SmallTalk2Me Team Blog
Language Learning

English for immigration: useful phrases and tips

Two men smiling sitting in a cafe with laptops

In this challenging times SmallTalk has decided to support people who for any reason had to relocate to another country and developed an English course for immigration with the most useful topics.
Check out all SmallTalk English speaking courses here.
To continue, on medium we’re starting a series of publications with useful tips and tricks on how to do great in English speaking in different situations related to immigration. These are some useful phrases and tips on how to succeed in English during the immigration and border control interview.

Interview tips:

  1. Be friendly and polite with an immigration officer or any other person who is interviewing you. They represent the country, so if you are disrespectful or aggressive with them, it might have very negative consequences for you.
  2. Bring all the required documents.
  3. If you don’t understand a question, ask to repeat or clarify it.
  4. If you don’t know the answer, say “Sorry, I don’t know.”/ “I’m not sure.” Don’t make anything up and don’t lie.
  5. Don’t interrupt the interviewing officer. Listen carefully, think about your answer and then say it clearly and loudly enough.
  6. Ask for guidance and clarifications if needed. Never threaten a government official.

Use these phrases:

  • I’d like to visit ________ for business purposes/ medical treatment / studying / leisure /tourism /to visit my relatives.
  • The purpose of my visit is …
  • I’m going to …
  • I’m planning to …
  • I’ve booked / reserved a hotel / flight .
  • I’ve never been to …
  • It’s my first time in …
  • I have relatives / close friends in …
  • I work for (a name of a company) as a (profession)
  • My responsibilities include … / I’m in charge of …
  • I have no intention of staying in (a name of a country) afterwards.
To practice, read the dialogues out loud.

Dialogue 1. Tourist visa*

Applicant: Hello!
Immigration officer: Hello! Hand me your documents please.
Applicant: Here they are.
Immigration officer: Thank you! What is the purpose of your visit to the US?
Applicant: I am a tourist. I’d like to visit different places in America.
Immigration officer: Who are you going with?
Applicant: My wife Alice is coming with me.
Immigration officer: OK. What states are you planning to visit?
Applicant: We are going to travel along the East Coast. Here is our itinerary.
Immigration officer: Hmm, good. Have you booked any accommodation?
Applicant: Sure. I’ve booked several hotels, motels and hostels. You can find our reservations among other documents.
Immigration officer: Yes, I see them. Do you know anyone in the US?
Applicant: No, unfortunately, not.
Immigration officer: And how will you be financing your trip?
Applicant: We’ve already booked the flights, hotels, health insurance. I’ll pay for all the rest like car rental, food and entertainment on the spot by my card. Alice and I have some savings. We are going to take some cash too, but not much.
Immigration officer: OK… How long are you planning to stay in America?
Applicant: Our return flight is planned for the 21st of July. So, it’s totally 12 days.
Immigration officer: And what’s the last place you travelled to?
Applicant: We went to Jamaica 2 years ago. And before that we travelled around Europe.
Immigration officer: OK. What do you do for a living?
Applicant: My wife and I are professional musicians. I’m a composer and she’s a singer. We have a contract with an international music company.
Immigration officer: Do you have any intention of remaining in the US?
Applicant: No, we are planning to return home after our holiday.
Immigration officer: How can you assure me that you will return to your home country?
Applicant: We have our return tickets and we are renting an apartment which is prepaid till the end of the year. Also our dog is staying with the neighbors till we are back. We won’t leave it alone.
Immigration officer: OK. I have no more questions. You can come back on the date that’s on this slip and you’ll get your passport back with an approved or refused visa.
Applicant: Thank you. Have a good day!

Dialogue 2. Work visa*

Applicant: Hello! Here are my documents.
Immigration officer: Hello. Thank you. Could you tell me please why you wish to visit Germany?
Applicant: My company wants to relocate me to Germany, so that I stay closer to my clients.
Immigration officer: What company are you planning to work for in Germany?
Applicant: It’s Software Engineering AG.
Immigration officer: What will be your position and responsibilities?
Applicant: Actually, my position and job responsibilities will be the same as now. I’ll work as a project manager and will cooperate with the same clients, but hopefully from Germany. They are located in Hamburg as well as our main office. So I’ll be able to meet them personally whenever needed.
Immigration officer: What will be your gross salary?
Applicant: 6500 euros.
Immigration officer: Have you been to Germany before?
Applicant: No, I haven’t but I’ve travelled a lot around neighbor countries like France, Austria, Switzerland. I’ll be happy to see Germany as well.
Immigration officer: Do you have relatives or friends currently in Germany?
Applicant: No, I don’t. I have only some colleagues and clients there.
Immigration officer: Where will you be residing in Germany?
Applicant: A company is ready to rent a flat for me not far away from the office.
Immigration officer: Are you married? Do you have children?
Applicant: I’m divorced and I don’t have any children.
Immigration officer: How long will you be working in Germany?
Applicant: The contract is for 2 years.
Immigration officer: OK. I have no more questions. You can come back on the date that’s on this slip and you’ll get your passport back with an approved or refused visa.
Applicant: Thank you. Have a good day!
If you need more practice to improve your spoken English skills and don’t have anyone to practice with, check out SmallTalk English for Immigration course that will help you to learn new vocabulary and expressions with the help of real-life dialogues and our cutting-edge AI software. Improve your pronunciation and role-play real-life dialogues to get prepared for your new life abroad!
* The questions and answers provided here are given for practiсing English only. All immigration requirements and procedures should be checked on the official websites of your destination countries.