Preparing for Your Visa Interview

Preparing for Your Visa Interview

by Steve Will, WAL Advisor

Imagine this: You walk into an office building with extremely tight security.  Officers search you and your belongings, you have copies of your fingerprints taken, and you are asked questions about yourself, your past, and what you plan to do.  It sounds quite intimidating, but all students who wish to study in the United States must go through this process in order to receive an F-1 Student Visa.  Some students succeed, and others may be rejected.  To help you prepare, here are some suggestions that will help you prepare for your visa interview. Please know that this is NOT legal advice.


Your will need to bring the following items to your interview:

  1. Your I-20. You must have this document with you at your interview.  It is proof that you have been accepted by a school in the United States. Don’t forget to sign your name and date at the bottom of the I-20.
  2. Your passport.
  3. Proof of financial support. One of the most important requirements for studying in the United States is your ability to pay for school and living expenses.
  4. Academic records. Come prepared to show transcripts, degrees and diplomas you have earned.
  5. Proof of your home country. Your home country is your home country. You will need to prove that this is your home with a birth certificate, bank statements, and/or any other documentation that proves your life in that country. For a complete list, please reference this website.
  6. Proof that you will not stay in the United States longer than you are allowed. The F-1 visa is a non-immigrant Visa, it is your responsibility to prove that you will not stay in the United States for any other reason and that you will not stay longer than your study program.

This is not a complete list, but will hopefully help you as you prepare for your interview. Should you have more questions about this topic, please reference this page:

Good luck!


Published December 18, 2015



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