Top US Visa Interview Mistakes Indians Make (And How to Avoid Them)

I feel extremely proud to say that the US government has been extremely welcoming of Indian travelers. They know that it through the increase in Indians travelers to the US that the bond between the two economies will strengthen, having a positive impact on both countries. This is why there have been continuous efforts to make the visa application process seamless and transparent to facilitate the travel of legitimate visitors.

The US government is trying to consistently shorten the average wait times for scheduling a visa interview to just a couple of days to add to the convenience of the visa applicants.

Some Interesting Statistics

Did you know that of all the countries in the world, India is by far the single largest beneficiary of the H1B and L1 visas? This is what the data published by the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, reveals. Over 101,800 H1B visas were issued in FY 2014 alone by the US embassy and consulates in India. What’s interesting is that this figure represents a 9% increase from the previous fiscal year.

Another statistic, published by the US Embassy, revealed that the number of international students in US colleges and universities has increased by 7.1% to 1,043,839 in 2015-16. Here too, India was the 2nd leading place of origin, accounting for every sixth international student in America.

Despite all these encouraging statistics, a large number of visa applications are denied every year due to some mistakes made by the applicants.

5 Common Mistakes Indians Make During the Visa Interview

Here’s a look at the most common of these mistakes.

Dressing Casually for the Interview:

A US Visa interview might not be a career-deciding job interview, but do not make the mistake of thinking that it is any less important, given that it is your gateway to the US. It is strongly recommended to arrive on time, if not a little early, for the interview and dress neatly and formally. First impressions are important because they tell the visa officer how serious you are about the visa interview.

Saying Too Much:

Some of us tend to ramble on when we are anxious. However, the visa officer is listening to every word you say and any slip of the tongue could cost you. It is best to give clear and crisp answers that are truthful, without volunteering information that was not asked for. It could trigger further questions, the answers to which could go against your visa application.

Appearing Over- or Under-Confident:

Confidence is key during the visa interview. However, overconfidence is not appreciated and could affect your application negatively. Bragging too much about your accomplishments, even if it is out of the nervousness related to the interview, can turn things against you. On the other hand, appearing anxious and uncertain could be just as harmful.

Carry the Required Documents:

The visa application process also requires applicants to carry all the required documentation, with complete and authentic information, for the interview. The consular officer will be impressed if you have kept your documentation well organized.

Not Having Enough Information:

You have come all prepared for the interview, having prepared answers for all expected questions but you didn’t take the time to learn all you can about the institution where you will be studying? This is be a big faux pas, since the visa officer will definitely want to know why you chose that particular college or university. (For more check this article – Student visa interview tips)

Related: US Visit Visa Interview Tips

So, check all your documents and prepare clear responses to expected questions, especially the advantages of studying in the US and the institution of your choice.

All the best!

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Entrepreneur, Mentor & Blogger.
I help business grow & scale. Have helped 15+ companies scale in US, Middle East and India.
I share everything I learned on this blog, so that you benefit. Here’s more about me.

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