Common Immigration Questions at US Airports

I have long been the go-to person for many of my friends and relatives wanting to know all about the questions immigration officers tend to ask at the port of entry of B1/B2 visa holders travelling to America. While I usually tell them that there is no regular pattern or format, I also warn them that the officers are likely to pick random questions, based on how they perceive you at the moment.

However, if you look closely, the questions basically revolve around some information the immigration officers want to get from you and about you. Then there are times when they are only interested in verifying the information they have about the passenger.

Related reading: Common B1/B2 Visit Visa Interview Questions

To ease the process for those travelling to the US on B1/B2 visas, I have compiled a list of questions that immigration officers are known to ask most often. But remember that this is neither a complete nor guaranteed list of questions.

Commonly Asked Question at the Port of Entry

Here are some common B1 visa immigration questions.

  • Why are you visiting the US?

The answer has to have tourism or business, since it is the B1/B2 visa you have applied for.

  • Do you have any relatives in US?

If your answer is Yes, they might ask you details of the friends and family members in America. This will help them verify your US connection.

  • How long do you intend to stay in America?

The major reason the US government is so strict with their visa regulations and eligibility criteria is that they do not wish for travelers to overstay their visa in the US. It is for this reason that they are interested in knowing how long you intend to stay in the country.

  • Where will you stay?

Here, you’ll have to provide the name and contact details of the friends or family member with whom you will be staying in the US. If you are going to be staying at a hotel, give those details instead.

  • What will be your itinerary? What are the places you wish to see?

While you need to provide details, remember to be as precise as you can. Give dates, places, travel plans, mode of travel to the officer. They might ask you to show your hotel bookings too.

  • What are the source of funds for this trip?

The US can be an expensive country. The immigration officers would not want you to end up without the needed finances half way through your trip. This might give you a reason to extend your stay in the US.

  • When are you going back?

This is indeed the most important question. Many people enter in the US on a B1/B2 visa and then start working here. This is absolutely illegal. Immigration officers need to gain confidence that you intend to return to your home country and not stay on illegally.

Stay prepared. They might ask you some unusual question, like who is your favorite actor or movie. Well, that completely depends on the officer taking the interview, who might use these questions to create a comfortable and relaxing environment for you.

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Useful Tips

  • Remember everything that you have mentioned in the visa application, since the immigration officer can ask you anything from it.
  • The immigration process is not meant to be a nightmare and the officers are not monsters. Answer confidently and honestly, just the way you would have done in any other formal interview.

Lastly, I would advise you to stay calm. If you have all the documents needed and genuinely do not wish to do anything illegal in the country, there is no cause for concern.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.

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