Order of Questions:
1. What is the purpose of visit?
2. Salary per annum?
3. How many days?
4. What is your role & what work you do here?
5 What is your project name?
6. Are you going to do the same work?
I applied for Kolkata Location because it is my hometown and my passport has been issued from here.
I prepared well with all the possible questions a typical B1 interviewer could ask. This site was a huge help in accumulating the possible questions and common mistakes. Also I collected the questionnaire from the other employees who appeared in B1 previously and prepared religiously.
Tip #1. GET YOUR ANSWERS PREPARED. This will hinder your possibilities of fumbling and increase your chances of delivering correct answers.
Kolkata US Consulate is relatively less crowded(At least less crowded compared to Hyderabad as I have been there once with one of my colleagues). Be at least 30 mins prior to your interview slot. Queues are managed properly. Once you enter to the consulate you will see a small room with multiple windows. There is a reference window. Next to that is a Biometric window(we know that you already did that the other day, but you still need to go to that window). 4 other windows are there for interview including 1 for the differently able people. You may chose any of them according to your turn and complete your interview.
1. Why are you going to US?
2. Can you brief about your project that you are going to do?(This question was asked because I used a specific name of the project, VO may wanted to clarify more about that)
3. Which company do you work for?
4. Why you only should go? Can it not be handled by someone else?
5. Do you have a detailed agenda for the meetings?
6. How long have you been working with your current organization?
7. Is anybody travelling with you?
8. What is your annual income?
...and finally "Thank you! Your VISA is approved"
Tip #2. Please get all your documents ready and aligned. Having correct documents keep your confidence high.
Tip #3. VISA Officer may ask your meeting agenda, be prepared with a document.
Tip #4. Exchange usual pleasantries when you meet VISA Officer.
Tip #5. Read Tip #1. once again.
I would not like to share my interview date, but this is how my experience was:
This is my first attempt
>Attire does matter, remember you are applying for Business Visa. Though there is no need for a suit-boot and tie, your grooming and dressing should reflect your professional attitude.
>I had carried every possible document I could.
>I was observing the interview counters, though every VO as human beings are different, their approach is same. They should be convinced either to reject or to approve, so until they are convinced, they keep asking for more details. They may be convinced (to approve or reject) in first few questions or keep on asking dozens of questions.
VO : Pls handover me your passport
Me : Gave my passport
VO : What is purpost of visit
Me : <Told my purpose> Note: Be precise with choice of your words, "travelling to US", "Visiting US", "Going to US" all have different meaning. Also "Business meeting", "Business Discussion" etc are not the same, think about it before you speak out.
VO : What do you do?
Me : I wasn't sure of this question, I answered with my Designation. But he expected me to elaborate and asked me what is my role. I explained.
VO : How many days will you stay?
Me : I was again very precise with my answer, instead of answering in no. of weeks, I said I will be there of X working days, including weekends it would be Y days.
VO was typing something and handed me a slip, which I initially thought 214b but VO said : Ok sir, your Visa is approved, pls follow the instructions in this slip on how to get your passport. VO didn't ask me a single document!
I'm not yet married, I have overall experience of 7yrs+, experience with my present employer is less than a year. Salary is less slightly less than industry standard.
The repute of the company you work for DOES matter. And advantage for you if its US based.
Me: Good Morning and smiled.
VO: Very Good Morning, Passport Please
Me: Handed over the passport. I was trying to retrieve the appointment and invitation letter.
VO: Hand signalled as those documents are not needed.
VO: Why are you travelling to US ?
Me: Travelling to XXX city to attend business meeting for 2 weeks related to XXX project.
VO: was explaining something.
Me: Can you please repeat ?
VO: Nothing. Your Visa is approved.
Such a short interview left me to think that what made VO approve my B1 Visa application without asking much. Then I understood from several blogs that few applications are eligible for B1 visa based on the experience and the salary. I have 7 years of experience in the same domain and in the same company.
Bio metrics date - 27th Dec'18 and Time Slot - 2.45pm
Visa Interview date - 28th Dec'18 and Time Slot - 9.15am
1. Why are you traveling to US?
2. What is your salary?
3. What is your designation?
4. How big is your team?
5. Do you lead a team?
6. Do you have an invite letter?
7. So, you are travelling to California. Right?
8. How long have u been with current company?
9. Which was your previous company?
10. Why did u switch the company?
11. Are you married?
12. Do you own a home here?
B1- approved- second attempt- within 3 months - different location
Location: Chennai (I work here)
Date: Mid September 2018
Preparation: I was ready with the answers of few common questions and have practiced few times.
Me: Hi, Good Morning.
VO: Good Morning (with a smile). Give me your passport.
Handed over the passport.
VO: Purpose of your visit
Me: I am going to attend business meetings and meet the customer to understand their pain-points and challenges. (MISTAKE 1 - should have explained it further)
VO: How many days?
Me: 3 weeks.
VO: Which location ?
Me: Broomfield, Colorado,
VO: Who is your Client?
VO: Can you spell it.
Me: Sure. (told him the spelling and he started typing on keyboard)
VO: Define the client
Me: Told him.
VO: How much do you earn?
Me: I earn xxxx per month. Per annum it is xx LPA. (MISTAKE 2)
VO: When did u join your current organization?
Me: I am working with ABC company for 4 months.
VO: Why are they sending you in such a short time?
Me: Before working with ABC company, I was working with XYZ company for 2.8 years. And I am working with this client since I have joined my organization. Due to client requirement I have to go to the USA. (MISTAKE 3)
VO: I am not sure about this but I cannot approve your visa.
He handed me 214(B).
MISTAKE 4: I did not practice much, so I was fumbling during speaking.
MISTAKE 5: I did not elaborate any answer even when I understood the dilemma on his face regarding my answers.
Location: New Delhi (My hometown)
Date: 20th December 2018
Preparation: I made a note of all the answers possible easiest to most difficult ones and wrote answers for all of them. I practiced it daily for almost 10 days in front of mirror, friends, family.
I was applying with almost all the negative things on my side - attempt 2 in just 3 months, applying from different location, almost no change in purpose of visit, unmarried, very less exp in current organization
I was sure I will not get it.
Me: Hi, Good morning. How are you?
VO: (no response)
I handed her the passport
VO: Purpose of your visit?
Me: Told but in a way such that if I do not go things will not fall in place.
I spoke for almost 30-40 secs but VO was busy typing so I stopped.
After 10 secs of silence-
Me- I have invitation letter if you would like to see.
VO: (nodded her head in NO), still typing.
After 10 secs of more typing, she stood and went somewhere.
A loud noise inside me: I AM DOOMED. I AM NOT GETTING IT.
After waiting for 1 min or so she returned.
I smiled, no response from her side.
VO: Who is your client and what do they do?
Me: I again spoke for 30-40 secs and she was busy typing. I again stopped.
After 20 secs of silence I again started speaking because of the fear of getting rejected.
Me: Mam just for information, I am applying for the second time.
VO: (looking at her comp) Hmm
After 5 sec of silence
VO: Can I see you invitation letter.
Me: Sure (Gave the letter)
VO: For how long are you in this industry.
Me: I am working with ABC company for 7 months, before this I was working with XYZ company for 2.8 years. So I have total experience of 3.3 years.
VO: (finally looking at me) U said XYZ company?
Me: Yes, it is XYZ Company.
VO:(again looking at her screen) Oh nyc. (typing)
After 10 sec of silence
Me: (without her asking anything) So I work as a Business Analyst in ABC company so ..............(blah blah for almost 20 secs)
VO: (no reponse)
After 5 sec of silence
VO: What does your company do?
VO: Have you traveled outside India?
VO: Will you be travelling alone from your company?
Me: yes Mam
VO: Where will you be going?
Me: Broomfield, Colorado.
VO: Ok. Approved.
Me: Ok Mam. Thank you.
A loud noise inside me: OHHH YEAAHHHH!!!
- I was dressed in a very formal attire. Coat, shirt, formal pant and Company ID CARD.
- No questions asked related to my second attempt or different location
- I fumbled few times but far lesser than last time.
- I elaborated each and everything.
I was very clear of what I was speaking and every time the reason was same as written in invitation letter and DS-160 form.
- Be very clear with purpose of visit. That 1 answer defines everything.
- Try to portray yourself as very important resource of your organization and your absence in USA will adversely affect things around you.
Visa interview date : 20-Dec-2018
Location : Hyderabd
Time : 8:30 slot
ME: Good Morning!!
VC: Good Morning
VC: Why are going to Ohio?
ME: To attend business meeting with Business and End Users of my Client.
VC: How long you’re going to Stay in US?
ME: 14 days
VC: How long your with currrent company?
Me: 11 months. But, Prior to current company I have 6 years of experience.
VC: What kind of Meetings/conferences you attend during this period
ME: I Need to understand the various Warehouse operations from business users of my client and need to explain my team here in India .
VC: Who is your client? Who’s warehouse it is?
ME : XX client
VC: What is your income:
ME : X in INR
VC: Ok ! Is this your annual income?
ME: No, Monthly
VC: So, It would be around X lakhs per annum is your package I guess?
ME: No, It is X lakhs per annum but with tax and other deduction. I am earning X INR Monthly..
VC: Your Visa got approved. Have a Pleasant Trip to US!!!
ME: Thank You J
Proper Eye contact with VC and smile on your face.
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