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Sensitive technologies

There may be delays in obtaining visas for those persons working or studying in sensitive technologies. It applies to both Students and Exchange Visitors.

Foreign scientists who apply for a non-immigrant visa to work or study sensitive technologies listed on the

Technology Alert List have been subjected to inter-agency security review procedures since 1998. 

The Technology Alert List outlines technological fields that are considered sensitive and critical to national

security, and provides procedures consuls must follow with regard to applicants involved in sensitive fields.

These review procedures require the names of these applicants to be checked through law enforcement,

intelligence and other federal agencies before a visa can be issued to an otherwise qualified applicant.

Since September 11, 2001, consulates have been working diligently with other U.S. government agencies in an extensive and ongoing review of visa issuing practices as they relate to the security of U.S. borders and U.S. as a nation. As a result, more non-immigrant visa applicants are now subjected to additional interagency security reviews.

Consulates are working with the involved agencies to achieve quicker processing of the applicants subject to

these procedures, without compromising national security. Visas continue to be reviewed on a case by case basis.


                     H1 Interview Tips

You should reach the consulate around half an hour before your scheduled interview time. You will have to show the appointment letter to get into the consulate. The security person will check your bag (plastic bag with the folder) and scan your entire body for other items that you may be carrying. Please don't carry any other items besides your documents. You are not even permitted to carry a cell phone with you. If locker facilities are available at the consulate, you can place small items like your cell phone, keys and other stuff in there. (e.g., locker facility is available at the U.S. Embassy in Lagos).

After the security check, you should join a line. A staff member will assist you and arrange the documents in the following order: passport, DS-160 confirmation page, I-797 Notice of Action (H1B visa approval), and visa fee fee receipt.

At the counter, your documents will be checked and give you permission to enter the consulate. All the documents you just provided are put in a blue folder (file) and returned back to you. You need to carry this blue folder when you go to the interview and this blue file is the first one to be produced to the visa officer.

After entering the consulate, you should get your fingerprints taken. Place your left and right index fingers on the fingerprint machine or pad. Next, you join the line for the interview. While standing in the line, don't disturb others as the visa officer can always see you. Try to maintain good attire. If possible, sit away from families, student applicants, or other groups of people who tend to talk a lot and comment on every applicant that comes out of the booth. This may make you unnecessarily nervous.

Make sure to have all your documents in order. Go to the interview prepared and confident. Consular officers are generally very polite. There is no need to get scared or show nervousness.

after staying in the U.S., if any of you are going to your home country for stamping purposes, and if any of your children are U.S. Citizens, you don't need to take those children to the consulate. However, make sure to take their passports to prove that they are indeed U.S. Citizens.

When the interview is over, avoid staying inside the consulate. Try not to disturb others and don't start talking about how you feel or how the interview went.


Keep smiling when standing in line and during the interview.

Carry decent folders. Avoid colorful plastic. If available, carry a harmonium folder with many compartments.

Dress like a corporate employee. You must give the impression that you are a professionally working person.

Try to give short and to-the-point answers. Consular officers are very busy and they usually allow only two to three minutes per candidate.

Look straight at the officer and not at their computer or your papers.

You must be able to communicate fluently in English as most professional positions in the U.S. require you to communicate in English. If you are not able to speak English fluently, you may not be able to perform your job.

It is very important that you be able to establish a clear link between your prior experience and future job requirements. Not doing so will make it very difficult to secure a visa.

If you have a four-year degree in the area of intended employment, work experience is not required in order to get an H1B visa.

Fabrication of evidence (degrees, prior work experience) could result in a lifetime fraud/misrepresentation bar on entry to the United States. Therefore, avoid the temptation for the same.

 You must have fundamental knowledge of the subject matter in which you are going to work in the U.S. If you can't answer the basic questions about your profession or job, you are unlikely to get the visa. You may get 221(g) refusal and your petition may be sent to USCIS for revocation.

Avoid any behavior that makes the consular officer suspect that you are withholding some information.

Don't submit the photographs of the persons as dependents if you they are really not your dependents. Avoid any behavior that shows the result of obvious coaching. You can certainly get advice, do research, read web sites in order to get help with the H1B process, if your answers are too similar to those of other applicants, your  credibility  may  be  questioned.  E.g., use  sample  documents  and  sample  interview questions given on immihelp.com. Don't produce all the documents word by word as given on this web site. Please make sure to make appropriate changes according to your situation.

As long as you are a clearly qualified candidate, you should not have problems during the interview. E.g., if you are applying for an H1B visa for a computer programmer job, and if you have bachelor's degree in either of the fields such as computer science, electrical engineering, electronics engineering, electronics and communication or such related fields, you have a much better chance. If your degree is in an unrelated field, it may result in delays as work experience and/or diplomas would need to be evaluated as equivalent to the bachelor's degree in a required field.

Make sure that your sponsoring employer is credible and has made you a bona fide job offer. If your employer has a history of failing to pay the prevailing wage to previous employees on an H1B visa, this may cause a problem for you.


If you are missing any of the documents that the consular officer requires before issuing visa, you will be issued a 221(g) form (blue, pink, yellow, or green) with the missing items ticked. You don't have to take the appointment again. You have to drop off the missing documents - excluding your passport - to the visa application center. Depending upon the documents asked for, your processing may take days, weeks or even months.

              Interview Outcome

If You Get the Visa:

Immediately go through all the information on the visa stamp very carefully. Make sure there are no Typographical errors in your name, passport, number, date of birth, etc. written on the visa stamp. If there are any such errors, contact the visa application center to get it corrected. Even a small error is not tolerable as it can cause trouble later on, and should be corrected as soon as possible.


If You Don't Get the Visa:

1. That's not the end of the world! It doesn't change anything in life. Things continue to be as excellent as they were before.

2. We did our best. The rejection was solely due to a whim of the interviewing officer.

3. We can always apply a second time. Something to think about...

                     Visitor Visa Interview 

This document will give you a detailed idea of what to expect at the visa interview and how to prepare for it. This document is composed assuming that the applicants are parents or parents-in-law of persons already in the U.S.

The visa interview has personal and consequently unpredictable factors involved in whether your visa application gets accepted or rejected.


Many people don't know the basic rules. Many people are not aware of the penalties for breaking the rules. If you get a business visa, it does not mean you can go to the USA and
start your business over there. If you get a 10 year multiple entry visa, it does not mean that you can stay in the USA for 10 years. A 10 year multiple entry visa means you can go to the U.S. anytime within next 10 years. For each visit, your actual stay will be determined by the date stamped in the I-94 form at the port of entry. It is usually 6 months. You can extend  your stay up to another 6 months.


1. Wear formal clothes as if for a formal business meeting. The interviewing officer will always be an American (the interpreter if required may be local). If possible the man should wear a tie. Americans always appreciate formal attire, so they will not find
you over-dressed if you wear a tie.

2. Arrive early. You don't want to miss your interview just because you got stuck in traffic.

3. Do not get nervous. Be confident. You will be more confident if you have prepared thoroughly. Smile when you meet the visa officer for the first time. Don't show signs of nervousness such as flickering of eyes, trembling of fingers as that could go
against you. Look into the eyes of the officer while speaking.

4. Both candidates should greet the officer with a smile and a "good morning", as soon as you enter the interview booth.

5. Both candidates should have a confident posture and look at the interviewing officer straight in the eyes throughout the interview.

6. Be confident in your answers, whatever you say. Make short, clear, to-the-point replies, in a loud and clear voice. Do not tell anything that is irrelevant or not asked. By mistake, you may give some unnecessary information that may lead to your

7. Be polite, do not argue and do not ask unnecessary or unrelated questions. Do not unnecessarily elaborate your responses as this may not work in your favor.

8. Demonstrate respect in your language even if you don't feel this is being reciprocated.

9. Often times you might not understand what the interviewing officer is saying because of his/her American accent and/or the microphone system. If you do not understand one of their sentences do not feel afraid to say, 'beg your pardon; I did not understand you.' If he/she repeats the question and you still do not understand, that is not a problem, do not panic. Calmly and confidently say, sorry sir/madam,I still did not understand you. Could you kindly repeat what you said?

10. If you know English, it is preferable to have the interview in the English so that you and consular officer can understand the each other. Interpreters mess up sometimes.

11. Consular officers are very smart in their profession. They can figure out true intentions of applicants most of the times because of their training and experience. Some of them also may know regional languages of Nigeria.

12. Consular officers are fond of asking 'What if...' type questions

 Some examples are

What would you do if you won jackpot in a Las Vegas casino?

What if someone offers you a job in the U.S. at a very high salary? What if someone offers you a partnership in his business?
What if some beautiful woman proposes to you for marriage?

Consular officers may ask
such questions to scrutinize the applicants. Don't give an answer immediately without thinking through it. If the officer suspects that your intention may be to stay in the U.S. and/or work there, your visa may be rejected.

If you give answers such as I will buy a house in the U.S. and stay there after winning the jackpot, I will accept the job offer or partnership and start working or get married to the beautiful U.S. citizen girl and settle there, your visa will be rejected. When you are applying for a tourist visa, you are just supposed to tour the
country and not just stay in the U.S. forever because of one or another reason.

13. Be honest during the interview and while preparing the documents. The consular officer is not your enemy and he is just doing his duty.

14. For every question asked, when you are saying your answer, you should be prepared to simultaneously put forth a document supporting your answer, and refer to the document in your answer.

 E.g. If the interviewer asks you what are your ties in Nigeria, for which you will return to Nigeria after your visit, and if one of the components for your answer is that our only grandchild is in Nigeria, you should simultaneously present photographs of your grandchild and your family to the interviewer to strengthen your answer.

 15. The purpose of the tour should be vacationing, visiting friends/family or any other all owed activities.


 16. Always reply with correct answers. All data while applying for the visa and details of the answers given in your interview are computerized and maintained. If your visa is rejected once, you can't be changing your details the next time you go for an interview.

17. Your appearance should convey who you are. If you are a student, you should look like a student. If you are an executive, you should look like an executive. Your body language should convey friendliness, but also that you are serious about your goal.

18. Mind your manners and refrain from unnecessary body movement.


Consular Officer Didn't Look at Documents

Many people complain that the visa officer did not even ask any questions nor looked at any documents and rejected their application which is not fair at all. It is not like that in reality. Visa officers are experts in their profession and they are appointed
in consulates in foreign countries after extensive training. Due to their vast experience, visa officers, many times, can figure out true intentions of applicants just by looking at them. They can even figure out whether information provided in the application and/or documents may be true or fake.They don't need to talk to applicants in many cases. You may be surprised to know what things they may know, such as the value of property in a given area, income/income tax ratios, and many other things.

       STUDENT VISAS Sample questions

Q: How many universities did you apply for?

Q: Which Universities (both admits and rejects) did you
apply to?

Q: Which universities accepted you?

Q: Why did you choose a specific university?

Q: Why do you want to study in the USA?

Q: Where did you do your bachelor's degree from?

Q: What is your Undergraduate GPA/Percentage?

Q: Can you tell me some details about your university?

Q: Can you mention the names of some professors?

Q: Have you ever been to the U.S.?

Q: How can you prove that you will come back after
finishing your studies?

Q: Why do you wish to study in the U.S. and not in

Q: What will you do after completing MS?

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Q: Do you know anyone (in USA) or in your University?

Q: What do you plan to study at the university?

Q: What will you do if your visa is rejected?

Q: Will you come back to home during summers?

Q: What will you do after coming back to home?

Q: (If you have changed the field of specialization,
e.g., you have bachelor's degree in Mechanical,

engineering and are going for a masters in computer
science) Why do you want to change your major?

Q: What steps have you taken to ensure that you will be
able to perform well in the new field you wish to change to?

Q: Why do you think the university is giving a
scholarship to you?

Q: (If you are currently working) Why are you leaving your
current job?

Q: (If you are going for higher studies after working
for sometime) Can I see your work experience certificate(s)?

Q: Did you receive any scholarships?

Q: Why haven't you received any scholarship?

Q: Have you received any loans?

Q: Do you have any relatives in USA?

Q: Who is sponsoring you?

Q: What does your father do?

Q: What is your father's annual income? Does he pay
income tax?

Q: How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Q: Are your parents retired? If yes, how will they pay
for your education expenses?

Q: Could you please show me the passbook or bank

Q: Where did your brother/parents complete their

Q: You have xx brothers and sisters so your father's
savings are for all, how will he finance you?

Q: Where do your parents live (if they live in USA)?

Q: How will you finance your education funds for 2 years
or 3 years? (Generally you have to prove

that you can fund the first year of your education, but
we suggest that you be prepared with this answer).

Q: Do you have a brother / sister, or any other relative
already at this university?

Q: What is your specialization?

Q: How will your study in the U.S. be helpful to you in
your home country after you come back? 


We provides all the necessary guidance you need in the processing and acquiring of your Visa. With our team of seasoned Professionals, we simplify the process and assist you every step of the way.We will not trade business profit with customer satisfaction.