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TOP TIPS FOR US STUDENT VISA INTERVIEWS

The United States of America continues to be the most popular destination for students. The number of students going to the US has increased manifold in the last few years, with the figure reaching nearly 2 lakh. To get a student visa may not be a Herculean task, but that does not mean it's a cakewalk either. This visa, known as the F-1, is mandatory for entry into the US for higher studies.

Are you nervous about the visa interview? Are you looking for tips to help you impress the visa officer at the interview? When asked about how a student has to prepare for the interview, a senior official in American embassy was quoted as saying: "The visa officer is looking for an honest student who intends to study in the US, has reasonable funds and an economic standing/ financial plan to pay for it and intends to return to India upon completion."

Here we list out some of the questions, answers and certain tips.

Always keep two things in mind when you walk in for the interview that the officer will try to gauge you:

1. To understand your plan – to settle in the US or to study and come back
2. To assess whether you can afford your stay in the US
Then there are these possible questions:

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PARTICULAR UNVERSITY?

You must scour the website and handbook of the university you plan to study carefully. The visa officer would be keen to know the reason behind joining the particular University. You should have clear reasons listed out why you picked that one college/university. Study up its history, geography and its proud lineage.

BE HONEST ABOUT THE UNIVERSITIES YOU CHOOSE OVERALL

The Visa Officer wants to know if you are really serious about your education. Even if you applied to four and were accepted in 1 and got 3 rejects, be honest. Be honest about which all Universities you chose.

CLARITY ABOUT SCHOLARSHIP/SPONSORS

If you have the scholarship to study in the US, clearly mention that. Mention the name of your sponsors, you may add that your father and mother are supporting you for your higher education as per the financial documents.

YOUR FINANCIAL CAPABILITY/INDEPENDENCE

The visa officer basically wants to verify the financial capability of sponsors. Furnish Income Tax Returns (ITR), and supporting documents of your sponsors carefully. You must have a clear idea about the income source of your father, mother and any other person who is sponsoring you. The visa officer wants to know if your sponsor’s annual income is sufficient enough to meet your expenses to study abroad. You should mention the annual income as per Tax Returns filed and submitted to the University for your I-20. Be specific about what work/business they do, instead of randomly saying that they are in business or at a government job.

INFORMATION ABOUT SIBLINGS

The officer would pose such queries to basically verify whether your family has other members for whom your parents may have to raise fund later on. Basically, such questions are asked to evaluate the balance of income and overall expenses of the family.

MOST IMPORTANT. RELATIVES IN US

Be absolutely honest at this instance. The officer will have a full record of this (about your brother/ sister/ mother/ father) with them. If your distant aunt or uncle stays there, then you don't have to say about them. All that matters is your immediate relatives i.e. own brother, sister, father or mother.

WHY US, NOT INDIA OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY?

It's not that innocuous a question as it sounds to be. You should know what difference the course would bring to you if done from USA instead of India. If the course is not available in India, you can tell the Visa Officer that it is not offered in India. If the same course is available in India, highlight the differences in the quality of education and the course structure in both countries. For that comparison, you must be well aware of the pros and cons of both the courses and obviously, you should explain why the course in the US is worth travelling. You should convince the Visa Officer that doing this course from USA will add value to your profile. As you are applying for student Visa so you should only talk about how USA offers quality education which would help you bring the best of the world to your country. Focus on highlighting the infrastructure available, the research and the method of teaching. Instead of the country, try to focus on the university and the course.

WHAT NEXT AFTER COURSE? COMING BACK OR JOB?

If you plan to work after completing your course, then say so. If you have some dream firms in mind, be specific. Try to say that your family continues to be in India and you would want to come back to them once your course is over.

LOANS AND REPAYMENT

Answer about the quantum of the loan you have applied for and from where you have received the same. Also, as to repay the same, suggest that you are confident to find a good opportunity in India once your career is over and you would pay back confidently.

GOING TO US TO MAKE LOTS OF MONEY?s

You should not say that you plan to work in the US as that shows you are not financially strong and you are going there to earn money. This will make the Visa Officer believe that even after completing your education, you would like to take up a job in USA and try to settle there.

So are you flying to the US? Fly well, study well. If you want to keep abreast of all that's happening in Indian educational sector, keep browsing www.fayz.in

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