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How to prepare for US visa interview (for study and visit visas)

Who becomes successful in a US visa interview? It is the one who has confidence and good communication skills to convince the visa officer.

Things you should know before you go for your US Student Visa and Visit Visa Interview

USA visa application process requires you to attend an in person interview with the visa officer at the US consulate in the country where you are residing. After you complete the DS-160 form online, go to https://ais.usvisa-info.com and pay the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) application fee (in simple terms, it is a visa application fee that every applicant has to pay whether you get the visa approved or not) and schedule the interview.

Like any interview, a US visa interview is also a formal interaction between two or more people – the Interviewer­­­­ and the Interviewee. All you need to have is the ‘confidence’ to speak out and ‘clarity’ in your answers. So, before you start prepping about the questions or worrying about the Interview Officer, here are a few things you must do. Remember, doing your homework is the key to success…

Prepare your documents

Neatly arrange all the required documents in a proper sequence. Remember the list of documents you are carrying and prepare well about what document you would want to show to visa officer upon what questions the officer asks. Usually in USA visa interviews, the officer does not ask for documents. Rather, they ask you questions and they expect you to give fine tuned answers that are specific to the question asked and backed by solid reasoning and proof. However, it is important for you to ensure that all the documents are with you during the interview. Here is the list of documents that you may carry during the interview:

  •  Passports of all applicants
  •   i20 (college admission letter) (carry multiple i20s if you got offers from more than one university)
  •  Invitation letter (for visit visa, if anyone has invited you from USA)
  •  Education loan letter
  •  Bank balance certificate
  •  Bank statement (Sponsor’s statement if your parents are sponsoring your education)
  •  Educational documents from secondary school to graduation
  •  Work experience documents like recent 3 pay slips and employment status certificate
  •  Tax assessments like ITR and Form-16 of past 2 years
  •  Current account statement of 3 months (if you have own business)
  •  Birth certificates of minors
  •  Marriage certificate (if you are married)
  •  Carry the US address proof and id proof of your close relative if they are living in USA and if you are revealing to the officer about your relative in USA.

Prepare yourself for the possible questions

Before you go to the appointment center, prepare yourself in advance, so when you meet the consular officer, you will know what to say and how to answer their questions. There is a list of common questions that are generally asked in a US visitor visa interview. The visa officer may ask variety of questions ranging from your background to the purpose of your visit to USA. You have to prepare your answers for each possible question. Most of the people prepare long answers and they end up speaking out in front of visa officer within time and the officer becomes unconvinced, stops them and moves to next question. There we advise you to prepare brief answers which you can really remember and reproduce in front of visa officer. You can do the following things to prepare convincing answers:

  •  Go through the Admission Essay or SOP you have submitted and understand you course properly and prepare answers to why this course, why this university etc.
  •  Prepare the complete list of universities and courses you had applied to and remember how many i20s (admits) you got and why you chose to apply for Visa on this particular course with which you went to interview.
  •  Thoroughly revise the course you have enrolled for, the kind of credit systems it has, the tenure, the faculty and the course highlights – basically why you chose that particular course and university. Have a fair idea of core subjects that would be studying in that course.
  •  Read about the state you would be visiting, about the University’s history and the nearby locations of international significance and beneficial to international students.
  •  Go through your financial documents to clearly understand how you would be paying for your education and stay in the USA.
  •  The visa officer may also ask you about the future plans after this course. You have to give them the convincing answer about the scope you have in your home country after this course and what will you be doing after competing this course. You should give an assuring answer to visa officer that you will be coming back to your home country and would pursue a career in home country in the same field whose course you have pursued in USA.

For Visit Visa applicants, those who wish to enter the US for business purposes or for tourism purposes, the officer may ask you about the purpose of your visit to USA, your total tour plan, the proofs of your available funds for the expenses of this trip, your employment proofs in home country that would compel you to come back etc. Your previous travel history also plays an important role in the decision of US visa officer.

Dressing for your visa interview

Any interview starts from the moment you come face to face with your interviewer. And the first impression is often ascertained by your dress. So, keep the following things in mind.

  •  Make sure your clothes are clean and well ironed. Waiting for your interview can be time consuming; hence you are advised to wear clothes that do not wrinkle quickly/easily.
  •  Wear formal shirt and trouser (for men) and formal Indian attire like saree or a kurti (for women). You can choose to wear a blazer if the weather is not hot.
  •  Choose light color clothing and avoid bright and fluorescent colors.
  •  Avoid shaded garments as they tend to distract. Rather, you may prefer wearing plain colors.
  •  Avoid wearing accessories in excess. Keep it minimal. Danglers, long necklaces and bangles that jingle are a strict no for women. If you must accessorize due to religious beliefs, please keep it to the bare minimum – anklets, for instance, that does not make noise are advised if you simply must wear them.
  •  Make sure you do not smell: neither good nor bad! While it is important to wear deodorant or light talc to ensure that you do not smell bad, it is important to avoid strong colognes or perfumes because the Visa Officers might be allergic to the same and you would not to make them uncomfortable.
  •  If your passport has a picture with glasses, make sure to wear them. You can wear contacts if it is otherwise!

Commonly asked visa interview questions:

There is no hard and fast rule that the officer must ask from certain prepared set of questions. Every interviewing visa officer is different and may ask you questions different questions. However, the intention of the visa officer is just to understand that your purpose of visit is genuine or not. Will you settle in USA or will you come back after the permitted period of stay? Will you be able to manage the expenses and afford to stay and study in USA as per your financial status?

Here are few sample questions that might be asked in your visa interview:

Commonly asked F1 visa interview questions:

Q. Why have you chosen this specific University?

Q. Which all universities did you apply to (both admits and rejects).

Q. Where did you complete your bachelor’s?

Q. Who is sponsoring you?

Q. What does your father/mother do?

Q. What is your father’s/mother’s/sponsor’s Income?

Q. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Q. Do you have any relatives in USA?

Q. Why don’t you do this course in your country?

Q. What will you do after completing MS/MBA/UG?

Q. Why Study in the USA?

Q. Have you got any education loan? How do you plan on repaying your Loan?

Q. Will you come back to home during vacations/holidays?

Q. Have you attempted any English test like TOEFL or IELTS?

Q. Have you attempted GRE?

Q. Tell me how can you prove that you are going to come back?

Q. Have you received any scholarship? Why has the University granted a scholarship to you?

Commonly Asked B1/B2 Visa Interview Questions:

Q. What is the purpose of your visit to the US?

Q. Have you been to the US before?

Q. Do you have relatives or friends currently in the US?

Q. Details on your friends / relatives in the US?

Q. Where will you be residing in the United States?

Q. What is the reason for traveling at this particular time?

Q. How long will you be staying in the US?

Q. Why do you plan to stay so long, can you stay shorter?

Q. Who will you be traveling with?

Q. Have you booked your tickets?

Q. How much do you think your stay in the US will cost to you?

Q. What do you do for a living? How much do you earn?

Q. How will you be financing your trip? Who is your sponsor?

Q. Are you married? Do you have children? Who will take care of them while you are away?

Q. Who will take care of your house/property/children while you are away?

Q. Do you have any intention on remaining in the US?

Q. How can you assure me that you will return to your home country?

Why choose Enaaya Consulting

‘Enaaya Consulting’ is Hyderabad’s one of the best and ethical visa consultancies specialized in Permanent Residency (PR) of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We are immigration experts in handling study visas and visitor visas of USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Schengen and European countries. Canada PR has been our flagship service since 2018 and we have helped thousands of Indians and gulf expatriates in obtaining their PR of Canada. People seek assistance of a consultant for right guidance when they are confused on certain requirements of visa application. They expect their immigration consultant to find solutions for them that can make a meaningful difference in their visa process. ‘Enaaya Consulting’ offers distinctive solutions in the IELTS preparation and in immigration and visa processes. We treat each case with empathy and handle the file with in-depth analysis. We are a one stop for all that you need to fulfill your dream of flying abroad. Please contact us once to know the difference before you put your file with any other agent.