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Top Tips to Ace the US Student Visa Interview

Female college Student holding portfolio

Every student who has gone through the US student visa process knows how tough it can be to get approval. Focusing on acing the visa interview is as crucial as focusing on the admission process. Many students who get their admit fail to get their visa approved. As fearsome it may sound, prior preparation and visa counseling can help you set on the path to success in your visa interview.  

Overseas students who want to study an academic course in America need an F1 visa. J category of visa is for the exchange students while M category visa is for the students who want to pursue vocational or non-academic courses. 

Steps of US Student Visa Application

  • Get admitted to a reputed US school
  • Pay the SEVIS fee after receiving your I20 from the school
  • Complete the visa application form online
  • Schedule the interview with the US visa consulate
  • Prepare your documents
  • Attend the interview

Documents Required for the Interview

  • Copy of your interview appointment letter
  • DS-160 Confirmation printout
  • Original Visa fee receipt (applicant’s copy)
  • Original I-20
  • SEVIS fee receipt 
  • Passport 
  • Birth certificate 
  • Academic documents
  • Financial documents
  • Admission letter  

On the Day of the Interview

On the interview day, make certain that you reach the venue at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled time of appointment. Taking into consideration the cruciality of your first impression, you must carry a poised attitude and a warm smile. The consul interviewing you will be an American and he/she will be an expert in his profession and would have taken thousands of such interviews in the past. Straightforwardness is expected from you and it would be easy for the officer to judge you based on your documents and answers whether they are right or not. You must be completely honest with the interviewer. 

Questions Frequently Asked by US Student Visa Interviewers

  • What’s the reason behind choosing this university?
  • Why did you give it preference over others?
  • What are your plans after this degree?
  • How are you financing the course?
  • Questions based on the test such as TOEFL/GRE/GMAT

As you must have chosen the university after doing a sufficient amount of research, the interviewer might ask a host of questions about it. These questions are targeted to verify that you are qualified enough to study in that specific college or not. Never tell the interviewer about anything related to your green card plans even if you have so. America surely does promote overseas students but they never want to keep you there forever. Discuss your plans about doing the tasks after returning to India post your studies. Your explanation regarding this should be believable and valid. Your source of funding should also be clear, specific, and valid. You must keep all the documents with you as anything can be asked for. 

Things You Must Remember

  • Make the appointment well in advance as the slots are not easy to get.
  • Have all the required documents handy such as the D-160, I-20, Sevis form, Sevis receipt fee, receipt of the visa application fee, passport, appointment letter, etc.
  • Provide an explanation in your career gap if there are any. 
  • Prepare well for the interview. You can read blogs and videos available online which can help you prepare better. You can also take the help of your seniors and friends who have given the visa interview. Avail of visa counseling services available. 
  • Use a black ballpen to fill the form.
  • Make certain that you convey your plan to return to India after your studies in the US.
  • Be confident and polite while answering.

Things You Must Avoid

  • Never produce fake documents.
  • Never avoid making eye contact with the officer.
  • Do not be overconfident or too nervous.
  • Never give evasive answers. 
  • Avoid exaggeration. Be crisp and to the point.
  • Never skip researching about your college.
  • Avoid wearing unnecessary accessories or flashy clothes.
  • Never argue with the interviewer in case of rejection.

In case you don’t qualify for a US visa, do not panic as you can always reapply. Make sure that you are well prepared for the interview as confident enough to answer all the questions with ease and honesty. Follow the above-mentioned do’s and don’ts and ace the US student visa interview like a pro! All the best…

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