Preparing for your Visa Interview | Office of Global Education | Kent State University

Preparing for your Visa Interview

Recommended Documentation

Questions to Expect

Additional Tips and Suggestions

Dependents

Preparing for Your Visa Appointment

Recommended Documentation

A list of documents that we recommend taking to your interview is provided, however, it is important that you find out what documents are recommended by your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy. We are not visa officers and we strongly advise you to contact them for concrete information.

  • Passport, valid for at least six months

  • Immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019)

  • Financial documentation which match your eligibility document

  • Admission letter from Kent State University

  • Additional documentation: Only present what is essential for the interview. Refer to the consular website for documentation your specific office requires. It should be immediately clear to the consular office which documents you are presenting and what they signify. Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated.

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Questions to Expect

Your visa interview is a conversation. The consular official who is interviewing you wants to hear about you and your plan, including important details about the following:

  • Your program and how it fits your career plans. You should articulate the reasons why you will study in your particular program in the United States, including why you chose Kent State University. You should also be able to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your educational objectives, grades, and long-range plans.

  • English proficiency. Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. One suggestion is to practice English conversation with a native speaker, but do not prepare speeches. If you are coming to the United States solely to study intensive English, be prepared to explain how English will be useful for you in your home country.

  • Ties to your home country. You must be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the United States. “Ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your home town, homeland, or current place of residence including: current or promise of future employment, family or other relationships, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc.

  • Past trips. If you overstayed your authorized stay in the U.S. previously, be prepared to explain what happened clearly and concisely, with documentation if available.

  • Employment. Your main purpose with an I-20 or DS-2019 should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students do work on-campus during their studies, such employment is incidental to their main purpose of completing their U.S. education.

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Additional Tips and Suggestions
  • Be brief. Because of the volume of visa applications, all consular officers are under pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute of the interview. Keep your answers to the officer’s questions short and to the point. Only answer the question asked. If the officer poses a “Yes/No” question, simply answer with “Yes/No” but do not elaborate until asked for more details.

  • Speak for yourself. Do not bring parents or family members with you to the interview. The consular officer wants to interview you, not your family. A negative impression is created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf.

  • Not all countries may ask the same questions. Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the US as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Statistically, applicants from those countries are more likely to be intending immigrants. They are also more likely to be asked more in depth questions about job opportunities at home after their study in the U.S., plans after the academic program is complete, or if there are any close relatives residing in the U.S. It is important to demonstrate your interest in returning home after your studies and these types questions are asked to determine whether you are showing intent to immigrate in the future.

  • Maintain a positive attitude. Do not engage in an argument. You can ask for the reason for the refusal in writing. If you are denied a student visa, there is always the opportunity to reapply and be better prepared.

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Dependents
  • Dependents applying for F-2 at the same time. Be aware that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstances, be employed in the U.S. If asked, be prepared to address what your spouse intends to do with his or her time while in the U.S. Engaging in volunteer work and attending school that is “vocational or recreational in nature” are permitted activities.

  • Dependents remaining at home. If your spouse and children are staying behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be an especially tricky area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular officer gains the impression that your family will need you to remit money from the United States, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied.

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Preparing for Your VISA Appointment

Preparing for your VISA appointment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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