We understand there are many embassies and consulates that remain closed or have very limited appointments. Please know we appreciate your patience and these closures are to ensure your safety. We will work with you however we can to ensure you have a successful Rutgers experience. If you have questions or concerns, please write to ruinternational @admissions.rutgers.edu.

Congrats, Scarlet Knight! Now that you've made it past the application process, it's time to complete the student visa interview. Follow the steps below to prepare for your scheduled appointment.

The Ultimate Student Visa Interview Guide


Pre-Arrival Checklist for International Students

Your step-by-step guide to Rutgers.

Pre-Arrival Checklist for Domestic Students

Learn how to transfer your record from one U.S. school to another.

2021 International Student Timeline

Let's plan for the months ahead!

Required Document Checklist

The first step to a successful interview is simple: be prepared! Follow the checklist to ensure that you arrive with all required documentation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You've asked, we've listened. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by our international students before they arrive on campus.

International Student Packing List

How do you pack your entire life into a suitcase? We've put together a list to help you get started!

International Student Support Services (ISSS)

Rutgers Global is ready to support your journey navigating campus life in the U.S.

Know What To Expect

The Rutgers Global team shares advice about submitting the visa application and what to expect during your interview.

My advice for future international students is to step out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to ask, and express your ideas. Rutgers’ diverse campus helps students to be open-minded, get to know different perspectives, and welcome diverse cultures.
Xinyi H.
Chengdu, China
My first year, I was a member of the Paul Robeson Living-Learning Community. That was a great experience because I was able to meet faculty who throughout the years have stayed in touch. They helped me find my purpose in life.
Takondwa M.
Malawi, Africa
Africana Studies and Economics

Interview Document Checklist

Follow the checklist below to ensure that you arrive with all required and desired documentation.

Required Documents for Visa Interview:

  • Passport; must be valid for at least 6 months after you plan to enter the USA
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 (print confirmation page online)
  • Receipt of application payment
  • Receipt of I-901 SEVIS fee payment
  • (2) passport photos (see photo requirements)
  • Form I-20 known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status


Supporting Documentation:

  • Letter of acceptance from university
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Any previous degrees or certifications
  • Standardized test scores
  • TOEFL scores
  • Documents to prove your ability to pay for college
    • For example: scholarship offer, sponsor bank statements, etc.

Sample Interview Questions

The purpose of your visa interview is to ensure that you have a clear picture of how you intend to use the education you receive when you return home upon graduation and that you have appropriate funds to pay for your time at the university. Please bear this in mind while answering the questions laid out by the consular officer.


Here are a few sample interview questions:

  • Why are you going to the U.S.?
  • What will be your major?
  • How will this study program relate to your past work or studies?
  • How many colleges did you apply to?
  • How many schools did you get admitted to?
  • What city is your school located in?
  • How do you intend to use the education you receive in the U.S. when you return home?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are the most commonly asked questions by your peers who went through the visa interview process too.


What is an I-20 or a DS-2019?

I-20 is the Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 students and DS-2019 is the Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 students.

When will I receive an I-20 or a DS-2019?

You will receive either document from Rutgers Undergraduate Admissions after you have submitted all the necessary documents to the university.

How do I apply for a visa?

The visa application known as Form DS-160 is available online at https://ceac.state.gov/. Remember to print your confirmation page to bring to your visa interview. We recommend reading the frequently asked questions on the DS-160 website prior to completing the online application.

How should I organize my documents?

Arrange all your paperwork in chronological order, starting with the most recent on the top. Next, include your financial documents, followed by any supporting documents.

How long is the interview?

Student visa interviews are usually quick. Plan to spend around 10 - 15 minutes with the interviewer.

What are the main categories addressed in the interview?

  • Study Plans
  • University
  • Academic Capability
  • Financial Status
  • Post-grad Plans

How can we help?