Travellers wanting to enter and stay in the US, for business or tourism purposes, may have to apply for a US visa. The countries that fall under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are exempt from the visa requirement and instead have to apply online for Electronic Travel Authorization.
The applicants who are eligible for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) do not need to attend an interview. However, the applicants who fall under the visa category must attend an in-person US visitor visa interview at the US embassy or consulate of their home country.
Once you are sure to travel to the US, you have to go through several procedures entailed by the visa application, which also ensures your eligibility to obtain a visa. You must complete the DS-160 form online and pay the Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) application fee. The next step includes scheduling a US B1, B2 visa appointment interview.
Before you head to the US embassy for your B1/B2 travel visa interview, prepare yourself in advance so that when you meet the embassy officer, you will know what to say and how to answer their questions without hesitation.
What is the B1/B2 visa?
A B1/B2 visa is a temporary non-immigrant US visa that enables visitors to travel and stay in the US for tourism or business purposes. Business-related activities include training, meetings, negotiations, and others that don’t involve paid activities.
Is An Interview Necessary For A Visa Renewal Application?
US visa renewal applications for non-immigrant US visa holder passes US visa interview wavier program which allows the completion of renewal process without the need to attend an interview at a US Embassy. This visa requires a tourist visa interview for the US when you apply for the first time, although this may not apply to all visa renewals.
However, you will need to complete an in-person US tourist visa interview when renewing a visa. If you meet any of the below-listed requirements (for example), you may need to attend the interview.
- If you think you are ineligible for the chosen visa,
- If you have had a visa rejection in the past,
- If you have urgent travel plans within 10 days,
The visa applicants are recommended to complete a medical examination before their US B1, B2 visa appointments. The US recommends the applicants complete a medical examination with an authorized physician in their home country.
Documents Required To Be Submitted At The Interview
As you have scheduled your interview, you are required to bring certain documents. The documents usually vary depending on your visa type and embassy. Generally, the standard documents include
- Interview appointment letter from the National Visa Centre
- Your original passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of departure from the US.
- Two recent photographs that match the photo guidelines
- Reports of a medical examination in a sealed envelope
- Translated documents that are not in English
Make sure to gather all these documents before your interview and check the US visa requirements to ensure you don’t need any additional documents. Recheck them, and arrive on time.
Arriving at the Consulate
Arrive as early as possible. Sometimes there may be a line to get into the embassy, or if you are late, the officer may dismiss your case, which may result in repeating the entire visa process and rescheduling your interview.
There are two crucial parts to your embassy interview:
- Fingerprint scanning
- In-person interview with the consulate
US visa interview questions
Honesty and confidence are the keys. Since you have prepared everything for the interview, including the documents, it will proceed smoothly. As you are interviewed with certain b1, b2 visa interview questions, take your time, listen carefully, and answer honestly and confidently. Here are some questions that are likely to be asked in your interview:
Q- What is the purpose of your travel to the US?
State the purpose of your travel to the US. Answer shortly and clearly.
Q- Have you been to the US before?
If yes, tell about the reasons you have travelled before, including a summary of your previous stay. There is no reason to lie here, so its better to be honest.
Q-How long do you plan to stay in the US?
A standard visa allows the holder to stay in the US for a maximum of 90 days. Tell them your travel plans and how long you intend to stay in the country.
Q-Do you have any relatives or friends currently in the US?
If yes, tell them even about the relatives that you rarely meet or a friend who you met once or twice. It is better to stay as honest as possible.
Q-Where will you be staying in the US?
If you have booked a hotel, provide the details of the hotel. If you are staying at your relatives or friend’s house, show the invitation letter and explain your relationship to them.
Q-Why do you want to enter the US at this time?
If you are interviewing for a US B1 visa interview, make sure to provide stronger reasons.
Q-Are you alone on this trip?
If you are travelling alone, say so; if you are going with someone, provide details regarding your relationship with them.
These are some standard questions asked in the US visa interview and are subject to variation. So, this was all about the US visa renewal interview guide for the b1/b2 visa. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different types of visas and how they work.