Visiting the United States is a beautiful thing that most people desire in Nigeria, especially young people. As desirable as it is, it does not come that easy. In fact, there are people who have tried it as many times as they could and they still have not been granted any visa. Some have given up, a lot are still trying. If anyone says it by God’s grace that you scale that huddle, don’t doubt it. The embassy interviews are such that could be passed without having to touch any question or questions that you have practiced many times before the day. God’s grace plays so much a role in it.
I know some people who will play down the God factor in that, but I have seen people you will think to deserve being granted visa denied and those you will never imagine will have a chance being granted entry without any hassle. It might not be that you have to put your passport in the church, but putting him ahead of your plans really plays a lot in this.
The visit to the embassy comes with a lot of anxiety. A lot will run through your mind. You will think about how excited you will be when you have a visa and how you will celebrate. Another side of your mind will make you think about how devasted it might be if you don’t get it. Many a time, you will always want to rebuke that. You know, everyone wants to think positively in that situation, but there is nothing wrong with thinking about what it could be if it doesn’t work as expected. That could help to prevent any breakdown.
Very importantly, take note of this; it is not a “do or die affair”. If you are denied, there is always another time. There is nothing bad in getting it at the first attempt, in fact, you should prepare like that is your only chance, but it is not worth losing a sleepover.
It will amaze you to see how people dress for their visa interviews. You will think you are in a banker’s committee meeting when you see every man in a suit. Some kids will be brought in their school uniform, even when it obvious they are not going to school that day. In my opinion, just be formal, smart, simple, and neat. There is no dress code, but you will not want to appear too casual nor too busy.
People are called in according to their time of appointment. Apart from the fact that you will lose your spot if you get there late, you don’t want to give that negative impression that you can keep time. In most cases, if you miss your call-in time, its more effort to get you back in line as everything is strictly by the appointment time. Then, be prepared to do a lot of standing.
At the embassy, there are people that will work you up. Just like everywhere else, there are some impolite people at the embassy too. Some staff (Nigerians) are saucy and rude there, but please be polite. Don’t give a wrong opinion about yourself before you even meet the consular. Mind your business. Please, extend that politeness to the interviewer too.
You can sure that all your interview questions will be from the information you have in your application form. Do not try to put up a last-minute stunt. Any information you have on your form should be consistent with your response to the questions. I know of a close pal who failed his interview basically because he forgot to add a country he has visited before on his form but mentioned it at the interview. That was when the interviewer stopped and he stylishly told him to be consistent. So, ensure to go over your application form as many times as it takes for you to internalize everything on it.
Be Sure of What You Are Saying
Fidgeting could imply that you are lying or just trying to cook something up. If there is any question you do not understand, please, ask that the interviewer ask again. In the United State, people don’t feel offended when you ask them to repeat any instruction you couldn’t grab. In fact, anyone in the US will gladly do that as many times as possible Going ahead pretending you understand could affect your answer and that could just be the determining question.
Be happy and smile. Most times, a smile begets a smile. Whatever you are going through within you, ensure to put up a smiling face. While you do that, ensure to still be yourself. Smile, but don’t fake it.
Be familiar with The State You are Going To
Would it not be a disaster if you are asked to mention a few of the places you plan to visit in the state you are going to and you can’t? Be familiar with the monuments and places of attraction in the environment. If you are visiting New York, for instance, you will be expected to mention places like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. You can check all the information using any of the search engines.
Grammar is not An Issue
Your visa interview is not an English test. Bad English is not an issue. In the US, there are people from every country in the world and not all countries speak English. You will never be judged for any grammatical error, so, don’t try to be who you are not. It is not by speaking grammar at all.
Be Convincing That You Will Return to Your Country After Your Holiday
There will be at least a question to test this. Be sure to identify that question and ensure to make the interviewer know that you are coming back home after your holidays. Your tie to your country could be your job, your business, your family- kids, spouse, parents. Showing how important the tie is to you is important because the US will not give you a visiting visa if your plan is to stay back.
Ensure to Have Proof That You Can Financially Cater for Your Trip
Who will grant you a visa to visit a country if all you plan to be there is a burden? Every visitor to the US, one way or the other, adds value to the country’s economy and that is what they want, not people who will come to feast on their resources. Apart from having some proof to show your capability to handle the bills, you have to be able to verbally prove it. Ensure to do this as smoothly as possible because this is one of the points where people goof.
The entire interview lasts only about 5 minutes or less. I will say it is just a way to confirm physically what you have put on paper and to test your confidence level to know if you are who you really say you are.
Be happy when your application is approved and don’t lose it if yours is denied. There is always another time. All you need to do is work more on your mistakes and prepare better next time.
Check out previous posts to know what we are doing here, It is a series that gives you first-hand experience about traveling abroad for visiting, immigration, or for study. Until next time, stay safe.