Conquer the Final Hurdle: Tips to Crack Student Visa Interviews
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The visa interview is the final hurdle you'll have to clear before you are well, and truly, on your way. After all the documents you are required to show at the time of the interview, you must be prepared for the normal drill that the Visa Officer will put you through. Here are four main things that every applicant should keep in mind:
Ties to the Home Country:
These include your family’s economic position, property you may own and your own economic potential when you come home with an international education. The Visa Officer will be impressed to see evidence of your career planning and your knowledge of the local employment scene.
Family & Social Ties:
Be prepared for questions pertaining to how many close family members live in your home country, compared to those living in the host country? What community activities have you participated in that demonstrate a sincere connection to your town or country?
The officer will ask about your educational background and plans in order to assess how likely you are to enrol and remain in University until graduation. Be prepared to discuss the reasons you chose a University, your choice of major, and your career plans. Bring school mark sheets, college mark sheets, IELTS, GRE & TOEFL scores (if any) and anything else that demonstrates your academic commitment.
Your chances are improved if your parents are sponsoring your education. If somebody is sponsoring you other than your parents, you should explain your special relationship with this person, who may be committing tens of thousands of rupees to your education. Provide solid evidence of your finances. This will assure the Visa Officer that your sponsor has enough funds till the time you completey graduation.
Mostly the interview doesn't even last long enough for the Officer to ask you these above questions. If you can maintain your composure and come up with straightforward answers to whatever he asks, you should be fine. Below are some of the basic tips, tricks and myths about VISA Interview:
Few days (preferably 3 weeks) before the interview, check for all the documents required for the interview.
Prepare well if you've low academics, IELTS, GRE and TOEFL score. Give reasons which make sense to the Officer. Try to justify those reasons and also show how you made up for the same.
Do not lie to the visa Officer as s/he has the basic information about you and your family. Be smart and tackle tricky questions.
If you've a year gap post undergraduation and have done absolutely nothing in this period, make sure you've enough reasons to tackle their questions.
Focus on the research work of the university that you're going to join.
Some say university tag (which is true) matters a lot, some leverage on GRE, and some might have other reasons. But the best way to ace the visa process is be confident and smile.
Always ask for reasons if the visa Officer rejects you.