Step 1a – Have a Successful Visa Interview

NOTE for Masters-level applicants

  • For most Masters degrees at Valparaiso University, a GRE test score is not required. However, you may still be asked in your F-1 visa interview if you have a GRE test score. You should be prepared to explain that your program does not require a GRE score for admission. Please see this page for standard Graduate School requirements at Valparaiso University.

10 Interview Tips

1. The most important thing to emphasize is your ties to your home country. Provide as much information as possible to show that you will return home. Never indicate that you plan to stay in the United States. If you give any indication that you plan on staying in the U.S. after you graduate, then your visa will probably be denied.

2. Anticipate the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language; you will also likely be alone. Do not try to take your family or friends with you or recite a memorized speech.

3. The interview does not take long, so you must be well prepared. Be brief. Keep answers to the officer’s questions short, but to the point. Organize your supporting documentation so that it can be presented clearly without hesitation or fumbling.

4. Maintain a positive attitude: be friendly, courteous, and confident that you will receive the visa.

5. Know about the program that you are admitted to and how it fits your career plans. Be ready to talk about details of your major and why you want to study this subject. You should be able to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your future professional career when you return home. Your main purpose in coming to the United States should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation.

6. Share information about your academic achievements thus far in your own country.

7. Be sure to mention if any family members completed his/her higher education in the U.S. and have now returned to your country.

8. You must show sufficient financial resources to support dependents. Be aware that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstance, be employed in the U.S. J-2 dependents can apply for work permission, but income cannot be used to support J-1 students.

9. Be prepared to discuss family, business, or social ties you will be maintaining in your own country.

10. If you are married, especially with children, and your family is remaining behind in your own country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence.

Check out this page for additional reminders, as well as videos from various embassies around the world on the visa application process.

Instructional videos to get a U.S. visa in…

Visit the U.S. Visa website for basic visa information.

Good luck in getting your visa!  Please send us an email immediately to let us know how it went.

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