For first-timers, it is sometimes intimidating to apply for a US Tourist B1 / B2 Visa. Hearing ‘denied’ stories from your friends and relatives may add to your worries too. You thought, “If they have been denied a US tourist visa, then what are the chances for me to get approved?”
My first tip for you, STOP being PESSIMISTIC. Stop attracting the negative vibes and start thinking that you have been approved already – even if your appointment is days or weeks from now. You know me, right? I believe in the Law of Attraction.
You see, when you keep on thinking that you will be denied, it will manifest during your interview. You will look nervous, your voice will crack, and the consul might feel that you are hiding something. That’s the perfect formula for a denied visa.
You wouldn’t want that. Would you?
Just so you know, aside from the documents required by the US embassy, it is also important that you know how to respond to the questions correctly. While it matters that your documents can prove that you will go back to your home country, you still need to have conviction during the interview proper.
To help you prepare for your visa application, here are some of the basic questions during a US B1/ B2 tourist visa consul interview. Always remember, NEVER LIE. They already did a background check on you when you applied online!
1. Why do you want to go to the USA?
Say you want to go on a tour and to see what the USA has to offer. After all, you are applying for a US TOURIST visa so your answer should be as simple as that.
2. Have you been to the USA before?
You might think that the best answer is YES, and you feel that this is your instant ticket for getting a visa. You are wrong! If you haven’t been to the US, don’t lie. Just be honest because lying will get you nowhere.
3. Why do you plan to travel at this time?
Simply answer that it is your most available time or it is your annual leave from work. If you have other reasons such as having enough savings recently for the trip, then tell the truth.
4. Who are you going with to the USA?
Are you going with your relatives or friends? Just make sure you know the basic information of the people you are going with. If you wanted to meet your American boyfriend who you met online and never met in person, I highly suggest you ask him to visit you in the Philippines first!
5. Which places are you planning to visit?
It wouldn’t hurt to do research on the places you plan to visit before you go to your interview. Let me know if you need further help with this and I would be more than willing to help you. I suggest that you start with the spots near your accommodation because it is more feasible.
6. How long do you plan to stay in the USA?
Carefully study your itinerary and base your answer from there. Or if you are an employee, check your leave credits and talk to your Human Resources representative on your allowed leaves. If you can bring a form or letter during your interview stating your leave credits, that can help as well.
Remember, if you get an approved USA visa, you’ll surely get a 10-year multiple entry visit visa!
7. Can you stay for a shorter period of time?
Similar to the above, you can defend and defend your answer based on your itinerary. And if someone from the US will act as your ‘tour guide’, simply say that you need to adhere with their schedule as well. Hence, a need for a longer time to stay in the US.
8. How much do you think will it cost you to stay in the USA?
This is why we strongly suggest that you create an itinerary for your US trip. This will give you an idea of how much you need to spend for the entire vacation. You can contact me and I could help you with your USA Itinerary, details here.
9. What do you do for a living?
Tell your job, your businesses, and other side jobs, if any. This will give the consul an idea if your employer is credible enough. Similarly, they need to know that you are established in your home country and that you are not going to the US for greener pasture. Here are few requirements to strengthen your claim that you will be back and will not look for job opportunities while on ‘vacation’.
- Certificate of Employment
- Proof of Income for the last 3 months
- Business permits
- Bank statements
Be prepared and bring these documents on your interview, most of the time the Consul won’t ask you to show the proof! For people who work online, I know that feeling of not having those Income Tax Return report etc. I highly suggest you print your income transactions on your Paypal account if you’re a writer or a designer then compile all of your online portfolios.
10. How much do you earn for a living?
Just tell the correct figures. After all, these can all be seen from the documents you have presented during your online application. And if they feel that it is not enough for your trip, might as well prepare for the next question.
11. How will you finance your trip?
Show proof that you have saved if any. Or if you are going to be sponsored, get the information from your sponsors. Know what they do for a living and get necessary supporting documents like bank statements, job certificate, tax details etc.
12. Do you have relatives in the USA?
Never lie or deny this even if you won’t visit them on your trip, you must know their names and a few basic information including their status in the US. Sometimes, it would help if you have photos with you to further prove your claim.
13. Do you have friends in the USA?
Similar to the above, know their names and also the basic information but if they’re not really significant to you then just say so.
14. What are their exact addresses?
Try to get their exact addresses before the interview. Don’t just say that they live in Los Angeles or in New York but rather, be specific. Review the information before you go to the interview and always come prepared esp if you mentioned about them on your online application.
15. (For visiting Relatives/ Friends) How long have they been living in the USA and what are their current status?
I strongly encourage that you spend time chatting and interviewing your relatives and friends in the US if the purpose of your visit is to meet them. It will really help you to become more confident in front of the consul.
16. (For visiting Relatives/ Friends) Where are they working and what will you do during the office hours?
As I have said, get as much information because the consul would like to know if you are just making up stories. Expect to be bombarded with questions. The questions might be redundant but that’s how they will know if you are indeed telling the truth. And when asked what are your plans during the hours and days that your ‘sponsors’ are working, you can say that you are planning to go on short solo day trips near the area so that you can maximize your stay.
17. Do you have plans of working in the USA?
HUGE NO, and never attempt to work in the US while you are there on a TOURIST VISA. Otherwise, you might get deported and will never see US soil once again. Never even mention that you’re looking for opportunities. NEVER EVER!
18. Have you already booked your plane tickets?
Look for possible booking dates and say that you are eyeing on those dates for your US trip. Have the flight details ready, if possible but don’t pay for the flights yet until you get your visa approved. The flight ticket is not a requirement!
19. Have you traveled to other countries before?
Be honest because they will know if you haven’t. Everything can be validated easily and they have the means to check if you are telling the truth. I always tell my travel coaching clients that it’s better if you get more passport entry stamp from any nearby countries esp those that are visa-free or visa-on-arrival for Philippines passport, you can check the list of those countries here.
20. How can you assure that you will come back home?
Show the letter from your employer, if you have any. If you have businesses that you currently take care of, explain it. Or, you can tell them that you don’t plan on ruining your travel records because you still plan to see more places in the future.
My general tip, BE PREPARED and NEVER LIE! These consuls are trained to know if you are lying, so always have the best intentions if you are going to the USA. We want you to have clear records so you can travel the world without facing challenges in the future.
If you need further help with your US Visa application, contact me here. I’ll be also releasing some prepared Itinerary that you can use for visa applications.
- How to Apply for USA Tourist Visa
- Visa Free Countries with Valid USA Visa on your Philippine Passport
- Consul Interview Questions and How to Answer them for US Tourist Visa Application
- How to Travel and Work in The USA Legally – Complete Guide on Getting J1 US Visa
- 10 USA Visa Denial Rumors – Is it a Myth or Fact for USA Visa Application of Philippines Passport Holders??
Note: I am not a ‘travel agent’ but I can help you with your online application. Let me assist you in preparing for your interview. I can also assist you in organizing your requirements and I can even suggest an itinerary which is obviously all-important when you apply for a visa.
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