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Visa Interview Tips (B1/B2 and F1/M1 Visas) [TOTW]
Tip of the Week #4
My name is Andres Mejer, and I’m an immigration attorney. In today’s Tip of the Week, I wanted to share some tips that will help you with your visa interviews. I hope the tips I give you make it so you pass yours with flying colors. Note that when I say visa, I’m mainly talking about B1/B2, which is a visitor visa, F1/M1 which are student visas, or K1, which are fiancé visas.
All these visas are non-immigrant visas. This means that the consulate officer interviewing you wants to know you’re not planning on staying in the US (except for the K1) permanently.
If they think you want to stay in the US permanently, they will often deny your application. Please keep in mind that they assume that people want to stay in the US permanently so you can’t just say you don’t want to, you must prove to them you don’t want to.
How can you prove you don’t want to stay in the US permanently?
One way to prove your intention to go back to your country is to share information about ties you have to your home country. Your family, friends, future jobs, and property that you are 100% planning on returning to. Do not bring family or friends, with you to the interview. If you’re not prepared to speak for yourself, this could be looked on negatively.
If you’re going to the US as a student, be prepared to explain (in English) how your course of study fits your career goals. Tell the interviewing officer how studying in the US will benefit your home country. Make sure you answer the questions asked and nothing more. Sometimes, when we are nervous, we talk more than we should. Don’t do that here.
Be sure you know about job opportunities, for your planned field of study, in your country after you graduate. If your country is very poor and there’s little chance of you being able to work in the field you are studying, this may cause you to be denied because the officer thinks you won’t come back to your home after graduating.
If you have family that’s remaining in your home country, be sure you are not their sole supporter. If the consular officer thinks you will be sending money to your family from the US, there’s a strong likelihood they will deny your application. Remember that if you’re a tourist, you cannot work in the US and if you are a student visa holder, there are restrictions on how many hours you can work.
We know this is a stressful situation. However, no matter what you do, make sure that you don’t argue with the officer. Your interview may be only a few minutes long, so do your best to keep a positive attitude. If you are denied, ask the officer if there are documents you can provide to overcome the decisions and try to get the reason for the denial in writing.
If you have other questions or concerns, contact our office and schedule a free immigration checkup with us.