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FAQ: Visa Application Process

Student with counselorHow can I prove that I am a serious student? 
Provide copies of your grades or transcripts from any schools, colleges or universities where you have studied. If you are coming to NOVA to study English, talk about what you have already done to prepare to learn the language such as studying English in school, attending a language school or club or participating in online discussions with other English speakers. Do some research into the program or major you plan to study. Be prepared to answer questions about how this major will help you when you return to your home country.

How can I prove that I have enough money to support myself while studying?
The visa officer may look at the financial documents you bring to the interview such as bank statements from you, your family or your sponsor. They will also rely on your answers to questions about where the money will come from to support you while in the U.S. If you have a financial sponsor, be prepared to answer questions about their occupation including where they work, what their job is and the size of the company. 

How can I prove that I plan to return to my home country after I finish studying?
You should demonstrate that you have strong social or economic ties to your country. This could include family, a local church or community group, a job that you plan to return to or a letter of temporary absence from your college or university. Find out what kinds of jobs will be waiting for you when you return home with a qualification from an American college or university. If you are coming to NOVA only to study English, be prepared to answer questions about why it would be helpful for you to know English when you return home. 

I have relatives living in the U.S. How will this affect my chances of getting a visa?
It is OK if you have relatives living in the U.S. This does not automatically mean you will not get a visa. If you have family who live in the U.S., you should say so. If your family lives close to NOVA, this is a sensible reason for you to study here. 

Will the visa interview be conducted in English or the language of my country?
Either one. If you have an I-20 for degree level study, you should be able to demonstrate your English skills throughout the entire interview. If you are coming to NOVA to study English, you do not need to show proof of English proficiency. The visa officer may ask you questions about what you have done to learn and practice your English before traveling to the U.S. If possible, try to answer some or all of the questions in English. Speaking or even attempting to speak English at the interview will show the officer that you are serious about studying in the U.S. 

If I am denied a visa can I apply again?
Yes. Please ask the officer for a reason for the denial. You can apply again if your circumstances change significantly or you are able to give the interviewing officer additional information. For example, if you have a new sponsor and now have more funds available or if you have earned additional qualifications since your last interview. Please contact the Office of International Student Services to find out if you need to obtain an updated I-20 before applying again.