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Visa Interview Checklist

When you apply for a US Student Visa, you will be interviewed by a Visa Official. The purpose of the interview is to establish that you are a genuine student with a reliable source of funds and that you are going to leave the United States at the end of your studies. The interview will last for 5-7 minutes and you will be asked questions about your study plans, your personal circumstances and your career goals.

This checklist will help you prepare for your interview. Your visa application will be refused if you fail the interview, so make sure you can answer all the questions with confidence!

Studying in the USA

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

The Course & Your Future Plans

  • What course are you going to study and what qualification will you receive at the end?
  • If you are going to study an academic or English language pathway, explain how that works and what grades you need to progress to the next stage of your studies.
  • Why did you choose this course? Did you consider any other courses? Genuine students usually research more than one course before making a final decision, so it is important you give a good answer to this question.
  • What are your future career goals and how will this course help you achieve them? It will strengthen your answer if you can give examples of some companies or organisations in your home country that you might work for. What type of job roles are you interested in and what are your salary expectations?
  • Avoid giving the impression that you plan to remain in the USA after your studies to find work and/or to immigrate. If you can demonstrate strong ties to your home country (e.g. family business, dependants etc.), that will help your case.

The College or University

  • Make sure you know the correct name of the college or university and the city in which it is located. Do not confuse similar university names (e.g. The University of Oregon and Oregon State University are different institutions). And make sure you look up the location on a map of the USA.
  • Why did you choose this particular college or university? Do not recite facts and phrases from the university website, 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 institutions did you consider and why did you choose this one over the others?

Your Personal And Financial Circumstances

  • 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, it will be helpful to mention that.
  • Do you have any relatives who have studied in the USA? If the answer is yes and they completed their studies and returned home, it will be helpful to mention that.
  • Who is going to pay for your studies? If you are financing your own studies, be prepared to answer detailed questions about your personal financial circumstnces. If you have dependants at home, how will you support them while you are in the USA?
  • 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?

Final Considerations

  • The interview will last approximately 5 - 7 minutes. Respond to the questions confidently, honestly and keep your answers as concise as possible. The visa officer will adopt a formal, official tone and may come across as unfriendly. So make sure you are prepared for that.
  • When answering questions, always remember the purpose of the interview: to establish that you are a genuine student with a reliable source of funds and that you are going to leave the United States at the end of your studies.
  • You will be given a final decision on your visa application by the visa official at the end of your interview. Good luck!

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