Guidelines for the U.S. Consular Interview

Evidence of Residence Abroad

The consular officer may not issue a student visa unless satisfied the applicant:

  1. Has a residence abroad,
  2. Does not intend to abandon that residence, and
  3. Intends to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study.

Applicants generally establish their residency abroad by presenting evidence of economic, social and family association in their home country, which indicates that an applicant would leave the United States upon completion of his/her program. Additional residency proof may include job, family and financial prospects including inheritance and/or investments, etc.

Evidence of English Proficiency

Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not the native language of the applicant. The consular officer may determine whether the applicant has the necessary proficiency if the I-20 SEVIS Form indicates that proficiency in English is required. The consular officer may conduct a visa interview in English, request that the applicant read a passage written in English, or even request the TOEFL test score.

Evidence of Financial Documents of F-1 and M-1 Students

An applicant must provide documents to prove sufficient funds, to cover all expenses during the entire period of study, are available and that cash is available to cover at least the first year of study. Thus, an applicant proves he/she will not become a public charge and/or will not participate in unauthorized U.S. employment.


  1. Funds From Source(s) Outside the United States: If an applicant indicates that financial support comes from outside the United States, the consular officer must determine whether there are restrictions on transferring funds from their country to the U.S. If so, the consular officer will request documentation to prove that these restrictions will not prevent the funds from being made available during the period of the applicant's expected stay in the United States.
  2. Affidavit of Support or Other Assurances by an Interested Party: The sponsor must ensure that the applicant will not become a public charge or will not participate in unauthorized employment while studying in the United States. This obligation begins when the applicant enters the U.S. and continues until the applicant's departure. The consular officer may require additional documents to resolve any doubt that the financial status is sufficient.
Be Brief:

Due to the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. Therefore, be brief. Consular officers usually make a decision within the first week of the interview. The applicant must keep his/her answers short and to the point. The applicant should know the program of studies and what it involves. In addition, applicants should not bring family members or friends to the interview.

Bring all Documents:

Make sure you bring all original documents to the interview including the SEVIS I-20 form, I-901 Fee document, letter of acceptance, financial passport, affidavit of support, passport, and any other documents required by the U.S. Embassy.

Maintain a Positive Attitude:

Applicants should not argue with the consular officer. If the visa is denied, ask to the officer for a list of documents necessary to reverse the refusal and request the reason for the denial.


If your spouse is also applying for an accompanying visa, you should both be aware that dependants cannot be employed in the U.S. Also, if the dependant is going to stay in the home country, the consular officer may request proof that the applicant can financially support his/her family while he/she is absent.

Remember: The main purpose of the student visa is to study in the United States.

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