There are plenty of reasons why people keep needing visas to travel. When you’re moving from one country to another, specific immigration requirements need to be met. The two most important ones are having a valid passport and a visa. Visas are issued by the country of your destination. These visas need to be applied directly to the embassy or consulate of the destination country.
Visas can be of various categories – student, work, fiancé, spousal, dependent, permanent resident, or tourism. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, almost all applications are now encouraged to be submitted online. The visa interview and biometric processes are the only ones left for physical entry. Each visa process differs from country to country. You should consult IAS experts from London to help you understand all the workings, application dates, paperwork, and other formalities pertaining to your visa.
Once the application and paperwork go through, you may be called for an interview. For the US, nearly all visa categories require a visa. Even though your paperwork is correct, there may be a possibility that you might be rejected based on your interview.
To help cross this hurdle, we have compiled a list of helpful visa interview tips. These tips are not exhaustive, and there are more, but these will surely help.
Complete documentation is a must when going for your visa interview. The visa officer sees many potential applicants in a day. You should not miss out on any documentation. Most consulates send out an email in advance of all the documents you need to carry. Proof of valid documentation is compulsory since this is the final verification process. Your hard copies will be cross-checked against the soft copies submitted along with the visa application.
The best way to tackle this is to make a folder with separators. Having all your documents filed and labelled correctly will help you retrieve them all without an issue. File the paperwork under personal, education, work, and bookings. These broad categories should help cover all the copies. If you need more separators based on your individual case, you should add those too. Quick retrieval of the hard copies will result in a smooth interview, and the visa officer will look upon you favourably.
Many applicants do not speak the first language of the visa officer. If this may put you at a disadvantage, you should practice your grammar and vocabulary beforehand. If you have asked for an interpreter, you must speak clearly, and cover all the salient features in your response. Interpreters can also create confusion in the process; clear and precise answers are best.
If you are applying for a student visa, you must speak in English. As part of the admission and visa process, most places with the teaching language as English insist on a Language Proficiency Test. You will have to converse fluently in English to convince the visa officer that you will cope with the academic requirements and not drop out of the course. If you have difficulty speaking the language, you should practice in front of friends and loved ones.
Look and Act the Part:
The visa interview is a solemn part of your application. You should be dressed in formals or smart casuals. Avoid wearing grunge or active-wear styles for your interview. You should opt for formal clothing. A neatly ironed shirt, trousers or skirt, and formal footwear is a must. Women should avoid flashy and dangling jewellery and apply minimal makeup. Hair should be combed out and coiffed into place.
You should also show up in advance of the interview time. Tardiness is not looked upon favourably. Coming to the interview in advance of 30 minutes will help you get to your interview seat in time and help you calm your nerves. When speaking to the visa officer, you should always remain polite and humble. Confident answers are encouraged, but only up to a point. You should also only speak when spoken to and avoid making idle chit chat.
Your attitude should always be positive. You should greet the officer with a good morning or afternoon, with a smile on your face. If asked how you are, respond positively and thank them. If you are granted the visa, say a polite thank you and leave. If your visa is rejected, ask them for a reason and what other documentation you may need for your reapplication. You should not create a scene or argue and fight with the visa officer. Misbehaviour will not be tolerated, and you may be barred from reapplying.