All applicants for non-immigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the consular officer that they are not. You must be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the US. “Ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence: job, family, financial prospects that you own or will inherit, investments, etc.
The officer may ask about your specific intentions or promise of future employment, family or other relationships, educational objectives, long-range plans and career prospects in your home country.
Each person’s situation is different, and there is no magic explanation or single document, certificate, or letter that can guarantee visa issuance. If you have applied for the US Green Card Lottery, you may be asked if you are intending to immigrate. A simple answer would be that you applied for the lottery since it was available but not with a specific intent to immigrate. If you overstayed your authorized stay in the US previously, be prepared to explain what happened clearly and concisely, with documentation if available.
Be Prepared To:
- Demonstrate as many ties as possible to your home country
- Describe why you wish to study at Washington College
- Explain how your time at Washington College will lead to future opportunities
- Discuss the possibility of finding work after returning home (letters from potential employers, prospects for future employment or further study, etc.)
Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. One suggestion is to practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview, but do NOT prepare speeches!
Do not bring family members with you to the interview. A negative impression is created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf. If you are an undergraduate and need your parents in case there are questions, for example about funding, they should remain in the waiting room.
Because of the volume of applications received, consular officers are under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision, for the most part, on the impressions they form during the first minute of the interview. Consequently, what you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Keep your answers to the officer’s questions short and to the point. You will likely have only 2 to 3 minutes of interview time.
Unfortunately, applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many visitors have remained in the US as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Statistically, applicants from those countries are more likely to be intending immigrants. They are also more likely to be asked about job opportunities at home after their study in the U.S.