International Student Center at College of San Mateo - Prepare for Your Visa Interview
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International Student Center
Prepare for Your Visa Interview

Your visa interview is important in helping the consular officer determine whether or not to grant you a visa. Occasionally, students have been denied visas if the consular officer does not feel that the student has intentions to return to his/her native country after completing his/her academic studies. Determination on granting a visa is on the basis of Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that states:

“Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a non-immigrant status…” This means that the student must demonstrate “permanent residence” or strong ties” to his home country.

The following tips will help you demonstrate your ties to their home country:
  • Convince the consular officer that the sole (not just “primary”) purpose of the visit to the U.S. is to pursue a program of study.
  • Outline post-graduation plans upon returning to your home country.
  • Document family ties, business interests, and assets in your home country.
  • Discuss job prospects in home country upon completion of education in the U.S.
  • Be brief – keep answers and explanations short and to the point as consular officers can only spend a few minutes with each applicant.
  • Be positive – do not argue with the consular officer or come across as rude and sarcastic,
    even if the visa application is denied.
For a sample interview, please view this video produced by the U.S. embassy in Vietnam.