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Study abroad: What to expect in a visa interview

By CollegePond.com
June 02, 2016 09:10 IST
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Do not panic if the visa officer asks a few unrelated questions. He is simply trying to know your real interests and objectives.

What to expect in a visa interview

The sheer joy and feeling of euphoria on receiving the confirmation of enrolment from your dream university is indeed unparalleled.

However, you are still one step away from living your dream, and that is -- getting your student visa!

It is essential that you clear the visa interview so as to secure the student visa.

The way you answer the questions posed by the visa officer will determine whether or not you will be granted the F-1 student visa. Therefore, you must prepare well in advance for the interview.

The interview is taken by a visa officer who will ask you a range of questions to ensure that your sole reason for obtaining the student visa is to study abroad.

The officer can also ask a few unrelated questions to know your real interests and objectives. Generally the questions asked during the interview are related to :

  • Your choice of University
  • Your academic background
  • Your financial details
  • Your future career plans
  • Your family ties

So what can you expect to be asked in the interview and how to tackle them smartly? Let's help you prepare:

Questions about your university

The visa officer will be interested to know why you wish to study in the US and not in India.

They can ask you about the number of universities you have applied to, including the number of admits and rejects.

Be prepared to answer questions about the university where you wish to study.

Talk about your reason for selecting it, university location, course details, names of professors, the start and end date of the programme etc.

They may also want to know what prompted you to select a particular course and how this course will benefit you.

Questions about your academic background

The visa officer will ask you questions about your academic background such as details on your undergraduate studies.

They may also ask you to furnish your degree transcripts, test scores of GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, SAT, IELTS to ascertain your academic capabilities.

In case you have work experience, then you may also have to show your certificate of work experience.

Questions about financial resources

The visa officer will ask questions to ascertain whether you have the requisite financial resources to fund your education, which is essential for obtaining the F-1 student visa.

You will be required to provide details regarding how you plan to fund your education, loan details if any, who is paying for your education, sponsor’s occupation, annual income of sponsor, your relation to the sponsor, scholarship details etc.

You will also be asked to furnish requisite documents to prove that your sponsor can fund your education which includes pass book, bank statements and income tax returns.

Enquiries will be made about your accommodation in the US, your total cost of living for the duration and whether you have sufficient financial resources to meet various expenses such as food, housing, transportation, health insurance, and other relevant overheads.

Questions regarding the future career plans

The visa officer may ask questions regarding your plans after graduation. Your answer must clearly convey your intentions of returning to your home country once your course is completed.

The visa officer wants to determine whether you have strong ties to your home country or any motivation that inspires you to return to India.

Therefore, he may put forward question regarding your plan of action after completing your studies.

Questions about your family

Visa officers can pose questions about your family members, your father’s occupation, sibling’s education, whether you have any relatives staying in the US or any family member who is currently studying at the university you plan to study at.

General questions

The interviewer may enquire whether you have been to the US before.

He may ask you to share details about your past achievements or your plans for the term break.

He may also ask you to give reasons as to why he should give you the visa and what will be your plan of action if the visa application is rejected.

Before you go for your visa interview, try practicing these answers and be calm, confident and honest while replying.

If you prepare for the interview keeping these questions in mind, then your interview session is sure to be a smooth and easy affair!

Collegepond is a career guidance company whose aim is to help students achieve their potential, crack the competitive exams and guide them in the application process for various courses across the globe.

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