An overwhelming response to the posts related to H4 visa prompted me to write this small post on questions that I was asked at the port of entry in the U.S. Please note that each case is different and the line of questioning varies for every individual. If you have a similar experience to share with others, please contribute to this forum.
Here's my story.
Date: Sometime in 2010.
Recently I went to India for my H4 stamping. I got a new visa stamped in my passport. Here is the conversation between me and the interviewing Immigrations Officer at San Francisco International Airport. Hopefully it will help people coming to the U.S. on the H4 visa.
Officer: Good evening, how are you today?
Me: Hi. I am doing great. Thanks.
I handed the passport along with the Customs form/I-94 (we received these documents on board).
Officer : Thank you. Why did you visit India?
Me: I was visiting family.
Officer: Could you please verify your husband’s name?
Me: Yes. His name is ——-
Officer: Where does he work?
Me: He works in (name of company).
Officer : Where is place of work?
Me: Well, he goes to Mountain View for work.
Officer: Mountain View, huh, its a great place to work!
Me: You are so right (smile).
Officer: Are you carrying any food items?
The Officer asked me to do finger & thumb printing and eye scanning. This took less than 20 seconds. He then clicked a photo.
Officer: Do you have your husband’s I-797 ?
Me: No. I do not have it.
Officer: Please carry it next time.
Me: Sure. I will. He came 3 weeks before me. He was carrying his I797. I will certainly keep a copy with me next time. Thanks!
I 94 Arrival record is stapled to my passport. I quickly glance at the date of the I-94. It matches the expiration date of my visa. All is well..:)
Officer: OK. Ms. Suri. You are all set. Welcome to the United States. You can now head towards baggage claims.
Me: Thank you. I appreciate it. You have a great day!
The interview was pretty straightforward. Since I already had another H4 visa stamped the conversation went well otherwise not carrying the I797 could have been an issue (if you have read this far, please make sure that you carry the I797 given to your spouse).
Please be calm and honest during the questioning. The officer wants to make sure that every person entering United States has valid documents to to so. If he is not convinced with your answers, you will be sent for secondary screening.
Note: This is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney for specific immigration related advice.