Tips for a Successful Visa Interview

Each applicant must submit supporting documents as evidence with their Student visa application. The supporting documents can vary from applicant to applicant depending on individual circumstances.

 1) TIES TO HOME COUNTRY

All applicants for nonimmigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not. “Ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence (i.e., job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc). If you are a prospective student, the interviewing officer may ask about your specific intentions or promise of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, grades, long-long range plans, and career prospects in your home country. Each person’s situation is different, of course, and there is no magic explanation or single document, certificate, or letter, which can guarantee visa issuance.

 2) ENGLISH

Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. One suggestion is to practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview. If you are coming to the Country solely to study intensive English, be prepared to explain how English will be useful for you in your home country.

 3) SPEAK FOR YOURSELF

Do not bring parents or family members with you to your interview. The consular officer wants to interview you, not your family. A negative impression is created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf. If you are a minor applying for a high school program and need your parents there in case there are questions, for example, about funding, they should wait in the waiting room.

 4) KNOW THE PROGRAM AND HOW IT FITS YOUR CAREER PLANS

If you are not able to articulate the reasons you will study in a particular program in that Country, you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study, rather than to immigrate. You should also be able to explain how studying in that country relates to your future professional career in your home country.

 5) BE CONCISE

Because of the volume of applications that are received, all consular officers are under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. Consequently, what you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Keep your answers to the officer’s questions short and to the point.

6) SUPPLEMENTAL DOCUMENTATION

It should be clear at a glance to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated. Remember that you will have 2-3 minutes of interview time, if you’re lucky.

 7) NOT ALL COUNTRIES ARE EQUAL

Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Statistically, applicants from those countries are more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study in that Country.

 8) MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.



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