How to show Strong Ties to home country while getting an interview for your visa:

 

One of the most important factors in deciding if you are to be granted a non-immigrant visa during your visa interview are your ties to your home country. USCIS immigration officers want you to demonstrate that you have strong ties to your home country that it will not be easy for you to try to stay in America after you complete your study or visit. They want to see compelling reasons for you to return to your home country. This is simply because you are applying for a non-immigrant visa, which by definition, only grants you a temporary stay in America. USCIS hates it when people use a visa for a different purpose than it was intended for.

 

You have to take a systematic approach. It’s not going to be just one thing. Instead, it will be based on how you have ordered your home affairs for the duration of your US stay. You have to think long and hard and be prepared to go through extra-ordinary lengths to put this part of your application together. Here are some ideas that might help you: 

  1. Do you own your own home? If you own your own home do not sell it; wait until after your application has been approved. You may or may not have to sell it ultimately, but if you sell it, and then make a visa application this will weaken your case considerably, since it highlights a substantial breaking of ties with your Country. Of course, many people will need to sell their home to raise capital for their US trip or to raise capital to buy a US business. Even so, try to leave it until the last possible moment.

  2. Are you renting? If you are renting then this places you in a lesser position but not a fatal one. You may have a long lease of a year or more. The longer the outstanding lease-term the better. Maybe you can find someone to sub-let it while you’re away exploring US opportunities, so as to maintain the obligation of the lease and thus maintain close your Country ties.

  3. Leaving Past Employers: Very few employers will grant employees, (even faithful ones), paid vacation for six months to a year while they explore their US opportunities. However, the employer may write a letter to say that you are an exceptional asset to the company and they would be very keen to consider re-hiring you on your return. This does not place any legal obligation on that company to actually re-hire you, but at least it is an indication to USCIS that you have a strong tie with a current employer in your Country that could draw you back home rather than overstay in the US.

  4. Elderly Parents or Relatives: If you have elderly or frail parents in your Country and you are very close to them, (in that, there are not two or three other siblings who could easily look after them), then this could be deemed a close tie. You could argue that if anything happened to them you’d need to be there for them.

  5. Professional Licenses: If you have any kind of professional license that could expire unless you return home, or at the very least, there would be some kind of burden on you to maintain some level of your Country expertise, then this should be argued.

  6. Career Advancement: If you have an established career in your Country and have risen in the ranks to a management or senior position, this could show you have an incentive to return, and therefore close home ties.

  7. Assets: List all the assets that you will be leaving in your country, such as, up to date insurance policies on your life and property, or other assets, like endowment policies, deposit accounts, etc. When taken together it all shows intent to return and stay close to home.

  8. Social Ties: Outline any strong social ties you may have. This could include any church or charitable memberships you belong to, or organizations where you have been actively involved.

  9. Step Children / Non-Custodial Children: Mention whether you have any children from a previous marriage who will not be traveling with you.

  10. Maintaining School Ties: Do not take your children out of school prior to the approval of your visa application. If your planned date of departure is expected to be within the next few months discuss this with the school in writing. If your initial expected stay in the US is one year or less, then evidence from the school that you have made provisions for your children to keep up with your Country curriculum will be essential. Remember, USCIS require you to demonstrate that you have every intention to return home at the end of your planned trip or if your plans fail in the US. Once your visa is granted your children may attend US schools for the duration of your visa. If you have plans to switch to a visa that will authorize a stay exceeding one year then try to make sure that this switch is made as quickly as possible so that the children can settle into one educational stream or another.

 

Summary:

Establishing that you will maintain close home ties for the duration of any short-term visa can be a very arduous process, but stay the course. We are seeing more and more perfectly good visa applications run into difficulties due to a failure to outline strong enough home ties. Therefore make every effort to submit as much information as possible to establish that you do indeed have these ties.

Remember, typically you get a chance to explain yourself before they would reject you. Bring all the evidence with you to the interview if you can and show the USCIS officer that you have reasons to come back to your home country after you complete the purpose of your visit. The first red-flag is usually money. If you have barely enough money to go to America, chances are you will try to stay there and work illegally. Make sure you have more than the minimum required amount of money to study or visit. Most people, coming to America, upon realizing how much money they can make in comparison to their home country, would decide to stay and work, even illegally. The temptation is so great that this is probably why USCIS reject applicants; because they would be enticed to work illegally while in America.

Prepare your interview diligently. Remember to bring all your documents and get plenty of rest before the interview. Pray. This is the first obstacle of your journey to a better life in America.

 

Interview Preparation

 

The visa interview is the most important part of the entire process of obtaining a visitor visa (also known as a tourist visa). Despite having all the documents and meeting all the criteria, visa applications often get refused. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the visa interview can mean the difference between visa approval or denial. Below are a few tips based on people's personal experiences.


It is not necessary to become nervous with the word "interview". This is not like a job interview. However, it is an important process for you otherwise you would not have spent the time or the money to appear for this important interview. The most important aspect of yourself that you can relay to others is your self-confidence. Applicants who are well prepared, answer confidently and have a genuine reason to apply for a visa are usually successful in their quest for the visa.


The first essential step toward a successful interview is preparation.
 

General Preparation

 

• Be prepared by having information or general knowledge on what the visa is all about such as the process etc.
• Prepare in advance for most commonly asked questions.
• Reach the consulate at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
• Ask for an interpreter if you are not fluent or confident in the English language.
 

Document Preparation

 

• Fill out all the forms/applications neatly and completely.
• Be familiar with what you have entered on the form, especially if you have taken guidance from others. Frequently, elderly people who apply for a visa do not know what they have written in the application form because the sponsor fills the application for them.
• Answer the questions in the form truthfully.
• If  obtaining copies of documents, ensure that the copies are legible.
• Verify the names, date of births, etc. match with the information listed on your passport.
• Organize your documents in proper logical order. A well organized and orderly set of documents will make it easier for you to find the right documents quickly during the interview, so you will not appear nervous
 

Physical Preparation

 

Image is often as important as content. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. So dress up nicely and smile.

Attitude Preparation

 

Provide to-the-point, clear, and concise answers. Do not provide any information that is not relevant or is not asked. (In many cases, this is where people make a mistake by giving unnecessary details that were not asked for).
 

• Do not argue.
• Do not ask unnecessary questions.
• Be polite.
 

During the Interview

 

• Greet the interviewer when you see him or her the first time.
• Communicate clearly. Do not hesitate to politely ask to repeat or rephrase the question if you don't understand the question.

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