Need prep for your student visa interview?

You have prepared a lot so far to get an offer of place from the college/university of your interest and have applied for a visa. You are waiting for your telephone interview from Immigration and want to make sure that you have the right response in mind.

What questions come to your mind? Some of the questions students have been asked are as follows –

Why New Zealand or the country you have applied for?
Do a good amount of research. Look at the college website yourself, the course content, the subjects, also go to the immigration website and look at the conditions for student visa type, compare colleges and select a college or uni for the right reasons. Don’t have to write it, just understand well and remember it is about your career and life so if the reason is right, you will be able to explain well to anyone in person or phone.

Also, check information about the country, weather conditions, culture, safety, diversity, cost of living yourself.

Why the course?
Again, you and family are paying a lot of money. Whichever country, uni and course you choose, it has to be linked to what you have done in studies or at work in your home country and you are passionate about building your knowledge, skills or capability in your field. The course must add value to your career growth.

What do you know about the course?
It comes down to your previous qualification and experience. For example, you have studied B.Com but work in IT field in India and have applied for a course in Cookery or non business or non IT field. In this case, anyone would want to know why you selected the course and if at all lets say you are passionate about the course, what have you done so far? How good are you at it? Do you know about your course? What are the subjects and how will this help you in your career transition after finishing the course and going back to your home country? You are maybe better for either doing a business related course or IT related course to gain more knowledge then.

What do you want to do post completion of your course?
What is your real reason to do the course? Do you think you are only doing this course to finish the course and then work because you will get a post study work visa or a work permit? Fair enough but what good is it if it is not to gain some international experience? Remember, you have applied for a student visa to be allowed to travel to a country like NZ for the purpose of study. If your true purpose is work, then you should look for other options. The more genuine you know you are, the better your chances of visa approval. Your focus should be study and not work.

Who is sponsoring your education? What are your source of funds?
It could be a bank loan or you have your own funds or your parents or siblings are sponsoring you. Remember, funds should be from a genuine and reliable relative or institution and the source of funds should be available. It should be more than 6 months old such as in case of own funds or sponsored by parents, siblings, partner/spouse, the savings bank account, Fixed deposit, Mutual funds or shares should be more than 6 months old. Don’t try and show someone elses funds as yours which could land you in trouble.

It could also be that the tuition fee is approved by a bank in India or your country as an education loan and you are showing statements as evidence for your living expenses, approx NZD 15000 per year. Remember, this money is remitted back to you on a monthly basis as $1250 when you are in the country studying so you can use it for living expenses.

How do you think the response to such questions are used to assess if you should get the visa approved or declined by Immigration?

Here are some tips for you.

  • Be honest and truthful. It is not going to do any good to you if you withhold information or provide false and misleading information. Don’t fake it.
  • Do it for the right reasons, your answers should provide a clear picture of why you have selected the country, college and course. What is your plan?
  • Listen to the question carefully and answer the questions in a clear and concise manner. Speak at a normal pace, small sentences and in English. Do not read information from a piece of paper. It is very annoying and does not reflect the reason or genuine purpose of you having selected the course.
  • Stick to the purpose. If you have applied for a student visa, you should be looking forward to studying, not working..there is a different visa type for different options. You can ofcourse work part time depending on your visa conditions but that should not be the reason for you to select the course. If the reason is to gain practical experience, that is understandable but study should not be used as a reason to come into the country and not attend the course. Remember, do think about your passion, previous qualification, experience if any and then select the right course as per career goals. Don’t just go with any course offered by your agent.
  • Funds should be from a genuine and reliable source.
  • Your evidence and documentation should be genuine and not fake.
  • Any visa declines you have had earlier must be declared.

Prepare your answers and reach out if you need any help.

All the best for your interviews.

There is also a video available for you: