What is a Credibility Interview?
Credibility interviews were introduced by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to ensure that only ‘genuine students’ are given a Student Visa to study in the UK. You may be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of your visa application.
The credibility interview, along with all documents you submit including those to demonstrate that you have held sufficient funds for the required duration, forms an important part of the visa application process and can make the difference to a visa being granted or being refused.
Generally, in deciding whether or not a visa applicant is a genuine student, the UKVI is taking into account:
- The student’s immigration history in the UK and other countries
- The student’s education history, plans for study and after study
- The student’s personal and financial circumstances.
- If the student’s dependants intend to join them in the UK, consideration will be given to the dependant’s circumstances too
- The student’s reasons for coming to the UK
Coming to study in the UK is a big decision and a big financial investment. The interviewer expects you to explain clearly how you have reached the decision to come to the UK, the reasons for choice of programme and also to show that you have reached this decision after carrying out thorough research.
We hope that the following information will help you to be as prepared as possible.
- What should I expect?
What should I expect?
The interview will be conducted either through video conference, such as Skype, by telephone or in person. The interview isn’t recorded in audio or video format but the person asking the questions will record a typewritten transcript. The interview transcript will be considered alongside your visa application form and supporting documents by the person making the decision. The visa application decision will not be made at the interview.
A member of staff at the UKVI offices in Sheffield, UK carries out the interview. The format of the interview is standardised. You will be asked a series of questions. They will not ask you to expand on an answer or ask for more information if your answer is too brief or if it is too general. Therefore, it is your responsibility to give full and detailed answers. The Interviewer will record if a question has to be repeated or rephrased but you can explain why you have asked for this. The Interviewer should ask at the end of the interview whether you have anything to add and whether you are happy with the way the interview has been carried out.
The interview also gives UKVI an opportunity to assess your ability to speak well in English and to decide if your English language skills are sufficient to enable you to study in the UK. The services of an interpreter will be offered but, unless you are being admitted to study English language, you are expected to answer all the questions without the use of an interpreter.
The Interviewer makes an initial assessment of whether they believe a student is genuine and whether the level of English is sufficient but notes from the interview are passed to the Entry Clearance Officer who then makes the decision whether to grant the Student Visa.
- Preparing for the interview
Preparing for the interview
The Credibility Interview is your chance to demonstrate that you are a genuine student who has planned and thoroughly researched before deciding to study your chosen programme at the University of Aberdeen.
Students who receive a visa refusal decision often do so because they are not sufficiently prepared to give detailed or full answers during the interview.
Before going to the interview:
- Re-read the personal statement that you wrote when you applied for admission to the programme.
- Revisit the online prospectus entry for your programme, paying special attention to the modules that you intend to study.
- Do some research into the types of accommodation that you might want to live in when you come to Aberdeen.
- Visit the University’s website to identify the wide range of facilities available to students.
- Do some research to find out more about the city of Aberdeen and some research to find out more about Scotland.
In addition to the above:
- Be prepared to talk in detail about other universities or countries you considered before choosing the UK, this programme and the University of Aberdeen.
- Be prepared to speak about the reasons why you chose the UK and Aberdeen, rather than your home or any other country as your study destination.
- Be prepared to speak in detail about the subjects that will form part of your degree programme.
- Be prepared to speak about the way your studies will be assessed.
- Be prepared to speak knowledgeably about the career opportunities and job roles that will be available to you when you complete your studies.
- Be prepared to tell the interviewer about the research you have carried out to identify how much you are likely to earn after gaining this qualification.
- Be prepared to speak about why you are giving up your current job.
- Be prepared to explain about the possible employment or promotion opportunities back home once you have completed your studies.
- Be prepared to speak about how you can afford to study in the UK.
- Be prepared to speak about yours and your family’s income and your living costs. The Entry Clearance Officer needs to be convinced that the cost of your studies will not leave you or your family in financial hardship.
- Be prepared to speak about where you will live in Aberdeen and how much your accommodation will cost.
- Be prepared to speak about how you will travel to and from your accommodation and classes each day.
- Be prepared to speak about the Student Visa work restrictions if you intend to take a part-time job in the UK but remember you cannot rely on income from this work to fund your studies.
- Interview questions
The Credibility Interview usually consists of questions similar to those listed below. You should provide specific answers not general answers and relate these questions to your personal situation. It is important to provide as much detail as possible but you must be honest, don’t provide an answer based on what you think the Interviewer wants to hear.
Your choice of University and Programme of Study
- Why do you want to study in the UK?
- Why did you choose the University of Aberdeen?
- Which other institutions did you consider?
- Where is the University of Aberdeen?
- How big is the University of Aberdeen?
- Why did you choose this course?
- What other courses did you consider?
- How many modules/subjects and credits does the course offer?
- Why have you chosen this course and how does it relate to your previous study?
- Why did you choose to study in the UK and not in your own country or other English speaking countries?
- Why do you think this course will be beneficial for you or enhance your current knowledge?
- How will your studies be assessed?
- What modules will you study?
- How long is the course?
- What qualification will you receive when you graduate?
- If you are pursuing postgraduate study, why is there a gap between your proposed study and your previous study?
Consider, for example, the personal choices you made in applying to Aberdeen and selecting the programme of study at Aberdeen; particularly if you have also looked at other universities in the UK or in different countries
Your future plans
- What are your future plans?
- How will studying this course help you achieve this?
- What is your expected salary on return to your home country?
- What do you intend to do when your visa expires?
Consider, for example, how your chosen study programme will be of benefit to you both personally and professionally. If there aren’t any opportunities in your home country, you could show how you have explored the possibility of obtaining employment in a neighbouring country.
About you and your/your family’s finances
- What was the last course of study you completed and when?
- What have you being doing since you completed your last studies?
- What is/was your monthly salary?
- How much are the tuition fees?
- Who is funding your studies?
- What is your financial sponsor’s (father/mother) income?
- How many people are dependent on their (father/mother) income?
- Where have the funds in the bank account come from?
- How long have the funds been in the account?
- Are the funds still in the account?
Consider, for example, if there has been a gap since your last study why you have chosen at this time to start a new programme of study. Also how the cost of the course might be offset by the increase in salary if you can get a better job
Living in the UK
- Where will you live and how far will this be from campus?
- How will you pay for your studies and living costs?
- How much will your accommodation cost?
- Are you planning to work while you are in the UK?
- How will you travel to campus each day and the bus routes?
- Why did you choose Aberdeen?
- Why did you choose the UK?
- Do you have any friends or family in the UK?
Consider, for example, why you think Aberdeen will be a better city for you to study in, what there is to do in Aberdeen and the cost of living in Aberdeen