Common Pitfalls Of The US Student Visa Interview

    Updated on: 25 Sep 2022


    Are you among those aspiring students looking forward to pursuing your higher studies in the United States of America? Well, guess what, there's a lot of preparation that goes into achieving that goal besides bagging an admit to a prestigious US university. One of the most determining factors is of course whether or not you clear the visa interview! Yes, it can be absolutely frightening, as a single silly mistake at this stage could throw away your entire dream of majoring in the United States. But worry not, we are here to help you and we've come up with a compilation of the most common errors that students make so that you don't commit them.  

    Go through this article and reserve your spot on the list of approved candidates!

    Some of the common pitfalls that you need to be careful of - 

    • Set up a reminder or make mental notes about the interview date, time, and venue.
    • Create a good first impression.
    • Be thorough with documentation and essential papers. Keep them ready in a folder with you. 
    • Be absolutely honest during the interview. 
    • Learn to communicate effectively.
    • Prepare yourself thoroughly.
    • Know what may create a problem. Be prepared for it in advance. 
    • Prepare your answer to why you have chosen a particular course or college. Be specific about your plans. 
       

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    How important is reaching on time for your visa interview?

    The answer is simple, very important! Every year, there are a number of candidates who get rejected not because of something they lack, but simply because they didn't turn up to the interview at all or they turned up late. Make sure this doesn't happen to you. Set alarms weeks in advance, inform your friends/family members to call you up prior to the day and inform, or leave notes on the refrigerator. If you are an especially forgetful person, make sure you leave no stone unturned in being ready for the D-day when it comes.

    How to create a good first impression for your visa interview?

    We all know what role first impressions play in determining whether you'll like the person standing in front of you or not. Simple cues like:

    • Giving thought to what you're gonna wear during an interview
    • Being hygienic & well-groomed
    • Discarding clumsiness
    • Maintaining proper eye contact with your interviewer
    • Being polite and patient in your approach
    • Being assertive without being argumentative

    will take you a long way in setting a positive lasting impression.

    What are the documents you need to bring to your US visa interview?

    Keep a ready checklist of documents before you leave for your interview. You don't want to reach the venue and notice that you've forgotten to keep your class 12th certificate with you. It will only create unnecessary hassles for you and even if you manage to solve it, you may lose your confidence in all the hurriedness. So check and crosscheck well in advance, if you have all the mandatory original and xerox copies. Some of the important documents that you’d need during your interview are -

    • Copy of your interview appointment letter
    • DS-160 Confirmation printout
    • Original Visa fee receipt (applicant’s copy)
    • Original I-20
    • SEVIS fee receipt
    • Passport
    • Birth certificate

    Other important documents include academic documents, financial documents, and documents related to your admission to the US university.

    What are the consequences of lying during the US visa interview?

    Visa interviews can be pretty daunting. But that is still no excuse to lie during your interview. The consequences of lying could be permanent ineligibility for a US visa or a permanent record, which will influence your subsequent attempts to apply for the visa. So, make sure all the documents that you produce are completely unadulterated and true. Also, whatever claims you make in the interview should be completely true and not a work of fiction. Consular Officers are highly trained in their jobs and have years of experience. They will analyze and judge the way you walk, sit, interact with people while in the queue, and even the tiniest of facial expression.

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    How to communicate effectively?

    Just like any other prestigious job interview of your life, merely holding potential and being a good candidate doesn't seal the deal. You most definitely need to put across your point and convince them why you should be approved. This will only be possible through brilliant communication skills. The confidence that exudes you, should reach them as well. Never look at your shoes or your watch while you are talking to a person. Look straight in their eyes, but not in an intimidating way. Always remember no matter what, you cannot start arguing with your interviewer. This will lead to disqualification, for sure.

    How to prepare yourself for the US visa interview?

    Go through various sites online and cross-check whether you have a semi-candid answer for all those frequently asked questions that pop up. When we say semi-candid, it means that when you are actually conversing with the officer, it shouldn't come across as a mugged up answer. The interviewer should know these are your words, your thoughts, and not some answer you learned by rote. 

    However, at the same time, you should have an idea of what the questions might be like. Some of the most common questions are given below:

    1. What are the names of the universities you have applied to?
    2. What are the names of the universities you did get admitted into?
    3. What is the exact purpose of your study in the USA?
    4. Would you be able to tell me details of the University you're gonna be studying in, in the USA?
    5. What has your GPA percentage been previously?
    6. Have you ever paid a visit to the U.S. before?
    7. What plans do you have for yourself after graduation?
    8. Did you receive any scholarships for the study course you have enrolled into?
    9. Who will finance your studies?
    10. Do you have any relatives in the USA?
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    What might be the reasons for your US visa rejection?

    The maximum number of student visas get rejected for one or all of the following reasons:

    • If you do not have enough evidence to support your financial security and stability while you're living in the US.
    • In case you express your intention to stay in the US permanently.
    • In case your credentials look suspicious or the University degree you hold seems doubtful.
    • In case you already have family members settled in the US. This makes point number 2 less tangible, and hence you may be disqualified. 

    How to frame your answers?

    Your answers should give complete information to the Visa officer. Avoid giving one-word answers and have a specific reason as to why you have chosen the particular university that you are keen to study in, or what are your future plans. Any ambiguity or miscalculation may prove to be fatal for your dreams at this stage.

    Can poor grades or an unattractive score-card from your previous education fields affect the interview result?

    If you have a bad score-card or a record of underperformance in your academic aspects, you may need to put in extra effort to get the approval of the interviewer. This is because they are constantly looking for proof that you are capable of pulling it off in the US and doing good there. If they don't find evidence or conviction on your part, they will reject you.

    How can GyanDhan help you with the US student visa interview?

    GyanDhan understands how intimidating visa interviews can be. The best way to acing your visa interview is to prepare for them with the experts. And that’s why we have partnered with experts and Ex-Visa counselors who can help you prepare for the same. They will help you with the interview, slot booking, and provide useful tips. We also know that visa counseling is an expensive deal and so, you can get a discounted price on applying for it via GyanDhan. Contact us to book a counseling session.

    Keep all of this in mind and make sure you don't get intimidated by all of this. Keep faith in your abilities and rock the interviews!

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