My appointment was scheduled for 8:30am at the US Embassy in London, located close to Nine Elms tube station. I arrived to the embassy at around 7:45am and joined a long queue outside. The queue moved quickly and within 10 minutes I reached the security checkpoint. I was asked for my passport and DS-160 confirmation page. After a quick check of these documents, I was directed inside the security screening building. I passed through the metal detector and was asked to make my way across the courtyard to the main embassy building. Inside, my DS-160 confirmation page was checked again and I was issued with a number. I then made my way to the lifts and up to the first floor marked ‘Visa Services’. Once there, I took a seat and watched the screen for my number to be called. Once called, I went to the window number stated on the screen and passed the officer two copies of my I-129S along with my passport. The officer checked these over, slipped them into a plastic folder and passed them back to me. My fingerprints were then scanned and finally I was asked to make my way to another window to pay the ‘Fraud Prevention’ fee. This was for $500 and I paid using a credit card. Next I returned to the waiting area and watched the screen for my number (the same number as before) to be called again. After about 20 minutes my number was displayed and I went to the window indicated. I had to wait while another interview was being concluded and then the officer called me forward. The interview went like this:
VO: Good morning! How are you? (very friendly)
Me: Good morning! I’m well thank you. How are you?
VO: Good thank you. Please may I see your documents.
(I handed her my documents pack).
VO: So I see this is your first time applying for an L visa?
Me: Yes that’s correct.
VO: Ok. Please can you tell me about the company you work for:
Me: I work for XXX. We do XXXX
VO: And what role do you do?
Me: Explained my role and the unique specialised skill set I have
VO: How long have you worked there?
Me: 4 years, 5 months (be exact with this)
VO: Tell me a little more about the role you do
Me: Went into further detail about what I do and the tools I use.
VO: Ok, thank you.
(VO then began typing and then stamped my I-129S)
VO: Ok – your visa has been approved and you will receive your documentation within a week. Enjoy your stay in the US!
Me: Thank you very much! Take care.
I then headed back to the lifts and exited the building.
Overall the process was efficient, easy and very professional. My main tips are:
- Be calm, confident, smile, and maintain eye contact with the VO.
- If you fumble your works, stop and calmly start again
- Wear a suit. I honestly saw someone go for his interview wearing a Grateful Dead baseball cap. Ridiculous.
- Be prepared. Have all your documents ready and bring $500 in case your credit card doesnt work.
I recently appeared for L1 blanket visa interview in May, 2022.
Overall process was very smooth and everyone at the embassy was very helpful.
Adding my experience for reference.
We passed through many security points before going inside.
At the reception, they asked us to separate 2 sets of I-129s and I-797, primary applicant’s passport and DS-160.
They made a bunch of it and stamped a small paper to it and asked us to move forward.
Then we went inside a hall where one counter was for payment and rest counters were for interview.
After waiting for some time, I was asked to go alone and make payment.
The person at the counter attached a receipt to the documents and told me to go back to waiting area.
After few minutes, we were asked to wait behind a candidate whose interview was going on.
We waited at the counter for around 5 minutes while the previous candidate was getting interviewed.
Then our turn came and we greeted the VO and she greeted us back.
She told me to stand near the micro-phone side.
VO: So, XXXX Company?
VO: Tell me about the products of XXXX.
Me: XXXX offers products related to ......., etc.
VO: So XXXX manufactures medical devices?
Me: No, they do not produce medical devices but measuring devices like transmitters, meters, control valves, etc.
VO: Which industries use these products?
Me: Process industries like oil and gas, paper and pulp, food and beverages, pharma, marine, etc.
VO: Are these devices used in manufacturing plants?
Me: Yes, they are.
VO: Do you use any tools in daily activities?
Me: Yes, I use our .... tool to generate documents from configured code.
VO: What will be your salary?
Me: …. USD annually.
VO: When did you get married?
Me: I answered the date.
VO: Tell me any 3 things about your marriage or relationship?
Me: I told her about our marriage date, engagement date, it was an arranged marriage and where was our first trip after marriage.
She asked me to scan my left hand fingers.
To my husband:
VO: So you work for YYYY?
VO: Are you a software engineer?
Husband: No, I am a ….
She asked him to scan right hand fingers.
VO: I am approving your visa. You should receive your passports in a week’s time.
L1B Individual RFE approved. waiting for appointment.
Hi all can you please suggest me or guide how I have to get ready for L1B Individual Visa interview.
I have over all 13.5 years.
L1B Blanket rejected 2017.
Now I'm applying for L1B Individual. 10 years in same company & relevant 10 years experience in same project with all preparatory tools. What are all the possibility in interview. Can you please guide me. Really Immihelp helped a lot , nearly 178 pages I read out.
First, I would like to thank the immihelp community members for posting all their previous experiences. It really helped a lot 😊
Here is my visa interview experience. The interview lasted for about 8 minutes including exchanging of pleasantries, talking about our university, fingerprint work and the actual questions.
Officer: Hello, Good morning, how is it going? (with a pleasant smile)
Officer: Please hand over your documents
Me: Here you go sir!
Officer: So, you work with XXX company?
Me: Yes sir!
Officer: Is your family here with you today?
Me: Yes sir, they are behind me in the sitting area. Do you want them to come here?
Office: Not required now, may be towards the end for fingerprints.
Me: OK sir
Officer: Where will you work in the USA?
Officer: Oh ok, close to XXX right?
Me: Yes, sir.
Officer: Have you worked in the USA before?
Me: Yes sir! I was on a H1B.
Office: The same company sponsored your H1B?
Me: Yes sir!
Officer: When were you on H1B?
Me: From 2013 to 2017 sir
Officer: Where did you go to school?
Me: XXX university.
Officer: Oh wow, I went to the same school too (with a smile)
Me: Great sir! 😊
We then discussed a few things about the university and the professors.
Officer: Where will you work in the USA? (Repeated the previous question but looks like it was since he forgotten the question was already asked before)
Officer: How long have you been with your company?
Me: 8.5 years (This was a tricky question for me since I had a 1 year break in between that could have confused the officer. But I went with my attorney’s advice of mentioning the overall experience unless they ask “How long have you been with the current role”)
Officer: What you will be your title?
Officer: You are applying for an L1A; Will people report to you?
Me: No, sir. I will be a functional manager for the product xxx
Officer: (In a very friendly tone) So, you know that L1A has very specific managerial or executive requirements, right?
Me: Yes, sir.
Officer: What are your qualifications that make you qualify for this?
Me: I work as a functional manager for product xxx and I will be xxx (my role). I will be accountable for all aspects ….. (Spoke about the discretionary authority/importance of the role for about 30 seconds)
Officer: What will be the budget that you will manage?
Me: Mentioned the revenue impact of my product line. (it was a sizeable number)
Officer: How many years of managerial experience do you have? (At this point, he had already hit a stamp on my I-129s))
Me: More than 13 years
Office: Got it!
Officer: Could you place your left four fingers?
Officer: Please call your wife and have her place her left four fingers
Officer: OK, your visa is approved, you will have your passport in a week’s time. Please carry the approved I-129s as they ask for it at the port of entry. Have a nice stay at the USA
Me: Thank you sir!
I got a green slip of visa approval and an attested copy of I-129s with a stamp and circled on L1A with a visa validity end date.
Overall, the officer had a very pleasant demeanor.
Tips for the interview
1. Keep your answers crisp.
2. Keep eye contact.
3. Show that you are confident of your case. I prepared a lot to keep the answers brief so that I would not stutter during the interview. Some of the immihelp friend’s guidance helped me prepare for this.
Formal wear for the Biometric.
Blazer and formal wear for the interview. I noticed that most of the L1A folks had a Blazer on.
This is a very straightforward exercise. Just go with your appointment letter, DS160 confirmation pages and original passports. If you have a dependent who is below 14 years, pls take 2 photographs (per specification). The photo will be scanned.
They take your fingerprints, photos and give you a stamped DS160 confirmation. Please ensure you retain this as they ask for the stamped DS160 at the Consular Visa center during your interview appointment.
Visa interview logistics
My appointment was at 10 AM but I was there at 9.25 AM. I had my 3-year old Daughter with me and asked if I can jump the queue. But it looked like there were many other toddlers and kids. There was not the usual crowd that you would see at a US embassy
• They ask for your passports and DS160 right at the gate.
• You will be asked to clear the security line (Empty pockets etc. Belt/Shoe can be on) – Make sure you don’t carry any electronic devices, not even in switch off mode, not even car keys.
• You will enter a building where a person sitting ther directs you to assemble documents- Passports, 2 copies of I-129s, 2 copies of I-797, Attested DS-160 of the principal applicant, Demand Draft for Fraud fee; If you don’t have the DD, carry cash or credit card for paying the fraud fee.
• You will be asked to sit in a separate queue and then you go to the main building with a separate queue for L1 blanket
• Pay the fraud fee, and again wait in the queue (L1 blanket had separate queue).
• Then you are directed to the visa officer for the interview.
If you have questions, please reach out to me. Will be happy to give back to this community!
Once this is done you will be asked to go inside another building.
There will be separate lines.. and first thing for L1 candidate will be payment of fraud fee.
Then they will ask to follow a que for interview
Once you reach the window of officer:
Me: Good mrng sir
Officer: Good mrng, can you provide me the documents
Me: Given the documents
Officer: can u put your fingers on biometric
Officer: which visa are you applying for
officer: which company
Officer: okay what is your role
Me: I am functional manager for a product which is in build company product
Officer: okay what is the product name
Me: provided details about the product in a brief
Officer : verified the product in the system and clarified the product
Officer: how many members are you managing
Me: 12 here and 6 approved in US
Officer: what is your salary
Me: xx k
Me: provided location details
Okay your visa is approved. Before stamping he asked me again which visa L1 A or B. I told him L1 A. He circled L1A.
I went through the visa interview and the officer stamped on I-129S as L1A and also provided dates for 3 years and mentioned visa is approved and I will be getting the passport within a week.
But he also mentioned that he will have to check with his supervisor if it would be an L1A or L1B? I am not sure what it means.
Appointment - 6th April 11AM
He asked me a standard set of questions
VO - Company name
Me - XXX
VO - Which type of visa
Me - L1A
VO - How long with the company?
Me - 9 + years
VO - How many years of managerial experience?
Me - 5 years
VO - Do you manage people?
Me- I mentioned I manage people as well as projects
VO - Have you been earlier on L1 or any other visa?
Me - I Mentioned all my previous visas (B1, H1B, and F1) (Note: All more than 9 years back)
VO - What is your highest education
Me - I replied
VO - Which location you will be going to?
Me - I answered
VO - Where is it located exactly?
Me - I explained it to him.
VO - How many people are you managing?
Me - I told him my current reports (8) and my future role (11)
VO - He again asked me what would be doing other than people management?
Me - I mentioned the project management part as well.
VO - I am approving your visa as requested as L1A and you will get your passports within a week. Although I have to check with my supervisor if you would qualify for L1A or L1B. He then gave me 1 stamped copy of the I-129S form with L1A circled and the dates as well and kept my passport.
It's been 3 business days since the interview. My status on the website still shows "Administrative processing".
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