The questions in an interview for a visa are typically divided into two main categories: general questions that apply to anyone traveling, and more specific questions related to your itinerary or plans. General questions focus mostly on what you know about yourself as a person and how well you would fit in socially and professionally in the country of travel.
These types of questions try to determine if you will be comfortable living here long term, whether it’s because you have established relationships back home or because you like the culture. If you can’t give a definitive “yes” or “no” answer to these questions, then at least they help put your weaknesses in context — something that few people do!
More specific questions tend to get deeper. For example, when asked why you want to visit this country, most people respond with a short and simple reason such as because I always wanted to go there. But actually wanting to see a place is only half of the equation; you also need to enjoy being there to really appreciate its value.
So what makes someone truly enjoy a destination? Does it have to do with the sights, the food, and the nightlife? Or maybe it’s exploring new neighborhoods away from the crowded tourist areas. It may even be taking some down time and staying within your budget so you don’t spend too much money.
A student seeking a F-1 or M-1 VISA must first be granted a nonimmigrant status (also referred to as “visa”) under the B-2 visitor category. This requires proof that you will travel for leisure, not business and you have adequate means of supporting yourself while in the country.
Students may also face additional questions about their academic record, work experience, and other qualifying documents. Make sure to check out our article: Is studying abroad at this time a good idea? for more information.!
The Department of State does not issue visas to individuals who it believes cannot make appropriate arrangements after they arrive in the U.S.. If you receive such notice, you should plan on staying somewhere else while your entry is processed so you do not violate the terms of your tourist visa.
The term “for business” is not enough to determine if someone has their life together before coming into America. People applying for a B-2 visa must have firm plans to return home after they arrive in the United States, or at least make every attempt to do so.
There are several ways to verify this information, such as through employment documents that mention returning to work, flight tickets purchased, etc. If these things are present then you can approve the visa request.
The duration of stay should also be verified by having proof of where you will be staying while here, along with evidence proving your intention to leave soon. This could include housing proofs, job offers, etc.
An in person interview for a B-2 tourist visa is conducted at one of three different venues — airports, land travel destinations or cruise ships. You will be notified of which venue your visit is two weeks prior to your trip so that you can prepare!
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not notify individuals as to which location their visa appointment will take place more than 30 days before the event. This can result in significant time spent waiting outside an airport or ship terminal for hours while they find out which city or destination you have been assigned.
It is very difficult to coordinate air transportation when the department doesn’t give notice until two weeks before the individual’s departure date. Many times, there isn’t enough lead time to book flights that connect multiple cities effectively. The individual must either pay expensive shuttle rides back and forth from the airport or spend money traveling to a completely new destination.
Since DHS doesn’t tell people where their appointments are located, most people research this information themselves by going onto online job postings, looking up past interview reports and talking with friends and relatives who work at embassies and consulates abroad. All of these resources are helpful, but none address all aspects of the B-2 visa process.
We recommend staying informed about 2 week ahead of schedule because it is impossible to know what day you will be notified of your appointment time.
There is no set timing frame for when you must leave or return home after your visit. However, we recommend returning within 6 months of your initial arrival to stay in the United States.
If you need more time beyond this, make sure to check out the Travel Tips section below! Also, remember that it’s always best to have lots of copies of important documents with you while traveling.
It is very important to be prepared for your B-2 visa personal visit interview. You are expected to bring some form of identification, such as a passport or driver’s license.
You should also know about the country you will be visiting in and the area you intend to sightsee in. This way you are not unprepared if these things come up!
Having this information ready will help you feel more confident in yourself and the destination you have chosen to spend time in. Make sure to check out the local tourist sites while you are there!
And don’t forget to pack your belongings properly – kinks under control, toothbrush fully stocked, etc. No one wants to meet their new roommate with dirty clothes and bags that look like they haven’t been organized recently.
While visiting the United States for business or tourism, there is an exemption to visa requirements if you have a B-2 tourist visa. This means that you do not need to visit a consulate to review your documents before traveling here.
However, when you do apply for this type of visa, then it is advised that you bring one photo of yourself per document. Make sure these are recent photos as well!
You do not have to take off any clothes under formal interview conditions, but it is best to be modestly dressed. We recommend staying in closed-loft pants or dressy jeans with a button down shirt and/or a skirt. For women, we suggest keeping your hair done and put up in a way that can be easily maintained.
Before you arrive at your appointment, make sure to check with us again to see if there is any paperwork we need from you! Also, remember that this visit will likely last longer than most visa interviews because it requires two full days of your time, so pack light and refresh yourself before heading home.
Since this is an in person meeting, bringing printed copies or documents can be tricky. Many times, employers ask for notes or other things handwritten which cannot be typed easily. You may also have to bring photographs or additional documentation depending on what questions they ask about you.
We recommend printing out our tips for preparing for your B-1/B-2 visa interview here! These include some basic dos and don’ts like what to expect during the interview as well as how to get more information if needed.
It is very common to get nervous before your visa interview, especially if this is your first time attending one! If you have pre-made questions or answers for these situations, then go into the meeting with those.
But beyond that, there’s not much more you can do than just be yourself and hope that it comes across as natural and authentic.
It would also help to know what to expect ahead of time so you aren’t caught off guard when the officer asks about something. Some things, like being married or having children, will automatically exclude you from staying in the country for longer than six months, so make sure you don’t lie about that!
We recommend doing some research online and reading through our article about how to prepare for your visa application. That way you’re not coming unprepared and wasting time at the airport.