When a foreign national seeks to visit the United States temporarily in order to attend to business-related matters, he or she must generally be approved for a B-1 “Temporary Business Visitor” visa before that individual will be allowed to enter the country. As part of the application process, a B-1 visa candidate must generally submit to an immigration-related interview. This mandate helps the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department determine whether an individual is indeed eligible for a specific visa and whether the candidate likely to comply with the terms governing that visa.
It is important to prepare for the interview process in advance. Even if your intentions are honorable and your plans to enter the U.S. for eligible business purposes are legitimate, a bad interview session could keep you from being granted permission to enter the country. As a result, it is generally a good idea for visa candidates to speak with an experienced immigration attorney about the interview process before a scheduled session takes place. Once potential missteps and “red flags” related to one’s application are better understood, a visa candidate will be able to enter the interview setting in a more confident, informed manner. This approach tends to help candidates succeed in passing the interview stage of the B-1 process without compromising the integrity and potential success of their applications.
Preparing for a B-1 Visa Interview Session
Because B-1 visa holders are granted entrance to the United States temporarily and only to conduct certain business-related activities, the interview stage is used to determine whether a visa candidate is both eligible for this particular permission and is likely to respect its terms. As a result, the interview questions will focus on matters related to making these two primary determinations. Preparing for the interview stage of the visa application process generally involves practicing how one will answer likely questions in an honest and complete manner.
Submitting to an interview can be intimidating, so practice is key. Failure to ensure that you can answer any relevant query without becoming unreasonably anxious is important because seeming overly nervous may lead the questioner to conclude that you have something to hide. Similarly, failing to practice because you are overconfident may backfire in the event that you are caught off-guard by a question and the interviewer believes you are not answering his or her questions thoroughly enough. Whether you are nervous, confident or relatively indifferent to the process, it is important to consult your attorney about any concerns either of you may have and to practice your answers to likely questions.
B-1 Visa Interview Topics of Interest
When preparing for a B-1 visa interview, it is critical to practice one’s honest and complete answers to likely questions on a host of related topics. For example, interviewers may be interested in areas of your personal life, including your current residential situation and your family members. These questions are generally used to determine whether you are likely to abandon your current home situation in order to seek residence in the United States.
In addition, the interviewers will ask about your travel plans, including the date you intend to leave, your itinerary while in the U.S. and the date you plan to return. If you believe that your memory may fail you in any way during the interview stage, it may help to bring an itinerary with you for reference. You may also wish to bring evidence of expenses paid along, given that you will likely be asked whether you have the resources to adequately pay for your travel and lodging. Finally, you will almost certainly be asked about your current employment situation and your business-related reasons for visiting the United States. If you have questions about whether any of your trip-related plans may be considered suspect by USCIS, please consult your attorney in advance so that you know how to answer related questions in thoughtful and appropriate ways.
Additional Interview-Related Considerations
It is important to treat the interview session in a truly professional manner. If you become frustrated at any point, remain calm. Do not argue with the interviewer or become aggressive. Similarly, remain respectful at all times and remember your reason for being present. If you keep your goal of securing a temporary business-related visa in mind, you will be less likely to provide unnecessary and potentially damaging information. Speaking too much or too little are both common missteps that can be avoided by practicing your answers in advance and speaking with your attorney about any concerns you may have before your interview takes place.
Immigration Assistance Is Available
Navigating the B-1 visa process can be time-intensive and detail oriented, so it is generally a good idea to seek legal guidance as early in the process as is both possible and appropriate. Similarly, if you are interested in securing any kind of employment-related visa, the team at LawTrades can help. Connect with us as soon as you know that you will need to apply for a visa or become interested in sponsoring a visa candidate.