Announcing the Visa Day for this year on June 6, US Consul-General George H Hogeman today advised students to "listen carefully" to the questions asked during the visa interview and reply them with "real answers".
He said the secret to success for students, who aspire to pursue higher education in the US, during the interview is that "there is no secret".
"All that a student has to do is to listen carefully to questions asked by officers and reply to them with real answers instead of coming up with prepared speech," he told reporters.
"We know students are nervous. That is okay. Many nervous applicants are issued visas," he said.
On the Visa Day, US Embassy in Delhi and its four consulates - Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai - are thrown open exclusively to adjudicate visa applications from Indian students who aspire to pursue higher studies in the US.
One out of six international students in the US is from India, Hogeman said.
Citing a report from last year, he said 1,86,000 Indian students are in the US and "that is the highest number ever."
"People-to-people relationships are the bedrock of the US-India relations and the bedrock of such relationships are student visas. Higher education plays a central role in the relationship between two countries," the consul-general said.
According to an official in the consular team, the interview process may happen for 30 minutes on an average and a student is likely to be asked about the reasons for choosing the US for higher education, details about the programme chosen and financial plan to fund the course.
"However, the time taken and questions asked would differ depending on each student. If a visa gets rejected, a student has to introspect and learn from that experience before applying again," the official said.
The team urged students to not trust fraudulent agents. "No one can guarantee you a visa. When applicants receive a message with fraud indicators, we encourage them to exercise caution and common sense."
Fraud Prevention Manager with US Embassy Elizabeth Lawrence said: "Students are advised to use resources available with 'EducationUSA' and conduct research on programmes they would like to prefer. We do not require any documents at the time of visa interview, but if an individual prefers to bring, they should not be fake. Any students providing counterfeited certificates may be barred from applying for visa forever."
EducationUSA is a US Department of State network of over 425 international student advising centres in more than 175 countries, offering accurate and current information.