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H1B Visa Interview Questions

By Nita Nicole Upadhye

Table of Contents

H1B Visa Interview Questions

If you are looking to come to the United States for work in a highly specialized job role, even with an approved petition filed on your behalf by your prospective US employer, you will need to attend an H1B visa interview.

The following practical guide to H1B visa interview questions looks at how and when your consulate interview will be conducted, and the different types of questions that you can expect to be asked. In this way, you can begin to prepare for your H1B visa interview, helping you to maximise the prospects of a successful outcome at the end of that interview.

 

Applying for the H1B visa

The H1B is a highly attractive and highly competitive work visa for foreign nationals with a job offer in the US for a ‘specialty occupation‘ role — which means any occupation requiring the application of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a relevant bachelor’s degree as a minimum entry requirement. It is a nonimmigrant visa which will allow you to work in a qualifying job in the USA for an initial period of up to 3 years, although you may be able to extend your visa by another 3 years, up to a maximum of 6 years in H1B classification.

To be granted a visa within H1B classification, you must prove that you meet the requirements by being assessed by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Even with a USCIS-approved petition, you will still need to pass a consulate interview to be granted an H1B visa. It is only on the grant of your visa that you will then be able to travel to the United States to start your new job role.

Following the initial electronic registration stage, the application process for cap-subject H1B visas is in two-stages. First, a petition must be filed on your behalf with USCIS by your US-based employer using Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker). The employer must also file detailed documentation to show that the job role you will be doing in the United States qualities for H1B classification and that you are qualified to perform that role. Secondly, provided your petition is approved, you must apply to the Department of State using Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application), where you will be asked to schedule an interview at your local Embassy or Consulate to answer questions about your application and the information provided in it.

To be able to apply for a visa, you must be in possession of either Form I-797 (Notice of Action) or your petition receipt number. The Notice of Action containing your petition receipt number will be sent by USCIS to your prospective employer. It is also worth bearing in mind that even on receipt of that notice or number, this does not guarantee the grant of a visa. It is therefore essential that your H1B visa application is correctly completed, and that you attend your consulate interview, not only with the relevant documentation, but ensuring that you are fully prepared to answer any questions that may be asked of you.

The purpose of the H1B visa interview is to verify that the information contained in your application is accurate and to ensure that you satisfy the relevant requirements. This means that you will not only need to satisfy the consular officer responsible for interviewing you that you meet the H1B requirements, but that your stated intentions are legitimate. This is to ensure that anyone applying for a visa is genuinely seeking entry for the purpose sought.

 

What happens at the H1B visa interview?

An H1B visa interview will typically be conducted by a single consular official, who may ask you a broad range of questions about all aspects of your application and your plans in the United States, both in the short and long-term. There are a number of questions that are asked of most applicants, regardless of the type of visa sought, although you may also be asked a number of visa-specific questions, together with questions about your intentions.

The consular officer will usually start the interview with a few simple questions, typically based on general information contained within your visa application, leading to more detailed and in-depth questions. If you fail to answer all H1B visa interview questions correctly, or if you fail to attend your H1B visa interview without any or any reasonable explanation, your application for an H1B visa will almost certainly be denied. Attending your interview, and being properly prepared for that interview, are therefore essential to a successful outcome, where you should seek expert advice from an immigration attorney to help avoid any pitfalls and preempt any challenging issues that you may be facing.

Your advisor can also help you to navigate the documentary requirements for an H1B visa, ensuring that you attend interview with all the paperwork needed for a decision that day.

 

H1B visa interview questions

The type of H1B visa interview questions that you will be asked can vary, depending on the Embassy or Consulate that you attend. You may be asked about general or specific H1B visa requirements, as well as other questions relating to your personal circumstances.

Below we look at the types of H1B visa interview questions that you might be asked as the principal applicant, to help you prepare in advance. We also look at the types of questions that might be asked of those applying for H1B status as the spouse, partner or child under the age of 21 of the principal applicant. Ordinarily, any dependants should accompany the principal visa applicant to the H1B visa interview, although they may be asked to attend an interview separately. Children under the age of 14 are not usually required to attend an interview, although some documentary proof that they are physically present in the relevant country at the time their derivate visa application is submitted may be requested.

General H1B visa interview questions

  • What is the purpose of your trip to the US?
  • Why do you want to work in the US?
  • Where will you be living while you are in the US?
  • Are you aware of the cost of living in that city?
  • Have you visited the United States before?
  • Who will be travelling with you to the US?
  • What is the nature of the relationship of anyone travelling with you?
  • Do you have any relatives based in the US?
  • How long do you intend to stay in the US?
  • Do you intend to permanently settle in the US?

Specific H1B visa interview questions

  • Who will you be working for while in the US?
  • What is the job role that you will be performing in the US?
  • What are your proposed duties in performing that role?
  • What qualifications and experience do you have to do that role?
  • What is your current job role and responsibilities within that role?
  • Why are you leaving your current job role?
  • What are the start and end dates for your proposed new job role?
  • Have you previously been granted a visa in H1B classification?
  • How did you learn about your prospective employer in the US?
  • How did you first establish contact with your prospective employer?
  • How did you learn about the availability of your proposed job role?
  • How did you apply for your proposed job role?
  • What salary will you receive for your proposed job role?
  • What are your professional intentions when your visa expires?

Personal H1B visa interview questions

  • Have you ever been denied entry into or deported from the US?
  • What is your immigration status in the country you reside in?
  • Have you ever been arrested, convicted or cautioned?
  • Do you have any serious health problems or a serious medical condition?

Dependant’s H1B visa interview questions

  • What is the purpose of your trip to the US?
  • Where will you be living while you are in the US?
  • How will you be financially supported while in the US?
  • Do you intend to work or study while in the US?
  • Have you visited the United States before?
  • Who will be travelling with you to the US?
  • What is the nature of your relationship to the principal applicant?
  • Do you have any relatives based in the US?
  • How long do you intend to stay in the US?
  • Do you intend to permanently settle in the US?
  • Have you ever been denied entry into or deported from the US?
  • What is your immigration status in the country you reside in?
  • Have you ever been arrested, convicted or cautioned?
  • Do you have any serious health problems or medical condition?

 

What is the H1B visa interviewer looking for?

When being interviewed, it is important to be honest and open, as well as clear and accurate, in your responses. It is also important to answer all questions fully. In many instances, the answer to the questions asked may seem obvious from your application, but the consular officer may simply want you to explain what your plans are in your own words, in this way having you verify the information contained within your application and being able to assess in person, rather than on paper, that your intentions are genuine.

Every application is unique, often depending on your personal circumstances, where you may be asked questions that have not been covered above. As such, it is always best to seek expert advice when applying for an H1B visa and prior to attending your interview to help address any potential hurdles. This could be where, for example, you have a criminal record or a history of immigration violations which may need to be handled carefully. In some cases, you may require a waiver ineligibility to travel to the US while, in others, the consular officer may be able to exercise some discretion, depending on your answers.

At the conclusion of your interview, the consular officer should inform you whether or not your application for an H1B visa has been approved, denied, or if further documentation or a waiver of ineligibility will be required. If your visa application is approved following your H1B interview, your passport will usually be returned to you via courier service to the visa collection or passport location that you specified when making your interview appointment.

 

H1B visa interview documents

You will be required to attend your H1B visa interview with a number of different documents. However, given that the petition filed on your behalf by your prospective employer will have been supported by detailed documentation relating to your job role and your ability to perform that role, most of the documents required for interview will be for administrative purposes or mainly biographical. These should include:

  • your application confirmation page
  • a copy of your Notice of Action
  • a copy of the fee payment receipt
  • a printed interview appointment confirmation page
  • copies of your current and expired passports
  • evidence of any previously issued US visas
  • evidence of ever being denied entry into or deported from the US
  • your immigration status in the country in which you reside
  • a police certificate if you have ever been arrested, convicted or cautioned
  • evidence of any serious communicable medical condition
  • two recent 5cm x 5cm colour photographs.

This list is not exhaustive, where you may need to provide additional documentation, if not already supplied with your online application. This could include, for example, evidence of your proposed new job role in the United States and your start date. You are strongly advised to visit the website for your local Embassy or Consulate to see what documents you are required to bring with you to your H1B interview and/or to seek expert legal advice.

All in all, advance preparation is key, both in terms of paperwork and your response to the H1B visa interview questions that you are likely to be asked.

 

NNU Immigration can help

NNU Immigration are specialist US immigration attorneys. We work with employers and individuals seeking to secure a visa to work in the USA, including the H-1B visa route. We can advise on all aspects of the eligibility requirements and can guide applicants through the petitioning process, including advice on how to compile your application documents and prepare for the H1B interview.

If you have a question about an H-1B visa application, speak to our experts.

 

H1B visa interview questions FAQs

Is H-1B visa interview hard?

An H-1B visa is not necessarily hard, although you will need to be prepared for any H1B visa interview questions, including about your proposed job role in the United States and your reasons for applying for that role.

 

What type of questions are asked in H-1B visa interview?

You could be asked a number of different questions during your H-1B visa interview, including questions about where you will be working, what qualifications you have to work in that role and your intentions once your H-1B visa has expired.

 

What should I prepare for H-1B visa interview?

When preparing for your H1B visa interview questions, you will need to concentrate on the requirements for an H1B visa including, for example, the requirement to work in an eligible specialty occupation and to be suitably qualified for that role.

 

How to crack H-1B visa interview?

The best way to crack your H-1B visa interview is to be prepared. This not only means attending with the relevant documentation in support of your application, but ensuring that you are prepared for any questions that may be asked.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

Author

Founder & Principal Attorney Nita Nicole Upadhye is a recognized leader in the field of US business immigration law (AILA) and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with both US and UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

Nita successfully acts for corporations and professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, actors, and athletes from across the globe, providing expert guidance on all aspects of US visa and nationality applications, and talent mobility to the USA.

Nita is an active public speaker, thought leader, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.​

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.

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For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.

For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.