Applicant's conduct during the visa interview must be appropriate


 8 U.S. Code 1361 states that …an applicant for a temporary student visa shall be assumed to have intention to be an immigrant, and the burden of proof shall be on the applicant to overcome the assumption and establish to the satisfaction of the consular officer that he is eligible to receive a visa…”


 This law seems very out of character with historical U.S. jurisprudence. That is, it has always been a cherished belief and practice in U.S. courts that a person accused of a crime is innocent until he has been proven guilty. That is, the accuser must present proof beyond a reasonable doubt against the defendant.

However, as 8 U.S. Code 1361 of the Immigration Act states, when it comes to granting visas, an international student who applies for a student visa is automatically assumed to be guilty of wanting to be an immigrant who does not want to return home—from the moment he hands to the visa officer his application. Everyone agrees that this does not seem to be fair, including, probably the visa officer.

But, the officers are required to begin every visa interview with the belief that this person is NOT wanting to be a student at all. Rather, he is actually someone trying to get into the U.S. (disguised as a temporary student), but actually wanting to immigrate and stay. And, to make matters worse, the law (as noted above) puts the “burden of proof” (that is, the obligation) on the student to try to overturn this harsh pre-determination that he just trying to use the student ”route” to get into the U.S. to stay there. How can a young, and innocent international student possibly be able to prevail in overcoming this “pre-judgment” of intention to immigrate in just the few minutes while he is standing before the visa official?

(1) First of all, this is possible by recognizing that most visa officials seek to help the students by prompting them with questions related to some of the requirements that they must present in their effort to overcome their unfortunate position of being assumed from the beginning to be ineligible immigrant hopefuls. Due to the huge volume of students applying in most consular posts around the world, the officers can only take 2 to 5 minutes to help the candidate present enough evidence that, in fact, he is truly, a serious/legitimate/bona fide student.

During those few minutes, the officers will generally raise questions about the most important issues that only the student has in his mind that could possibly be able to persuade the officer that he is telling the truth about not wanting to immigrate.

The first questions will usually relate to the “Intent” and “Ties” to the home country issues. Other issues, while also very important, can often be dealt with by the officers from their viewing of written documentation that the candidate hands to them at the beginning of the interview (such as financial statements, transcripts, sponsor statements, school documents, etc.).

The second way to ensure success (apart from the prompting from the visa officers) is to be fully prepared on all of the issues that are embedded in the rules and regulations regarding requirements for obtaining a student visa. You can never know for sure which of all of these issues will be the ones that the visa officer will deal with in the few minutes available.

In summary, remember that the visa officer is your friend and is trying to help you present your case, and also remember to BE PREPARED on all of the 5 most important rules and regulations outlined above.


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