Preparing for the L-1B visa interview questions
L1 visa petitions continue to be highly scrutinized by US authorities. If you are applying for an L1B visa, it is more vital than ever that you fully prepare for the petitioning process. This will include attending a visa interview and answering questions to satisfy the Consular officer that you are eligible under the L1B visa category and meet the visa requirements.
L1B visa interview
The US L1B visa allows foreign employees with specialist knowledge to either transfer to an existing US office or to move to the country to establish a new office, branch or subsidiary of their organisation. For the visa application to approved, it must be shown that the employee is indispensable to the company due to their specialist knowledge and this knowledge must be vital to the function of the systems or products of the company.
If you are applying for an L1B visa you will be required to attend a visa interview.
The adjudicating officer will determine the exact questions you are asked, but it is advisable to prepare answers to commonly asked questions in advance.
To have a good chance of success at this interview you must also spend time beforehand ensuring you have all the relevant documentation ready to support your answers.
If you fail to prepare for your interview or do not have the correct documents with you on the day, you risk a delay to your visa processing if further information is requested, or your visa may even be refused.
L1B visa interview questions
Although you can expect your interview adjudicator to have prepared for your interview by looking over your application, it is best not to make any assumptions as to what they know about your profession or your industry. When answering the L1B visa questions, provide as much detail and context as you can while being concise and clear and avoiding going off-topic.
Be honest and open about your experience, past employment and future plans. If you do not know the answer or need to check details before giving an answer, be upfront with the adjudicator. Giving false or incomplete information is ill-advised; your application is likely to be delayed or refused later in the process.
At the interview, the questions you will be asked fall broadly into four categories: general, current job, general US employment and L-1B specific questions.
These questions are designed to check your personal information, your travel history, your knowledge of the US and you will be asked to show key documentation such as your passport.
Common questions asked include:
- Can you confirm personal details – your name, current address and contact details.
- Can we see your passport, visa fee receipt, I-797 and I-128 and DS-160 forms?
- Which visa are you applying for and why are you applying for it?
- Have you previously travelled to the US? Can you provide dates and reasons for travel?
- Have you ever worked in the US before? Can you provide dates and employer details?
- Have you ever worked in another country other than your home country?
In this part of the interview you will need to provide details about your current job and your role and responsibilities. You will also be asked some questions about your past employment history.
Common questions include:
- Who is your current employer?
- Talk me through your role and responsibilities.
- What is your previous experience? Where did you work before your current job?
- What is your current salary?
- How many employees directly report to you?
- What formal training have you had?
Proposed US employment
You will always be asked in detail about your proposed employment in the US. Expect to be asked to provide information on the job, your employer, the role and responsibilities and to show supporting information.
Common questions include:
- Where are you intending to work? Tell me a bit about the company.
- What is the job role you will be taking up?
- Talk me through the roles and responsibilities of the job in the US.
- Will you be paid by the US company or through a payroll overseas?
- What will your annual salary be?
- Why do you need to be in the US to carry out this role?
- Where will you be living in the US?
- Who will you report to? Will they be US based?
- Will your employer provide an allowance of any kind while you are in the US?
- How long are you planning to stay in the US?
- If the job doesn’t go well or meet your expectations what will you do?
Specialism and skills
Because of the nature of the visa, the l1b visa questions will assess if your skills and knowledge are sufficiently specialised and are relevant to the role you will be filling in the US.
Common questions include:
- What is your specialism and your area of expertise?
- What are your relevant qualifications and work experience?
- What is it about your skills that make them specialised?
- Are the skills specific to your role?
- Are there people in the US with skills similar to yours?
- Why can a US citizen not take up the role you are filling?
- How long have you been working in this industry?
- Have you developed products or tools?
- Do you specialist knowledge relevant to the role?
L1B visa supporting documentation
It is vital that you have evidence to support the answers you provide in your interview. You should prepare all relevant documentation beforehand and bring this as a dossier with you to refer to during the interview.
L-1B supporting documents generally include:
- Your interview appointment letter
- Valid passport and any expired passports
- A photograph that is compliant with the visa photo requirements
- A completed visa application Form DS-160
- The employee copy of Form I-797 that was filed by your employer
- Copy of your I-129 petition, with receipt number
- An up to date copy of your CV
- Income tax records
- 6 months of past bank statements
- A job description showing your current managerial or executive role
- Proof of the employment relationship between you and the petitioning employer
- A job description proving your proposed job qualifies as an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge role
- Proof of your qualifications/professional experience – university degree, professional training certificates or other qualifications
- Evidence that shows you have the minimum service with the organisation – 12 months continuous employment in the last 3 years.
- Detailed information about the company you will be working for in the US – such as an organisational chart
- Letters from past employers to evidence your past professional experience
- The contact information for two referees from previous jobs
Do you have a question about the L1B visa interview?
Given the increasing scrutiny facing L1B visa applicants, preparing for the visa interview will be critical to achieving a successful outcome for your application.
Familiarise yourself with the type of questions you are likely to be asked to ensure you can provide complete and accurate answers and present the relevant supporting documentation to support your responses.
NNU Immigration are specialist US immigration attorneys. From our central London base, we support employees and employers from across the globe with L-1 visa petitions, supporting with the eligibility requirements and providing guidance throughout the petitioining process, including interview preparation.
If you have a question about the L-1 visa application process or eligibility requirements, contact us.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.