The US visa interview is the most important thing when applying for a US visa. It is the moment where conclusions are drawn about you as an applicant, and the final decision on the visa is made. It follows from this that it is necessary to prepare as much as possible for the interview at the US Embassy: collect the necessary documents, work out possible questions, build a strategy of behavior. Be prepared that the interview will go very quickly, about 2-3 minutes, rarely more. It means that you need to answer clearly, separating the important information from the unimportant. In this article, we will talk about what it takes to get a positive interview.
What kind of questions are usually asked in the interview?
They can be conditionally divided into three blocks: about a trip to America, about your work/study in the country where you live, and the other questions that are individual for each applicant. Remember that the information you provide at the interview must match the questionnaire. Communication is held in your native language if you apply for a nonimmigrant visa (except for a student visa) or in English if you applied for an immigration or student visa. Do not be surprised by unusual questions that may seem irrelevant to your application. It is a psychological trick that officers use to detect possible deception and anxiety in the applicant. Do not expect questions about American history, politics, or your relationship to it. These things do not apply to your visa application and do not affect it in any way.
The final decision will be made at the end of the interview. If your visa is approved, your passport will remain at the Embassy for affixing the visa. Then you will receive a sheet where it is written that the visa has been approved, and the approximate dates when you can receive your passport back. In case of refusal, the passport and the letter of refusal will be returned to you immediately. The Americans do not stamp the visa refusal, but all information is registered in the system.
Basic rules when communicating with an officer:
- Be natural and calm, smile.
- Look at the consul, even in those moments when he is not looking at you but the computer.
- Loudly, clearly, and most importantly, adequately answer only those questions that the consul asked. Don’t say too much, don’t interrupt.
- Even if you are nervous, try to behave with dignity and confidence (but not impudently or rudely), answer everything honestly, speak the truth.
- If you misunderstood or did not hear something, politely ask again or try to formulate the answer to the question, as you understood it, adding: “Did you mean it if I understood you correctly?”
- Show patriotism and strong ties to your homeland. You must convince the consul that you have somewhere to return to: you have a well-paid job or a favorite study, family, friends (be prepared to give specific names and surnames). The most important factor is to convince the officer of the absence of immigration intentions.
What documents are needed for a US visa in 2021?
The American Embassy does not make any official requirements for the documents needed for a visa to the United States in 2021, except for the presence of an international passport. The list of documents that need to be prepared for the interview is selected for each case individually, based on the applicant’s situation. It is important to understand the specifics of a particular visa application during the preparation of documents for a visa to America.
- Documents explaining the purpose of the visit.
Depending on the type of American visa chosen, this may be an invitation from relatives, friends, or business partners, a description of the trip route, a letter of admission to an educational institution. In 2021, documents explaining the purpose of a visit to America are among the main documents for the US Embassy when applying for a nonimmigrant visa.
- A valid international passport.
The passport can be either new (biometric passport) or old. The applicant’s foreign passport must contain one blank page for pasting a visa and sufficient free space for affixing exit and entry stamps. The validity of the travel document must cover the intended travel to the United States. At the same time, the validity period of the American visa itself is not tied to the validity period of the passport: a visa to the United States is issued for 3 years, regardless of the expiration date of the passport.
- Old international passports.
If the applicant has old international passports with visas, he must show it to the interviewer as proof of past travel abroad. For the visa officer, visas to Western European countries are especially important in the applicant’s passport. Lack of past overseas travel complicates the process of obtaining a visa to the United States of America.
- Certificate from the applicant’s work.
It should be issued on the letterhead of the employing organization. Mandatory information to be indicated: name and surname of the applicant, length of service in the organization, position, monthly salary. However, it is possible to omit travel dates and planned vacations in the certificate. If the trip to the United States is not sponsored by the applicant, a certificate from the sponsor’s job is attached to the package of documents for a visa to America.
- Certificate from the applicant’s studies.
It should be issued at the educational institution where the applicant is studying. The certificate is drawn up according to the standard form of the educational institution: the name of the school (institute), the class (course) in which the applicant is studying, his specialty are indicated. For an interview at the Embassy, along with a certificate, you need to bring the student card and record book. For undergraduate students, it is advisable to attach a recommendation for a postgraduate / master’s degree to the documents for a visa to the United States.
- Copy of marriage certificate.
If the applicant for a US visa is married and has children, it is advisable to attach supporting documents to the visa package. The presence of such documents in the visa application shows the Embassy that the applicant has certain obligations linking him to his homeland, his stable social position, and his life plan. If the applicant has adopted children, you can bring your adoption certificate with you to your interview.
- Bank statement.
It is important for the US Embassy that the applicant can documentary demonstrate sufficient financial capacity to travel to America. If the visa applicant has an open bank account, you can take a statement from him and show the movement of funds for the last 3 or 6 months so that the Embassy can see the regularity of the receipt of money. In the absence of a bank account, this document may not be provided, since in 2021 it is more optional, not mandatory.
- Title Deeds.
If the applicant is the owner of any property, as a rule, supporting certificates are attached to the package of documents for a nonimmigrant visa in the United States. Usually, they take a certificate of registration of ownership with them for an interview, and in the case of vehicles, a vehicle passport.
- Summary and list of publications.
These documents are required if an additional administrative check is assigned to the applicant during the interview.