News5 Things NOT to Say at Your U.S. Visa Interview to Get...

5 Things NOT to Say at Your U.S. Visa Interview to Get Approved

Preparing for a U.S. visa interview can be intimidating. You want to make a good impression and clearly explain the reasons for visiting, without saying anything that could lead to a visa denial.

Here are 5 things you should NOT say during your U.S. visa interview if you want your visa application to be approved:

1. “I’m coming to the U.S. to find work.”

Telling the consular officer you plan to seek employment in the U.S. is an automatic red flag. Non-immigrant visas like tourist, business, or student visas strictly prohibit working for pay while in the U.S.

Instead, be clear that you intend to return home after your authorized period of stay. Demonstrate strong ties to your home country, such as a job, family, or property that require you to return.

2. “My friend/relative in the U.S. is paying for my trip.”

In most cases, the U.S. government expects you to have sufficient funds to pay for your own trip. Depending financially on a friend or relative in the U.S. can cause suspicion that you plan to overstay your visa and work illegally.

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Be prepared to provide financial documents like bank statements, tax returns, or pay stubs to prove you can independently cover all costs of your trip.

Purchasing travel medical insurance that covers COVID-19 related expenses also demonstrates financial preparedness.

3. Contradictory or false information.

Consular officers are highly skilled at detecting lies or inconsistencies between your visa application, interview answers, and supporting documents. Any misleading or false statement, no matter how small, can cast doubt and lead to a visa denial.

Carefully review your visa application before your interview and ensure all your answers match the documents exactly. Stick to the facts to demonstrate transparency.

4. Oversharing unimportant details.

You will likely only have 2-3 minutes for your visa interview. Don’t waste precious time over explaining or discussing irrelevant matters. Give brief, concise answers focused strictly on the consular officer’s specific questions.

Prepare short summaries ahead of time for key topics like your reason for travel, itinerary, and ties to your home country. Rehearse answers that cover the essential details in just a few sentences.

5. Arguing with the consular officer.

While denial can be devastating, arguing or becoming emotional during the visa interview will not help your case. If your visa is denied, politely ask the officer for suggestions to improve your chances in the future, then apply their advice accordingly.

Staying calm and professional, even when disappointed, demonstrates the maturity necessary for visa approval.

How to Prepare for Your Interview

While avoiding the above pitfalls is crucial, thoroughly preparing for your visa interview is equally important. Here are 5 key steps to take:

1. Research the Required Documents

The U.S. government website provides a list of required documents for visa applicants.

Common items include your valid passport, DS-160 confirmation page, application fee payment receipt, and one passport-style photo. Double check if any additional documents, such as evidence for your trip’s purpose or proof of financial support, are needed for your specific visa type.

2. Schedule and Complete Your Medical Exam

All visa applicants must undergo a medical exam with an authorized physician, known as the “panel physician,” before the interview date. Schedule this as soon as your interview is set so the results or sealed exam envelope can be brought to the interview.

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3. Review Sample Interview Questions

The State Department provides sample visitor visa interview questions online to help you prepare.

Expect to explain your trip’s purpose, itinerary, ties to your home country, and means of financial support. Practice answering similar questions concisely and consistently to build confidence for the real interview.

4. Organize Documents Properly

Bring paper or digital copies of all required documents to your visa interview. Have them neatly arranged and easily accessible to hand to the consular officer.

This organized preparation makes a positive impression.

5. Dress Professionally

Your appearance influences the officer’s perception, so dress professionally and conservatively. Business attire in dark neutral colors is ideal.

Neatness and cleanliness also impact credibility, so avoid bold patterns or large jewelry.


While applying for a U.S. visa can seem intimidating, being aware of potential pitfalls and thoroughly preparing can significantly help your chances of approval. Focus on demonstrating strong ties to your home country, financial independence, and a clear, time-limited reason for visiting the U.S.

Remain calm and consistent throughout the visa interview process. Carefully following the tips above and avoiding statements that suggest you may overstay or work illegally will go a long way towards making a positive impression during your U.S. visa interview. With diligent preparation, you can feel confident walking in on interview day.

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