O1 Visa Interview
For those that are applying for the O1 visa from inside the U.S. (i.e. transferring from another nonimmigrant visa class), you will not need to go through an O1 visa interview.
First of all, an O1 visa interview is only for those that are outside the U.S. at the time of their petition’s approval. These applicants will need to go through consular processing, meaning that they will need to fill out a DS-160 online nonimmigrant application and bring it to a U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country.
Most applicants will need to schedule and participate in a one-on-one interview with a consular officer. However, for an O1 visa, the interview requirement varies.
What To Bring to Your O1 Visa Interview
Here are the O1 visa interview documents that you will need to bring to the U.S. consulate or embassy:
- The printed confirmation page of your DS-160 application
- Your O1 visa interview appointment letter
- A valid passport that will be valid for at least 6 months after your intended period of stay in the U.S.
- A photograph according to the Department of State guidelines
- The I-797 Approval Notice from the USCIS
- The printed receipt for the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee
Finally, take these documents to the U.S. consulate or embassy on your appointment date and pay any unpaid fees. Your biometrics will be taken (i.e. fingerprints) and you will be called for your O1 visa interview, which can take as little as 20 minutes. If the interview is successful, then your visa will be put in your passport and you will be able to travel to the U.S. as an O1 visa holder.
Purpose O1 Visa Interview
Remember that the purpose of your O1 visa interview is to make sure that your identity is correct and that you are fully qualified for the visa. The officer will ask you simple questions about you personally and questions about your job in the U.S. and your background. Just because the USCIS approved your petition does not mean that the consular officer cannot deny your visa at the interview.
Above all, the idea is to answer each question clearly, honestly, and without hesitation. This will help the officer determine that your case is not fraudulent and that you will be an asset to the U.S. upon arrival.
Sample O1 Visa Interview Questions
Here are some samples questions that you may expect to receive during your O1 visa interview:
- What is your name?
- What company/organization do you work for?
- Have you ever been to the U.S. before? If so, when?
- Are you planning on returning to your home country?
- How long have you been working in your field?
- How long have you worked for your employer?
- How did you first get in contact with your employer?
- Currently, what is your salary?
- What work have you done for your employer in the past?
- What work will you be doing in the U.S.?
- How long do you plan on staying in the U.S.?
- Where will you be living while in the U.S.?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If so, what was the crime?
- Why do you need to be in the U.S. to fulfill your goal?
- What qualifications do you have to fill the position?
Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list. Your consular officer may ask you many questions that are not on this list or may not ask you the above questions at all. This list is only to give you an idea of what to expect at your O1 visa interview.