What to Expect in Your Visa Interview

The application process typically includes an interview with a consular official to determine the applicant’s purpose of travel to the U.S. Most visa interviews are short (one to two minutes) and are conducted in English, so it is important to prepare well before the interview. Be sure to remain calm and answer all questions honestly.

What documents should you bring to the interview?
First, check for specific requirements in your home country. Most required documents are listed below:

  1. Your passport (must be valid for at least six months into the future).
  2. SEVIS form I-20, issued to you by Phoenix College (be sure to sign the form yourself in the “Student Attestation,” at the bottom of page 1).
  3. Phoenix College Acceptance Letter (sent to you along with your Phoenix College I-20).
  4. Completed visa applications (DS-160) – unless you will be completing it at the consulate or embassy, and two 2-inch by 2-inch photographs (taken within the last 6 months).
  5. A receipt for the visa application fee, or proof of visa payment
  6. A receipt for the SEVIS fee.
  7. If you have not received an official receipt in the mail showing payment and you paid the fee electronically, the consulate will accept the temporary receipt you printed from your computer.
  8. If you do not have a receipt, the consulate may be able to see your payment electronically if your fee payment was processed at least three (3) business days before your interview.
  9. Financial evidence that shows you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period you intend to study (bank statements, certificates of deposit, tax records, proof of sponsorship).
  10. Test scores and academic records (transcripts from other schools that you attended).
  11. Proof of English proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL scores, if available).
  12. Any information that proves that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the United States. This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community, a job offer upon return, documentation of research on a future job, statement of future plans, and local identity card.
  13. Any other documents required by the Embassy or Consulate, based on your home country's requirements.

What types of questions should you prepare for in the interview?
Most questions will be related to the following categories:

  • Your study plan
  • Your college choice
  • Your academic capability
  • Your financial status
  • Your post-graduation plans