How To: The Visa Interview Process

How To: The Visa Interview Process

The Visa interview process is considered by many international students to be the most stressful piece of the puzzle that is entering the US using an F-1 student visa. In this edition of “how to,” we will take some time to go over the basics of a visa interview with the hopes of instilling confidence in students travelling to the US. This process may seem daunting, but coming to the interview prepared will translate into the highest likelihood for success.

The paperwork you should have at the ready is similar to the paperwork required throughout the I-20 and DS-160 process (for information on those forms, see our previous blogs). These papers include your visa and passport, in addition to receipts proving that both of these documents have been paid in full, a photo like the one submitted during the DS-160 process, and your acceptance letter and I-20 form confirming that you have been admitted to your school. Proof of English proficiency, financial documents, academic records including test scores, and documents that prove you have a tie to your home country are also imperative to a successful interview. Be aware that some specific embassies/consulates require additional paperwork, and that this is not necessarily an exhaustive list. You should contact your place of interview ahead of time to find out if any other paperwork will be required.

Above all else, it is crucial that you tell the truth throughout the interview process. This is, of course, at the heart of what your interviewer will be paying attention to throughout your appointment. It’s important to realize that the officer conducting your interview has the final say on whether you pass the interview process or not. If the officer has reason to believe you are not being entirely truthful, he or she can prevent you from entering the United States. Your interviewer will be concerned with some basic key points about your decision to travel to the US. As a travelling student, your one and only goal should be your education while you are in the states. The interviewer will ask questions made to determine that you only intend to study while in the US. With this in mind, it will also be of interest to your interviewer whether or not you have the ability to be a full-time student in the US. Seeing as, for the most part, you are not allowed to work while studying in the US, your financial situation will come into question. This is where the financial documents mentioned earlier come in. Do you have enough money to sustain yourself while in the US without having to work? Being able to prove this will be of great importance. Finally, the interviewer will attempt to confirm that your stay in the United States is ultimately a temporary one. The purpose of an F-1 student visa is only for students from other countries to come and study for a short time. Proving that you have the intention to return to your home, your family, and your job once your studies are over are just a few examples of ways that you can prove to your interviewer that you will not attempt to stay in the US after your studies have come to an end.

The visa interview process can be a stressful one, but we hope that this basic overview of the process helps to build confidence. In the event that you feel you are in need of more assistance, Optimus Language School offers small simulated visa interview sessions to any visa students intending to study with us once they have completed the visa process. Some of the more common questions asked in the interview process are covered, as well as the best ways to answer them. Call, click, or come in today, and ask us about our visa interview classes.


Published on January 26, 2017

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