- Get accepted by a reputed school.
- Pay the SEVIS fee after you have been issued an I-20 (https://www.fmjfee.com/)
- Complete the visa application form that is available online
- Schedule your interview with the visa consulate (plan ahead to get a good slot)
- Prepare your documents and attend your visa interview
There is a list of mandatory documents that you need to carry. The documents would include your passport, visa application form, financial resources, application fee payment receipt, degree certificates, transcripts, relevant test scores etc. Never miss out any document as it is not possible to run back and fetch it on the D-Day.
On the day of your interview, make sure your alarm doesn’t fail as you are required to reach the venue at least an hour before your scheduled time of appointment. Owing to the importance of first impression, carry a warm smile and a poised attitude. You will be interviewed by an American consular officer. Not to be forgotten that the officer is an expert in his profession and would have interviewed thousands of candidates like you. He would expect genuine straightforward replies. It is not a difficult task for him to judge you based on your answers and documents as to whether they’re genuine or fake. His truth detector seldom fails. Honesty, as they say, is the best policy.
Listed below are a few common questions.
- Why have you chosen this university?
- Why did you prefer this school to others?
- What are your plans post MS/MBA/PhD?
- What is your source of funding? You should show a combination of liquid funds sufficient to cover your total expenses. These funds can be from your parents, an education loan or other 1-2 sponsors.
- Few questions based on your GRE/TOEFL/GMAT
You should remember all the research you did on your chosen university as there might be a lot of questions on it. These questions are framed to ascertain whether you are qualified to study there. Never tell the officer about your green card plans if you have any. As much as US promotes international students, they never intend to keep you there forever. You should embrace your culture and talk about the plans you have after returning to India. Have a valid and believable explanation as to why you want to return. It can be your job, family or even your marriage but whatsoever it is, let it be in India. Also be clear and specific if asked about your source of funding. Keep the documents handy since they might be needed. Below is a brief list of the general do’s and don’ts:
- Arrive on time
- Be well dressed and polite
- Carry the mandatory documents
- Don’t exaggerate your answers – “brevity is the soul of the wit”
- Give explanation to your gaps in curriculum if you have any
- Observe student visa experiences from blogs and videos; Also ask your friends and seniors about their experiences
- Not having suitable support documentation
- Avoiding eye contact with the officer
- Appearing too confident/too nervous
- Dishonest or evasive answers
- Insufficient research on your school
- Failure in rehearsing your answers
There would be an administrative processing post your visa interview which might be lengthy in certain cases so it is advisable to schedule your appointment at the earliest. Just in case you don’t qualify for visa, don’t panic as you can always reapply for it. Financial documents do play a significant role during your interview. We, at GyanDhan work closely with Indian banks and hence assure an expedient processing so that you can move forward with your visa process at the earliest.