Have you ever applied for a visa? If yes, how did you find the process of application? Were you successful? Over the years the United States of America has received millions of Visa application from individuals all over the world. Some persons who applied for the US visa may argue that it was the most difficult, nerve-racking experience and some, luckily for them, would say that it was rather simple.
Being a recipient of a 10-year visa to the U.S., I would like to share with you some advice based on my experience if you are interested in applying or know of someone who is. I will also share with you some questions that you can expect and familiarize yourself with in preparation for your interview. The proceeding information is both informative and helpful, to learn more continue reading below.
How to prepare for a visa interview?
After submitting the application form for the U.S. Visa, making the necessary payments and receiving the date, time and location for your interview, the next step is to prepare. The interview is most important, it is the final step that determines whether or not you will be successful. When going for the US visa interview you must make a checklist for the following:
- Carry with you the interview appointment letter.
- The Confirmation page from the DS-260 form, Immigrant Visa or Alien Registration Application that was submitted on the Consular Electronic Application Center for the U.S. Department of State.
- The current, unexpired passport that was used in filling the visa application form.
- At least three recently taken passport photographs of the applicant.
- Original and certified photocopies of civil documents (adoption papers, birth certificates, marriage certificate/termination record, police report, court or military records AND/OR petitioner’s Marriage certificate/termination record), please note that the police report should be less than one year old.
- Translations of non-english documents.
- And a sealed, recent medical report from the approved doctor.
The checklist listed above shows the most important documents that are often required of the applicants, if you are asked to provide other additional documents remember to take them along when going for the interview. It should also be noted that document requirements may vary from person to person.
It is also important for you to arrive at the embassy on time. I would say that you should arrive at least an hour before your scheduled appointment time, so that you will be relaxed enough to face your consular officer.
Please note that family members and friends without an appointment will not be allowed to enter the embassy.
U.S. Visa Interview and Questions
Interviews for Visa application are conducted at the embassy in your country. The U.S. embassy is a highly secured facility that allows only applicants with an appointment to enter, no electronic devices are allowed inside.
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On the day of your interview, depending on the type of Visa you are applying for, you will be asked a series of questions. It is at this point of the interview that some become nervous and end up being denied. Firstly, I recommend honesty. You should remember all the information you have entered on the application form. Below is a general list of the possible questions you could be asked during the interview (please note that the questions are not just limited to those mentioned below):
- Why do you want to visit the United States?
- Why do you want to visit the U.S. this time?
- How long will you be staying in the U.S.?
- What city will you be travelling to?
- Where will you stay when you arrive?
- How will you support yourself financially when you arrive in the U.S.?
- Do you have relatives in the U.S.?
- Where does your relative stay in the U.S.?
- Does he/she work?
- How long have they been employed?
- Are you employed?
- What is your job?
- Have you booked your ticket?
- Have you ever travelled before?
- Will you come back after your visit?
- How can we be sure that you will return?
People travel to the U.S. for a myriad of reasons, whatever the reason, they mainly fall under three major categories:
- Reunion with family;
- Poverty and suppression.
No matter the purpose of your visit to the U.S., there is a high possibility that you will encounter any of the general interview questions and some additional questions relating to your purpose for travel.
US Tourist Visa Interview Questions
When applying as a tourist for vocational purposes on a B2 Visa, you might be ask a few additional questions. Questions that concerns duration, accommodation, sponsorship upon arrival and return, similar to the general questions above. You might be asked a few additional questions like:
- Where do you plan to visit in the US as apart of your vacation? (hotel, amusement parks, museums, historical sites etc.)
- Why do you want to visit this place?
- What do you know about this place?
US Student Visa Interview Questions
If you are applying for a Student Visa, J1 then you might be asked any of the following additional questions:
- What university will you be attending?
- What program were you accepted for?
- How long is that program for?
- Why are you studying abroad?
- What is the cost for your program?
- Who will be your financial provider?
- What is your parents/guardian’s occupation?
- Where do they work?
- How much do they earn?
- When does school begin?
US Conference Visa Interview Questions
Individuals applying for a business visa, B1 Visa may encounter additional questions such as:
- What Company do you work for?
- What is your position at this company?
- How long have you worked there for?
- What is your annual salary?
- What is the purpose of this conference or meeting?
- Are you married? If yes, for how long?
- Do you have children? If yes, how many?
Immigrant Visa Interview Questions
The term "immigrant" is used for a person whose intention is to live permanently in a foreign country. Immigrants tend to migrate to the US for:
- job opportunities;
- religious reasons;
- a better life away from poverty and suppression;
- reunion with family.
When one is going for an Immigrant Visa Interview, first impression is important. It is advised that you dress professionally as if you going for a job interview. Your appearance will give the consular officer a sense of your morals and character. Some additional questions you may encounter, based on your reason to migrate are listed below:
Job opportunities, poverty/suppression
- What are your qualifications?
- Have you already applied for a job?
- What kind of job did you apply for?
- Were you accepted?
- Where will you be working?
- When will you begin working?
- Who is your employer?
- Where will you be living?
- Do you have family or friends in the US?
- How will you get home and back to work?
- How long is your job contract?
- Why did you choose the US?
- Were you oppressed?
- Why do you think that the US is the best place to experience freedom?
- What are your plans after arriving in the US?
- What is your religion?
- What kind of subjection did you face?
Reunion with family
- Are you married?
- If yes, how long have you been married?
- Do you have children?
- How many children do you have?
- Are they employed?
- Who are your family members in the US?
- What is the name of your family member(s)?
- Where do they live?
- What is their job?
- Where are they employed?
- How long have they been employed?
- Are they paying taxes?
Now that I have simplified the visa application process for individuals with different purposes, select the scenario that best suits you. Your interview will stem from the general questions provided and additional questions concerning the scenario you have selected.
Practice these questions by answering them honestly and confidently. On the day of your interview, now that you have an idea of what to expect, do your best and remember to speak confidently and truthfully.
Following your successful interview, your consular officer will collect your passport and supporting documents for verification. He or she will tell you to check their website by signing into your account. It is in your account that you will see your airway bill number and the status of your visa and documents' return via DHL. Now you can prepare for your departure. Congratulations on another step ahead!
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