Tips and Preparation for a US Visa Interview
Applying for a visa in the United States is rather similar to applying for citizenship. The process can be lengthy and arduous. Just like applying for citizenship, visa applicants will undergo an interview when they arrive at the consulate. If you are new to the process, it is important to familiarize yourself with this part of the application. To help you prepare, we put together some important tips that are guaranteed to help you in your interview.
Clearly Explain Your Ties To Your Home Country
When applying for a United States visa, a consular officer will likely question your reasons for returning to your home country. In this case, you have to make your reasons clear and show that they are stronger than remaining in the United States, where you would be considering an intending immigrant. Strong ties to your home country can include family, financial prospects, investments, and similar reasons.
Come With All The Necessary Documents
Even if you have sent over documentation when you applied, a consular officer will still expect you to come with important written documents. These written documents should be clear to the officer and you must quickly explain what they signify. You should even come prepared with copies in case they are requested or needed when reviewing your application.
Expect The Interview To Be Conducted In English
Even if the consulate is located in your home country, you should come prepared and anticipate that they will be communicating with you in English. Officials recommend that you practice speaking in English or holding a conversation in English with a native English speaker prior to your interview. If you are coming to the United States solely to study English, be able to explain how speaking the language will be useful in your native country.
Be Ready To Discuss Credentials
While it may seem odd to be questioned heavily on credentials, applications for visas are very dependent on one’s credentials and qualifications. When answering these questions, focus on explaining that your credentials meet the legal standards for admission into the visa program you are applying for. It is also recommended to not become too technical as consular officers will not know everything about the institution or work you are going into.
Know What You Are Applying For
If you cannot explain how a visa program benefits you and your professional goals, you will most likely fail at being able to move forward with your application. You must be able to explain how either working or studying in the United States directly benefits your future professional career, whether you plan on pursuing it in your home country or in the United States.
Be Straightforward And Concise
You won’t have too much time when being interviewed. Oftentimes, consular officers have many other applicants to meet in one day, so you need to be straight to the point and concise with your responses. With that being said, you have to also be able to make a good impression during the first couple of minutes of your interview.
Keep Documents Short, As Well
When explaining and going over your documents, you also have to be short and straight to the point. Similar to when an employer is scanning a potential employee’s resume, you must be able to explain each document between a sentence or two. You may have, at most, three minutes of interview time, so you should keep this part of the interview as short as possible.
Be Prepared To Discuss Dependents
Discussing your dependents can very much support your reasons for returning to the United States after your visa. Additionally, you must explain how dependents remaining at home will be able to support themselves. This can be a tricky area in the process of applying for a visa, especially if you are the primary source of income for your family. If your family decides to join you later, this can help your application for a visa.
Keep A Positive, Professional Attitude
Even if the interview doesn’t go as planned, it is always best to keep your cool and maintain a positive attitude. You never want to engage in an argument with a consular officer, much less instigate one. If you are denied a visa, you can ask the officer for a list of documents you can use to overcome the refusal and request the reason you were denied in writing.
Prepare With The Best, Contact Fong Ilagan
At Fong Ilagan, we provide comprehensive services to support you in your endeavors in the United States. To get started with our services, you can contact us today and schedule a consultation with an attorney.