Applying for a US Visa is not just about submitting the application form along with the necessary documents. Applicants have to go through an interview process. The US Visa Interview is the most crucial stage of the process. Nothing worries applicants more then the US Visa Interview. Your interview could fasten or delay your visa process. You can be prepared with perfect paperwork – but you don’t know what exactly the Consular Officials are going to ask. Therefore, it is essential that you prepare for the interview and address all the concerns of the visa officer.
We present to you some of the most commonly asked US Visa (B1/B2) interview questions and answers. This would help you to prepare well and be ready for the interview. Remember, US Visa denials can result from a variety of issues, one of them being not preparing for the interview!
Common US Interview Questions and Answers:
What is the purpose of your visit to the US? Or Why do you wish to travel to the US?
Answer: You must state the reason for your visit, whether it is for tourism, business, attending an event, wedding or visiting family and friends. Make sure you do not give long answers. Your answer should be short, precise and to the point.
Why it’s asked: To know the purpose of your visit. The interviewer wants to make sure that your visiting US for a genuine reason.
Have you visited the US before?
Answer: This is a simple question. Answer ‘Yes’ if you have and ‘No’ if you haven’t. If you have visited the country before, you may be asked about the details of the previous US visit. Provide the details only if asked.
Why it’s asked: In case if you have visited US before, they are curious to know the reason for visiting once again.
Is anyone accompanying you on this trip? Or Whom are you travelling with?
Answer: Inform them if it’s a solo trip or in case you are travelling with family members, relatives, business associates or friends, provide their names. (Mention the names in the application form as well)
Why it’s asked: They want to know if your travelling to US alone or with your friends or relatives.
Where will you be staying in the US and with whom?
Answer: If you are visiting a friend or relative, provide details of their address, as well as explain the relationship you share with them. If you are going for purely leisure or business, give them a brief idea about the places you plan to visit, things you plan to do, business schedule and tentative place you will stay in. Remember to keep your answer short and to the point.
Why its asked: Even though hotel bookings are not required, the Embassy would like to know how will you be managing your accommodation in the US, whether your staying with friends/relatives or a hotel.
What is your source of income? Or How much do you earn?
Answer: Provide your employment details. Mention if you are self-employed, employed, unemployed etc. They want to check if you have a stable, established life in your home country. The salary you quote must match the amount mentioned in your DS 160 application form. Also, carry supporting documents that can be presented as form of proof and only present the documents if asked for.
Why it’s asked: Whether you can afford your trip and living expenses in the US.
Who will be funding for your trip to the USA?
Answer: Whether you are paying for the US trip yourself or being sponsored by someone. If being sponsored; Mention the name of the individual and the relationship you share. For eg: if you’re a housewife, your trip will be sponsored by your husband. If student, will sponsored by your parents. If business trip, your company will sponsor.
Why it’s asked: To know if you have the finances to pay for your trip and if not, who will be the source of sponsor.
What do you do? Or What is your occupation?
Answer: Provide details about your occupation i.e. if you are employed with a company or self-employed. State your position in the company and the associated organization. Talk about your current work or business. If student, provide details about your education.
Why it’s asked: To get an idea about your professional background. To check if you have strong ties to your home country and that your trip is temporary and you will return back.
Why do you wish to stay for so long? or How long will you be staying in the US?
Answer: Respond with the reason for your stay and provide a clear explanation as to why you will be residing so long in the country. If you have planned the dates of your trip, provide the exact dates to the interviewer. If you haven’t, tell the interviewer how long you intend to stay in US. For eg: Parents who wish to stay for a longer time to spend time with their children or if having a long itinerary then talk about your day wise plan; explaining what you intend to do, which all places you intend to visit etc
Why it’s asked: Planning a long stay in the US may raise suspicion regarding your true intentions for your trip to the US and if you will return to your home country.
Are you visiting someone in the United States?
Answer: If visiting someone in the US, mention the name of the person and your relationship.
Why it’s asked: To check if the details you provide match with the information shared in the DS 160 application.
What is your Inviter’s visa status?
Answer: Whether the person you are visiting holds a Permanent Resident, Student visa, Citizenship etc. Have complete knowledge about their visa status in the United States. Carry evidence like a visa copy to collaborate your answer with appropriate proof.
Why it’s asked: To get background information of the Inviter / host in the US and if your answer correctly matches the information in the DS 160 form.
How long has your Inviter been staying in the United States? Or Can you give a description of your Inviter’s profile?
Answer: You must know about the duration of your Inviter’s stay in the United States since their first entry into the country. Before going for the interview, make sure to talk to the person to have a fair understanding of their background in US. It will help you avert an awkward situation in front of the visa officer.
Why it’s asked: To check if the Inviter details you have provided is genuine or you are lying about the relationship.
When did you last meet your Inviter?
Answer: The Inviter’s travel dates are documented every time they travel in and out of the United States. Hence, you are expected to know and must be able to mention the dates properly. Again, advisable to do a thorough pre-check of the Inviter’s background, last visit etc.
Why it’s asked: Since you will be visiting and staying with the Inviter, its obvious and expected of you to know the Inviter very well.
What are the places you have planned to visit in the United States?
Answer: Do a proper research about the places you intend to visit in the United States and the popular tourist attractions in the vicinity. Places that are far off from the destination stated in the DS 160 application form should not be mentioned.
Why it’s asked: To check if your answer matches with the information provided in the DS-160 visa form. Also they want to know if your reason to visit the country is genuine and you have properly planned your trip.
How can you prove that you will return to India after your trip?
Answer: Show your strong family and financial ties to India. Having a stable job, property documents, other investments, ongoing educational documents are your strong ties. Talking about your family and how important it is for you to return back home for them will strengthen your case.
Why it’s asked: Of course, the US Consul Officials want to see that you will return back to your country and not settle down in the US.
Will you come back?
Answer: Say ‘Yes’. You love the country! Think of a creative answer.
Why it’s asked: It’s a simple question but the way you answer it can be a turning point. Be confident!
Do you have any properties in India?
Answer: Say yes – If you have properties in your name, carry the property papers as evidence.
Why it’s asked: To check your financial stability in your home country.
Have you traveled abroad prior to this?
Answer: Give the right answer as the officer can very well check it in your passport. If yes, mention the countries you have visited. If no, say ‘No’. You don’t need to give explanation of each visit, unless asked specifically.
Why it’s asked: To check your travel background.
Please note that the sample questions above are the result of our years of experience with this type of case and are intended as a basic guide only. Each Consular Officer will ask different questions as the circumstances dictate.
US Consul Officials are only interested in learning if you are a genuine traveler, so there is no need to feel any great pressure when answering any of the above. Answer truthfully and you will encounter no problems with your US visa application.
Preparation always plays a good role in the US Visa Interview. Your US Visa interview would last for less than a minute. So make the most of it!
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