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Office of International Programs

Tips to Remember while applying for a Student Visa

1. Ties to your home country
You must be able to show reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the USA. “Ties” to your home country include: a job, family, financial prospects, investments, etc…

2. English
The interview with the consular officer will most probably be conducted in English and not in your native language. If you are entering the USA only to study English, you should be prepared to explain how English will be useful to you.

3. Speak for yourself
You should not take family members along to the interview. The consular officer wants to interview only the visa applicant, and a negative impression may be created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf.

4. Know your program and how it fits your career plans
You must be able to articulate the reasons for studying a certain program in the USA and the significance to career plans upon returning home.

5. Be concise
Consular officers are under pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. Keep answers short and concise.

6. Supplemental documentation
It should be immediately clear to the consular officer what documents are being presented, and what they signify.

7. Not all countries are equal
Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the USA as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas.

8. Employment
The main purpose in going to the USA should be to study. You must be able to clearly articulate plans to return home after graduation.

9. Dependents remaining at home
If you are leaving dependents behind in the country of origin, you should be prepared to explain how the family would be supported in your absence.

10. Maintain a positive attitude
Do not engage a consular officer in argument. If a student visa is denied, you should request a list of documents that should be presented to overcome the refusal, and also try to get the reason for the refusal in writing.

Adapted from a NAFSA publication