It’s exciting to gain acceptance at a university in the USA, but the thought of having to go through a visa interview may dampen the celebratory mood. Many people will tell you stories of their difficult interviews, and how their plans could be ruined if the interviewer rejects their application. But there’s no need to worry. The interviewer’s goal is not to reject applications, but to simply make sure your reasons for visiting the US are valid. They are not out to prevent you from achieving your US dreams, unless it involves staying in the country illegally.
It’s important to remember that the average US Visa Interview is relatively short – usually lasting only 3-4 minutes, and in most cases the Visa Officer won’t ask for any documents. That said, it’s still a good idea to carry your paperwork with you, just in case. Don’t offer them up unless you’re asked though!
Preparing for the Interview Day…
Before going for your US Student Visa Interview, here are some things to keep in mind:
Before you start worrying about the interviewer or prepping for the questions they may ask, here are a few things you should do to ensure that your interview goes as smoothly as possible. Preparing ahead of time is key to success, so don’t forget to do your homework!
- Be sure to get your file organized and put all your documents in order and labeled correctly.
- It’s vital that all your documents are sorted and organized prior to the interview (check out the following list for all the documents to bring along). Don’t worry, you won’t need to show any of them.
- Take a look over your Admission Essay or Statement of Purpose that you’ve submitted, as well as the complete list of universities and programs you’ve applied to.
- Make sure you take a close look at the course you’re enrolled in; check out the credit system, length, professors and what makes this program special – why did you decide to attend this university?
- Do some research about the state you’re going to, such as its history and the places around the University?
- Take a look at your financial records to gain a better understanding of how you will be financing your education in the United States.
Q- Why have you chosen this specific University?
A- It is important to take the time to review your university’s website and handbook carefully, noting any noteworthy features such as its world ranking, research facility, faculty profile, and alumni profile. The visa officer wants to understand why you chose this university specifically, so simply stating “I only got accepted here” isn’t going to be enough. Make sure that your choice of university is something that you’re genuinely excited about!
Q- Which all universities did you apply to (both admits and rejects).
A- The Visa Officer would like to know if you are dedicated to your education. It is important to be honest about how many universities you applied to and why you chose the one you accepted. In a brief statement, let him know that you are pleased to have been accepted. For example: I carefully chose four universities to apply to based on my educational interests, and I’m delighted to have been accepted into one of my top two choices.
Q. Where did you complete your bachelor’s?
A- Be sure to include the name of the course and the university. If the university has a good reputation or any special features, make sure to mention them as well. Keep your language concise and direct.
Q. Who is sponsoring you?
A- If you have a scholarship to study in the US, feel free to mention it! If not, you can list your sponsors and let people know that your parents are supporting you with your education, based on the financial documents.
Q. What does your father/mother do?
A- The Visa officer wants to make sure your sponsors have the financial means to support you. Make sure you review your sponsors’ Income Tax Returns (ITR) and supporting documents thoroughly. Have a clear understanding of the income sources of your father, mother, and any other person who is sponsoring you. Instead of vaguely stating they are in business or service, be specific about what they do and their exact role. For Example , say: ‘He’s the Senior Branch Manager at SBI, Patiala Branch’ or ‘She’s a Professor at Hyderabad University; she teaches Mercantile Law.’
Q. What is your father’s/mother’s/sponsor’s Income?
A- The Visa Officer is eager to ensure that your sponsor’s annual income is sufficient to cover the cost of your studies abroad. They highly value the proof of annual income when it comes to assessing your sponsor’s ability to meet your educational expenses. Please provide the Visa Officer with the annual income as per the IT Returns that have been submitted to the University for your I-20.
Q. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
A- Do these questions help us get a better understanding of your family’s financial situation? We just want to make sure that your parents have enough funds for any other members in their family who may need them in the future. We’re assessing the income and expenses of the family here.
Q. Do you have any relatives in USA?
A-Be honest now. The Visa Officer will have all the information about your immediate family members – brother, sister, father, or mother. If any of your more distant relatives live in the US, then you don’t need to mention them. It’s only important to talk about your closest family. Having a relative who has stayed in the US for a longer period than legally allowed will not be looked upon favorably.
Q. Why don’t you do this course in your country?
A- It is important for you to recognize the advantages of taking this course in the US rather than India. If the course is not available in India, explain this to the Visa Officer. However, if it is available in both countries, emphasize the differences in quality and structure of the course in India and in the US. Convince the Visa Officer that doing this course from the US can really boost your profile. Also, don’t forget to mention any relevant research or technical words that might impress them.
Q. What will you do after completing MS/MBA/UG? Tell me how can you prove that you are going to come back?
A- If you’re looking to work upon finishing your course, let them know! Mention that you’re eager to take on job opportunities in India and name a few of the companies you’re interested in. If you’re already employed, mention that you’ve been offered a spot to return to your previous organization after your studies. And if furthering your education and research is more your style, make sure to let them know that too. Above all, let them know that your family remains in India and you’d love to come back to them once your academic journey is complete.
Q. Why Study in the USA?
A- The visa officer wants to understand your reasons for travelling to the US. As you are applying for a student visa, it is best to emphasize how the US provides quality education that could help you bring the best of the world back to your country. It would be beneficial to showcase the infrastructure, research opportunities and teaching methods that are available here. Instead of talking about the country in general, you should focus more on the university and course you are interested in, to make it clear that you are merely here for educational purposes.
Q. Have you received any scholarship? Why has the University granted a Scholarship to you?
A- It’s important to be aware of the number of scholarships you may be entitled to, and why the university is offering them. Your visa officer will want to ensure you’re aware of any scholarship programs and financial aid, so make sure to mention any Statement of Purpose you’ve submitted. Don’t forget to bring a copy along with you!
Q. Have you got any Loans? How do you plan on repaying your Loan?
A- I’m confident that I’ll be able to repay the loan I applied for once I graduate and am able to find a good job in India. I don’t plan to use part-time jobs in the US to pay it off.
Q. Will you come back to home during vacations/holidays?
A- The visa officer wants to make sure you have strong ties to your home country and family. You can mention that you intend to come back to India in order to visit your family and friends. Avoid expressing any plans to take up a job in the USA, as this could lead the visa officer to believe you are trying to settle there and not return to India once your studies have been completed.
In addition, the visa officer might ask you questions related to your educational background, your siblings’ schooling and occupation, as well as your current job. Remember, stay confident in your purpose to pursue an education in the USA and demonstrate that you have the means to do so.
This Guide is here to provide you with helpful information, not legal advice. For Legal Advice Please contact us
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