B1/b2 Visa Interview

By Tiara

Today we will be talking about what to expect for your visa interview, how much time it will take, and what you should do before, during, and after your visit. We will also go over some things that may seem ambiguous or confusing and clear them up!

A lot of people are concerned about coming into America for the first time and having an in-person meeting with US officials. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about! Just make sure you are prepared for this and know what to say.

Some of the questions asked in a visa interview can feel very personal. They can touch upon tough topics like religion and politics which many people don’t want to discuss when they have never done so before in their country.

This can make someone else become offended or even prejudiced against you or your country. You must remember that these questions cannot hurt you or influence you as a person – only the individual being questioned can do that.

Your best bet is to be honest and straightforward and let your true self shine through. Don’t try to fake anything because this won’t work and could potentially backfire on you.

Dress the part

b1/b2 visa interview

After arriving at your destination, you will be met by an officer that will ask to see your visa and work documents as well as have some general questions for you. Following this, they may invite you into their office where it is more in-depth with formal interviews and paperwork.

At this stage of the process, things can get a little uncomfortable for some people. Officers are trained in how to make you feel comfortable so don’t worry about them!

They want to know if you are here legally and for a legitimate reason, but they also want to make sure that you are going to stay in America longer than just few days or weeks. This could mean asking about dependents or whether you plan to return home after your visit.

Their main goal is to ensure that you enjoy yourself while you are here and that you do not pose any risk to American citizens or businesses. If they think there is even slight chance that you will not, then you will probably fail the interview and need to reapply.

Know your resume

b1/b2 visa interview

Even though you have already submitted your application, it is not too early to start thinking about the interview process!

Interviews for visa applications are usually one of two types: a brief conversation or a formal presentation. Depending on which type of interview they give you, we can tell if you need more training or practice.

It’s great to be prepared before the interview, but don’t get ahead of yourself! You should still think about what areas of your career are important to showcase and emphasize during the interview.

Also remember that even if there isn’t a lot of time, no interviewer expects you to suddenly “remember” something that you haven’t practiced in weeks. So instead of spending the time preparing things you might forget, try organizing some notes or putting thoughts into other materials to help you recall them later.

General tips for interviews include being aware of how long an interview will last, knowing who will talk with you and when, and being able to describe aspects of your job.

Prepare for the interview

b1/b2 visa interview

After arriving at your visa interview, the next thing you should do is prepare for the interview. This means gathering all of your documents, making sure your clothes are fitting room appropriate, and being able to answer any questions that may be asked!

It’s very common during a visa interview for the consulate or embassy staff to ask about potential life in Canada as well as if you have health insurance. It’s important to be prepared to discuss these things so that you don’t stumble over yourself.

Make sure to research what it would take to live in Canada and whether or not you already have everything needed. You can check out some helpful resources here.

Meet with the recruiter

b1/b2 visa interview

After arriving at the venue, you will be met by an internal or external recruiter that works for the company your visa is sponsored through. This person can speak either about the position or about the organization so they are very important to meet!

The internal recruiter will likely ask some questions about your life and work experiences as well as discuss any potential opportunities available within the organization.

They may also want to know if there are things in your life right now that could potentially get in the way of employment. For example, if you are married and expect your family to come and stay with you during this period, then working overseas may not be ideal. Or if you have other commitments such as school or children, finding accommodations and supportive services can be tricky.

By having these conversations early on, the employers can determine whether or not they feel like they will fit into their lifestyle long term, which helps mitigate risk.

The employer may also do background checks, require references, and/or conduct interviews with people who know you. All of these take time, so make sure you’re ready for that!

While it might sound scary, this process gives both you and the employer a good picture of what to expect from each other, and hopefully creates a positive experience. They want to ensure they will enjoy being around you and that you will treat them with respect.

Make a good impression

b1/b2 visa interview

Now that you are invited to an in-person interview for a visa, you should do your best to make a great first impression. You don’t want to waste this opportunity by being unprepared or lacking confidence.

While it is okay to be nervous before your initial meeting with a potential employer, you shouldn’t be too overwhelmed with fear. You will probably be asked some questions about yourself and what kind of employment you hope to find in Canada. These can be tricky topics, but if you prepare well for these then I think you’ll know what to say.

Make sure to research things like businesses in the area, anything related to the job posting (for example, if they mentioned working with colleagues, look up pictures and descriptions of different types of teams) and anything related to the country (for instance, knowing the Canadian national anthem will help you out a lot).

If you have done your homework and prepared properly, then I wouldn’t worry so much! Keep practicing your answers until you feel relaxed and confident.

Follow all the instructions

b1/b2 visa interview

Following your visa interview, you will be given some time to relax, review any notes or documents you brought with you, and prepare for your next step.

It is very important that you are ready for this meeting at least one day in advance!

Not only does the embassy need to meet you, but they also want to make sure that you have all of your documents, forms, and applications organized and easily accessible before the appointment. This way, they do not have to ask you where it is during the interview.

We recommend doing some research about how to prepare for your interview two weeks ahead of time so that you are as prepared as possible. Some things may change like the date or location, but staying up-to-date on general information will help you feel more prepared.

Be proactive

b1/b2 visa interview

After you have received your invitation, there’s one more thing you should do to be prepared for your visa interview. While it may seem like a drag, going into the interview with a well-planned schedule is the best way to stay focused and relaxed.

Before you even arrive at the venue, make sure your phone is fully charged and pack an empty bag in case they ask you to bring some items back home with you. You don’t want to be distracted or unprepared!

Once you are at the venue, let someone know where you will be sitting so that they can contact you if necessary. This way, people won’t need to look for you or try to talk to you while you’re not able to respond properly. And if you get tired, you can rest or take a short break until the next session.

Practice makes perfect

b1/b2 visa interview

Even if you are a professional in your field, visa interviews can be tricky to prepare for. They may seem simple at first, but there is always something new that they ask of you.
As professionals, you should feel prepared for anything!

That means being ready for things like having to discuss why your career has been stagnant or why your current position does not require a work visa. Or maybe even asking about whether or not you will need to return to your country after your visit.

By being well-prepared, you take away some of the nerves that could potentially make you tense up during the interview. If possible, try to do as much research as you can ahead of time so that you are not scrambling during the actual interview.