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Applying for Student Visa

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The Visa Interview

Dress well, speak clearly, be polite and look the interviewer in the eye and answer all questions specifically. Be prepared to present your own case and information since it is possible your family or friends may not be permitted to accompany you for the interview. Make sure you have all the items possibly needed for your interview, mainly passport, I-20 SEVIS fee receipt, bank statement.

Be prepared to speak English – Expect that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. Interviews can make you nervous, especially if they are not in your native language, so be sure to practice ahead of time with a native speaker or friend who is proficient in English. Remember that the interview is very short and it is important that you be able to say what you need to without forgetting or stumbling on words.

Be Concise - As mentioned above, you only have a limited amount of time to make your case. Remember that the embassy or consulate gets a huge amount of applications and are under heavy time pressure. You may only have 2 to 5 minutes with the officer. This is a situation where first impressions are crucial. Keep your answers short and to the point, and do not waste time on insignificant details or stories. Have all documents easily accessible. You will want to make a favorable impression in the first minute or two of the interview, since the official is under time pressure to conduct a short and efficient interview. Show a positive attitude and do not argue with the official.

What if my visa is denied?

Be polite:  You may be very upset and frustrated, but arguing will work against you. Remember, you may have to deal with this person again, so do your best to make a good impression.

Ask the consular officer to give you a written explanation of your denial. He or she is required to do so upon request.  The most common reasons for visa denial are; failure to prove sufficient ties to your home country and failure to provide evidence of adequate financial support.  Other reasons for visa denials include health-related issues such as Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, etc., criminal background, security risk, previous illegal entrance to the United States, immigration status violators previously removed from the United States.

You are legally allowed to reapply for your visa. When reapplying, make sure to carefully put together your case, add new evidence and make sure that you are able to discount the reasons of your first denial.