Tips from Indian students on how they prepared for their US student visa interview

US visa interview
Many international students from India dream of studying in the US. However, getting their US student visa approved may come with some challenges. Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

Are you an Indian student who aspires to study in the US? While choosing from the country’s many universities is a challenge, another hurdle to be mindful of is the visa application process. Visa rejections do happen, which makes it essential to learn some useful US visa interview tips that could put you in good stead. 

While you should go through the US visa application requirements from the US embassy on consulate thoroughly before applying, it’s useful to know that many international students have shared their experiences and thoughts about the US visa interview process online.

If you’re curious about what they had to say about their experience, or what pearls of wisdom they have to offer, we’ve curated four US visa interview tips from Indian students who were successful in securing a US student visa.

US visa interview tips from Indian students

‘How to book a US visa interview slot’ by YouTube user Yashwanth Mulakala

While you can find all the information you’ll need to apply for an F-1 visa from the US embassy website, it’s always comforting to hear from students who have been through the process themselves for any useful tips.

Enter Yashwanth Mulakala, who summarises his experience of securing an F-1 visa in June 2022.

In his video, he details how he booked a US visa slot back in March 2022, including highlighting the processes needed to book an interview slot at the nearest US embassy or consulate to what students can do to improve their GRE and IELTS scores to secure their spot at a top university.

‘Do mock interviews’ by YouTube user Shraavya Katkuri

One of the reasons students may fail to get their student visa could be due to unsatisfactory justification for choosing a particular course or university.

In an interview with ThePrint last month, US Embassy in New Delhi Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs Don Heflin said that students preparing for their visa interviews should have a quick summary about themselves ready before heading for their appointment and be prepared to talk about why they want to study at their chosen university, quickly and succinctly.

“Maybe one evening there was a conversation around the kitchen table where you and your parents decided where you want to go and why. Tell us that,” Heflin was quoted saying. “Just repeat that to us. That’s what we want to hear.”

It’s understandable to get the interview jitters in the day leading up to, or on the day of your visa interview. However, with enough practice through mock interviews, you can overcome your nerves during the actual interview session with the US embassy or consulate representative.

Just ask YouTube user Shraavya Katkuri, it worked for her.

‘Be concise with your answers’ by YouTube user Sahaj Patel

You typically have a limited amount of time during your US visa interview, so make every minute count.

One way to do this is to keep your answers concise, as advised by YouTuber Sahaj Patel, which echoes what Heflin advised.

‘Proving your purpose of coming to the US’ by YouTube user Abhiram Desai

Visa officers use the interview to gauge whether or not you’re going to the US to study or for other purposes. This makes it important to show that you plan on returning to India after completing your studies rather than for immigration purposes.

According to reports, you can prove ties to your home country through family ties or dependents waiting for you back home, or even employment in your home country.

Similarly, YouTuber Abhiram Desai notes that it’s important to prove to visa officers that your sole intention of heading to the US is for your studies, and that you intend on returning to India upon completing your programme.

Think about how your US-based education can help you carve yourself a bright future upon returning to India and be ready to give your explanation during the interview.

US visa interview

Indian students are encouraged to contact their nearest US Embassy or Consulate if they have any doubts or require further clarifications regarding their interview or US student visa application process. Source: Chris Delmas/AFP

Ultimately, if you have questions about your US student visa, be sure to contact the embassy or consulate for clarification.

To improve your chances of securing your US student visa, don’t leave your preparations to the last minute. Start your research early and prepare the necessary documents. Most importantly, remember to maintain a positive attitude.

All the best!