The United States has one of the most direct visa application structures. In gaining a visa, the interview at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy is the most crucial component. Many claimants still get rejected although they met all the touchstones and submitted all the evidence. The interview is the cornerstone of the whole process that makes the biggest difference. It is made of subjective and sometimes unpredictable aspects of whether someone’s application should be approved or refused.
Mandatory Documents in the Visa Application Process
The first thing that has to be done is to collect all the essential papers and evidence, depending on the category of visa someone is applying to. For example, in order to apply for US Visitor Visa one should submit mandatory evidence such as an original passport with a six month legitimacy, old passports, a photograph, a so-called DS160 visa application verification paper that was imprinted at the Visa Application Center, a legitimate receipt that acts as an evidence of fees payment, and an Interview appointment letter. There also may be required some collateral papers depending on the particular details of one’s case.
General Preparations Before the Scheduled Interview
The term interview shouldn’t make you nervous despite its importance. With proper groundwork, you could ace it. Before scheduling an interview date, you should:
- Have a compelling argument for going to the United States.
- Be aware of your arrangements and purposes of the trip.
- Double-check all the mandatory papers and the visa application form in order for them to be error-free.
- Specify whether you’ve been to the United States in the past.
It is utterly suggested to arrive early at the address where the interview is taking place and to dress formally as if you’re attending a business meeting. Americans sympathize with formal clothing, so you will probably not be found over-dressed. As soon as you access the interview compartment, you should properly greet the officer in question and smile. The most important thing that gets you through the interview is self-assurance, poise, and politeness. Try to handle yourself and not show physical signs of tension since that could vigorously work against you. When speaking to the consulate officer, look him straight in the eyes, keep a self-reliant posture and your replies to the point, and above all demonstrate respect and civility.
Ties to Your Homeland
Under the U.S. law, applicants for the visitor category of visas are considered to be aiming newcomers until they can establish they are not to the officer at issue. You have to assure the consular officer that connections to your home country are much firmer than your potential aspiration to settle in the United States. Attachments to your motherland are all things that bind you to your present-day place of habitation or country of origin, such as employment, investments, family, inheritance, financial expectations or prosperity and many others. Consular officers use some frequently asked questions to test and analyze the claimants.
These questions are:
- What would you do if you won the top prize in a casino in Las Vegas?
- What if a significant other who is a US citizen proposes marriage?
- What would you do if someone offered you to partner up in business?
- What would you do if someone offered you a high paying income employment?
In your visa interview, you should appear confident but never puffed up. Be vigilant of your body language. You should never pass up answers or give false and deceitful information or submit fake/forged documents in order to impress the consulate officer. The most useful tip is, to be genuine, and answer only what you are being asked.
ESTA and the Visa Waiver Program
The situation is different with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which is a computerized scheme that has an objective to resolve the foreigner’s eligibility under the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa Waiver Program is a system governed by the Homeland Security Department that grants citizens of 38 listed states the possibility to travel to the United States for pleasure and temporary business arrangements and to remain there up to 90 days. However, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection decided that residents of the Visa Waiver Program countries who have visited Iran, Lybia, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and Yemen after 1st of March, 2011 are no longer suitable to visit the United States under the program mentioned above.
The ESTA system’s objective is to regulate solely the suitability of the visitor. The admissibility is resolved upon the foreigner’s arrival by customs officers. An approved ESTA is not a visa since it doesn’t meet the qualifications under the U.S. law to serve as a visa. If you have already a legitimate visa, you are not required to apply for ESTA authorization.
The ESTA Online Application
If you are a citizen of one of these 38 listed countries and you don’t have an accurate visa, you need to apply for ESTA authorization. It can be done by visiting ESTA online and by submitting the ESTA application for travel authorization by merely following the instructions and answering all the required questions. In order to get authorized, one must provide some obligatory information in English, such as:
- Biographical information (name and surname, date of birth, passport number and expiration date).
- Suitability information (diseases, arrests or convictions, history of visa revocation or deportation)
- Credit card/debit card information
As soon as you pay the compensation online, the ESTA application should be approved. Sometimes it may be delayed by up to 72 hours. However, it is recommended to apply as soon as possible before the departure date in case the authorization is refused.