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Visa application credibility interviews

What is a credibility interview?

Credibility interviews can be part of the Tier 4 visa application process. The interviews are for the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to make sure that only genuine students study in the UK.

The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) must be satisfied that you are a genuine student, and that your English language ability is at the correct level, otherwise you might be called for a further interview and/or your entry clearance application may be refused.

Will I have to attend an interview?

This will depend on where you apply:

If you are applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa from overseas: An interview takes place when you attend your appointment at the Visa Application Centre (VAC). It is going to be similar to a video chat. This interview is recorded and an ECO will decide if a second, more detailed interview is needed. You could be asked to go back to a VAC for the second interview or they may call you.

If you are applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa in the UK: There are fewer students who get interviewed in the UK. However, if you are switching visa categories e.g. from Tier 2 to Tier 4, you are likely to be interviewed.

If you are contacted with a date and time for a phone interview, make sure you are home or in a quiet place to take the call.

If they phone you without arranging the interview in advance and:

  • the phone reception is not good, or
  • you are not in a quiet place to concentrate on the call, or
  • you are not fit or well to talk, tell the caller immediately.

Let them know when you will be able to take the call (try to make this the same day), and ask them to call you back. 

If the ECO is not able to conduct the interview, your visa application may be refused. Therefore it is important to keep checking your emails (including junk folder), and keep your phone with you.

During the interview

At the start of your interview(s), request that once the interview is over the transcript of it is emailed to you. There are no set questions; however the interviewer will expect you to be able to explain in detail:

  • your specific academic reasons for choosing the BU course
  • what research you did into other courses at other universities and why you chose BU over them
  • how the course is going to make a difference in getting the specific job you want, compared to not having this qualification
  • the financial and career advantages that a degree from the UK will give you over a degree from your own country
  • who will pay for your course, accommodation and living expenses, and why it is worth spending this amount of money
  • why you chose to study at the same level as before (if applicable)
  • why you are returning to study, if you have had a break in your studies (if applicable).

More information

If you'd like more information about credibility interviews visit the UKCISA and GOV.UK websites.