Bagging an admit from a top university in the US is a very commendable feat in itself; however, that does not grant you the right to fly to the admitted university in US. Many students, despite having an admit from a US university, still fail to finally travel to their their dream university because they fail to clear the visa process. Post receiving an admit from a US university of your choice, acquiring an F1 visa is the final hurdle that has to be crossed to travel to the US university. It is advised that you prepare for the visa interview in advance, even before you book your visa interview date.
The face-to-face visa interview is designed to test your conviction and clarity of thought regarding your studies and future plans; the visa interview panel would be asking you several questions, which you need to answer convincingly. Prior to the interview, students are often required to provide a visa Statement of purpose (SOP) visa essay along with carrying their original certificates, test scores’ reports, passport, transcripts and all other financial documents to the interview. However, there is a bit of homework that you need to do before facing the Visa Officer. Here are a few tips that can help you ace the visa interview:
1. Research about the university well: Interviewers usually ask you about the university (you intend to study at) and its salient features to know why you wish to study there. Be prepared to explain to them the components and specifics of the program that made you choose this university over others.
2. Explain why you prefer the US over others: Openly share the reasons that make you choose the US as your preferred destination for studying abroad. Discuss the positive factors of studying in the country, the education system, the culture, the global exposure and how it can shape your future.
3. Read up what you have written down in your visa SOP: Along with taking all the important documents, you must also read-up what you have written in your visa documents. If the visa interviewer asks any questions pertaining to the visa SOP, you should be able to elaborate further.
4. Be clear and straightforward about your future plans and your intention to come back to your own country: The visa committee would also be interested to know your plans for the future and what you intend to do after the program. Explain to them clearly why this program matters to you and what you are willing to do in the short-run as well as in the long-run. Avoid saying that you are interested to work there or intend to stay back after the course as this could be detrimental to your visa application. It is extremely important to ensure that you showcase clearly your intention to come back to your home country post completion of the degree.
5. Be prepared to explain your source of funding properly: You must also be prepared to explain to the visa officer about the funding details to the last digit. You might also have to explain the sources of the funds and how you came to acquire them. If you have received a scholarship from the university, you have to mention it as well.
6. Explain the reasons for year backlogs, low scores, and field-change (if any): You might also be asked about the reasons for your backlogs, low scores in GRE/GMAT or TOEFL exams and any change of fields, which you have to answer convincingly before the visa official.
With the above tips, you surely will have an edge over other students, but remember to sound confident, open and positive during the interview and you will be at your dream university in the US in no time.
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