As you know, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. So be sure to check my previous post about How to apply for US VISA before reading this.
Preparing for US Visa Interview is a bit difficult so I’ve written down helpful guides which you can follow so you can be well prepared during your appointment and answer all the questions right.
- Arrive at the US embassy or consulate where your appointment for a visa is scheduled.
Remember that if you have incomplete applications you will not be admitted. Please contact the consulate at least 48 hours prior to the interview to arrange admittance for an assistant if you are PWD.
2. Stand in a queue outside the consulate and show the following:
· original passport (Visitors traveling to the United States are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the United States.)
· appointment letter
· Visa application fee receipt
· 2×2 USA visa photo (optional, if you submitted online then no need to bring a photo with you)
3. Security check at consulate
Once you enter the consulate, you will go through a security check, which may include a full body metal detector scan so make sure you leave all the prohibited items outside prior to entering as if they see some prohibited items with you they will ask you to leave and come back again.
electronic equipment, cell phones, chargers, cords, USB, sprays, perfumes, liquids, backpacks, bottles, food, sealed envelopes, sealed packages, and dangerous items are not allowed inside the consulate.
There is no facility at the consulate to store prohibited items. If you bring prohibited items with you, you will have to dispose of them before entry or you can ask the people outside to look out for your belongings but it is at your own risk.
4. Be sure to answer in English fluently. If you cannot talk in English it is a red flag for them!
Tip: you can rehearse answering questions before your scheduled interview to be prepared.
5. Answer only the questions you are asked. Do not provide more information than you are asked.
Question: What is your purpose for travelling to US?
Good answer: for vacation.
Bad answer: I want to go there because I think USA is a nice country and there’s a lot of tourist spots and the weather right now there is good.
6. Do not present any documents that you are not asked to unless the officer asked for verification. Below are the documents I suggest you carry with you
· Bank certificate or sponsor’s bank certificate (show money should be 50,000 above)
· Certificate of Employment/ School letter saying you’re currently enrolled (officers wanted to be sure you have a proof you will come back to your country)
· Roundtrip plane ticket (optional)
· Trip Itinerary
· Letter from sponsor about your trip or invitation letter for weddings etc.
· Old passports with travel stamps of country you’ve visited in the past before.
See RESOURCES for sample letter templates/documents/checklist
7. Make eye contact when answering
Never answer the officer without looking at him/her directly in to the eyes as they might get suspicious and doubt your answers.
8. Be truthful about your intention, officer can detect if you are lying and if your answers are inconsistent.
Remember to answer all the questions based from the answers you have written down in your application form. Inconsistencies of your answers can be alarming to the officer.
9. Be calm and avoid unnecessary movements (as soon as you enter the consulate they are already checking your body language so be sure to just relax)
10. Be polite and accept the officer’s decision.
If the interviewer approves your application, you will know immediately. The officer will say something like “Your visa is approved”. Your passport will usually be delivered to your mailing address by courier within 3-4 business days. If the officer denies your application, you will know immediately too as he/she will give you a paper with instruction on how to re-apply again.
I hope this post helps you to be well-prepared for your VISA interview!
This is my actual VISA
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