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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) for current and future students, their families and educational advisors


Preparing for Your Visa Interview

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Visa Interview Tips

Preparing for your F-1 Visa interview can be a stressful time, but the key thing to remember it to not panic or to be afraid. Remember that the Visa officer’s job is to establish that you are coming to the United States to be a serious student. A typical Visa interview will last about 3-4 minutes.

There are three main points that the officer will look to establish in your short time with them. These three things are:

  • Close ties to your home country and your intent to return upon completion
  • Ability to pay for your education
  • Your seriousness as a student and ensuring you are only coming to study

It is important for you to ensure that in your short interview, that you are able to adequately stress these points to strengthen your case for coming to study in the US.

You should also be prepared to answer questions in English when you arrive. Remember that you should be listening to what the Immigration Officer is asking and respond as if you are having a conversation with them. Do not try to make a prepared speech.

Additionally, you may want to bring documentation with you that will help to back up your case for being granted a Visa. In addition to your required documentation (valid passport, I-20 document, school admission letter, completed visa application, two 2”x2” passport photos, and receipts for your SEVIS and application fees) NAFSA: the Association for International Educators recommends that you bring the following items to your interview:

  • Financial evidence showing you have sufficient funds to pay for your education – you can bring the bank statement that you provided to us when you applied for your I-20.
  • Any information that proves you will return to your home country upon graduation. This documentation can include proof of property, family connections, job offer letters, or something that shows your ties to your community.