It is the dream of many Nigerians to at the very least make a trip to the United States of America. Of course, there are many tourist attractions to be found in the USA, for example, the most famous Times Square in New York or the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For some others, their reasons for wanting to travel to the U.S is for academic reasons and hence they apply for a student visa.
Other visas to the U.S includes Temporary work visa, Diplomatic/Official visas, Employer-sponsored visa, Fiance and Spouse visas, Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored Visas. The two categories of visa issued to travelers to the U.S are:
- Non-immigrant visa: This is issued for temporary visits to the United States such as for tourism, business, employment, family visit, and studying.
- Immigrant visas: This is issued to people who desire to move permanently to the United States under immigrant investor schemes or family reunion.
For whatever visa you are applying for, the interview process can make one quite nervous. This is because you must have heard stories of many people who are denied their visas.
How to Pass an Interview at the American Embassy in Nigeria
This article provides you with useful tips on how to pass an interview at the American Embassy in Nigeria. This will help you prepare better and be much more confident at your interview in the US embassy in Nigeria. Please note that the consular officer at the US Embassy in Abuja and United States Consulate General in Lagos are the agencies with the final say on whether your US tourist visa will be granted or not.
Things you must know before making your US visa appointment
- Before making an appointment in regards to your U.S visa, you must have a valid reason for traveling to the USA.
- If your reason is for tourism, it will be of great good to you if you know your tourism plans, such as the sites and attractions that you’ll be visiting.
- Do not forge any document: If found out, which you most probably will, you will be denied your US visa.
- It is best you process your US visa application yourself. You do not need an agent to assist you with it.
- Ensure your documents and visa application form are without errors. Double-check everything as this might cause a denial of your visa.
- At the interview, you must state whether you’ve visited the U.S before.
- For any question you are asked, you must be prepared to provide the supporting documents if needed.
- Often times, people are asked about their ties in Nigeria. This question is to ascertain whether you have reasons to come back home and not hide out in the U.S. When the consular officer asks you any questions about your ties in Nigeria, be prepared to provide documents as evidence for your reasons to come home. Strong ties in Nigeria could be dependent on family members, a job, etc. The documents will strengthen your answers.
Tips for the US Visa Interview
- Dress appropriately
- Be punctual
- Stay calm
- Be polite and respectful
- Be confident
- If you do not understand something the interviewer has said, do not be afraid to say “I beg your pardon”.
- Have all the necessary authentic documents at hand before the interview
- You must also provide evidence and enough proof that you have sufficient financial support for the duration of your visit and that you will not become a burden to the United States government.
- If you are applying for an immigrant visa, you must have a valid medical and police report. The Consulate recommends getting your medical and police report 2 weeks before your scheduled appointment at the American embassy. This is important because the medical report is valid for only valid 6 months and must be valid in order for you to travel. The police report is valid for 1 year.
What Not to Do in Your US Visa Interview
- In your interview, do not be evasive. The interviewer is simply trying to gain clarity on information found in your application. If you skip answers, you would be seen as shady and will most likely be denied your visa.
- Do not give false information – If found out that information you provided to your interviewer is incorrect, you will be denied your visa.
- Mind your body language: If you appear too forward, the interviewer might think you have shady businesses to get done in the USA. Be very cautious so as not to send the wrong signals to the interviewer. It pays to be calm, polite and sure of your answers than to attempt impressing the interviewer with bravado.
- In such interviews as an application for your visa, it pays not to say more than you have been asked. The precise and concise. The less you say the better. Rambling during the interview can ruin your chances of being granted a US tourist visa. Often times, it is providing unnecessary information to the interviewer that has disqualified many applicants from obtaining their visas. Answer the questions you are asked simply.
Frequently Asked Questions at interviews at the US Embassy
- What would you do if you won the jackpot in a Las Vegas casino?
- What if someone offers you a high paying salary job?
- What would you do if someone offers you a partnership in his business?
- What if a beautiful woman/man in the US proposes marriage?
These questions are asked as a form of test to find out the intents of the applicant. So many things are being studied when these questions are asked. Such as your body language. Do not be in a haste to answer. Give it due thought. Be honest in your answers. Remember that if the U.S Consular officer doubts your reason(s) for visiting the USA, based on your answers, your visa application may be denied.
The approval of the US visa application depends largely on the success of your interview. After you have been granted the U.S visa, make sure you do not overstay your visa. The American embassy hopes you stay true to your words.