to a tourism VISA application at the US Embassy in Bern, but didn't want to open a new thread:

I would like to plan a trip (vacation) to the US with my wife (she has never been to the US). She's Brazilian and is currently still learning English.

What kind of "interview" does she get if she goes in for a visa application interview? Are there any standard questions that are asked that I can prepare with her?

Also, can I go with her to the interview to act as some kind of translator? I am afraid she won't be able to communicate fully with the interviewer, which might increase the chances that they reject her application.

Any thoughts on this?
I believe unless you are also applying for a Visa, you cannot go in there without an appointment. Does your wife speak any Swiss official languages? The visa officers are multi-lingual.

For tourist visa it would be just simple questions such as when/why are you going to the US, what is your plan there, who are you traveling there with, do you have any family/friends there, etc.
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Old 25.07.2015, 11:04
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

Agree with the above: no need to arrive early but budget enough time before your other commitments afterwards. I went there 2-3 times, each time it took me 1-3 hours, depends on what time of day is your appointment - if you have one of the earliest spots of the day, your lines will be shorter and overall faster to get out.

And leave all your belongings, other than documents needed for the interview, in the car or at SBB lockers!
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Old 25.07.2015, 11:33
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

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I believe unless you are also applying for a Visa, you cannot go in there without an appointment. Does your wife speak any Swiss official languages? The visa officers are multi-lingual.

For tourist visa it would be just simple questions such as when/why are you going to the US, what is your plan there, who are you traveling there with, do you have any family/friends there, etc.
She speaks French fluently (lived and worked in Geneva). I am guessing that will do?

As I am a European citizen, I do not have to apply for a visa at this embassy. I did it online last time, via the VISA WAIVER program if I am not mistaken.
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Old 25.07.2015, 11:43
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Re: US visa appointment in Bern

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She speaks French fluently (lived and worked in Geneva). I am guessing that will do?

As I am a European citizen, I do not have to apply for a visa at this embassy. I did it online last time, via the VISA WAIVER program if I am not mistaken.
Yes I believe she will be fine
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