Last year, I wrote an article about my experience in getting a US visa and a lot of you left a comment and PM me on Facebook. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to write back to some of you, I was busy partying and taking shots (by shots I mean photos). 😂
On this article, I decided to focus on the most important part of your US visa interview, ‘The Frequently Asked Questions’. How are you going to respond to the Consular officer’s questions correctly? Easy-peasy. Practice. Two weeks before my scheduled interview, I did my research and I wrote down all the possible questions the Consul might ask.
Since it was my first visa application, I was nervous AF. I want to visit the US so bad so I did what I always do whenever I stand in front of a crowd. I wrote down the things I wanna say in a small sheet of paper and post it against my bedroom wall. Whenever I pass by that wall, I forced myself to read it out loud.
I know this sounds stupid but this trick worked for me. It might work for you too, who knows? All I wanna do is to help many people and encourage them to travel and see the world. I’ve helped so many strangers online sending “thank you” messages and it makes my heart happy.
I really want to help my fellow travelers to prepare for your US visa application. Here are the most frequently asked questions for B-1/B-2 US visa consul interview. I want to stress that you should be honest and never lie to the consul’s face. The US consular officers were trained and they can tell if you’re lying just by looking at your facial reaction and body movements.
1. What is the purpose of your travel to the US?
Be straight to the point. Tell the consular officer the main reason for your travel is to relax, eat good food and explore the US. Remember KISS (Keep It Short and Simple).
2. Where will you be staying in the US?
Just say you will be staying at your relative’s house or a friend’s house or Airbnb or hotel. Make sure you memorize their address.
3. Have you been to the US before?
Say no, if you haven’t. Say yes if you’ve been. Simple as that. They know the answer to that question anyways coz your online application is showing right in front of their computer screen.
4. Have you been denied a visa earlier?
Just like the previous question, they already know the answer to that question because they already did a background check with your online application.
5. Will you be traveling alone or with someone?
If you’re going to travel with someone, make sure you know their basic info. The consul might ask few additional questions about them like their status, what do they do for a living, etc.
6. Which part of the US will you be visiting?
They want to know the specific places you will be visiting. Just mention the city and state you’re planning to see. For example; You can mention the city and state like Las Vegas, Nevada or Los Angeles, California.
7. Do you have friends or relatives in the US?
Simple yes or no answer. If you have a new American “friend” that you met online, make sure they visit you first. I’m telling you this because I read so many news online about naive people getting Dextered.
8. When was the last time you see them?
If it was long ago, tell them like “about five years ago”. You don’t have to be specific.
9. What are their exact addresses?
Memorize their addresses or write it down on your hand in case you forget. If you have sweaty palms, it won’t help because it will come off anyway. 😁
10. How long have they been living in the US and what is their current status?
You have to know if your relative or friend is a green card holder or if they are US citizens. Why? Because the consul needs to know how well do you know them.
11. Where are they working and what will you do during the office hours?
Just say something like, “My friend works at Warner Bros. and while they are at work, I’ll be exploring the city on my own by taking subway or Uber.” Simple and straight to the point.
12. How long do you plan to stay in the US?
On my first visit to the US, I told the immigration officer that I will be staying in the US for about a month but ended up staying for two months. The safe answer for this is about 3 weeks to 4 weeks or less.
13. What’s your travel plan?
Create a travel itinerary. I prepared a list of the things I want to visit in the US and printed it out in case the consul wants to see it in writing. Here’s a list of templates you can use.
14. Why have you chosen the US over other countries?
Say something like you really want to visit your family and friends in the US or that you really want to travel the world and the USA is number one in your travel bucket list.
15. Do you have plans of working in the US?
Of course, you won’t say YES to this because they will deny your visa right away if you say that you have plans to work there.
16. Can you stay for a shorter period of time?
They will ask you that because they will take your travel itinerary as a reference. If you write something like one month, they will question that. If you’re an employee, show your approved vacation leave document from your Human Resources office.
17. Who is sponsoring your travel?
Say “myself” if you are, or “someone else” if not. Then their next question will depend on your answer.
18. How much do you think will it cost you to stay in the US?
Do your research and check how much it will cost to stay in that city. For example, according to my research, the average daily spend in NYC is $150 (excluding accommodation of course). But since I was staying with my cousin, I only spent less than that.
19. What do you do for a living?
The consul wants to know if you’re pretty established and you’re not looking for other opportunities in the US while on vacay. Tell them about your jobs or businesses. Make sure that you can provide a proof of income, bank statement, or certificate of employment just in case they ask for it.
20. How much do you earn?
Tell them your monthly income and say that you’ve saved enough travel funds if you did. If not, then tell them that someone else will be paying for your trip. And the consular officer will ask you the next question below.
21. Who will be paying for your trip?
If you’re young and your parents will be paying for it, tell them that. If you have a relative in the US who will be sponsoring your trip, tell them that as well. But if you have an online boyfriend in the US that you haven’t met in real life, make him visit you in the Philippines first and see how it goes.
22. Your income is not enough to support international travel. What do you plan to do?
Just say you have saved up enough money for a while and show your bank statement as a proof. If somebody else will be paying for your trip, show their financial documents. Just be prepared that you have those documents on hand in case they ask for it. But I’m telling you now, they seldom look at documents.
23. If you run a business, you may be asked: Who will look after your business in your absence?
Just say you have a business partner or an assistant that you trust. Then explain to them how your business works so they will have an idea how you gonna make this work while traveling.
24. When do you plan to travel?
Usually, it’s advisable to apply for a tourist visa 2-3 months before your intended date of travel. So if you’re planning to travel on December to see white Christmas, apply between August or September.
25. Have you traveled to another country before?
Enumerate the countries you have visited in the past 5 years. If you haven’t traveled abroad, I advice that you see other neighboring countries such as Hong Kong, Thailand, or Japan.
26. Why do you plan to travel at this time?
Just say you have been saving money for this trip and you felt ready at this time. Or say, your vacation leave was approved on those dates. Something like that.
27. When will you come back to the Philippines?
Again, this will depend on the itinerary you wrote. So make sure that the things you listed on your itinerary and your answers to the consul will sync. Or else, you will be in big trouble. 😲
28. Who will take care of your property in the Philippines while you are gone?
Just say you have family and friends who will house sit for you and assure them that everything is taken care off since you’ve been planning this trip for a while now.
29. Have you already booked your flight?
Always say NO to this because they don’t encourage travelers to book their plane tickets in advance. You can’t get a refund in most international airlines. Only book your tix once you get your visa approved.
30. How can you assure me that you will come back from the US?
Tell them that you have no intention to be an illegal alien in the US because Donald Trump will call ICE and deport you. Just kidding. 😏 Just say you don’t want to ruin your travel record and that you want to explore more places in the US in the future.
To my fellow travelers, I hope you find this article helpful in getting your US visa application. Just to make sure we’re clear, I’m not a visa expert but I will do my best to help you guys in any possible ways I can. In case you need additional help, feel free to leave a comment down below or connect with me on my social media accounts.
KT is a digital nomad who quit her job, bought a ticket somewhere, got a tan, fell in love with mother nature and she would never return to the normal life that society dictates. You can also connect with her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @pinaynomad