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O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Old May 12th 2009, 7:44 pm
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Default O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Evening, all

Our background:
OH has just been approved (today!) by USCIS for an O-1 visa application, which his new company in Seattle has been trying to sort out for us. We've got our interviews booked in Dublin on 4 June and just wondering how much we should expect to be grilled and how we can prepare for it.

I've seen a few posts saying they can be tough and we shouldn't assume the visa is in the bag. Is this true? Basically OH has to hand in his notice to his current company but is worried about doing it until the visa is in the passport - is this sensible?

Thanks for your time!
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Old May 12th 2009, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Cheryl,

I wouldn't worry unnecessarily.

Our interview was in Dec 2007 at London.

The actual interview took less than 5 minutes and consisted of :

Who are you working for?
What sort of work do you do?

and not much else, followed by "I'm pleased to let you know that I am approving your visas"

By far the worst part was the surly staff at the counters you need to visit twice before the actual interview.

Just be yourself and answer truthfully and you'll be fine.

Make sure you take every conceivable piece of paper with you.

Congrats on the visa approval and good luck with the interview.
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Old May 13th 2009, 7:28 am
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post

Make sure you take every conceivable piece of paper with you.
Thanks, Sangiano, for your advice - when you say every conceivable piece of paper do you mean things like our birth certificates, marriage certificate etc? Is there anything else (apart from the DS-160 forms) we should take?
Thanks again!
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Old May 13th 2009, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Originally Posted by CherylH View Post
Thanks, Sangiano, for your advice - when you say every conceivable piece of paper do you mean things like our birth certificates, marriage certificate etc? Is there anything else (apart from the DS-160 forms) we should take?
Thanks again!
Cheryl,

Yes, that's spot on! I can't think of much else - possibly a copy of the CV used for the application. I would take the originals plus a copy or two of each document.

I only say this because it's stressful enough in the first place, without having to rush out for, or return another day with info you could have brought in the first place.

Please make sure the photos have been taken recently - they gave me a hard time with mine because they looked like the one in my passport. I guess I age well.

TBH, it all seems so long ago. I remember having the same feelings you are expressing and wondering afterwards why I had been stressed about it at all.

On a future note, the whole exercise of pulling information together for the O-1 petition is good grounding if you want to go down the EB1 Green Card route at a later date. You will have a list of people who you can contact for recommendation letters at that time and will have already thought about the strengths to push. It is, however, a completely different level of proof.

Our petition (or my wife's to be exact) for EB-1b should be submitted this week, so I speak from experience!!

Good Luck with everything, it'll be fine.
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Old May 13th 2009, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Originally Posted by sangiano View Post
Cheryl,

Yes, that's spot on! I can't think of much else - possibly a copy of the CV used for the application. I would take the originals plus a copy or two of each document.

I only say this because it's stressful enough in the first place, without having to rush out for, or return another day with info you could have brought in the first place.

Please make sure the photos have been taken recently - they gave me a hard time with mine because they looked like the one in my passport. I guess I age well.

TBH, it all seems so long ago. I remember having the same feelings you are expressing and wondering afterwards why I had been stressed about it at all.

On a future note, the whole exercise of pulling information together for the O-1 petition is good grounding if you want to go down the EB1 Green Card route at a later date. You will have a list of people who you can contact for recommendation letters at that time and will have already thought about the strengths to push. It is, however, a completely different level of proof.

Our petition (or my wife's to be exact) for EB-1b should be submitted this week, so I speak from experience!!

Good Luck with everything, it'll be fine.
Thanks - that's really encouraging. Like you say I'm sure I'm stressing over nothing but until we get those visas in our passports I don't want to take any chances. Thanks for the tip about the EB1 route - I guess we've got that all to come!

Good luck to you too!
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Old May 13th 2009, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

No problem - I know exactly how you are feeling.

When it's all over, please let us all know how the interview went.
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Old May 13th 2009, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Hi Cheryl, We came to the US on an L1 VISA in 2005, but we had a 9 week delay having gone for our interview at the London Embassy and been refused the VISA even though UCSIS had approved it! I'm not typing this to scare you at all, as I believe it is rare for this to happen. However, because of this experience, I would always advise anyone not to burn bridges (ie hubby handing notice in) before you have your passports containing your VISAs firmly in your mitts!
Other advice would be to directly answer the questions they ask of you - no more and no less. Obviously you don't want to be evasive per se, but you also don't want to tie yourself up in knots!
Good luck.
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Old May 13th 2009, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Originally Posted by ukintexas View Post
Hi Cheryl, We came to the US on an L1 VISA in 2005, but we had a 9 week delay having gone for our interview at the London Embassy and been refused the VISA even though UCSIS had approved it! I'm not typing this to scare you at all, as I believe it is rare for this to happen. However, because of this experience, I would always advise anyone not to burn bridges (ie hubby handing notice in) before you have your passports containing your VISAs firmly in your mitts!
Other advice would be to directly answer the questions they ask of you - no more and no less. Obviously you don't want to be evasive per se, but you also don't want to tie yourself up in knots!
Good luck.
Why was your visa delayed after the interview? Missing documents? You answered a question funny?

FWIW, there are two agencies involved in the visa decision. USCIS approves the petition, which simply decides if you have a relationship to the petitioner and that the job meets the qualifications. IOW, an ok for the visa applicant to apply.
Dept of State then decides if the beneficiary (visa applicant) is qualified to receive the visa. They run the name checks etc and evaluate past immigration history & a host of other things.
Approval from USCIS is just one step on the way to the visa.
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Old May 13th 2009, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Why was your visa delayed after the interview? Missing documents? You answered a question funny?
Lots of theories on this one! Techincally it was a 221g delay, which seems to cover a huge amount of further investigation. There was a G8 summit in London the week of my interview and it turns out that alot of funky things happened at the Embassy that week. My attorneys said it was likely the more senior peeps were concentrating on G8 issues (security checks and the like) and that less experienced peeps were doing the VISA interviews. We were on an L1 but I was asked if I had a degree (as in an H1 requirement) and when I explained that I didn't, the clerk then proceeded to lecture me that it was in fact a set-in-stone requirement for L1 eligibility! I remained really polite throughout (as was petrified) and did exactly as I'd been coached to do but after telling her I didn't have a degree, you could see I was a goner! Was terrible as we'd sold our house, planned our leaving party and basically booked tickets for the next couple of weeks! Wasn't fun I can tell you. Ultimately we had to resubmit the L1 paperwork - or rather parts of it that proved my experience (minus degree!) - and without changing it at all, we were suddenly granted VISAs 9 weeks later. Our attorneys kept telling us we were in a "black hole" and they'd never seen such a denial (they are the number one firm of immigration attorneys in the US!), but they were great at trying to keep us sane and pulling out all the stops.

A little light hearted comedic story as part of the horror was - as we'd planned the leaving party, we'd ordered a big cake in the shape and style of the American Flag with "We're finally leaving" written on it. I had to go and collect it 2 days after our denial, and as we'd cancelled the party and had no idea what the hell was going to happen with our VISAs, the four of us just sat staring at it and couldn't bring ourselves to eat any!!!! Funny, now that I look back on it - not so at the time though

Last edited by meauxna; May 13th 2009 at 6:41 pm. Reason: fixed that quote tag for you, bud.
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Old May 13th 2009, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Wow, sounds like a one in a million boo boo, but a good lesson for others about making plans.. don't count your chickens and all that!

The cake story is so sad! I can just see those poor doe-eyed kiddies looking at the cake....
Oh, every life should be a movie, eh?
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Old May 13th 2009, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Wow, sounds like a one in a million boo boo, but a good lesson for others about making plans.. don't count your chickens and all that!

The cake story is so sad! I can just see those poor doe-eyed kiddies looking at the cake....
Oh, every life should be a movie, eh?
I really am laughing about it as I replay it in my head as it was sooooooooo tragic at the time, but so utterly funny now!
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Old May 13th 2009, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: O1 application approved - how to prepare for interview?

Originally Posted by ukintexas View Post
I really am laughing about it as I replay it in my head as it was sooooooooo tragic at the time, but so utterly funny now!
OMG I'm so sorry about the cake but the picture in my head is SO funny. Think I would have used it as target practice
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