What L1 visa interview questions could you be asked?
If you are applying for the L1 visa, whether through the standard process or under your organization’s Blanket L, you will be required to attend a visa interview. The adjudicating officer will determine the L1 visa interview questions you will be asked. You can expect the questions to largely depend on your circumstances and whether you are applying for the L-1A or L-1B visa category.
If you fail to prepare well for the interview, if you do not have the relevant L1 visa documents to support your eligibility, or if you do not know or cannot answer the questions authoritatively, you may face a delay in processing if the officer requests further information from you, or in certain cases you could find the adjudicator decides against you.
Given the importance of the interview, we look at some of the frequently asked L1 visa interview questions to help you prepare for this critical stage in your visa application.
General L1 visa questions
You can expect to first be asked some general questions about you, your personal circumstances, travel history and the reasons why you are applying for the L1 visa. Questions could include:
- Confirm your name and contact details.
- Provide your current, valid passport, visa fee receipt, I-797 and I-128 and DS-160 forms.
- Have you ever been to the US before? If so, was this for work, business or leisure? Also provide the travel dates.
- Have you ever worked overseas before?
- Have you ever worked in the US or been employed there before?
The adjudicator will be looking to understand about your current role, as well as past roles and work experience. You may be asked:
- What is your professional work experience?
- Where do you work and how long have you work there?
- What is the nature of your employment and how does this meet the qualifying relationship requirement?
- What is your current job and duties?
- Who did you work for before your current employer?
- How much do you currently earn a year?
A critical factor in your application will be the role you intend to perform when in the US. The adjudicator will want to understand if the role could be filled by a resident US worker, and if not, the reasons why.
Questions could include:
- Tell me about your job offer; where do you intend to work, what does the organization do?
- In the US role, what will your responsibilities be?
- Will you be paid by the US organization or overseas payroll?
- Why does the role have to be performed from the US?
- Where in the US will you be staying?
- How much will you be paid annually?
- Will you be given any kind of allowance while in the US?
- How long do you plan to be in the US?
- Who will you report to and where are they based?
L1A visa questions
You should prepare to be asked questions relating to the type of role you intend to perform in the US.
- What will you have responsibility for under the US based role?
- How many employees will report directly to you?
- Will you have budget control?
- Will you have responsibility for recruiting and dismissing employees? When did you last hire an employee? When did you last fire an employee? What will the process be for you to hire or fire?
- Who will you report into?
L1B visa questions
The L1B visa questions will focus on your skills and knowledge, and the degree to which these are sufficiently ‘specialized’ in relation to the organization and your wider industry.
Questions could include
- What is your area of expertise and specialization?
- How long have you been working in this field?
- What are your qualifications and work experience?
- What are the professional skills required for the US role?
- What makes your skills specialized?
- Why is it important that you travel to the United States for this work?
- Is there a reason why US colleagues cannot perform the work?
Preparing for your L1 visa interview
While you should expect the adjudicator to have prepared, you should not make any assumptions as to their knowledge or understanding of your industry and specialism sector. Be clear and ready to explain, in detail, your experience and the nature of your specialism.
You are expected to be honest. Listen to the question, be precise and avoid digressing while answering the questions comprehensively. If you don’t know the answer, or are unsure, say so. You may be asked to
L-1 visa supporting documentation
You should prepare to be asked for evidence to back up your responses during the interview. Taking advice on your application will help to ensure you take the necessary documents with you. As a general guide, you should expect to take with you:
- Completed visa application Form DS-160
- The employee copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action, filed by your employer
- Passport – current valid passport, plus any expired
- Photograph, compliant with US visa photo requirements
- Interview appointment letter in original and photocopy format
- Copy of your I-129 petition, with receipt number
- Your CV
- Bank statements from the past 6 months
- Income tax records
- Description of your duties in a managerial or executive role
- Proof of the qualifying employment relationship between you and the petitioning organization
- Proof of your position in a qualifying executive, managerial or specialized knowledge role.
- Proof that you have the required minimum service with the organization, ie at least 12 months continuous employment out of the past 3 years from the date the petition is filed.
- Proof that you have previously held role(s) in the organization in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge role.
- Proof that you hold the necessary qualifications and professional experience to perform the role in the US – university degree, certificates of training undertaken and other documents certifying relevant qualifications
- Letters from previous employers to confirm your professional work experience
- Contact details of two referees from previous jobs
- Detailed information about the US organization such as organogram
The successful grant of L1-A and L1-B visa status will require careful preparation in advance of the interview.
NNU Immigration are specialist US immigration attorneys. From our central London base, we support employees and companies from across the globe with L-1 visa petitions, ensuring initial eligibility and exploring potential alternative routes to transfer key workers to the US. We also provide guidance to the employer and employee through the petitioning process, and also extension applications.
If you have a question about the L-1 visa eligibility or application, contact us.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.