How to successfully pass a US visa interview. Useful tips
An interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate is the most important step in obtaining a visa. You will not have much time to talk to the consul: only a few minutes. However, these few minutes will determine whether or not you will go to the United States. You must therefore prepare carefully for your appointment!
How does the U.S. visa interview run?
The interview for a U.S. visa is a few minutes conversation with a qualified specialist. During the interview the visa officer considers several aspects of the application: the applicant's intentions and the reasons for visiting the USA, their visa history, data from workplace, and financial status. The interview is usually conducted in the local language, but the visa officer often asks about the applicant's English level.
The questions that are asked at the interview can be divided into three categories. Firstly, the officer inquires about the goals and plans for the trip. These are questions about where and how much time you will spend in America, what you intend to do, what cities to visit, where to stay. Secondly, there are always questions about the applicant's employment and financial status. Inquiries about work can be quite detailed. The third category includes additional questions, but they are individual in each situation.
During your interview you must convince the officer of two crucial things: that you do not intend to immigrate to the United States and that you have a clear and concrete travel plan that you are able to implement.
Documents required for the U.S. visa interview
Here is a list of documents required for admission to the interview:
- A valid passport with at least one blank page for the visa;
- A completed application form (form DS-160). The questionnaire must be filled out online; there is no need to print it after filling it out;
- A printed confirmation of the application form (form DS-160);
- The compliant US visa photo;
- rinted confirmation of the appointment for the interview;
- Printed confirmation of payment of the consular fee - $160.
Supporting documents for the U.S. visa interview
The following is a list of documents that it is advisable to bring to the interview and that a visa officer may ask for:
- Certificate of employment, indicating the position and salary;
- Bank statements;
- Old/annulled passports with visas and stamps of other countries;
- ocuments that can prove the purpose of your trip.
Who has the best chance of getting a U.S. visa?
If you are going to go to the U.S. for tourism or a short business trip, it is good if:
- You have a high-paying job in your home country;
- You have a family and they are coming with you;
- You travel a lot;
- You don't have a large number of friends in the US. And if you have someone, they are there legally, and they are a close relative of yours.
You have less chance of getting a visa if:
- You are an unmarried woman;
- You are a married man, but you are going alone;
- You are unemployed;
- You have off-site work or freelance work, i.e. you can work from anywhere;
- There are few stamps and visas in your passport;
- You work in the chemical industry or nuclear physics.
None of this guarantees either acceptance or rejection.
- You don't have to know the exact dates of your trip. It is better not to even buy tickets before the interview. But you should have a rough idea of where and when you will go. And assess your options. If you say you plan to visit New York, Florida and California in one week, it will raise doubts.
- How to talk to a consul? Be calm, smiling and relaxed. "If you don't give me a U.S. visa, I'll go to Italy!" If your hands are shaking and your forehead is sweating, it means that you really need to go to the U.S., which reduces credibility. It makes sense to rehearse answers to the most common questions at home, perhaps in front of a mirror. This way you will be less nervous at the interview.
- If you have played the Green Card Lottery and are asked about it, tell the truth. This, oddly enough, is not considered a migration intent. But lying at the interview can lead to rejection.
- Be prepared for unusual questions. Adding a certain amount of stress to the interview is a favorite technique used by consular specialists. For example, you may be asked what was the name of your graduation supervisor or a favorite teacher at the school. Do not delay in answering.
- Don't submit all the papers at once. Supporting documents are only submitted upon request. When the immigration officer asks about ties with your home country, you can briefly say that you have, for example, your own real estate (confirming it with a document of ownership), family (presenting certificates of marriage and birth certificates of children). But you should not take the initiative on your own.
Top reasons for denial of a U.S. visa
The main mistake at the interview is inappropriate behavior that does not match everything that has been described above. Refusal can be based on one of the following reasons:
- istakes in the documents;
- Excessive nervousness;
- Unclear answers which could be interpreted ambiguously;
- Lack of strong economic and social ties to the home country;
- Suspicion of immigration intentions;
- Negative visa history both in the U.S. and in other countries;
- Insufficient funds for travel;
- False information about oneself;
- Being late for an interview.
You will know the decision on the visa immediately - you will be told it right at the window. If the passport is not returned to you, it means that the visa is approved, and you will receive the passport with the visa in about 3 working days. If they return your passport after the interview, it means that the U.S. visa was rejected. Do not argue with the officer, do not suggest that he review the documents - the decision has already been made. You will only harm yourself in the future if you are angry. Do not worry - you can apply again in the future. Next time you will talk to a different officer, which eliminates the possibility of subjective evaluation.