Preparing to put in an application for a U.S visa is one of the most daunting experience one can ever go through. Putting together all the required documents, making sure they match in quantity and specificity to those requested by the U.S embassy and then comes proof of funds and the need to show that you can look after yourself when in the United States. All these before your scheduled U.S visa Interview.
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So you have crossed this hurdle and are now set for the most important step of them all, going in for your U.S visa interview. In my experience, many applicants blow it at this stage not necessarily because of the big things, but rather the minor details that were overlooked. In this article, I will highlight 10 things you shouldn’t do during your U.S visa interview and it is my hope that this helps you secure your visa to the United States.
Things You Shouldn’t Do During Your U.S Visa Interview
Don’t #1: Be Patient From the Start
You could be the first applicant in on the day and it could coincide with a time when the United States consular section of the embassy in your country is having a system failure which is in the process of getting fixed. This could be quite annoying as you have done all your research, watched youtube videos of other people’s sample U.S visa interview, you are pumped up and ready to get it over with. This unnecessary delay becomes unwelcomed.
This line of thinking is totally normal. However, it’s not constructive and could affect your mental state of mind, thus making you very irritable and even erratic during your interview, which if not controlled and properly channeled could lead to a visa denial. Of course, you don’t want this. So being patient, cheerful no matter what is paramount.
Don’t #2: Be Careful What You Eat
You have to be as comfortable as possible during your U.S visa interview process, eating the wrong thing could give you the runs, causing you a lot of inconvenience while sitting through the visa screening process. Imagine taking bathroom breaks in between questions. This could create some tension, making your interview awkward. Plus there’s just so much toilet breaks you can take, it gets to a point when you might be unable to ask for one and might have to sit through it and endure the discomfort this might cause you.
Instead of going through this ignominy, the other alternative is to watch what you eat. Probably abstain from eating anything 6 to 7 hours before your interview commences. Nothing beats a relaxed interview in which you are completely and utterly switched on.
Don’t #3: Go With The Right Amount Of Supporting Documents During Your U.S Visa Interview
There is usually a temptation to go with a lot of supporting documents to show that you are eligible for the visa. However, you need to be disciplined in this regard, making sure that you follow due instructions on the right amount of supporting documents that you need to present per category. If you are asked for 4 supporting documents to prove a point, endeavor to present 4, not 3, not 5.
You need to understand that the United States consular section of the embassy in your country is looking to prove that you are not qualified to be granted visa. In not meeting the laid down criteria for document submission per category, you risk being denied your U.S visa.
Don’t #4: Do Not Falsify Documents
Many applicants falsify documents, such as bank statements. Most people never get caught, however if you are caught doing this your visa application will be denied. The procedures involved in applying for a U.S visa is very daunting, falsifying documents thus makes no sense whatsoever.
If you were ever caught with false documentation, this will be recorded in the United States consular section system for your country leading to your passport being flagged, of course translating to future denials. You don’t want this.
Don’t #5: Be Mindful of Past Applications
Having worked for an embassy as a liaison officer, I was fortunate to sit in during a U.S visa interview; the candidate in question was asked about an application for a change of status he put in with the state department while in the United States back in 1975, the application was denied at the time, fast forward to the interview in the year 2014, he was asked about specifics regarding the application put in when he visited the U.S many years ago. For some strange reason, he couldn’t remember the details of that application and instead proceeded to deny applying for a change in status. This was a huge mistake.
For denying tendering an application when the state department have records of this is already grounds to be denied visa into the U.S. If this was to happen to you, you could request that your visa interview be re-scheduled, to afford you more time to do some searching regarding whatever application you might have submitted in the past. There is provision for this option.
Don’t #6: Don’t Answer A Question During Your U.S Visa Interview, If It’s Unclear
Ask for further explanations if you are unsure as to how to respond to questions asked during a U.S visa interview. Do not hesitate to seek clarity. Do not be overwhelmed by the moment, you can only answer questions to the best of your ability when all the angles are covered. So keep asking questions to always be on the right footing.
Don’t #7: Don’t Give An Impression That You Are Tired Of Your Country
The consular services of the United States embassy in your country seeks to ascertain that you will be returning to your home country when your U.S visa expires. Any suspicion during the U.S visa interview process that signals this wouldn’t happen, will translate to you being denied a visa to the U.S.
It is quite easy to know when an applicant doesn’t plan on returning to his/her home country. If they are Africans, they might look too western in their choice of clothes worn, an applicant might talk with an American accent even though he/she might not have traveled to the U.S before or even a show of disinterest when it comes to matters of one’s country. Such signs could be enough to get your visa application denied.
There was an applicant in the past who was asked about affairs and current goings in his country, after answering technical questions in flying colors, he left a sour impression when asked about current affairs in his country during the interview, the emotions perceived was of one who was discontent in the running’s in his homeland. Suffice to say his visa application was denied.
Don’t #8: Never Be In A Rush To Answer Questions During Your U.S Visa Interview
Being in a rush to answer questions is understandable, because you are desperate to get your U.S visa granted, so you want to make a good impression. However, the tense atmosphere could have an effect on your nerves. Try your best to resist the impulse to snap into a response when asked questions during your U.S visa interview.
When asked questions during a visa interview, take a second to gather your thoughts before you respond. You will be sure to make more sense that way. You’ll also find out that you attain a certain level of control during this process.
Its not hidden the fact that we tend to associate lies to quick response to questions. So, take your time when being interviewed. You’ll make fewer mistakes that way.
Don’t #9: Have More Funds Than Less
Usually, there is a limit to the funds one is suppose to have in a savings account designated for travel to the U.S. Endeavor to make sure you have a bank statement that proves you have enough funds to look after your upkeep in the United States.
If the limit for travel to the U.S is US$10,000, going with a bank statement that says you have US$9,500 or one that shows a balance of US$9,999 is no good. You will be denied a visa if you present an account statement with a balance below the limit. You have to meet or better the bank statement limit authorized by the U.S consular services in your country for visa to the U.S to be granted.
Don’t #10: Do Your Research
Don’t step in for your U.S visa interview half baked. Do your research before you go in, if you are looking to get a study visa for the purpose of bagging a doctorate degree, then you need to research on courses studied during your masters and bachelors’ level, because questions will be asked in these areas.
If you are applying for a work visa, you need to be conversant with the implications of your work detail and how it affects the economy of your city. You will probably be asked questions in this area. So, do your research, so as not to be caught unawares.
Bonus Point: Your Interviewer Might Have An Attitude On Purpose
It’s common to have a U.S visa interviewer who has an attitude on purpose. This is usually intentional to ruffle the applicant’s feathers and keep them (applicants) on edge. It’s always important to note when this is the case.
If this was to be the case, then all you can do is be polite and professional in your conduct. Do not be rude, because your interviewer is. You could be denied your U.S visa for this alone. Your interviewer is going to do everything in their power to knock you off your stride. Resist it and you’ll be fine.
You can secure a visa to the U.S by avoiding these points. People who get rejected, fall victim to minor errors that could have been avoided. It’s never the big questions that does them in, but minor mannerisms, gestures or emotions. If you can watch out for these errors, you will be fine.