Tips for a Successful Visa Interview

  • Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English.
  • Interviews are generally very brief.
  • Keep answers to the officer's questions short, but to the point.
  • Be prepared to show evidence that sufficient financial resources (at least equal to the amount indicated on the I-20 or IAP-66) are readily available for your support.
  • Do not take family members or friends with you to the interview.
  • Do not state that you intend to work in the United States, even temporarily, after completing your studies.
  • If you are married, especially with children, and your family is remaining behind in your own country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence.
  • Be aware that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstance, be employed in the U.S. J-2 dependents can apply for work permission, but income cannot be used to support the J-1 student. You must show sufficient financial resources to support dependents.
  • Be prepared to discuss what you expect to get out of your education.
  • Share information about your academic achievements, thus far, in your own country.
  • If you have had any family members complete higher education in the U.S. who have now returned to your country, mention it.
  • Be prepared to discuss family, business or social ties you will be maintaining in your own country.
  • Be prepared to address mandatory military service if it applies in your country.
  • Organize all supporting documentation so that it can be logically presented without hesitation or fumbling through a briefcase.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Be friendly, courteous and confident that you will receive the visa.

Reprinted by permission of  University of Kansas, International Student Services Office.

Institute of International Studies
Missouri Southern State University
3950 E Newman Rd. · Joplin, MO 64801-1595
Voice: 001.417.659.4442 · Fax: 001.417.659.4445