I submitted my visa application on September 19. I just got a call from the British High Commission to attend an interview via video link tomorrow.

Does anyone here have any idea about the questions they might ask me?

closed as primarily opinion-based by David Richerby, Rory Alsop, Burhan Khalid, Henning Makholm, JoErNanO Oct 3 '16 at 9:25

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • opinion based question: cant say what high commision would ask – Ali Awan Oct 3 '16 at 7:29
  • What type of visa have you applied for? What is the purpose of your trip? – Zach Lipton Oct 3 '16 at 7:29
  • @Zach I applied for a Business Visitor visa. Going to the UK to receive a journalism Award. – Umer Ali Oct 3 '16 at 7:43
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    Questions are always specific to your application, so very difficult to predict. Most probably it will be to check the authenticity of your reasons for visiting UK and to confirm the details on the application corroborate your plans to visit UK. – DumbCoder Oct 3 '16 at 7:44
  • They can ask anything relating to the documents you have supplied in support of your visa, or the purpose of your trip. – Burhan Khalid Oct 3 '16 at 8:06

Good question for this particular point in time.

Last month (Sept 2016) the Home Office sent an advisory to legal practitioners in the UK that they want to start interviewing applicants again. For some cases they will use Skype (or whatever the current buzzword is), and in other cases they will want the applicant to make a personal appearance. Both of these cases are favourable because the person got past the initial sift and subsequent research.

Nobody objects to interviewing applicants because they have always had the right to interview applicants. They stopped doing this in about 2006 because at that time they saw no benefit in it. When I was in practice I used to give mock interviews to help get applicants up to speed, and there are probably still practitioners out there who retain a practice area in it.

Does anyone here have any idea about the questions they might ask me?

It depends upon what you wrote down. The important thing to remember is: they do not ask 'trick questions'. Yes, Immigration Officers at the airport do, but not ECO's giving a visa interview. The difference is that the person is paying for their application and this raises the bar. So in your case, a business premise to accept an award, they will throw out stuff like...

  • Are you ready for an interview?
  • Are you comfortable? Do you need a translator?
  • Why do you want to visit the UK?
  • How long do you want to stay?
  • What else will you do during your visit?
  • Do you have relatives in the UK?
  • How did you come to win this award?
  • Have you won other awards?
  • Has this interview been stressful for you? Do you need to rest for a moment?
  • Blah blah blah, thank you very much, please await our decision at your VFS.

As these examples demonstrate, they play it straight up. If they throw out a zinger from left field it usually means their research uncovered something you did not disclose in your application.

Can they also ask about something particular like a transaction from bank statement or a letter of reference?

They can ask any question that is reasonable and fair, and they are very good at keeping to those ground rules. If you think a given question is not reasonable or fair, then you can tell them that. It would be extraordinary and you should be prepared to explain what is unreasonable or unfair about a given question.

As you wrote above, I may have cleared the preliminary checks. Does that mean their decision would depend solely on this interview?

The interview stage is the final event. Their decision may or may not depend solely on the interview, but it will be the final event.

Other situations

We have seen problems when a "strong-willed" translator has editorialised a question into a different one (or editorialised an answer into something different) and the ECO is of course unaware of it, so if you opt to use a translator it's best to have your own act as an auxiliary.

Your situation presents a business premise, but when it's a bf/gf thing and the applicant starts to play cat-and-mouse, the whole thing can degenerate very quickly. But that's a different question for a different day.

Also, lots of applicants report that interviews take the form of a 'fishing trip' and these reports are generally well-founded. But bear in mind that 'fishing trips' are conducted only for in-country applicants who are trying to get a permanent visa. EU family permits, discretionary leave, family reunion, and so on are good examples. It's part of the government's hostile environment scheme, which is an official policy and not a secret. You are making an entry clearance application and have paid for consideration, so those reports do not apply. Be careful to understand the difference when you browse the net.

Summary: the questions will be straight-forward and focused, they do not play 'trick question' games. Your best strategy is to meet it head on as a business meeting and to do your very best to help them reach an informed decision.

  • That's a very good answer. I'm well prepared for the questions you mentioned above i.e. regrading the purpose of my visit or about my work. Can they also ask about something particular like a transaction from bank statement or a letter of reference? As you wrote above, I may have cleared the preliminary checks. Does that mean their decision would depend solely on this interview? – Umer Ali Oct 3 '16 at 9:30
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    @UmerAli hopefully you will get more answers to select from before accepting one. There are still LOTS of people on the net who remember the old regime and can contribute something meaningful. Give it a few days... – Gayot Fow Oct 3 '16 at 9:34
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    She asked me almost all of the questions that you stated above. Thank you. She also asked other questions about my journalism work, if there is any threats involved, if any of my family members received asylum somewhere, what my dad does, where I used to live before my current residence, about my studies, why would I want to come back to Pakistan etc etc – Umer Ali Oct 4 '16 at 6:52

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