Visa Interview

DS-160 Secrets from a Former Visa Officer

We’re a team of Former Visa Officers. The answer is that it is very, very important. But it's not the most important.
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How important is your DS-160 when you go to your Visa interview?

We’re a team of Former Visa Officers. The answer is that it is very, very important. But it's not the most important. Let's talk about why it's very important and then I'm going to tell you what's actually more important than the DS-160. Why is the DS-160 very important during your Visa interview? It's because, you know with 100% certainty that the visa officer is going to look at your DS-160.

They're going to look at it. All the documents that you bring in your packet with you, all the deeds and the financial records and the transcripts and the invitation letters. The visa officer is most likely not going to look at the rest of your documentation. They're not going to look at any of that. But they will, because it's mandatory, they will look at your DS-160.

They might not review every piece of information in there in detail, but they will open it up. They will look at it. They will look for key pieces of information in there. And it's one of the very first things that's going to give them an impression of your credentials for getting your visa. What precedes the DS-160?

Number one. They look at you. They look at you when you walk up to the window. And just like in any interaction, the subtle subconscious cues that you give them are going to make them think something about you, Right? How you're dressed, how confident you look, your posture, your confidence. These are going to affect how they think about you. The second thing that they're going to see is your passport. Well, that's going to give them more information. They're going to see your nationality from your passport. When they open it up, they're going to see, is it brand new or has it been used? Have you traveled outside of your country to other countries? Are you an international traveler? Then when they scan your passport, they will know some of your visa history.

But none of that is going to affect their thinking as much as looking at the DS-160. So they look at the DS-160 and they're going to see your employment. They're going to see your education. They're going to see your prior travel history. They're going to see your family members in the U.S. All these questions that you've answered when you fill out your DS-160.

That's information that the visa officer is going to see when they review it. You have the opportunity to shape their thinking with how you fill out the DS-160.  This is why preparing for the visa interview is so critical.  

What's more important than the DS-160 is how you speak to the Visa officer, the information that you give the visa officer verbally during your interview is even more important than what's in the DS-160. The DS-160 is first. It makes a strong impression. So don't ignore this.  

However, the most important part starts when the visa officer asks you that first question, and that first question starts the interview, and then you're able to give them that information verbally.  Everyone's situation is different.

There's not one thing that everyone should do when they're asked that first question. But here at Argo Visa know when we talk to you and we have a consultation, when we figure out what's actually going on, what are your highlights? What are your hurdles? We know what it is that you need to be talking about first.

What's that information that will make a light go off in the visa Officer said that says, “yes, I'm going to give this person a visa”. So that's when it really gets important. So,  the DS-160 is the second most important thing that you can prepare for your interview. Don't ignore it.  

That's going to help you get your visa issued.

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