Visa Interview Tips | University of Portland

Visa Interview Tips


10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa:

  1. Ties To Your Home Country
    • “Ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence. For example, job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc.
  2. English
    • Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not your native language. Try to practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview.
  3. Speak For Yourself
    • Do not bring anyone to an interview. The interview will be between you and a consular officer only. You are the one who will need to answer all of their questions.
  4. Know The Program and How It Fits Your Career Plans
    • You will need to be prepared to answer the questions about the program you chose to study in the U.S. You should also be able to explain how studying in the United States relates to your future professional career in your home country.
  5. Be Concise
    • All consular officers are under time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. Answer the questions clearly and in a few words. Be brief but comprehensive.
  6. Supplemental Documentation
    • Bring any documents that you think will help you get a visa. The required documents that you should have with you are: I-20 form, transcripts from your school, bank statement, and acceptance letter from University of Portland.
  7. Employment
    • You must be prepared to clearly explain that you are going to the United States to study not to work and articulate clearly your plan of returning home at the end of your program.
    • If your spouse is also applying to an accompanying F2 visa, be aware that F2 dependents cannot be employed in the United States. If asked, be prepared to address what your spouse intends to do with his or her time while in the United States. Volunteer work and attending school part time are permitted activities.
    • If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence.
  8. Not All Countries Are Treated Equally
    • Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the United States as immigrants will have more difficulty getting a visa. Applicants from those countries are more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study in the United States.
  9. Maintain A Positive Attitude
    • Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If you are denied a visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.
  10. Be Honest and Confident in Your Answers