The H1B visa, under the section 101(a)(15)(H) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, allows US employers to hire foreign professionals who have the knowledge and technical expertise in areas of specialization like engineering, architecture, medicine, etc., as required for a specific job. It is the most commonly obtained visa by individuals who wish to work in the US.
H1B visa requires a very comprehensive screening process, which also includes an interview at the US consulate in your city. In India, the US consulate in Chennai holds the #1 position in processing employment visas among all the US consulates in the world.
The H1B Visa Interview
This is the step of the visa application process that worries people the most. What you need to know is that the questions are classified into 3 categories, General, Qualifications, Prior Experience and Current Employer. The key to cracking the interview is to remain confident and honest, while avoiding appearing overconfident or arrogant.
Don’t forget to get insurance.
It is recommended that you get travel insurance when traveling to USA, as medical expense (even for common flu) can run into hundreds of dollars! Here are some of the best insurance for US visitors.
Here’s a look at the most common questions asked during the interview.
Why do you wish to visit the United States of America?
Be honest and tell them about the job opportunity and what it means for your career, as well as for you personally.
What will your job be at the US company?
Mention the position you have been hired for and the responsibilities it entails. Don’t forget to mention your office address in the US, since the USCIS might wish to verify the information.
Why do you want to work in the US?
Talk about why you wanted to work in America, such as global exposure, better salary, career growth, new experiences, or whatever your specific reason might be.
Have you ever visited the US before?
If you have visited America before, tell them about your previous trip, what it was for, where you went and what you saw. They just want to get an idea about you and your intentions of going to the US.
Are you planning to return to India? If yes, why?
Here too, it is best to be honest. If your position is a temporary one, you might have to leave once the tenure is over. So, provide the details honestly because they will verify all information.
Questions About Your Qualifications
What are your educational qualifications?
This is a simple question. It is best to bring along your degrees and certificates and show them while telling the consular officer about the qualifications that make you suitable for the job in the US.
Which subject did you excel at?
Mention the subject and give reasons why you did well in this subject.
Did you do research in any subject while studying?
Make sure you provide verifiable answers and details regarding any research you might have done. If you haven’t participated in research, be honest about that too.
Current Employer/Prior Experience
Which company do you currently working for?
Give the details of your current place of employment. If you have any documents to support it, you can show them too.
What are your responsibilities at your current job?
Briefly describe your responsibilities from the smallest ones to the most important ones.
For how long have been employed here?
Why do you want to change your employer?
Again, answer truthfully about the opportunities you seek in the US.
Make sure you dress formally and appear relaxed and friendly. The interview is only to see that it is a genuine case and not someone wanting to illegally live in the US.