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Tips for your Visa Interview

We know that the visa interview process is an important factor in enabling international students to study at Oklahoma City University. We have compiled a list of 10 tips to help you with the upcoming visa interview and increase your chances of obtaining a visa to study at OCU.

· Explain ties to your home country.

This is one of the most important questions that you will be asked in your interview. Students need to be able to explain why they want to study at Oklahoma City University, then return home with their degree. Connect your family and yourself to your home country. Explain how the degree will increase your ability to land a job in your selected field of study with companies in your home country. It is okay to provide the interviewer with your long-term academic and career goals.

· Know your program of study.

Many U.S. counselors want to know what you are studying and how you plan to apply that degree to your career goals after graduation. For example: If you are a computer science major, then explain your interests with computers and your understanding of the job market in your country as it applies to computer science majors. Be sure to explain what you plan to achieve through your program of study.

· Answer the interviewer's questions in English.

Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and practice conversations with native speakers before you go for the interview.

· Speak for yourself.

Do not bring your parents or friend with you to the interview. U.S. consular officers want to hear directly from you. They do not want others speaking for your behalf.

· Provide brief answers to interview questions.

The US Embassy conducts a large volume of interviews and only has a short amount of time with you. When answering questions, make sure that you get to your main points and keep it brief. Remember the initial impression you create could determine your success in getting a visa.

· Provide supporting documents.

Make sure that you have all your documents in order and organized. The consular officer will have 2-3 minutes of interview time. The best practice is to present a portfolio style folder. You will need to have financial documents, academic transcripts, test scores, and supportive achievement documents in different sections.

· All applicants are not equal.

Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or countries where many students have remained in the United States as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Statistically, applicants from those countries are more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study in the United States.

· Discuss future employment opportunities.

When asked about employment, this is referring to your occupational goals once you graduate and return back to your home country. Your main purpose of coming to the United States should be to study, instead of seeking a job during or after graduation in the U.S. Clearly explain your plan to gain employment in your home country upon graduating. You may provide the interviewer with a few companies in your home country, to which you're interested in applying.

· Dependents care and arrangements while you study.

If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be an especially difficult area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular officer gains the impression that your family members will need you to remit money from the United States in order to support themselves, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied.

· Maintain a positive attitude during the interview.

The consular officer knows that this interview can make you nervous, but try to keep a positive viewpoint. If you are denied a student visa, make sure to politely ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal.