04/06/2013 18:49:34 PM
I wanted to share some suggestions about what matters and what doesn't during your interview for Blanket L1 interviews...
1) The company that is filing the petition. Being in IT isnt necessarily a drawback. But if your employer has a history of visa fraud or has more than 50% of US employees that are not US citizens, it is unlikely you will get approval on a blanket application.
2) Your eligibility under the visa category (manager or specialized knowledge) you are applying. Managing a large team isn't significant. You must demonstrate your skills and value to the organization. Part of that value is the salary and position offered in the US. If its sub-par vs American salaries, you have a problem.
3) DS 160: The VFO has only your employers petition and the DS 160 as immediate reference. DS 160 is the most important as he is going to refer to this online. The job description part of this form is the reference for your interview. In many cases (including mine), he won't even ask for your CV!
4) Communication and English: You are going to work in the US. Atrocious English and not communicating confidently with the visa officer are major reasons for rejections. Also, during the interview, elaborate your answers. Short answers mean either you are hiding something or don't know enough about your job.
1) Nationality: As I wrote above, if you have the right qualifications under the category applied for, and your company isn't under a watch list, Indian or any other nationality will not impact the outcome.
2) Dress: Dress normally, formally, probably the way you go to work every day. The VFO doesn't care an iota about lingerie he cant see (that post was honestly hilarious) or how dapper/glamorous you look. Tie and blazer (and pearl necklaces and facials:-):-)) are okay, but they aren't requirements for a positive outcome.
I appeared for the interview on 3rd March with my wife and 2 year old son.(Don't carry metal/electronic objects to the embassy for a hassle free entrance.) We went in, presented the documentation, paid the fraud detection fee and settled down for an hour long wait. From my thick sheaf of papers, the doc officer just took the I129s, DS160 copy of blanket petition for me and just DS 160 for my wife and son. NOTHING ELSE. I am also thankful the embassy was kind enough to provide a play area for kids. My son spent the entire time coloring and making a lot of noise, which was tolerated with kindness....
During the interview, the VFO (Vice consul as per his name-card) just asked 3 questions. How long have you worked for this company? What do you do now? What will you do in the US? I took 2-3 minutes to reply to each of his questions. Then he turned at my wife and said, Ma'am, I hope you like the Austin area. He was formal but extremely cordial and kind. I must add that all during the interview, my son was smiling at a cute girl sitting behind the VFO, and she was smiling and waving back. It made all of us smile, including the VFO. Finally, he said that we would get our visa in 3-5 days. We got it in 3. I was dressed in jeans and sweater. No tie. A blazer I wear to work, and that only because it was cold.
All the best,