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Updated August 2023
Applying for a visa to the USA is generally a long and meticulous process, and several procedures must be followed to ensure a successful visa application. One of the most important parts of the visa application process is attending a visa interview.
To assist Dubai and UAE residents who are applying for a US visa from the UAE, we have prepared a US visa interview guide.
Table of Contents
US visa interview for Dubai & UAE residents
A US visa interview is a formal meeting between a consular officer at a US embassy or consulate and an applicant who wishes to travel to the United States. The purpose of the interview is to determine the applicant’s eligibility for a US visa based on their intended purpose of travel, ties to their home country, and other factors.
During the interview, the consular officer may ask the applicant a series of questions to better understand their circumstances and assess their qualifications for a US visa. The interview is a critical step in the US visa application process, and its outcome can determine whether an applicant is granted or denied a visa.
US visa interview appointment
Before an applicant can attend a US visa interview, they must first schedule an appointment with the US embassy or consulate where the interview will take place. To secure a US visa interview appointment, please follow these steps:
- fill out the DS-160 form online
- gather the required documents
- go to the nearest US embassy
- pay the fee (non-refundable)
- complete the interview appointment
To learn more about the required documents and other important information about applying for a US visa from the UAE, please consult our dedicated article below.
US embassy and consulate in UAE
As mentioned, you will need to schedule an appointment with a US consulate or embassy in UAE for your visa interview. In the UAE, the United States has an embassy in Abu Dhabi, and a consulate in Dubai. Here are the details for both:
U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi
Address: P.O. Box 4009, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Phone: +971-2 414 2200
U.S. Consulate in Dubai
US visa interview common questions
During a US visa interview, applicants may be asked a range of questions to determine their eligibility to enter the country. While the questions can vary depending on the individual’s circumstances, here are some common questions that may be asked of Dubai and UAE residents:
- What is the purpose of your visit to the USA?
- Have you been to the US before?
- Do you have any relatives, family members or friends currently in the US?
- How long will you stay in the US?
- Why do you want to travel at this particular time of the year?
- Where will you be residing in the US?
- Why do you plan to stay so long? Can you stay shorter?
- Who will you be travelling with?
- Have you booked your tickets?
- How much do you think your stay in the US will cost you?
- How can you assure me that you will return to your home country after your visit to the US?
Please note that these questions are subject to change, and applicants may be asked some additional questions. Applicants must make sure they answer all of the questions honestly and accurately, and all their answers must comply with the information in the documents they have provided.
US visa interview waiver
In some cases, a waiver for attending the US visa interview can be granted to applicants. As per the official US government portal, the following groups of people are eligible for a US visa interview waiver:
- certain H-2 temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers
- certain students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars, or specialists (F, M, and academic J visa applicants)
- certain temporary workers who have an individual petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visa applicants) who meet certain conditions
- certain first-time and renewing H-2 visa applicants, and certain F, M, and academic J, and individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q applicants who were previously issued any type of visa, and who have never been refused a visa unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility
- certain first-time F, M, and academic J, or individual petition-based H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q applicants who are citizens or nationals of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), provided they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility and have previously travelled to the United States using an authorization obtained via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
- applicants renewing a visa in the same classification within 48 months of the prior visa’s expiration
Apart from the groups mentioned above, the US visa interview is a mandatory process for all visa applicants from the UAE.