I have written quite extensively on the visa application procedure and issues involved in US VISA ISSUES part.Preparation always plays a good role in US Visa interviews ,but going to a US Visa consultant is not a solution,since you will be the only one facing the questions of the Consular Officer. There have been numerous cases of Seafarers been rejected of a US Visa, most of these are those Seafarers who don’t have good experience in shipping,hence such Seafarers are always advised to go through a set of Frequently asked questions by the Consular Officers.
I have tried to write down some of these questions,to facilitate the preparation for the Visa interviews by Seafarers for a crew visa.
Best For Freshers/Cadets joining first time:
* So you are in Merchant Navy, how long have you been serving?
Best Answer : Tell your time period since you started the job,don’t use your CDC experience, unless asked specifically about sailing experience.In case of Fresher, just say I am a fresher and otherwise say I just have finished my pre sea training.
* What were you doing before your pre sea training?
Best Answer : If you were studying just say I was studying and reply further as asked ,Otherwise tell about your hobbies that you pursued during the time,be relevant to the question.
* What does your father do?
Best Answer : Just make it as simple as possible by telling the kind of work your parents are involved in be Simple, don’t just say he is a government employee etc.
* Are you Joining first time?
Best Answer : If yes, just say yes. Don’t make the thing complicated by trying to explain him the matters in detail.
* Why did you join Merchant Marine/Navy?
Best Answer : Tell truly why did you join, If you think it was for making good money, then say so.
* What will be your work onboard ?
Best Answer : Tell about the nature of work you will be involved in, say so in simple way, Simply try to explain things,don’t use complicated terms.
* What is your stipend/salary on board ?
Best Answer : Try to tell the amount in Monthly income in USD.
* Where will you be staying in US?
Best Answer : Read it in your US Visa application by your company.
*Where did you come to know about Merchant Navy,did you join through any agent?
Best Answer : Tell accordingly wherever you found out eg. websites,newspaper advertisement,magazines,school counselor etc, No I am not joining through any agent
* Who will be the person in US to be contacted in case of emergency?
Best Answer : This is also given in US Visa application by your company.
* Where did you finish your pre sea training?
Best Answer : Name your training Institute and its location.
* What will you do in case you detect a fire onboard?
Best Answer : I will raise the fire alarm and try to extinguish the fire using the appropriate fire extinguisher,taking the nature of fire into consideration.
*What do you understand by Navigation?
Best Answer : Navigation means monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft,in simple words it means taking a ship from one place to another safely
**There maybe other questions based on your shipping knowledge,hence textual knowledge is also a factor determining your eligibility for a visa, since consular officers will test you if you have sufficient knowledge regarding your subjects.
Other questions which can be asked to experienced men are (also applies to freshers in relevant cases) :
* You have applied for reissue of your Visa ?
Best Answer : Yes Sir.
* What is your Rank onboard ship ?
Best Answer : Your Rank on contract letter,the capacity in which your are going to serve onboard..
* Which ship are you joining ?
Best Answer : XYZ.
* What kind of a ship is that ?
Best Answer : Tell type of vessel eg. chemical tanker/oil tanker/passenger vessel/bulk carrier/container ship/general cargo/RO-RO/etc.
* Which is your joining port ?
Best Answer : Your joining port.
* If your joining port is not in USA why do you want a US Visa ?
Best Answer : Even if my joining port is not in USA, still my ship trades in USA and there is a fair probability that I will have to call at an USA port
*Do you have friends or relatives in USA?
Best Answer : Reply truthfully,if you have some really close relatives in USA,it will never impact your Visa interview outcomes.
* Have you ever been to some other countries in past?
Best Answer : The information is displayed in your passport as well as in your DS-160 application,but still if he asks such question reply with correct answer naming the countries you have visited in past.
* Who will take care of your joining the ship since this is your first time joining ?
Best Answer : My company have their agents in USA,they will take care of my joining.
* Do you like life at sea?
Best Answer : Yes very much I like being at sea and facing new challenges every time ,but I miss my family and friends here in India.
* Are you married?Do you have children?
Best Answer : Reply according to you present marital status and children.
*Do you have plans to settle in USA?
Best Answer: (Your objective here in case of non-immigrant visa is to make the officer feel that you are not going to settle in USA,you will come back to your place of residence here in India,for that reason he will always test your ties with your home country US VISA ISSUES have explained it very well) No,I don’t have any plan to settle in USA.
** Sometime consular Officers may ask few questions which you may feel are irrelevant,but they have a purpose. Eg.* What did you have yesterday in your dinner?,*What was the colour of the shirt you wore yesterday?
MY ADVICE TO YOU WOULD BE TO ANSWER CORRECTLY TO ALL THE QUESTIONS OF THE OFFICER,SINCE HE/SHE IS HIGHLY TRAINED,HE/SHE KNOWS VERY WELL HOW TO DEAL WITH DIFFERENT CASES AND WILL WORK OUT RESULTS OF YOUR INTERVIEW WITHIN FEW MINUTES,HENCE DON’T TRY TO MISLEAD THE OFFICER EVER.
Other questions will be added with time.
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