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Five Ways to Prepare for Your Visa Interview

June 30, 2015
You are accepted to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school of your choice and paid your I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee. Now, it is time to apply for your student visa and prepare for your visa interview. 
 
The U.S. Department of State issues visas at U.S. embassies and consulates. The visa application process includes an interview with a U.S. Department of State representative, or consular officer. This interview is your opportunity to tell the consular officer about your plans while in the United States and what you will do when you have completed your studies.
 
Here are five things to prepare for and expect in your visa interview:
 
  1. You must show proof of your acceptance to an SEVP-certified school. Your Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” and school acceptance letter from the school you will attend can verify your acceptance.
     
  2. You must show that you have the financial ability to pay for school costs plus living expenses (in the amount shown on your Form I-20 that you received from the school you will attend). For the interview, bring copies of the financial documents (such as bank statements) you provided to the school where you plan to enroll. You must also bring your I-901SEVIS Fee receipt to prove you submitted your payment to SEVP. 
     
  3. If you are applying for an F-1 visa, you should be ready to show you are prepared for the academic program in which you plan to enroll. To do this, the Department of State suggests that you bring copies of any standardized test scores, academic transcripts, diplomas or certificates from previous education that you provided in your application to the U.S. school where you plan to enroll.
     
  4. You may be asked to confirm that your stay in the United States is temporary (i.e., you are not permanently immigrating). 
     
  5. The interviewing official may be interested to know how you intend to use the education you receive in the United States when you return home. 

Beware of anyone who offers to sell you the documents described above that are needed to receive a visa. Always provide genuine documents, original and not counterfeit, with your visa application. 

Do you still need to apply for your student visa? Read Four Steps to Help You Apply for a Visa. You can also visit the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website for useful information to help you with the visa process. 
 
Are you or someone you know preparing for their visa appointment with the U.S. Department of State? Share this post with them on Twitter or Facebook with #studentvisa!
 
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