International Students: Applying for a Student Visa Part II

Picking up where we left off – here’s what to expect and how to prepare for your visa interview:

During your interview, the consular office will review your documents and ask a series of questions in order to verify that:
• You are a qualified, legitimate student.
• You and your family have the financial means to support you for the duration of your program.
• You have “strong ties” in your home country or a reason to return home after graduation.

You should bring your secondary school transcripts and test scores with you to the interview to prove to the consular official that you are a good student who is qualified for study in the U.S. Prior to your interview, research your future university and your academic program so you can confidently answer why you chose to study there and why that school is the best fit for you. You should know about the location of your university, the services they offer, and the content of your academic program.

Proving that you have “ties” to your home country assures the consular official that you plan to return home after you complete your education and you are not at risk to emigrate to the U.S. Evidence of strong ties can be shown by the promise of a job upon return, verification that you own property, proof that you have traveled to the U.S. before as a tourist and returned, or proof that a family member has studied in the U.S. and returned. For younger applicants who have not established strong ties yet, the officer may look at your family’s current situation, your long-term plans, and the job prospects in your country.

While many students successfully obtain a visa there are a number of applications that do get denied. The most common reasons for denial are failure to provide sufficient verification of finances and lack of “ties” to your home country. If your application for a student visa is denied, maintain a positive attitude and ask the Consular Officer for a written explanation for the denial and suggestions on what documentation you can provide to overcome their denial.

The U.S. student visa application process can be overwhelming but as long as you are well-informed, well-prepared, and honest about your intentions, there is no need to worry.


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