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Interview Checklist

When you apply for a UK Student Visa, you may be interviewed by a UK Entry Clearance Officer. In most cases, the interview will take place by video link when you attend your visa appointment. In other cases, you may be called for a telephone interview at a later date.

The purpose of the interview is to establish whether you are a genuine student, so you will be asked detailed questions about the course you plan to study, your personal circumstances and your future career plans. If you fail the interview, your visa application will be rejected, even if you meet all other requirements under the UK Points Based System. Students from high risk countries (e.g. Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) are most likely to be interviewed.

Here is a list of questions previous students have been asked at interview, so please make sure you are prepared to answer them!

Studying in the UK

You need to demonstrate why studying in the UK is the best option for you.

  • Why do you want to study in the UK?
  • What are the benefits of studying in the UK instead of in your own country?

About Your Course

You need to be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the course you will study and how it fits into your future career plans.

  • Be prepared to provide the following details about the course: the name of the course, the main modules you will study, the start date and duration, the level, how the course will be assessed (e.g. exams, coursework, portfolios etc.).
  • If you are studying a foundation or pre-masters course, what academic and English level do you need to achieve in order to progress to a university degree?
  • What qualification will you receive at the end of the course?
  • Why did you choose the course? What are your future career goals and how will the course help you achieve them?
  • Did you consider any other courses? Genuine students usually research more than one course before making a final decision, so it is very important you give a good answer to this question!

About The College or University Where You Will Study

You need to be able to demonstrate that you have researched the college or university where you will study and explain why you chose it over other options.

  • Give the following details about the college or university where you will study: the name of the college or university, the city in which it is located, roughly how large it is, the facilities you expect to find, whether you know anybody who studies there already.
  • Why did you choose the college or university where you plan to study and how did you find out about it? Avoid using phrases from the university prospectus, such as "state of the art facilities", "a truly international university" etc. It will give the impression you are simply reading from a script!
  • What other colleges or universities did you consider? Genuine students usually research more than one institution before making a final decision, so it is very important you give a good answer to this question!

Life as an International Student in the UK

You need to demonstrate that you have prepared thoroughly for life as an international student in the UK.

  • Where will you live while you are in the UK?
  • How will you travel between your accommodation and your place of study? How much will it cost?
  • What are the responsibilities of students entering the UK under the Student Visa Route? You will be required to attend classes, make good academic progress and comply with the conditions of your student visa (e.g. not work more hours than you are permitted).
  • At the end of your course, do you intend to stay in the UK? If your intention is to stay in the UK to study a higher level qualification, then say so. Otherwise, the Entry Clearance Officer will be looking for evidence that you plan to leave the UK. It will help if you are able to explain your career plans when you return to your own country. Remember, your student visa will not permit you to remain in the UK to look for work at the end of your studies!

About You

The Entry Clearance Officer will look for evidence in your personal circumstances that indicate whether you are likely to be a genuine student or not.

  • If there have been gaps in your education, you will be expected to explain them and why you have decided to return to full time education.
  • Have you studied abroad? If you have successfully completed a course overseas then returned to your home country, this will be helpful.
  • Do you have any relatives who have studied in the UK? If the answer is yes and your relative completed his/her studies successfully and returned home, then make sure you explain that - it will help your application.
  • What are your plans after you return to your own country at the end of the course? For example, where would you like to work and what salary do you expect to earn?

About Your Financial Circumstances

You need to demonstrate that you have the financial means to support your studies in the UK.

  • What is your occupation?
  • Who is financing your studies?
  • If you are financing your studies, be prepared to answer detailed questions about your personal financial circumstances.
  • If somebody else is financing your studies, what is their occupation and their relationship to you? Can you be sure they will provide all the funds you need?
  • If you are a Government Sponsored Student, you must be able to explain how much money your sponsor will provide towards your tuition fees and/or living expenses. If you need additional funds, where will they come from?
  • How much do you expect to have to pay for your accommodation and living expenses?
  • Do you know whether you are permitted to work in the UK?
  • If you are permitted to work, how many hours during term time and vacations?
  • What hourly rate of pay do you expect to earn?
  • Do you have to work to afford your studies? If you don't have to work, we recommend you answer no to this question. However, if the answer is yes, what happens if you are unable to secure work, or are unable to work all the hours you need?

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