Important Student Visa Interview Advice You Should Know
by James Allen on January 4, 2016
The last step before receiving your visa is successfully completing a visa interview. In 2015, 1.13 million international students on F-1 visas studied in the United States. That means they all passed their visa interviews. If they can do it, you can too! Students that pass their interviews are prepared and confident. There are three main points we’ll cover to help you be prepared:
Each one of these steps is very important, so we will cover them all in detail.
The first step to a successful interview is being on time. If you are late to your interview, that tells the interviewer that you are not very serious or professional. Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before and properly plan your transportation. I like to use Google Maps’ “Arrive By” feature to determine what time I need to leave in order to arrive on time.
To do this, go to maps.google.com and do the following:
a. Click on “Leave now” — b. Click on “Arrive by” — c. Enter the time you wish to arrive — d. Leave by or before the suggested time
Another important step to being on time is having all of your documents ready the night before. I highly recommend having a binder or large manila envelope to keep all of your documents in one place.
In a previous blog post, How to Get an F-1 Student Visa, I covered all of the required documents. I’ll briefly list them here again, but if you are unsure about the documents you need, I suggest you go back and read that post.
For even more details about which documents you should bring, visit this page. The following documents can also help you in your interview:
The next step in successfully completing your interview is being prepared to answer questions. You should assume that your interview will take place in English, so be prepared to listen and understand the questions being asked and give a reply in English.
There are many questions the interviewer could ask you. Some questions are pretty common (e.g. Have you ever visited the United States before?), and some questions may seem strange (e.g. Have you been involved in terrorist activities). Simply answer each question with a clear, truthful, and short answer. Here’s what I mean by that:
Here are some common questions you can expect to be asked (questions marked with a * only apply to college-age or adult students):
One of the most common reasons students are denied a visa is because the interviewer thinks the student will stay in the U.S.
Remember, student visas are non-immigrant visas. This means they are only given to people who plan on returning to their home country. If your interviewer is not convinced that you will return to your home country after you finish your studies, your visa request will be denied.
For more advice on this issue, read How to Prove Intent to Return Home After Studying in the U.S. from Nolo.com and Why You May Be Denied a U.S. Student Visa from AllLaw.com.
Here are other important tips to remember:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there were over 1 million international students in the United States in 2015. That means over 1 million people passed their student visa interview, and you can too!
Just remember to have all of your documents ready, sleep at least 8 hours the night before your interview, and be ready to arrive on time. Practice answering all of the questions in this post that apply to you with a family member or friend.
If making eye contact is not part of your culture, be sure to practice making eye contact while speaking. As long as you tell the truth, keep your answers clear and short, and remain confident, you have nothing to worry about!
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Get in touch or voice your opinion on social media!