“Your visa has been approved,” are the magical words that every student hoping to study abroad hopes to hear. Please post your acceptance letter; this is another difficult nut to crack. When you’ve completed your GRE, TOEFL, and admissions, you can’t afford to overlook the visa procedure because it’s the golden ticket to your dream destination. Some students who have been accepted into their programs have their visas denied. As daunting as it may look, effective preparation can easily lessen the risks and set you up for success in your visa interview.
Foreign students who wish to take academic courses in the United States must get an F1 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa. J visas are for exchange students, whereas M visas are for individuals doing vocational/non-academic courses.
What are the Key Steps to Apply for a US Student Visa?
- Get accepted by a reputed school.
- Pay the SEVIS fee after you have been issued an I-20
- Complete the visa application form that is available online
- Schedule your interview with the visa consulate (plan ahead to get a good slot)
- Prepare your documents and attend your visa interview
What are the documents required for a US student visa interview?
There is a list of mandatory documents that you need to carry. The documents would include –
- Copy of your interview appointment letter
- DS-160 Confirmation printout
- Original Visa fee receipt (applicant’s copy)
- Original I-20
- SEVIS fee receipt
- Birth certificate
Academic documents, financial records, and documentation relating to your acceptance to a US university are also important.
Never lose a document since it is impossible to go back and retrieve it on D-Day.
What are the things to keep in mind on the day of your US visa interview?
Make sure your alarm doesn’t go off on the day of your interview because you must arrive at the venue at least an hour before your planned time of appointment. Because initial impressions are so important, maintain a welcoming grin and a poised demeanor. An American consulate officer will interview you. Not to mention that the officer is an expert in his field and has interviewed thousands of candidates just like you.
He would anticipate sincere, direct responses.
It is not difficult for him to determine whether your responses and documents are authentic or forged. His truth detector is almost never wrong. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy.
What are some commonly asked US student visa interview questions?
- Why have you chosen this university?
- Why did you prefer this school to others?
- What are your plans post MS/MBA/Ph.D.?
- What is your source of funding? You should show a combination of liquid funds sufficient to cover your total expenses. These funds can be from your parents, an education loan or other 1-2 sponsors.
- Few questions based on your GRE/TOEFL/GMAT
You should recall all of your study on your selected university because there may be many questions regarding it. These questions are designed to determine whether or not you are qualified to study there. If you have any green card plans, never tell the officer. As much as the United States encourages overseas students, they never aim to keep you there indefinitely.
You should embrace your culture and discuss your plans for returning to your home country. Have a valid and believable explanation as to why you want to return. It can be your career, family, or even your marriage. Also, when asked about your funding source, be clear and specific. Keep the documents handy since they might be needed.
- Take all the required documents such as the I-20/ Sevis form, the D-160 form, receipt of the visa application fee. Sevis receipt fee, appointment letter, passport, or the Xerox, passport-sized photograph.
- Take the documents to show your finances and how you are going to manage your study fees. Hence it is very important to get a clear idea of your finances before you go.
- Give an explanation of your gaps in the curriculum if you have any.
- Observe student visa experiences from blogs and videos to prepare well for the interview; Also ask your friends and seniors about their experiences. You can also avail of Visa Counseling. Contact GyanDhan for the same and we will get you the best service at a discounted price from our partners.
- Fill all the forms in a black ballpoint pen.
- Speak the truth and prepare for questions like – “Why the United States and not India or Europe?”, “Why did you choose this university? ”, “What plans after MS?” , “How do you plan to fund your education?”
- Ensure that you tell them that you plan on returning to India after your education is over.
- Be polite and confident in your answers
- Not having suitable support documentation or producing false documents.
- Avoiding eye contact with the officer
- Appearing too confident/too nervous
- Dishonest or evasive answers. Don’t exaggerate your answers. Be to the point.
- Insufficient research on your school
- Book your visa interview more than 120 days in advance.
- Argue in case of rejection
- Wear any unnecessary accessories on the face in the photo unless they are for religious purposes.