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Preparing for Your Student Visa Interview: The Complete Guide

Posted by Gutierrez Law Firm on July 31, 2013

A foreign student who wants to study in the United States is welcome to do so as long as he or she obtains a student visa to enter the country. Student visa applicants must prove they intend to return to their own country upon completion of their studies. An essential part of the application process is the student visa interview with a consular officer.

The Applicant’s Burden

A student visa is a non-immigrant visa. The burden is on the applicant to prove to the satisfaction of the consular officer that the student does not intend to immigrate to the United States. The applicant proves this by showing sufficient ties to his homeland that compel him to return there after his visa expires.

Applicants should expect to be asked questions about future employment prospects or plans; family and other relationships; education objectives and grades and other areas the interviewer might explore to determine if the applicant intends to return home. The applicant should be prepared to answer questions and provide documentation to prove that the reasons to return home outweigh remaining in the U.S.

Speak for Yourself

Because the interviews are conducted in English and not in the student’s native language, the student should practice conversations in English with a native speaker to feel comfortable during the interview. The consular officer expects the applicant to be prepared to answer questions without needing the assistance of family members.

The Study Program

An applicant should be able to explain details of the program of study in the U.S. and demonstrate how it relates to the student’s future career upon returning home. The applicant should offer details about how the knowledge gained by studying in the U.S. will further a career at home.

Spouses and Children

If an applicant’s spouse is applying for an F-2 visa to accompany the applicant, the interviewer might ask questions concerning how the spouse will spend time in the U.S. F-2 visa dependents cannot work or engage in full-time studies while in the U.S. If a spouse and children of an applicant remain in their home country, the applicant must be prepared to offer details during the interview about how the dependents will support themselves.

Questions about support for dependents can end with denial of a student visa application. If the interviewer believes that the student’s dependents will require assistance from the student, the assumption will be that the student intends to work in the United States.

Be Respectful and Be Prepared

An applicant should enter the interview with all documentation to support the application. This is an interview and not an argument, so applicants should remain respectful of the interviewer at all times.

For help with the student visa application process, get in touch with the Gutierrez Law Firm at 210.225.7114.