Our B1 B2 Visa Experience

We (my wife and I) applied for the B2 visa in September 2017, and I was granted one on the day of the interview while my wife was given one within seven days of a 221(g). This blog post is on what I learned from our experience.

How to dress for the interview

A majority of the blog posts we read and the videos we watched before our interview seemed to point to an un-said requirement of formal attire. However, let me assure you that there is no such requirement. I wore a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers to the interview. I think as long as one is not wearing anything offensive, any attire is fine. If you think about it, I believe it makes far more sense to determine eligibility based on factors such as affordability rather than apparels.

How to prepare yourself for the interview

In short, don’t. It’s not worth your time to stress yourself over a visa interview. I have read people suggesting to treat a tourist visa interview the same as a job interview. The premise of that sounds ridiculous to me. The questions we were asked revolved around us and no amount of preparation could have made us any wiser. One piece of advice here would be not lie in the interview because, for one, immigration officers are excellent lie detectors and two, it’s just not ethical to do so.

What documents to carry

From what I understood, the immigration officers may ask for relevant documents. What’s relevant depends on your situation, but usually, it’s related to your finances, travel history and proposed length of stay.

How to talk to the immigration officer

In short, just like any other person. I think it doesn’t hurt to be polite and courteous, no matter who is sitting across the aisle. I also think there is no need to be super polite and courteous. I read interview experiences where interviewees ended up inviting the officer to their homes and such. While I understand and appreciate the sentiment, I believe a simple and sincere “thank you” should suffice.

I remember somebody saying this about bureaucracy in general – it always helps to keep things simple and the B1/B2 visa process is no different.