The H1B/L1 interview is the final step before you receive your U.S. visa. The applicant must convince the official asking questions to see if they are fit to get the H1B/L1 visa. The interview will be scheduled by the Embassy and the applicant needs to make sure to attend it at that particular time. In case you need to reschedule, you have to inform the Embassy beforehand. As an applicant, you need to make sure that you convince by asking the questions that you are fit to get the H1B/L1 visa. To be eligible for an H1B/L1 visa, the applicant must:
- Be joining the same organization or its parent or subsidiary in the US as he or she was working for in their native country
- The applicant is joining the headquarters of the company they are currently working for
Scroll down to find out when you can apply for an H1B/L1 visa, interview questions, answers, and tips to prepare for this interview.
How to prepare for an H1B/L1 visa interview?
Now that you have understood what is an H1B/L1 visa is, you might be wondering how to prepare for an interview. Given the amount of information available on the internet, it is easy to feel flustered. But the interview process is actually not that difficult. Here are a few basic things to keep in mind before your interview.
What are some of the most commonly asked questions during an H1B/L1 visa interview?
When you go for a visa interview, you will have to pass through the Embassy security first. After that, you will either meet an Embassy official in a room or you will be behind their desk in a shared office.
The US Embassy official will first ask you to hand in copies of your supporting documents. This includes your approved Form I-129 petition and your other qualifications. You must make sure that you have the file with you so you do not seem unprepared.
- Your purpose of visit to the U.S
- Could you please provide me with your passport and passport number?
- If you have visited the U.S. in the past
- Are you married? If yes, how many years you have been married?
- Reason for changing your job
- Why do you want to work in the U.S.?
- Which U.S. state are you going to?
- Do you have family and friends in the U.S.?
- Have you ever studied in the U.S.?
- Are you married? If yes, then for how long?
- If your spouse/and or children are going to join you in the U.S.?
- What citizenship do you hold?
- Have you ever immigrated to another country before?
- Do you plan on returning to your home country after your work in the U.S. ends?
- Are you aware of the cost of living in the U.S.?
- When will you return to the U.S.?
- Is it your first H1B visa validation?
- What are your plans after your H1B/L1 visa validity ends?
Also, remember that you need to carry documents like:
- Form I-20
- Passport photo
What are some qualification questions asked during a visa interview?
The qualification questions are usually about your education and previous work experience. Since the H1B visa is for people in specialty occupations, you must prove you have extensive skills. This can be done by explaining what your education was about, where you completed it, and whether you have certifications.
Additionally, you must also show that you are capable of doing the job you were hired for through previous experience. They will ask you to explain your job, duties, and why you left. If you have had Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the U.S. before, the official will also ask you about your experience.
Questions regarding your education and previous work experience are:
- Could you please provide me with your diplomas and certifications?
- What is the highest degree you have?
- What was your major?
- Where did you complete your education?
- When did you graduate?
- Did you do any internships during your studies?
- What was the topic of your thesis?
- Do you have any additional certifications?
- What do you consider to be your skills?
- Do you plan to continue your education or get a certificate?
- What was the last job you worked in?
- What were your duties and responsibilities?
- Which company did you work for?
- How long did you work there?
- What was your salary?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- How does your previous experience relate to what you were doing in the U.S.?
- Could you please give us your recommendation letters or letters from your previous employers?
What are some of the background questions that you might be asked during your visa interview?
The final section of your visa interview will be on the company background. You must show enough knowledge about the company you will work for in the U.S. The Embassy official will want to know that the company actually exists and is legitimate. They want to make sure you are not getting a fake job from someone in the U.S. and that you are not trying to make up a fake company just to leave your home country.
To ensure all the above points, you have to provide a thorough description of the company and your duties there. You must know the names of the company leaders and your supervisor. You must also have pictures of the company, its financial statements, and tax filings.
The common questions about the background of your company are:
- Which company will you work for in the U.S.?
- What position will you hold?
- Can you provide your job description?
- What will be your salary?
- How did you find out about this company?
- How did you apply for the job?
- How long did it take you to get this job?
- How many rounds of tests and interviews did you have?
- What does the company do?
- Who is the president of the company?
- Who will be your supervisor?
- Does this company sponsor other H1B visa employees? If so, how many?
- Do you have any pictures of what the company looks like? If so, could you please show us?
- How will you manage your expenses until you get your first salary?
- Could you please show us the company’s financial information?
- Could you please show us the company’s tax documents?
- How many people are currently under your supervision?
- Have you gone through any training when you joined your current company?
- What kind of services do the clients generally avail in your company?
- What is the location of the company you will be transferred to the U.S.?
- Why can’t the work be performed from the country you presently live in?
- Will your direct supervisor be also residing in the U.S.?
- Will you be working at your company’s office or a client location?
- What unique skill sets do you possess?
- How many years of experience do you have in this line of work?
While we have listed out some of the most important and commonly asked questions that do not mean that all interviewers will follow the order. Most likely, the Embassy official will ask them as the topic comes up and not follow a specific section. Because of that prepare yourself to answer any question in whatever order they ask you.
How long is the H1B/L1 visa interview?
There is no definite answer to how long an H1B visa interview will take. There are cases when the interview can last for an hour. But there are also cases when the official will only ask 3 or 4 questions. However, you should prepare for an interview of around 30 minutes long.
How long does it take to get the visa after the interview?
The decision to give a visa or not is done almost instantly after the interview. The interviewer decides to give you the visa and they will stamp your passport right there. You will get the passport and then you can start making travel arrangements.
But there are also cases where the interviewer needs more time to make a decision. They might want to review the documents more or talk to their supervisors about how your interview went. This process will generally not last more than 1 week.
When the Embassy makes a decision, they will stamp your passport and mail it back to you.
H1B/L1 visa interview experience
The H1B/L1 visa interview experience differs from one candidate to another. It also depends on the candidate’s profile and the interviewer. The interviewer can start a personal conversation about your family, or they may take a formal interview regarding your work and related topics. Some of the tips that can help you have a successful interview are:
- Dress in formal attire
- Be presentable and professional during the interview process
- Be confident and remember, a good first impression goes a long way
- Answer the questions in a concise manner
- Make sure your passport photo resembles your face
- Prepare well for the interview. You can refer to the set of questions we share above to be better prepared
- Practice mock interviews
- Be honest and calm during the interview process
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