Sunday, May 26, 2024

H1B Basics and the H1B Visa Interview

H1B VisaTo understand the H1B Visa Interview, lets first define the H1B Visa.  The H1-B Visa is the visa that a nonimmigrant alien needs who will be temporarily employed in the US as a fashion model, working in a technical, professional and managerial role, or in religion or theology.  These employment roles can run rather broad but the key thought process here is to specialize in your field of mathematics, architecture, science, law, engineering, life and social sciences, education, medicine and the arts.   If you are unsure your specialty occupation does not fit within the realm of the H1B visa, then it is always good to speak with an immigration attorney or immigration service.

Moving along, lets assume you are working in a capacity that qualifies you for the H1-B Visa.  Once you have applied to go to America as a non-immigrant temporary worker then you are going to have to undertake an H1B Visa Interview. This has to be successful for your application to go ahead. There are other considerations that must be met beforehand such as being offered a job, certain requirements the employer has to meet and your having the right qualifications to be eligible for the visa as discussed before.

Being prepared for the immigration interview questions

You need to approach the interview in the right manner, being prepared can make all the difference. It is important to reach the consulate where the H1B visa interview is to take place at least half an hour before the allotted time. Remember to bring with you the appointment letter that you were sent otherwise you will not even make it in to the building! Don’t carry anything with you apart from essentials, you will be thoroughly searched by security and any suspicious items can prevent your entry; don’t even bring your cell phone.  In many US embassies you will now need to have your fingerprints taken when applying for the H1B visa; this is a routine and nothing to worry about.

The next stage will involve queuing for the actual interview. It is important to dress well and look dignified. Try not to disturb others who are in the line as they may be focusing on what they will say to the interviewing officer. Also, do not comment on the various merits of people who get seen before you. There will be cameras and microphones hidden in many places! Try to stay calm and breathe deeply.

Sample H1B Visa Interview Questions

There is no set of questions that will be asked of you in your immigration interview.  But it is safe to say they are going to establish your qualifications, your education or work experience, your intentions in the US and about the company you will be working for.  Remember do not take any of these questions as an attack on you personally; these are simply direct questions intending to get direct answers.

Questions and statements about you and your experiences
•    Where did you earn your degree?
•    When did you defend your thesis and what is it about?
•    How much of your education were in your home country?
•    Describe all your work as you have outlined in your application/resume
•    What certifications have you received in your field?
•    What industry recognition have your received in your field?

Questions about your intentions
•    Why do you want to work in the US?
•    Since this is a temporary work visa, what will you do after your visa expires?
•    Have you had an H1-B Visa before? For which company?
•    Will you travel to and from the US during your employment?
•    Do you have any family in the US?

Questions about the company
•    Are you currently working for the company?
•    What is your role with your current employer?
•    What is your role with the sponsoring company?
•    When did they extend you an offer letter and employment agreement?
•    How did you learn about the job with the sponsoring company?
•    Is there a specific product or project you will be working on?

Of course there are many more questions that may be asked of you and once again, these are only sample questions that may or may not come up in your interview.  By focusing on the generalizations of you, the company you are working for, the company sponsoring you and your intentions, you should be well prepared.

Quick Interview Etiquette

When it is your turn to enter the interview room be polite and try not to be anxious. The officer is there performing a service, they do not want to turn you down but they need to check that everything is in order. Usually they are genuinely nice people who also have an understanding about your country and culture.  When you are chatting to the interviewer keep smiling and answer their questions concisely. They do not want to hear your life story! Make eye contact and stick with it. If your spoken English is not so great then you must speak slowly and clearly, remember that being able to communicate in English is a prerequisite for the H1B visa.

Working with a friend and having them ask you the questions is always good practice.  It is also good to have an immigration attorney or immigration service work with you.  They have gone through this process several times and can help you be prepared. Further their assistance in making sure your forms are all in order can be invaluable.


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