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What are the most commonly asked questions for US visa interview?

Facing a visa interview can get quite unnerving for most of us. However, with the right preparation and research, you can indeed ace your visa interview. Here, we will be discussing the different types of US visas available as well the most commonly-asked questions for the visa. 

Which visa do I need to go to the US?

The purpose of your intended travel to the US will determine which visa you should apply for. 

As a visa applicant, you will be required to establish that you meet all the requirements for being issued a visa under the category that you are applying. 

What’s the difference between nonimmigrant and immigrant visas?

A nonimmigrant visa allows you to stay in the US as a temporary visitor. An immigrant visa, on the other hand, permits you to remain in the US on a permanent basis

What are the main types of US visas?

There are different US visas that you can apply to, depending upon your reason for visit and individual circumstances. 

US Visa: Main Types of Visas & Reasons for Applying

Tourism & Visit 

Visitor Visa B

For - 

  • vacation, 
  • seeing family and friends, or 
  • medical treatment.

Study & Exchange 

Student visas F (academic) & M (vocational)

For academic and vocational studies. 

Exchange Visitor visa J

For participation in an approved exchange program. 

Work 

Temporary employment visas 

Most sought-after US work visas include, among others - 

  • H-1B: To work in speciality occupation
  • L: Intra-company transferee
  • O: Individual with extraordinary ability or achievement 

Business

Visitor visa B-1

To conduct temporary business in the US

Immigrate 

Employment-based visas

  • EB-1: Priority worker and persons of extraordinary ability
  • EB-2: Professionals holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability
  • EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers (other workers)
  • EB-4: Certain special immigrants
  • EB-5: Immigrant investors 

Family immigration 

Sponsored by an immediate relative -  at least 21 years of age and holds a US Green Card or is a US citizen. 

Other Visas

1. VISITOR VISA 

What are the Top 10 most commonly asked questions for a US visitor visa interview?

  1. What is the purpose of your visit to the US?
  2. Where will you be staying in the US?
  3. How long will you be in the US?
  4. Have you been to the US before?
  5. Which US city will you be traveling to?
  6. Do you have any relatives settled in the US?
  7. Who will you be financing your trip?
  8. Who will you be traveling to the US with?
  9. Do you have any intention of staying back in the US?
  10. What assurance can you give me of returning?

If you are looking to visit the US temporarily on business, you will have to apply for the B-1 Temporary Business Visitor. Going for the purposes of tourism or for visiting family in the US requires a B-2 visa instead. Both can be combined on a B-1/B-2 visa

The most commonly-asked questions in a US visitor visa interview are - 

Question 1: US Visitor Visa: What is the purpose of your visit to the US?

Answer: Be as clear, straightforward and to-the-point as you can. State the exact reason for your visiting the US, such as - 

  • I am going to the US to negotiate a business contract.
  • Receiving medical treatment in the US is my purpose of visit. 
  • My mother lives in the US with my brother settled there. I am going to visit them for a few days. 
  • I’m going as a tourist and will be sightseeing prominent tourist destinations.

Question 2: US Visitor Visa: Where will you be staying in the US?

Answer: 

  1. Staying in a hotel - show your hotel reservations, mentioning in brief about why you chose that particular hotel for your stay in the US. 
  2. Living with friends/family: show your invitation letter, describing your relationship with them. 

Question 3: US Visitor Visa: How long will you be in the US?

Answer: State the exact number of days that you plan on remaining in the US as a temporary visitor. 

Question 4: US Visitor Visa: Have you been to the US before?

Answer: Be honest. Tell the officer even if you had overstayed on your previous visit. As all information is already available with the authorities, it is needless to try and withhold information. 

Question 5: US Visitor Visa: Which US city will you be traveling to?

Answer: Mention the city or cities in the US that you will be traveling to. 

Question 6: US Visitor Visa: Do you have any relatives settled in the US?

Answer: Answer truthfully and clearly. Provide basic information on your relatives living in the US, if any. 

Question 7: US Visitor Visa: Who will you be financing your trip?

Answer: Here, you will have to explain as to how you plan on funding your US trip. Your bank statements will be needed if you will be paying for your trip on your own. If your relatives in the US will be sponsoring your trip, you will have to give their financial details. 

Question 8: US Visitor Visa: Who will you be traveling to the US with?

Answer: State whether you will be traveling to the US alone or with others. If going to the US with others, you will be expected to explain your relationship with them. 

Question 9: US Visitor Visa: Do you have any intention of staying back in the US?

Answer: Your ties to your home country must be put across. You must clearly mention your reasons for coming back home after the end of your visa validity. Be as convincing as possible. The officer must not see you as a potential immigrant that might try to stay back, leading to a US visa rejection. 

Question 10: US Visitor Visa: What assurance can you give me of returning?

Answer: Give all the reasons for going back to your home country. Mention your property back home, your friends, relatives, your job etc. You can give your employment contract to show how you must be back to keep your job. 

2. STUDENT VISA 

What are the Top 10 most commonly asked questions for a US student visa interview?

  1. Why do you want to study in the US?
  2. Why not take this course in your own country?
  3. How many universities did you apply to?
  4. Do you have friends or relatives living in the US?
  5. Why do you want to study in this university?
  6. Who will sponsor your education?
  7. Do you plan on working while you are studying in the US?
  8. What will you do if your student visa is rejected?
  9. How will your US study abroad course help you when you are back in your country?
  10. How can I be sure that you will return home and not stay back in the US?

Question 1: US Student Visa: Why do you want to study in the US?

Answer: Mention how the US is a top study abroad destination. You can say that many US universities are in the global rankings for top universities in the world. For example, there are five US universities in the Top 10 on QS World University Rankings 2022. Emphasize the world class education, wide range in courses available, flexibility, cultural diversity etc. 

Question 2: US Student Visa: Why not take this course in your own country?

Answer: Give all the reasons for pursuing this course in the US as against taking it up in your own country. Compare the education systems, facilities offered etc. If applicable, you can say that the specialization you are opting for is not available where you are coming from. 

Question 3: US Student Visa: How many universities did you apply to?

Answer: Give the total number of US universities that you have applied to. Even if you were able to get admission in only one of the universities, you must tell the same to the visa officer. 

Question 4: US Student Visa: Do you have friends or relatives living in the US?

Answer: Give details of your friends and family living in the US. 

Question 5: US Student Visa: Why do you want to study in this university?

Answer: The reason for selecting the particular university must be given. Say how much research you have put into the university and its suitability for you. Get your facts right. Tell the officer about the university, course details, faculty, programs etc. Mention any illustrious alumni of the university. 

Question 6: US Student Visa: Who will sponsor your education?

Answer: You will have to say as to who exactly will be sponsoring your US education. It can be your parents, relatives etc. The name of your sponsor and your relationship with them will have to be mentioned. If you have secured a scholarship, you will have to include details of the same. 

Question 7: US Student Visa: Do you plan on working while you are studying in the US?

Answer: As an international student, you can work on-campus in your first academic year, and off campus after the first year in three kinds of employment - Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), or STEM OPT. However, you must tell your US student visa interviewer that you plan on focusing on your studies, and might work on campus if you get a chance. 

Question 8: US Student Visa: What will you do if your student visa is rejected?

Answer: Be prepared for this kind of a question. It is one of the questions that a visa officer might ask you to catch you off guard and surprise you. You can say that you will be applying again in case of a rejection. 

Question 9: US Student Visa: How will your US study abroad course help you when you are back in your country?

Answer: You can say how your course will give you the training and expertise to take on a good job back home after returning from the US as an international student. If you plan on setting up a business, or turning into an entrepreneur or setting up a start-up, you might mention accordingly. 

Question 10: US Student Visa: How can I be sure that you will return home and not stay back in the US?

Answer: Give your strong ties to your home country. The visa officer must not get an impression that you might attempt to stay back in the US after the completion of your study course. 

3. H-1B VISA 

What are the Top 10 most commonly asked questions for a US H-1B visa interview?

An H-1B visa holder can live and work in the US for up to three years. While the H-1B visa status is extendable, the maximum duration that you can spend in the US on an H-1B visa is six years. 

  1. Why do you want to work in the US?
  2. What is the name of your sponsoring company in the US?
  3. What is your total work experience? 
  4. How did you learn about the company?
  5. What are the projects your H-1B sponsor is working on?
  6. Have you lived in any other country before?
  7. What do you plan to do after your H-1B visa validity ends?
  8. Do you have friends or family living in the US?
  9. Which US city will you be working in?
  10. Can you tell me something about your specialty occupation?

Question 1: US H-1B Visa: Why do you want to work in the US?

Answer: Explain how working in the US will give you a global experience while at the same time give weightage to your resume. Working in the US exposes you to a new culture and style of working. 

Question 2: US H-1B Visa: What is the name of your sponsoring company in the US?

Answer: Give the name of the US company that will be sponsoring you for your H-1B visa. 

Question 3: US H-1B Visa: What is your total work experience? 

Answer: Mention your work experience. 

Question 4: US H-1B Visa: How did you learn about the company?

Answer: You will have to give some details of the recruitment process and how you approached the company online or vice versa. 

Question 5: US H-1B Visa: What are the projects your H-1B sponsor is working on?

Answer: Details of the projects will have to be given. 

Question 6: US H-1B Visa: Have you lived in any other country before?

Answer: Give a simple and straightforward answer, if you have previously lived in another country. 

Question 7: US H-1B Visa: What do you plan to do after your H-1B visa validity ends?

Answer: You must say you plan to return to your home country after your visa expires. 

Question 8: US H-1B Visa: Do you have friends or family living in the US?

Answer: Tell the visa officer if you have any friends or family living in the US. 

Question 9: US H-1B Visa: Which US city will you be working in?

Answer: Give your job location in the US.

Question 10: US H-1B Visa: Can you tell me something about your speciality occupation?

Answer: Explain about your job role, qualifications etc. 

4. L-1 VISA

What are the Top 10 most commonly asked questions for US L-1 visa interview?

L-1 visas are available for temporary intracompany transferees that work in managerial positions or possess specialized knowledge. An L-1 visa can be issued when an employer files a petition to secure authorization for qualified employees to be permitted to live and work in the US on a temporary basis. 

  1. Do you have any previous experience working in a foreign country?
  2. What is your area of specialization?
  3. Can I see the L-1 petition letter?
  4. Why is it important that you travel to the US to fulfil the role?
  5. Why can’t you do the work from your current office location?
  6. Will you be on US payroll?
  7. How long do you plan to be in the US?
  8. WIll you be responsible for hiring and/or firing of employees?
  9. What will be your responsibilities in your US role?
  10. What will be the total number of your direct reportees?

Question 1: US L-1 Visa: Do you have any previous experience working in a foreign country?

Answer: Give details of any such previous overseas employment, if applicable. 

Question 2: US L-1 Visa: What is your area of specialization?

Answer: State facts and answer in a to-the-point manner. 

Question 3: US L-1 Visa: Can I see the L-1 petition letter?

Answer: Show the letter. 

Question 4: US L-1 Visa: Why is it important that you travel to the US to fulfil the role?

Answer: You will have to explain the reasons for your being transferred to the US on a L-1 visa. You will have to give adequate reasoning as to why your employer did not find your US colleagues fit for the same. 

Question 5: US L-1 Visa: Why can’t you do the work from your current office location?

Answer: An explanation will have to be given of the absolute necessity for you to travel to the US. Basically, the visa officer will be trying to find out why you must go to the US on L-1 visa status. 

Question 6: US L-1 Visa: Will you be on US payroll?

Answer: As you would be transferred temporarily to your US office, you might be asked as to whether you will be on a foreign or a US payroll. 

Question 7: US L-1 Visa: How long do you plan to be in the US?

Answer: Give the exact duration that you plan on spending in the US as an intracompany transferee on L-1 status. 

Question 8: US L-1 Visa: WIll you be responsible for hiring and/or firing of employees?

Answer: State clearly if you will have the authority for the same. 

Question 9: US L-1 Visa: What will be your responsibilities in your US role?

Answer: Give all of the responsibilities that you will be expected to fulfil when in the US as a L-1 visa holder.  

Question 10: US L-1 Visa: What will be the total number of your direct reportees?

Answer: Mention the total number of individuals that will be directly reporting to you. 

5. EB5 INVESTOR VISA

What are the Top 10 most commonly asked questions for US EB-5 visa interview?

EB-5 stands for the employment-based fifth preference visa. Under the EB-5 program, investors - along with their spouses and unmarried children below 21 years of age - can apply for a US Green Card. To be eligible, the investor must make the required investment in a commercial enterprise in the US and plan to create/preserve 10 full-time permanent jobs for qualified US workers. 

  1. Have you been to the US before?
  2. When did you file your I-526 petition?
  3. What is the new commercial enterprise that you have invested in?
  4. What will be the source of your capital for EB-5 investment?
  5. Will your dependents be accompanying you to the US?
  6. What is the current status of your US project?
  7. How many jobs will you be creating for US workers?
  8. When was your I-529 petition approved?
  9. Do you have the required documentation?
  10. Were you involved with any criminal activities in the past?

Question 1: US EB-5 Visa: Have you been to the US before?

Answer: Give details of your previous US visit, if applicable. 

Question 2: US EB-5 Visa: When did you file your I-526 petition?

Answer: Form I-526 is for an Immigrant Petition by an Alien Investor. 

Question 3: US EB-5 Visa: What is the new commercial enterprise that you have invested in?

Answer: Briefly explain the new commercial enterprise in the US that you have invested in.

Question 4: US EB-5 Visa: What will be the source of your capital for EB-5 investment?

Answer: Mention your source of capital. 

Question 5: US EB-5 Visa: Will your dependents be accompanying you to the US?

Answer: Give details of your wife and children, if they will be coming as dependents on your EB-5 US investor visa. 

Question 6: US EB-5 Visa: What is the current status of your US project?

Answer: Give an honest explanation of the current situation of your project in the US. 

Question 7:  US EB-5 Visa: How many jobs will you be creating for US workers?

Answer: State the total number of jobs that your EB-5 project will create for US workers, that is, US citizens as well as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

Question 8:  US EB-5 Visa: When was your I-529 petition approved?

Answer: Mention the date of approval of your I-529 petition. 

Question 9:  US EB-5 Visa: Do you have the required documentation?

Answer: All the supporting documents must be with you. 

Question 10:  US EB-5 Visa: Were you involved with any criminal activities in the past?

Answer: Withholding information can lead to visa rejection. 

In conclusion 

Facing the visa interview with confidence will help you make a positive impression on your visa officer. Punctuality is important, be there for your visa interview much before the allotted time. Dress appropriately. Carry all the required documentation with you. 

Questions for US visa interview can be of many kinds and as per the visa category applying under. Being well-prepared for the visa interview can stand you in good stead with the visa officer. 

Topics: Study, Visit, Work, Migrate, USA

Y Sindhura
Y Sindhura

With 8 years of experience in the overseas division, Sindhura is a specialist in Canada, Australia, UK and Germany visa process.

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