How to Prepare for Your Student Visa Interview

Visa interviews are held to verify the student's claims and interest in studying in their target country. Students can make the process simpler by keeping track of dates and deadlines and convincing the officials that they are not applying for a visa for immigration purposes.

Are you thinking of applying to a foreign university to pursue your higher education abroad? One of the things that prospective students are nervous about is the visa interview. Before you can crack this 'hurdle' on the path to your dreams of, studying abroad, the first thing you need to internalize is that the visa interview is NOT a job interview or an exam. The formidable aura that often surrounds the interview has very little to do with reality and more to do with the anxieties of students heading out to a new country, often for the first time.

At the same time, there are some things you do need to know about these interviews so that you are well prepared and level-headed when you go for them.

How to Prepare for Student Visa Interview

The purpose of the student visa interview

Each country conducts a visa interview for applicants to evaluate if the student is suitable for a visa. Visa bureaus automatically assume that anyone applying for a visa is looking to immigrate. The only thing you have to do is to convince them that you are seeking a visa only to study and then return to India. All it takes is a few minutes for them to look through your documents, ask you a few simple questions that are not rocket science, and you are done. The interview is held at the visa office for the destination country. You have to find out if there is one in your city or a city near you.

Check out the list of best countries to study abroad.

Tips to attend student visa interview

There are only two things that you, as a student, need to do to come out of the student visa interview happy. You have to convince the visa officials that you are genuinely interested in the course you are applying for. You also have to convince them that you are not going abroad to immigrate and that you are going to return home after your studies. If all of this is true, there should be no problem at all during the interview.

Note that most student visas will let you do a full-time course while others will even let you stay on for a few months until you find a job in that country. So you should be aware of the conditions of your visa before you attend the interview. Also, make sure you read the study abroad guide.

Get the process right

To make the process simpler for yourself, be completely honest in all your forms and applications. Keep all your supporting documents organized, such as -
  • Passport
  • University admission letter
  • Approved education loan (provisional will not work here)
  • GRE/GMAT or TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • College mark sheets
  • Letter of sponsorship etc
You will find the full list of documents required at the visa website for the country you are visiting.

Also, make sure that you do not confuse the official documents accepted by the visa office (such as bank loan approval papers for sponsorship questions) versus supporting documents (such as auditor's reports of your sponsor's financial standing).

There are certain questions that are typically asked at visa interviews:
  • Why did you choose the university you have chosen?
  • Who will sponsor your education?
  • What are your future plans?

You do not need to prepare your answers in advance at all. As long as you are honest, you can be yourself and express yourself in your own way. Just be confident and smile, and use your presence of mind. It will be good practice for when you are in the new country.

If you do get rejected for some reason, you can always reapply. Do not panic. Thousands of students have gone through the visa office before you.

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