A US visa interview is your ticket to the United States. If you’re an old time seaman who frequents there, the application can be very simple.
However, if it’s your first time to take the C1-D visa, expect a stringent session. Thinking about the interview process alone is stressful. Consul officers inside the US Embassy can be very keen on your application too.
The fact that you are here reading this article is a proof that you want to be prepared facing them.
Top US Visa Interview Questions
I made a research based on my own experience, my friends’ and with others about their C1-D Visa interviews. To make it much easier, I categorized the questions into seven.
You can find them as Cadets and First Timers, Safety and Work Related, Personal Questions, History, DS-160 Form Related, “Trap” Questions and Unrelated Questions.
First Timers and School Related
I understand the anxiety of first timers and fresh graduates as I too was one. And as per experience, consuls can be very strict with first graduates, though not all.
They often ask questions related to your studies so be ready to face some of them below.
- What is navigation?
- What is solid mensuration?
- When did you graduate?
- What is terrestrial navigation?
- How many crew members you need to run the ship?
- What is celestial navigation?
- Is this your first time to board a ship?
- What are your duties?
- What is your course of study?
- Define a forecastle.
The key to answering them is fluency even if your English is awkwardly bent. Acting with confidence and proper eye contact also helps a lot.
Safety and Work Related
Even if you’re a cadet or first timer, any of these questions can be thrown at you. You must be ready to give an answer.
The consuls don’t really have specific knowledge about our job other than the experience they gathered from so many interviews.
- What is your current rank? Or What is your position on the ship?
- Can you tell us the type or nature of your work?
- What is the duration of your contract?
- What is your job on board? What are the tasks?
- Describe your duties and responsibilities.
- What are your duties?
- What kind of ship will you embark on?
- Explain bunkering procedure.
- What is the name of your vessel?
- What type of ship will you be working on?
- Green color represents which side of the ship?
- What will you do in case you detect a fire on board?
- MOB and general alarm.
- First aid procedures.
- What is a sounding tape?
- Gross tonnage.
- IMO number.
- Job description.
- Safety aspects.
- MARPOL questions.
- Tell me the type of fire extinguishers on board.
Personal questions are well, personal. You really don’t have to study much on this part. The only way to get through this without any difficulty is to tell the truth.
- How are you?
- Where do you live?
- How old are you?
- Tell me about your self.
- Why do you want to be a seaman?
- Are you married?
- How many children do you have?
- When is your birthday?
- Where were you born?
- Where are you studying?
You will notice that the consul is reading something on his computer while doing the interview. He’s verifying your answers- age, birthday, marital status, etc. Whether it matches on the documents you submitted.
Thus, its very important to be honest.
Some questions here are similar only that they are reworded. For example: being rejected a US visa is the same as being refused or denied. Tell the truth and you won’t have any regrets here.
- Have you ever been rejected US Visa?
- When was that?
- When was the last time you applied for a US Visa?
- Is this the first time or have you already been to other countries? If yes, tell us the name of those countries.
- What ports and countries have you visited in the past?
- What’s your job here in the Philippines?
- Have you traveled outside the Philippines?
- When was your last sign off?
- How many years are you in this profession?
- How long have you been a seafarer?
- What is your land-based experience?
- Do you have prior visa refusal?
- Have you visited other countries in past?
- When did your visa expired?
- Your US Visa expired 5 years ago, why didn’t you take a new one after that?
- How many years have you been sailing?
I experienced being asked whether I had a US Visa refusal. Thinking fast with a limited time, I told them a bold YES. At first, I thought I might fail that interview.
She went along asking further details including the dates and I just continue being honest. It was clear to me that she has records of everything connected to my US visa application.
DS-160 Form Related
DS-160 is the Online Non-Immigrant Visa Application. I personally recommend memorizing every information in it including your Letter of Guarantee.
- What’s the name of your agent and his contact address?
- Who will be the person in US to be contacted in case of emergency?
- What’s the name of your ship?
- What type of vessel is that?
- When are you planning to join the ship?
- How will you be spending your time in the US?
- Who will cover the cost of your travel?
- What is the name of your joining port?
- Who will take care of you in the US during emergencies?
- Why do you want a US Visa if you are joining from a non-US port?
This is important. The details presented here pertains to your transit in the US. Being familiar on them gives the impression that you are serious of your passage.
Trap questions are most of the time combined with Form DS-160 questions. If you are not thoroughly familiar with the latter while answering YES to the former, the interviewer may think you have intention to jump ship.
- Do you know anybody in the USA?
- Do you have any relatives living in the United States?
- How many minutes would it take if you throw a candy wrapper into the water if you are on the main deck of a ship?
- Do you plan on settling in the US?
- Do you have plans of going back to the Philippines?
He or she may suspect that if something unexpected happens while you are on their soil, you may be inclined to contact your families or relatives there rather than your ship agents.
I already told you about being honest but here, its safer NOT TO KNOW anybody in the US when the consul asks.
Sometimes, the consul asks questions which are out of the blue. They have their own reasons so better expect something like this could happen.
Some of which are the following.
- What did you have last night for dinner?
- Who is the first president of the US?
- What was the color of the shirt you wore yesterday?
These are just the common interview questions for your C1-D Visa interview. Sometimes, it only takes less than three minutes and you’ll be leaving with a happy face.
However, it could also last an agonizing ten minutes and the result could be terrible. There is also a possibility of failing your US visa application even if you answer them perfectly. But familiarizing with these questions gives you more confidence and better chances.
What’s your best and worst memories during the US Visa interview? Let me know in the comment section.
May the winds be on your favor.