Proving Non-immigrant Intent

Make sure the U.S. government knows you’re just here temporarily by proving your intent to return to your home country.

Going through the visa application process can be long and complicated, and you’ll need to provide a bunch of documents and also complete a bunch of forms for it. You’ll also be interviewed. The person conducting the interview will be a consular officer, which is someone who works in U.S. embassies and consulates all over the world and who determines if your visa will be granted. Essentially, the consular officer will affect  your future.

F-1 and J-1 visas  are considered non-immigrant visas, meaning that applicants will not attempt to stay in the USA permanently. But how do you prove intent to leave? You show the consular officer that you have ties to your home country.

One of the components of your interview will be to discuss what you want to do after your finish your education. There’s no official list of documents or required items to demonstrate to the consular officer that you will leave the USA after completing your program, and there’s also no official definition of terms. But generally speaking, you want to show the officer that even though you went through the whole application process to be able to attend your school in the USA, you are still connected to your home country – that your family is still there, that you have a job waiting for you there, that you own property there, that you miss the food there, and so on. Take any documents to the interview that can prove these connections and be prepared to answer questions about them and about your long-term plans.

It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared, since a consular officer can refuse to grant you a visa. We know that  having your visa denied is super disappointing, but if it happens because you didn’t provide enough documentation proving your intent to return to your home country (or if your documentation wasn’t satisfactory), you are still eligible to reapply for a new visa. And if you have to go through the process a second time, at least you’ll already be an expert.