If you are applying for an H1B visa from your own country, you will be asked to go to the US Consulate for an interview. While this is not just a formality, there is no reason to be concerned about the interview, so long as you are prepared. Before you go, there are five things you should do in order to be ready.
1. Review the US Consulate Website for Your Country
Your own country’s US Consulate website will have specific information on the process of interviewing. This includes fee amounts, methods of payment, required documents and scheduling an appointment.
If you are applying from abroad there may be an extra fee to be paid, in addition to the petition processing fee already paid by your employer. The US consulate website for your country will have the fee amount, and you should make sure you have the correct application fee. Write your name and passport number on the check and see where and how the fees are to be paid, or you might be able to do it electronically.
2. Make an Appointment
You will have to make an appointment, and should schedule it ahead of time to get your preferred date and time. You may be able to do this online in some countries. Also, you should check the visa wait times for your country so that there is plenty of time for visa approval prior to your work start date.
3. Assemble the Required Forms and Documents
Make sure that you have all of the documents and forms that are required as part of the petition. This includes having a copy of the H1B petition that was filed by your sponsor.
The documents include copies of:
- Sponsorship job offer
- Current resume
- Degrees and transcripts
- Previous employer references
- Licenses you hold
- Other documents specified on the consulate website for your country
Organize the forms so it is easy for the officer to find specific documents, especially if they are related to common interview questions such as where you obtained your educational degree.
4. Prepare for the H1B Interview
The interview is your chance to show you are familiar with the sponsoring company, job duties and other specifics about work in the US. The Consulate is looking to make sure that there are no issues with fraud on the petition, the nature of the job or the company that you will work with.
There are common questions that are asked in each H1B interview, and a future article will review those questions and responses to help you prepare even further.
5. Rehearse Your Answers in a Confident, Professional Manner
The H1B interview should be approached like a job interview, with a little practice to give you confidence. Once you have gone over the common questions, write down your responses and rehearse them a few times. This will help you to relax before the interview, and will show the officer that you are prepared and professional in your approach.
If you follow these five steps you will be ready for the interview and avoid any delays or problems with the H1B visa approval.
- April 8th, 2016