6 Tips to Help You Succeed on Your Nonimmigrant Visa Interview

Calendar Icon Updated January 21, 2016

One of the most important steps in obtaining a nonimmigrant visa is the in-person interview. This is the last, and perhaps the most important step in determining whether or not you will be granted a visa

There are several things you can do to help your cause during the interview. Here are some things for you to consider:

  • Home country ties – Tourist, work and student visas are considered temporary admission into the United States. One of the things officials look at is a petitioner’s ties to their home country to make sure there is ample intent to return home before a visa expires. It’s wise to be able to demonstrate that a stay in the United States will be temporary due to a variety of things in your home country such as your family, job, residence, educational objectives, long range plans and other prospects. Each applicant’s situation is different and as such, there is no one way to ensure that a visa will be issued due to these circumstances.
  • Language – Your interview will probably be conducted in English and anything you can do to demonstrate a level of proficiency will be seen as a positive in your favor.
  • Keep things short and simple – Officials conduct many interviews every day. Because of full schedules, it’s best to keep your answers simple and to the point. Pay attention to the question that is being asked so that your answers are direct. Also remember to speak up and speak clearly as this also makes a good impression. Make sure to maintain good body posture and eye contact as well.
  • Answer questions on your own – Consular officials do not want to interview your parents, brothers, sisters, family friends or anyone else. They want to interview you. If you can’t answer questions for yourself, this may create a poor impression in the mind of the interviewer. In cases where the person being interviewed is under 18 years old and parents may need to answer certain questions, it is best to have them wait outside the interview room and be prepared in case they are called in.
  • Be over prepared when it comes to documentation – Try to anticipate all questions that will be asked and what kinds of supporting documents an official may want to see to support your case. In addition to official documents, if supporting personal written statement documents are required explaining your plans and reasons for visiting, make sure they are kept short since consular officials can only spend so much time reviewing each individual case. Be careful not to inundate consular officials with too much either, as that can backfire and work against a successful outcome.
  • Be prepared – Although it may seem obvious, the key to this is to be organized, make sure that that information you are presenting is consistent from answer to answer and document to document, and remain calm and confident.

Eligibility Team

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