After applying for an I-20 or DS-2019, students will also need to complete the visa application. It is highly recommended that you do not schedule a visa appointment until you are notified that your I-20 or DS-2019 form have been shipped. In addition to gathering the necessary documents, completing the visa application, and paying the SEVIS (I-901) fee, it is important that you understand the interview process and prepare to interact with the consular officer. As there is no single explanation, document, or answer that can guarantee your visa will be issued, here are some tips:
- Provide clear evidence of continuing ties (such as family, career, or property) to your home country. Visa applicants are presumed to be “intending immigrants.” Your visa will be denied unless you satisfy the consular officer that you will return home.
- Consular officers conduct quick interviews! Their initial impression of you is critical to your success. Keep your answers concise. Be honest in everything you write on your visa application and say during the interview. Be prepared to converse in English. Don’t bring other people to speak on your behalf.
- Be able to explain the reasons you want to study in the U.S. and remember that your main reason for coming to the United States is to study, not to work!
If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your home country, be prepared to explain how they will support themselves in your absence. If they are accompanying you to the U.S., be prepared to show proof of adequate funding.
- If you are denied the visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring the next time you apply, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing. The OIPS cannot inquire about this for you, or make an argument on your behalf. Maintain a positive attitude! Do not engage the consular officer in an argument.
Last updated: 10/4/2018