Getting a U.S. Student Visa (F1) will get you one step closer to attending a college/university in the United States. Every international student must go through the U.S. visa interview process.
The F1 Visa interview tips in this article will help you understand what a Visa Officer (VO) expects from prospective students. Based on that, you can prepare for the interview.
You could read 100s of F1 visa interview experiences, but unless you make actual preparations for the interview, it’s tough to crack the interview. Following these F1 visa interview tips for the U.S.A. will help you prepare for the interview.
U.S. F1 Visa Interview Basics
- Proper Documentation
- How will you present yourself during the interview
- Ways to answer questions.
Key to getting visa stamping is to understand how the process works and to prepare based on that process.
Can you expect to get high marks in an exam without any preparation? I don’t think so. The same case applies in a visa interview.
U.S. F1 Visa Interview Process
Visa interview officers are well trained to identify qualified from unqualified students.
If you are well prepared with answers for F1 Visa Interview Questions, then you can get through the interview with ease. VOs are trained to find out:
- Who you are
- If you have the academic capability to complete studies in the U.S.
- Whether you have enough financial resources to cover the cost of education in the U.S.
You could have done mistakes in your documents, or have faked some documents related to finance, degree certificates, property documents, etc. But the VO’s job is to make a decision about you in a few minutes.
You might have all the right credentials, yet you may be denied of an F1 Visa, but someone with fake documents might get F1 Visa stamping. It all depends on those few minutes that you present yourself.
Now, let’s assume you are in the queue waiting to be called for the interview.
F1 Visa Interview Tips
- When you walk to the interview window, make a big smile and wish them well. You could say greetings like “Hi,” “Hello,” “Good Morning,” “Good Evening,” etc.
- Making eye contact is a MUST. From the moment you walk towards the window, look deep into their eyes, smile, and wish them well.
- If you don’t make good eye contact, then you are reducing your chances of getting an F1 Visa. After you have made good eye contact, then it’s about how to present your answers.
- The next big thing – Don’t lie when answering questions.
- If you lie and if they discovered that you are lying when you gave contradicting answers, then your entry into the U.S. will be a tough one.
- Yes, some have mastered the art of lying. If you belong to that category, don’t mess it up (again, that’s not recommended).
- If you are not sure and not comfortable to make up an answer, then DON’T LIE.
- Now I hope you are convinced to make a decision not to lie. Then the VO will ask this question: “What’s your plan after graduation?”
Majority of students will say answers like these:
+ “My field of interest is growing in India, I will get good job opportunities when I come back.”
+ “I will work for 1 year in OPT period, gain some experience and come back.”
- Do you really think answers like “I will return back to India” will suffice with them? They know how many students go to U.S. every year and how many will return back home.
- A VO clearly understands why would you spend $40,000 for 2 years and just come back to India to earn Rs40,000 per month. VOs are very aware of the fact that students tend to prefer not to return back due to obvious reasons. And that only a low percentage of international students do return back home.
- So, for such question, give an honest answer: “After graduation, I will party hard, and then will look to spend my OPT period working for a U.S. company.” That’s simple and straight-forward reply. Another way is to say, “I plan to work for a few years to get some U.S. corporate life experience and then plan to come back.”
- I know the above answers would be different from what you have on your list. But I assure you, the above answers should work.
- Next, for the question related to finance documents, make sure you know the source of each funds in your bank statement. The VO will ask about transactions only if he or she feels something might be wrong in your financial documents.
In general, it will be like
+ Who is your sponsor?
+ What does your sponsor do?
+ How much is his/her income?
- Make sure you have the bank statement for student visa with you. Also, don’t forget to read F1 Visa Interview Tips [15 rock solid tips].
In the upcoming posts, I will write about bank documents tailored for Student F1 Visa applications, how much bank balance to show, and how to create a fund flow chart for student visa interview.
A few of my friends have received F1 student visas after getting rejected for 3-4 times.
Some students prefer to use the same bank statement that was used for college admission. Those statements used for college admission will already be old and probably the funds presented during the college admission application will be lesser.
For successful student visa applications, you would need to show higher balance in your bank account.