Article

Learning and Mastering L1 Visa Interview Questions

Introduction

An L1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows a foreign company to transfer qualified employees to a U.S. subsidiary, branch office, or parent company. After the employer has filed an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and has been subsequently granted, the transferring employee needs to go to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country to attend a visa interview as part of the process.

The visa interview is an important part of the process as this is where the adjudicating officer determines whether you qualify for the visa through several questions. The question, however, may depend on whether you’re applying for an L1-A or L1-B visa.

If you have failed to prepare for your visa interview, this can cost you a denial of your application. Don’t worry as we’re here to let you in on the general questions asked by the immigration officer during an L1 visa interview to help you prepare.

When do you attend an L1 visa interview?

If you’re a transferring employee from a company in your country to a U.S. subsidiary, branch office, or parent company, or will be primarily going to the U.S. to establish a new office, then you can apply for an L1 visa and will be attending an L1 visa interview.

The L1 visa can be initiated by the employer through individual applications or a blanket petition. A blanket petition allows the current employer to initiate an L1 petition for multiple employees. However, they must have the following requirements to be able to qualify for an L1 blanket petition:

  • The foreign company and the qualifying organisations have a total employee strength of 1,000.

  • The foreign company and the qualifying organisations have at least $25 million in annual sales.

  • The foreign company and the qualifying organisations have at least received 10 L1 visa approvals in the last 12 months.

While you can initiate the petition yourself, the help of a qualified and experienced L1 visa lawyer can help you throughout your application and increase your chances of getting approved by giving you tips and advice before your interview.

What can I anticipate in an L1 visa interview?

Before your interview, it is highly recommended that you are punctual. You must arrive at least 15 minutes early for your interview to make it to the line before your schedule. Once you have arrived, you’ll be waiting in a waiting room.

The immigration officer will interview you regarding your qualifications for the visa. Please take note that they are not there to deny your visa but instead to ensure that you meet all the requirements.

What documents should I submit with my visa interview?

Another important of your L1 visa application is the submission and attachment of the relevant supporting documents which would also prove your qualifications. These documents are as follows:

  • Your appointment letter

  • DS-160 application confirmation page

  • Visa fee receipt

  • A valid passport and any old passports

  • Resume or CV

  • A copy of your employer’s letter to the consulate requesting an interview

  • A copy of your petition

  • Two photos of you that are compliant with consulate photo guidelines

  • A copy of Form I0797

  • Income tax records and bank statements

  • Job description

  • Proof of the qualifying relationship between the foreign company and the U.S. company

  • Proof that you are continuously employed for 12 months with the petitioning employer

  • Proof that you have the required experience and qualifications

  • Letters from previous employers that prove your experience for the role.

L1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers for Singaporeans

General Questions

What kind of visa are you applying for? Answer that you’re applying for an L1 visa.

Can I see your petition letter? Provide the document needed.

Can I see your passport and immigration documents? Provide the document needed.

Have you been to the U.S.? When? Answer this question with the exact details together with the arrival date, month, and year.

Have you worked overseas before? Provide an honest answer to this question.

Questions about job responsibilities

What is your current job and how long have you worked there? Answer this question honestly together with details about your experience and current job description.

What are the duties of your present job? Answer this question honestly together with details about your present duties.

Who is your primary contact in the U.S.? Answer this question with the name of your primary contact and their contact details such as their address, if any.

Where do you intend to work in the U.S. and what does the organization do? Answer this question with all the details of your job in the U.S. and your job description.

Why does your role have to be done in the U.S.? Answer this question with the appropriate answer

How many employees are currently working under your supervision? Answer this question with the details of how many employees are under your supervision.

L1-A visa Questions

Do you have any control over the company’s budget? You can answer this question with a Yes or No. If you answer yes, provide a brief detail about the extent of your control and other information.

How many employees are directly reporting to you? Answer this question with the number and details of the people who report to you for work.

What are your duties in your new job in the U.S.? Answer this question with the details about your job in the U.S. and what you’re expected to do.

When was the last time you hired and fired an employee? Answer this question appropriately with details.

What is the process of hiring and firing an employee or associate? Answer this question with a brief detail of your process of hiring and firing.

L1-B visa Questions

What is your area of specialization? Answer this question honestly.

What are the professional skills required for the U.S. position? Answer this question with the skills that will convince the immigration officer why such skills are fit for the position.

Why do you think a U.S. citizen can’t perform the same role? Answer this question with legitimate reasons why a U.S. citizen can’t perform the same role.

How long have you been working in this specialized field? Answer honestly with the details on how long have you been working in the field.

What makes the skill considered specialized knowledge? Answer with details to convince the officer what makes your skillset considered specialized knowledge.

Tips for attending an L1 visa interview

When preparing for an L1 visa interview, you should know about the entire process because from the time you arrive, until you finish your interview, you are being assessed by the immigration officer. We have compiled some tips below for you which you can use to prepare for your interview.

Make a good impression

As soon as you have known the exact date of your interview, you must prepare to make a good impression. You need to make sure that you arrive early for your interview as the immigration officer will have a bad impression about you if you’re late. You also have to remember to dress appropriately and answer politely to all questions.

Answer honestly

No matter how desperate you are for the L1 visa, avoid lying at all costs. This doesn’t only raise red flags with the immigration officer but also can serve serious consequences to your L1 visa application. It’s always better to answer honestly to the best of your abilities and should you don’t know the answer, it’s always better to admit you don’t rather than lie.

Answer with details

When you add details to your answer, you will appear reliable and trustworthy to the immigration officer. Some questions will warrant to be answered with exact details as possible while others require simple explanation only.

Be prepared

Before going to your interview, make sure to gather all the required documents and double-check that everything is complete and intact. Moreover, go over the common interview questions and practice your answers.

Maintain good demeanour

Understandably, you’ll be nervous during your visa interview, but maintaining a relaxed body and eye contact with the immigration officer can give a positive impression. Moreover, focus on being confident during the interview as you might trip over your words if you remain tense.

Conclusion

When you’re trying to acquire an L1 visa, the visa interview is a crucial part of the visa process where the immigration officer determines whether you qualify for the visa. The question may depend on whether you’re applying for an L1-A or L1-B visa. Failure to prepare or attend your visa interview can result in a denial of your application.

If you’re unsure of how to go through your visa process, you can engage the services of a US immigration lawyer in Singapore who can handle your case from the start until the end and help you navigate your visa interview.

Jeremy Abernathy

9 January 2024

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad

15 December 2023

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

Satya Choudhury

20 September 2023

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

Hoshino Ryuichi

12 September 2023

Thanks to them for handling my E2 visa very professionally. I had a study visa from F1 and changed it to E2. I encountered many problems during the application process. Verdie and Etta were very patient in helping me and it took a long time. I highly recommend this place.

Mark I. Davies
Mark I. Davies
Dual qualified as a lawyer in the United States and the United Kingdom, Mark I. Davies is the Global Managing Partner and founder of our firm. Mark also Chairs our Global Business and Investor visa team and focuses his practice on EB5, L1, E2 and other business and investor visa solutions. A former General Counsel, Mark is relied on as primary counsel to major corporations, investors, non-profits and businesses of all sizes.

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This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

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