Appearing for your USA Student Visa Interview soon?
Students who will be attending institutions in the United States are finishing up their student visa applications as the Autumn semester approaches. By the middle of May, the first round of appointments for student visas will be available at US consulates in India.
Former US ambassador and director of consular affairs at the American company Argo Visa, Ben Arterburn, offers some advice on how to ace the student visa interview. According to Arterburn, the candidate has the best chance obtaining a student visa interview on their first try, and a second attempt leaves a bad first impression due to the earlier rejection.
“The worst thing a first time student visa applicant can do is say as little as possible at the visa interview. At the interview, everyone is presumed to have immigrant intent to start with and so they must prove that they qualify. Being quiet at the interview is a very bad idea; students should introduce themselves and take control of the interview and highlight their strong points which could be their financial status or their academic qualifications etc.,” he said.
Students should demonstrate their expertise in the field in which they intend to enroll, but the most crucial argument they must make during the visa interview is the reason(s) for which they intend to travel to the US and enroll in the particular course they have selected.
Here are 5 things to not do at your USA student visa interview:
1) Improper documentation:
You must bring the following documents with you to your interview:
- a valid passport
- a Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
- an application fee payment receipt
- a passport photo
- a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) Student Status (Form 1-20)
2) Being vague about your study plans and goals:
Your interviewer will quiz you about your intended course of study. Does your major have anything to do with your past coursework or employment back home? Make sure you can articulate your objectives to the consular representative.
3) Lying on your interview:
You risk having your F1 student visa denied if your interviewer suspects you are lying for any reason.
4) Having no solid plan to finance your education:
Your capacity to pay for your complete programme of study, including tuition and fees, accommodation and board, transportation, travel, health insurance, and all other necessary expenses, will be the main determinant of your eligibility for the F1 visa.
5) Choosing a university randomly
You must carefully choose which university you will attend if you want to be given an F1 visa. You must be able to demonstrate your readiness while taking into account the standard of the programme you will enroll in and your living situation.
Are you eligible for a US visa interview waiver?
The visa waiver programme for in-person interviews has been extended by the United States until December 31, 2023 for certain students, professors, researchers, short-term scholars, or specialists (applicants for F, M, and academic J visas) who meet certain requirements, including that they are applying for a visa in their country of nationality or residence.
For certain first-time and renewing F, M, and academic J applicants who have previously been granted any type of visa, who have never been refused a visa (unless such refusal was overcome or waived), and who have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility, consular officers may waive the requirement for a visa interview.
For some first-time F, M, and academic J applicants who are citizens or nationals of a nation that takes part in the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), in-person interviews may also be waived as long as they have no apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility and have previously visited the US using a permit obtained through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
A waiver of the interview is also available to applicants renewing visas in the same classification within 48 months after the expiration of the prior visa.
On a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration local circumstances, consular personnel may nevertheless demand an in-person interview.
At DWEC, we help you prepare for your USA student visa interview and crack it successfully.
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