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The US based company has already conducted initial round of technical interviews online and they have asked me to visit onsite for the final rounds of interview. I already have valid B1/B2 Visa.

I want to know what supporting documents will I need to show at the Port of Entry to the immigration officer. I would be returning back to my home country after the interview.

Also, I have a valid H1B Visa from my previous US employer. I had quit that job and moved back for personal reasons.

  • This is a tough one. By going for an interview in the USA you are showing immigration intent thereby making you ineligible for a visitor visa unless you can demonstrate clearly that you do not have immigrant intent on this particular visit. You can be denied entry by a tough immigration officer regardless of whatever paperwork you provide. We are in the Age of Trump! My advice is get an interview by teleconference or do not mention you are coming for a job interview. – user 56513 Dec 14 '18 at 12:43
  • Even if I get a job, I will be on H1B - a non-immigrant visa. Shouldn't that strengthen my case? – emotionull Dec 14 '18 at 13:47
  • You don’t understand. I was on H1 B for eight years before eventually becoming a citizen. I know almost everything about H1B and visitor visas. They don’t care about your H1B right now. What they care is a visitor coming for a job interview in USA, meaning you would like to move to USA. That makes you ineligible for visitor visa. You can ask an attorney if you’re not getting my point. – user 56513 Dec 14 '18 at 14:06
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    A job interview is one of the things that a B1/B2 visa is there for. What other visa would you apply for? – DJClayworth Dec 14 '18 at 18:43
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    @nikhil That is not entirely correct. The visa is still valid so far as he can get another sponsor to file a labor petition for him, if approved he can return on the old visa. But you are right in that, without an underlying labor petition, the visa cannot (or should not) be used. – user 56513 Dec 14 '18 at 20:25
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A B1/B2 visa (specifically the "B1" part) is absolutely the correct visa type for entering the US for a job interview. This is true regardless of whether the job itself is located in the US or elsewhere.

As with all entries to the US under a non-immigrant visa, the burden of proof is on you to show that you will depart the US before your status expires, and that you do not intent to "work" (for the immigration definition of work) whilst you are in the US.

If you state that you are in the US for a job interview (and you should state that - if you are asked) then you can expect the immigration staff to set a higher burden of proof on you than if you were there for a holiday. Your obviously aware of this fact, and it's why you're specifically stating that what additional documents you will need.

The most important document you can provide will be a letter from your prospective employer stating that they are inviting you for an interview, but making it very clear that they will NOT be employing you on this trip, and that if they do decide they offer you a job they will be responsible for obtaining all required documentation (visas, etc). If your potential employer has hired people under similar circumstances in the past then they will likely have a standard letter they will provide for this purpose.

Secondary proof would include a return ticket in the near future (ie, showing that you are only planning to stay in the US for a few days, and not several months), a hotel booking matching the timeframe of your visit, plus potentially anything you have to show current ties to your home country, such as up-to-date rent/ownership statements for a house, proof of your current job (if possible showing that you are on a short-term leave from there covering the period of the trip to the US), or anything else that could assist in showing that you do intend to leave the US.

Most importantly, you should make it clear to the border patrol staff that you are visiting for an 'interview', and NOT for a 'job' or to 'work', and that you do NOT intent to stay in the US on this trip.

I have traveled to the US myself for a job interview, and whilst in that case the job itself was outside of the US the moment I mentioned "interview" the CBP staff did ask for further proof, such as what I've described above (specifically flight and hotel details, and a letter from the potential employer). Once they were confident that I would leave the country after my interview I was allowed enter.

  • With regard to your second paragraph, many non-immigrant visas authorize work, so the clause about not working does not fit with "as with all entries under a non-immigrant visa...." – phoog Dec 15 '18 at 0:20
  • New York-based immigration lawyer Zjantelle Cammisa Markel, who facilitates thousands of working visas each year, recounts a particularly harrowing experience: “I met a very accomplished Aussie with a law degree and MBA who told immigration she was staying two months in the US. They then searched her diary and found job interviews, which is not actually illegal. I read her transcript and she had truly done nothing wrong. They detained her, strip searched her, put her in an orange jumpsuit in a women’s jail for 48 hours. Then they put her on the plane with handcuffs on her wrists and ankles? – user 56513 Dec 26 '18 at 3:20
  • Under Trump, immigration theory is many times quite different from from what happens in pracrice which some find out that hard way. In my opinion mentioning the word interview will lead to a bounce regardless of what is permitted on a B1/B2 or not. – user 56513 Dec 26 '18 at 3:21
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Going for a job interview is a perfectly normal thing, and is allowed on a B1 visa. However as @HonoraryWorldCitizen says, saying that you are going for a job interview demonstrates intent to immigrate, and thus can lead to you being denied entry. (Don't get me started on the wild illogicality of the current state of US immigration practice).

A number of legal sites advise that you are vague about your intentions, saying things like "here to meet with potential business colleagues", without lying if you are asked directly about a job interview. As for the other things, bring all the usual stuff that indicates your willingness to return after the interview and go through normal immigration channels: return ticket, documents indicating your current employment, etc.

  • Have to disagree with this answer, while this may be your interpretation there is a reason why a number of legal sites advice you to be vague. I would urge the OP to follow up with the employer and their legal team. The reason this is likely going to be frowned upon is that the OP would be visiting the US to compete for a Job that could go to an American Citizen/Resident, unless the employer has filed a labor application/PERM that they can use to indicate that they couldn't hire talent locally it may be foolhardy to attempt entry on a B1 visa for this purpose. – nikhil Dec 14 '18 at 19:20
  • As I said, US immigration practice is just massively screwed up. – DJClayworth Dec 14 '18 at 19:23
  • +1 From me. The theory and practice of US immigration are unfortunately two different sometimes hostile animals altogether. – user 56513 Dec 14 '18 at 20:25
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    @nikhil Interviewing for a job doesn't take that job away from a US citizen. Only once you start does that occur, and by then the relevant process (LCA/PERM/whatever) would have been followed. – Doc Dec 14 '18 at 23:04
  • @Doc it's true that an interview does not take a job from anyone, but immigration officers are humans and different ones will have different political beliefs and react to someone in this situation differently. It shouldn't be like that, but it is. It's therefore best to be prepared for the worst. – phoog Dec 15 '18 at 0:23

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