The US visa refusal rate for Indians has seen the rise in recent years. A new rule states that visa applications can be rejected on the basis of minor errors in the application, without giving the applicant a chance for explanation. And, even if you have strong paperwork, the visa interview is still a major hurdle in obtaining the tourist visa.
To get started, let’s take a look at the basic questions that you could be asked at the interview.
Why Do You Want to Visit the United States?
Have You Been to the United States Before?
Answer this with a “yes” or “no,” depending on your previous visits. Remember, the consular officer will verify if you are telling the truth.
How Long Will You Stay in the US?
Give the exact number of months or days of your trip.
What is Your Permanent Address?
Mention your residential address, as provided in the visa application form.
Which Company Do You Work for and What’s Your Job Profile?
Provide information about your employer and the responsibilities associated with your job role. Also, include other details, such as duration of employment and annual CTC. Ensure that all this information is accurate, since it will be crosschecked by the consulate. It is recommended that you carry an employment verification letter, last 3 months’ salary slips and tax receipts to support your statement.
Have You Applied for Leave at Your Company?
You need to clearly state that you are on an authorized leave of absence during your US trip. This will assure them that there is no risk of you getting fired and becoming a liability on the US government. It would be better to carry a certificate or a leave application from your company to the visa interview.
Do You Hold Any Assets in India?
While answering this question, mention all types of assets that you possess. These can include commercial or residential properties, motor vehicles, among others. Also, make sure you mention all the immovable assets, since this will reassure the consulate that you have enough reasons to return to your home country.
Who Will Look After the Business in Your Absence? (For Business Owners)
In case you have hired someone to take care of your business while you’re gone, mention this to the consular officer, along with complete information on the individual. If you haven’t hired anyone, and are in a partnership, inform the interviewer that your partner will take care of things in your absence and provide information on your partner.
Why Do You Want to Stay for Such a Long Time? Can’t You Shorten Your Trip?
This question is asked in case you have planned a trip for six months or longer. Respond politely about why the stay is for such a duration. You can mention your itinerary for the duration to emphasize the chosen timeframe.
How Can You Assure Us That You Will Return to India After the Trip Ends?
A very critical question in terms of getting the visa tourist visa approved. State that you have a family in your home country, a job, or other dependants and responsibilities that will make you return. Carry the relevant documents to put forward a strong case before the interviewer.
Why Do You Want to Visit the United States During This Time?
Mention the reason for making the visit during that particular month. It can be to attend a festival, event, to enjoy the weather or any other genuine reason.
Do You Have Any Relatives in the United States?
Give the names of all your close relatives in the United States, if any, along with the relationship. Don’t provide any other information unless explicitly asked for.
What Is Your Travel Plan?
Provide information on your complete travel itinerary, which can include tourist destinations (with specific names), to spend some quality time with friends and family among others.
What are the Expenses Involved in Your Visit?
Provide an estimate of the total costs, including travel and accommodation expenses. Also, give a brief idea of the amount you will be spending on various activities.
Who is Going to Sponsor Your US Trip?
If your trip is self-sponsored, inform this to the consular officer. In case there is a sponsor, provide information on the person who is going to bear your travel and accommodation expenses.
Where Will You Stay During Your Trip?
Give the full address of the place you will stay during the trip. Ensure that it matches the address mentioned in your DS-160 application form.
Questions for Sponsored Trips
Applicants who are being sponsored by an individual residing in the US need to keep the following questions in mind.
What Does Your Sponsor Do for a Living and How Much Do They Earn?
Mention the name of the company where the individual works, along with their job title and annual income. To support the answer, you will need to carry appropriate financial documents from your sponsor. Also, the income stated in your answer should be identical to the one mentioned in the visa application.
For How Long Has Your Sponsor Been in the US?
Inform the officer about the exact duration for which the person has been in the United States.
What is the Visa Status of Your Sponsor?
Provide the correct visa status of the individual. For example, if the person is working in a specialty occupation, mention the H-1B visa. Also, inform about the visa status that your sponsor entered the country on.
When Did You Last Meet Your Sponsor?
Provide details of the month and year when you last met your US trip sponsor. Additionally, the consulate may also contact them to verify your answer, so it’s better to be accurate.
Apart from these, there can be more questions to ensure that you are in sound mental and physical condition to travel to the US. These will be quite simple to answer, if you’re honest. One golden rule is that all the information in your tourist visa application should match your answers at the interview.
Also, remember to carry all relevant documents, along with a cover letter, on the day of your visa interview.