Interviewing for the US Student Visa? Here are Some Handy Tips.

9 minutes reading time (1868 words)

The visa interview is one of the most crucial and final steps in your US student visa application process. The documents required during the student visa interview for the USA helps convey all the hard work that you have done through the years to be accepted into your dream university in the USA.

The interview process and the documents required for the visa interview pretty much decide the future of your stay in the US. Therefore, it requires very meticulous planning and preparation when appearing for the final step.

Keep reading to find the best tips that will help you clear your US visa interview with ease. 

US Visa Process

When you receive your acceptance letter from a university in the US, you are required to apply for your F1 Visa to study in the US. The F1 Visa is issued to non-immigrants that wish to study in the US. It helps the applicants stay and study in the US for their course duration.

Here are a few steps that are included in the F1 visa process for students applying to study abroad.

  • Fill in the I-20 application form
  • Pay the SEVIS fee
  • Fill in the DS-160 online application form
  • Pay the visa registration fee
  • Book your US Embassy visa appointment
  • Attend the visa interview at the embassy or consulate

The following infographic will give a better understanding of the student US visa process. 

How to Book an Appointment for the US Student Visa Interview?

For booking an F1 Visa appointment slot at the US embassy, you can use your barcode and fee receipt. After scheduling your US student visa interview, you must reserve an F-1 visa slot at the Visa Application Center (VAC) (biometrics: fingerprint + picture) at least one day before the interview.

You are required to appear in person for the F-1 US student visa interview with the necessary documents after scheduling your US visa appointment and completing your biometrics. 

List of Documents Required for the US Student Visa Interview 

The main goal of the visa interview for studying in the US is to understand if a candidate is eligible to pursue studies in the United States and whether they would adhere to the requirements of the student visa.

Here is the list of the required documents and items for the US visa interview that you need to carry to your interview for the US visa application. 

Categories of Document List of Documents
Mandatory Documents
Required for
Student Visa USA
  • Copy of interview appointment letter
  • DS-160 Confirmation Barcode printout
  • Original, valid Axis or Citi Bank VISA fee receipt (Applicant's Copy)
  • Original I-20, approved and signed by you and the University authority
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Valid Passport
  • Birth Certificate
List of Academic Documents Required for Visa USA
  • Original degree certificates (Bachelors / Masters) / Provisional Degree Certificates
  • Original mark sheets (10th and 12th standard, first-year bachelors to date) / Provisional mark sheet for any pending results
  • Original mark sheets (diploma), original diploma transcripts (stamped and sealed), and original diploma certificate
  • Original Extracurricular / curricular activity certificates
  • Original scholarship certificates / awards (if any)
  • Original Certificates showing professional courses / examinations done along with mark sheets
  • Copies of your research work / project
  • Relevant test scores, e.g. TOEFL and SAT, GRE, GMAT or LSAT in Original.
  • Bonafide certificate from college (if the degree is not received )
  • Resume
Financial documents required for F1 visa interview
  • Original Affidavit of Support from Sponsor/s dated 4-5 days before the visa interview date.
  • Authentic and Original C.A. statement showing a summary of fixed and liquid assets dated 4-5 days before the visa interview date.
  • Original and valuation documents for every item stated in the C.A. statement as proof.
  • Original Evidence of financial resources: Proof of liquid assets sufficient to pay for the entire first year of education and living expenses as well as proof of readily available funds to cover the remaining year(s) of studies, dated 3-4 days before the visa interview date.
  • NOTE: The amount should be as per duration of the study mentioned in the I-20.
  • Original Income tax papers of Sponsor(s) for the last three years from visa interview date
  • Proof of income of sponsor(s) like appointment letter, payslips/salary certificates for the past six months from visa interview date (All original)
  • Balance sheet of business of last three years from visa interview date (Original)
  • Original Proof of all liquid assets declared in C.A. Statement including fixed deposits, shares, PPF, investments and so on
  • Original Proof showing the amount that can be withdrawn against various liquid assets of redeemable value, dated 4-5 days before the visa interview date.
  • Original Letters from respective authorities on their letterhead indicating that items such as mutual funds, shares, PPF, Provident fund, Fixed Deposits, etc are liquid and can be redeemed before the maturity date, dated 4-5 days before the visa interview date.
  • Original Proof of Ownership, agreement of sale, and share certificate for all fixed assets declared in the C.A. statement.
  • Valuation Certificate(s) from Chartered Engineer for every property declared in the C.A. statement in original
  • Original Bank statements of Sponsor(s) for the past six months (savings account) OR Original Passbook/s of sponsor/s (savings account) dated 4-5 days before the visa interview date.

Documents Related to Other Admits/Rejects
  • All acceptance and reject letters from universities applied to in original
  • All scholarship/financial aid grant documents received from universities that you have applied to in original
  • Complete set of application documents pertaining to the university like Application Forms, SOP, Recommendation letters, Resume, Financial documents, technical documents and other documents which you had sent to the University.
  • Original Admit letter from the university you're admitted into.
  • Original Financial Aid Offer Letter from the university you're admitted into.
  • Receipt of any advance payment made to the university.
  • Copies of any correspondence emails from any professors of the university you're admitted into. 
Work Experience Documents Required for US Student Visa
  • For employed students: Original Documents like work experience letters, Recommendations from employers, Pay-slips/salary certificates for the last six months, IT Returns for the last 3 years, appointment letters
  • Original documents showing the body of work accomplished
  • Resume showing professional accomplishments
Biometric Documents Required for Visa USA
  • Passport
  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Appointment confirmation page
  • Visa application fee receipt
  • One photograph (for applicants below 14 years of age)

At the time of US visa student interview, you are required to be prompt, confident and proactive. It would be a good idea for you to carry well-labeled or partitioned files carrying these documents required for a US visa interview. 

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Handy Tips To Help Crack the US Visa Application Interview

The interview is a sneak peek into your eligibility to study and live in the US authentically. So, it's time to put your best foot forward and come across as an asset to the college that you have applied for.

Apart from the necessary documents needed for the US visa interview, keep in mind the following tips to make a mark on your interviewer: 

Be on Your Best Behavior

A good F-1 interview requires organization skills, professionalism, and punctuality.

At your US visa interview, ensure you are on time. To avoid any surprises, plan your transportation in advance, check the weather, and become familiar with the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Make sure you carry any additional documentation or evidence that may be required during the interview, and dress professionally (just like you would for a job interview).

Answer the Questions Honestly

Honesty is one of the most crucial components of any immigration interview.

In case you get confused or do not understand the question, do not panic. Ask the interviewer to repeat the question, take a deep breath and then answer.

Any effort to deceive or lie to the interviewing officer may immediately reject your application for a student visa, and sometimes even make it difficult to reapply. 

Be Descriptive

We've spoken about how important it is to answer each question truthfully, but it may also be challenging to know how much information to provide and what kind of response would satisfy the consular officer.

As a general rule, it is better to be specific and concise rather than give generic responses. Candidates with hazy or unclear replies would consequently be subject to additional follow-up questions from the questioning officer. So, try to quickly reword your response or clarify with further information if the Consular Officer looks perplexed or displeased with your answers.

The whole process might seem like a lot. As a person applying to study in the US for the first time, it can be overwhelming and confusing with many documents to be submitted and many things to avoid - but the best part is that you don't have to go through it alone. Our team of expert counselors at AECC would hand-hold you and take you through the entire process for a hassle-free study abroad experience. 

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