Graduate Studies

Applying for a Visa

We know that applying for a visa is stressful.  Below are a couple of tips to help you prepare.

Ties to Your Home Country

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 United States.   For instance, a job in your home country, family, financial prospects, investments, etc.  

Be prepared to give an answer regarding your future career goals, family, etc. in your home country   Even if the officer does not ask, you may want to divulge this information.


Your interview will most likely be conducted in English.  Do not prepare a speech, but feel comfortable talking in English.  You may want to practice speaking with a native speaker to boost your confidence in speaking in English.

Speak for Yourself

Come to your interview alone.  You need to speak for yourself, do not bring a family member to do so for you.

Know the Program and How It Fits Your Career Plans

Be ready to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your future career goals and future career when you return home.

First Impressions

Your interview will be short. What you say first and your first impression may decide whether you are approved or denied. It is best to keep your answers short, but precise.
hat you wear is important. Consider the interview a formal event. Business attire is appropriate. First impressions can be crucial, since there will be little time to speak with the officer, who will often have only a few minutes to conduct the interview and make a decision


Bring the required documents that are easy to read and precise.  Again, your appointment will only last a couple of minutes.


Be clear that you plan to return home at the end of your program.  While you may be authorized to work while studying, it should not be your main focus.

Stay Positive

Do not argue with the consular officer. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason in writing why you were denied

Social Media

This is new so some of your friends may not have experienced this. Be prepared to answer any questions related to any social media platforms you have used during the five years prior to your visa application.

Administrative Processing Delays

Be patient.   For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State's Administrative Processing Information web page.

Past Visits to the United States

You may be asked to explain past visits and stays in the United States and/or any prior visa statuses held by you or your family members. Also, students who formerly held an employment-based immigration status or had Optional Practical Training (OPT) or STEM OPT might also need to explain the reasons for additional study in the United States instead of working at home.


Visa Appointment Wait Times:

Locate a U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

Find an Education USA Advising Center:



Procedure for Applying for a Visa


A select list of videos available through U.S. Embassy websites.

Alphabetical by City

Amman, Jordan (3:52)
A step-by-step tutorial on how to navigate the online system for applying for a U.S. visa in Jordan.

Ankara, Turkey (2:35)
Attending an Immigrant Visa interview at the U.S. Embassy? This video highlights the steps and procedure.

Dubai, UAE (4:04)
This video explains what you should anticipate on the day of your interview for a Non-Immigrant Visa Interview at the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai, U.A.E.

Frankfurt, Germany (6:27)
How to apply for a United States student visa in Germany.

Hyderabad, India (5:06)
Prepare for your student visa interview. Our officers are here to answer some of your most asked questions about the F-1 Visa.

Kabul, Afghanistan (4:56)
Want to know what it is like to apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul? Check out this video to find out more!

Kobe, Japan (3:16)
This video will guide you through the interview procedures at the U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe, Japan, from your arrival at the Consulate to your interview.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (7:01)
A step-by-step video guide on how to apply for a nonimmigrant visa (business, travel, study, etc.) online and the interview process at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

New Delhi, India (4:29)
Learn about the U.S. Embassy's Student Visit Day and the visa interview process in India in this video.

London, U.K. (3:09)
What to expect when you attend the Embassy for a non-immigrant visa interview.

Seoul, South Korea (2:09)
Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Skill – this video gives an example of how to give more in-depth interview answers.

The information contained in this resource is designed to provide general information on matters of interest only and should not be construed as legal advice. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained in this resource has been obtained from reliable sources, NAFSA and the publishers disclaim any and all liability resulting from reliance upon this information, or from any errors contained herein. This publication does not substitute for the direct reading of applicable laws and government guidance, nor does it constitute legal advice, which can only be obtained from licensed attorneys. Laws and regulations are also interpreted by the government agencies that administer them; therefore, it is impossible to provide detailed, specific information and guidelines to meet every contingency.