Visa Preparation tips
Visa interview is a face-to-face interaction between the applicant and a diplomatic officer of the country for which a request to travel is made. The purpose of a visa interview is to gauge the suitability of granting a visa after the applicant’s application has been processed and found eligible on parameters of financial security and educational qualifications.
During the visa interview, the applicant is not solely questioned on the provided information in the visa application form but also on intent and attitude. The objective of the diplomatic official is to re-confirm the applicant’s situation, his/her answer-ability, frankness, and accuracy. The Visa Officer wants to absolutely make sure the visa holder will return home within the expected time, and that he/she will not be prone to illegal activities during the stay in the foreign country.
There is an element of unpredictability to the visa interview outcomes. But there are some ground rules that improve the odds.
These essential fundamentals you just can’t afford to ignore:
1. First Impression Matters
A visa interview starts with first impressions of the applicant on the visa consular even before the first question is fired. A face-to-face provides a platform for a counselor to assess candidates through nonverbal communication as well as verbal communication.
Smile: A confident smile throughout an interview reflects a positive outlook and a person comfortable with oneself. So despite an understandable nervousness, applicants are advised to smile. A frown is an absolute no-no.
Eye contact: Eye contact with the visa officer is extremely crucial. Looking down or side may even give an erroneous impression of being dishonest and the data in the application fradulent. On the other hand an eye contact shows sincerity and friendliness.
Posture: Right posture is a positive sign of confidence and poise. Take a deep breath and stand up straight.Slouching, folding arms, and any sign of fidgetiness must be consciously refrained.
2. Dress formally
Never walk into the interview looking sloppy. A formal wear is recommended: neatly ironed shirt and tie and formal shoes for men. Women are advised to wear a conservative suit and formal blouse with minimal jewelry and sparse perfume. Don’t go heavy on make-up. The idea is to look neat and professional. Chewing gum, jeans, sneakers, T-shirts are a strict no. Avoid bright colours and be as formal in attire as possible.
3. Clear communication is vitally important
Communication can make or break in the interview. Effective communication projects a positive image and boosts your chances. Speak clearly and in a neutral accent as possible. Avoid using slangs and also filler words such as ‘Like’, ‘Um’, or ‘I guess’ in sentences. Pay extreme attention to the counselor questions and answer slowly and in a clear voice. Communication is often the deciding parameter for issue of visa and it pays to rehearse this aspect either with a native speaker or in your friends’ circle.
4. Keep it short and crisp
Normally, visa interview doesn’t last more than 10 minutes. And if you are fortunate, even less than two minutes if all the papers are in order and you make a good impression. As they are large number of applicants, counselors are extremely busy and try to conduct interviews quickly and efficiently. It is advised that you keep your answers brief and strictly to the point. Waffling must be avoided and so too elaborate explanations and needles examples.
5. Don’t let fear get the better of you
A little nervousness is but natural. The pressure to do well in the interview should not lead to excessive anxiety. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Just be yourself.
If you have a sound reason to visit that country then you are mostly likely to succeed in getting the visa clearance.
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