An interview at the embassy can seem like a pretty stressful experience. Don’t be nervous though! Thousands of J-1 participants successfully complete their visa interview every year.
With our help and thorough preparation from your side, you can be one of them. Below you can find tips that are intended to help you prepare for your visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
Be prepared that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. It would be good if you can practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview.
Dress nicely - you don’t need to wear a suit, but it is more respectful if you wear appropriate clothes. Don’t forget, there’s no second chance to make a first impression!
TIES TO HOME COUNTRY
You must be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country and that you are not planning on staying in the United States. Generally, all applicants for non-immigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not. "Ties" to your home country are the things that bind you to your current place of residence, such as family, financial prospects, investments, and so on.
SPEAK FOR YOURSELF
Do not bring anyone with you to your interview. They want to interview you, not your family. Even though you bring them for support, you might create a negative impression if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf. Remember that this interview is for you, and not your family or your friends (if you will be bringing a dependent on a J-2 Visa, however, they should accompany you to your interview).
Since many applicants show up every day, all consular officers are under time pressure and want to conduct a quick and efficient interview. Consequently, what you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Keep your answers to the officer's questions short and to the point. Remember that you will have 2-3 minutes of interview time, and that’s if you're lucky! Tip: Arrive at the embassy early. As they serve you on a first-come, first-served basis, you might be lucky and finish early. We recommend you to take early morning appointments. Should you still have to wait for your turn make sure you bring some water, a snack, and something to entertain yourself with.
MAINTAIN A POSITIVE MINDSET
Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If your visa gets refused, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the denial, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.
The most important thing to remember during your visa interview is to remain calm! Being well prepared is extremely important. Make sure that you have all of the required documents with you so that you can focus on your interview questions. Answer all of the questions asked of you, and remember to be open and honest! If you would like to see what the usual questions look alike and what the best way to answer them is then have a look here.
You can also contact us to get more information and to get trained, coached and succeed in your US Embassy interview!
If you need a full overview of the US Embassy Appointment procedure have a look here.