If there’s one thing that got me really excited about applying for a US Tourist Visa, it’s the interview process. I’ve always wondered what the consul will ask me, and how my interview will be different from those I’ve read online.
True enough, my interview was different from the rest. Here is how it transpired (I tried my best to remember all the questions asked to me) and some explanation on why I answered that way:
PS. If you’re looking for the process you have to go through before the interview, read my first blog: How To Apply For A US Visa.
Consul: Good morning!
Me: Hello! How are you?
C: I’m good. Why do you plan to go to the US?
M: I plan to go to Guam. I’ll be writing about the island to help promote it to the Filipino audience. I’m a travel blogger so this is what I do. I also lead the largest blogging group in the South, Cebu Blogging Community.
Tip: I gave them an idea on how they can benefit from my trip. I also said the second part so the consul will think that traveling isn’t new to me. I also strengthened my social ties by saying I am not just an ordinary blogger, but a lead of a huge community.
C: So what’s your profession?
M: I do blogging full time.
Tip: Sound confident even if you’re not. Fake it till you make it!
C: How is that a profession?
M: I earn through paid posts, ads, and partnerships with brands and businesses.
Tip: Don’t speak jargons. Speak in a way anyone who isn’t familiar with what you do will understand.
C: So you have a travel blog? What’s your URL?
C: *types my blog url and checks my site*
Tip: If you’re a blogger, make sure your “About me” page is updated and looks professional. Feature your best articles in the home page, and add a page with all your past projects (if you have any). I am yet to do all these, so I’m thankful that he found my website credible enough. :)
C: So how many visits do you get in a month?
M: 40,000 unique visits per month.
Tip: I wasn’t actually sure about this, so it would be nice to check your Google Analytics before hand. Since I had no idea, I stated a number that is achievable! In fact, after I got in the hotel, I realized have over 40,000 visits per month. Thank you!
C: How much do you make in a month after expenses?
Tip: Blurt a number. Don’t hesitate! Not being to reply right away only signals that you’re making things up and the consul will want to ask you more about your financial capability.
C: What other countries have you visited in the past?
Me: Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, India.
Tip: If you haven’t visited any country, you can say that you have plans to travel abroad this year or the next. Mention at least three countries.
C: *Looks at my passport* How about Sri Lanka?
Me: Layover when I was traveling to India. I was there in partnership with Kerala’s Tourism Industry.
Tip: Form ties in any way you can. In here, I told my economic ties by saying that I have partnerships with big departments such as Kerala Tourism.
C: Okay your application is approved. Please wait for your passport in the mail. :)
M: Yey! Thanks. I appreciate your time. Have a great day!
Frequently Asked Questions By US Consuls
These are my observations from waiting for almost two hours for my number to be called.
- Why do you want to go to the US?
- Do you have family in the US?
- Who will pay for your trip?
- Where will you stay there?
- What is your profession / business?
- How long have you been in that company / How long have you had your business?
- If you have a business, how many employees do you have?
- How much do you usually earn a month? How much do you take home after expenses?
- When exactly do you plan to go the US?
- How long will you stay there?
- Where you will stay in the US?
- Be confident. If you’re not, fake it.
- Mention that traveling isn’t new to you (if it’s truly is).
- Don’t overthink things. Only answer the questions they’re asking. Don’t open a can of worms.
- Always mention social and economic ties. It doesn’t have to be monetary. It can be your affiliations with groups and businesses.
- Mention a benefit they can get from your travel. If you’re a regular tourist, mention that you’re eager to see the beauty of their country.
- Always give positive responses. For example, mention your travel plans if you have not experienced leaving the country yet.
- Be ready with documents. I did not have to show them all the certificates I brought, but if he asked, I was ready.
- Make travel plans. Even if you’re still not approved, be ready by planning ahead the activities you want to do and the places you’ll visit so you can mention them during the interview.
- Smile! Charm still works, for sure! ;)
I hope this helps! Remember, you have to complete your application process correctly so you’re interview will go smoothly. To read the step by step guide to apply for a US Visa, read my first blog entry. Good luck!
PS. I was given a single-entry Visa because it was my first time to visit a first world country. Still thankful though! What a great blessing. Thank you, God! <3