F1 Visa Approved – Mumbai for Spring 2012

Raghuram Sukumar F1 Visa 41 Comments

I got my Visa approved on 8th Dec. Before I start writing about it, I want to thank you. I got valuable inputs, time to time through this blog. Thanks for all the help you provided, by the way I am the same guy who had sent you the query for ‘Passport & I-20 sign mismatch’.

Before I post experience, I would like to share strengths & weaknesses in my VI applications.

Strengths:

  • Good GRE & TOEFL score
  • Descent University

Weakness:

  • Sponsor is not my family member
  • Financial Status
  • 3 Backlogs (Actaully I was absent for 2 subjects & one was viva. I was prepared for this question by answering that I topped these subjects in next semester [I actually did 🙂 ])

I reached Mumbai consulate at 7:15 am & stood in the line.

I advice those who are yet to take interviews, be early there so that you get some time to settle down your nerves.

I went through all security checks, fingerprints etc. I sat in front of counter X & was waiting for my token number to be shown on the LCD. There was total chaos at counters X & Y, both VO’s rejected tonnes of people within span of 15 to 20 minutes.

I thought what’s going on & started to pray, to get some other counter. Luckily, I got counter Z.

I stood in the line, in front of me there were two students & both got rejected.

Nonsene Answers

I said wow; but hang on, it wasn’t VO to blame. It was applicant’s response to questions.

Believe me, I heard some of the dumb responses ever to questions asked by VO. I don’t say that all applicants gave nonsesnse answers; but atleast whom I heard, they did it.

Again, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings; but I actually heard some unbelievable responses.

For example:

Response to the question why USA – US always welcomes people from all backgrounds. XXX number of international students come to USA every year for quality education & blah blah. Answer never indicated at all why that particular student wanted to go USA.

But it was really painful experience to watch those interviews as it was difficult for me to see students getting rejected after successfully overcoming all hurdles like GRE, Toefl, Applications, Recos etc.

So next was my number. A lady VO in her 30’s…..

 

Me: GMorning (I didn’t ask ‘How r u?’ she was looking very frustrated)
VO: GMorning

VO: So why US?
Me: Mam, to pursue MS in IE at NCSU, located at Raleigh. (I worded everything properly. No shortforms.)

VO: Why NCSU?
Me: Currently I work as Service Engineer in XXXX, India & I want progress in my career but as a business analyst which needs knowledge of three core areas of IE. Manu Sys, Prod Sys & System analysis – optimization. NCSU provides best courses in these fields & has best faculty doing research in these areas. Also NCSU is highly ranked for IE. (Told ranking as per USA News ranking).

VO: How many Universities you applied for?
Me: 5

VO: How many admits?
Me: 2

VO: why only two?
Me: I had applied to only top universities, didnt want to compramize with quality of education. So 2 admits & 3 rejects, still I am not in loss. I have admits from two good universities. (She just smiled)

VO: Whats your GRE score.
Me: 1470.

VO: How are you planning to pay for your studies?
Me: (I was seriously hoping to avoid any encounter with this sort of question as my parents are not my sponsors & my real sponsor is remotely related to me) I am going to support myself & I have also taken a bank loan. If at all requires, my brother in law (Cousin’s Hubby) would be happy to support me.

VO: I suppose he works here, in India.
Me: Yes Mam.

VO: Where & in which company?
Me: Told company, Location & Designation.

VO: How are you, yourself going to pay? What’s your monthly income?
Me: XXXX thousands.

VO: It’s good. Still I think you may not have that much saving.
Me: (I got tensed, still I put on the smile & said) mam, I am working for more than 4 years & I have supporting docs if you want to check. (I started to open my folder).

VO: No need. Just stay well & study well in US of America. I am approving your Visa.
Me: Thank you, Mam.

Few Tips for Visa interview

  1. Don’t give scripted ans for VI. Preparation is good, VO expects us to be prepared; but not scripted answers or atleast give them as if they are not totally scripted. I heard some people & it looked very odd because they gave very vague & scripted answers. So not very surprized to see slaughter there.
  2. Keep urself busy so that you will not get tensed before VI. I had taken leave from office for preparation but instead I watched 3 movies & listened lot of songs on the way to VI.
  3. Last but not least, I watched some people shaking in the consulate, yes that happens for some time esp. when you enter the consulate but not all the time. It will just work against you. Even if you get rejected that won’t be end of the world.

***

Thanks to Vishal for sharing his student visa interview experience. One more student to NCSU. Looks like I should have a HSB meetup with NC State students. I believe there are several HSB fans at NCSU.

For those who don’t know, I live 15 miles away from NCSU campus.

Have a safe flight to USA and share your travel and student life experience after you settle down in the campus.

Comments

  1. of all the visa experiences I’ve read so far, yours is the best!!!!! Good luck for your degree :)!

  2. Dear HSB,
    Thank you. I would love to share my experiences once I am there. Yeah, you should have meetup there. I would love to attend it. I really appreciate & thank you that you have started to publish lot of material on MBA also. Though, I am going for MS, I really like to read those.
    Thank you & Regards,
    Vishal

  3. Wow! Nice post Vishal. I admire your replies to VO’s questions. With this confidence, no VO can reject you. Nice Visa Interview! And thanks HSB. Your blog had been very helpful for my Visa Interview as well — so will it be for million others.

  4. Congrats Vishal….and thanks HSB for all the advice.

    I had attended a seminar at USIEF in 2010. I remember the Visa Officer saying that all he wanted to ensure was that he was approving only the “genuine” students. Of course if you are a genuine student, then you will have done all your homework regarding your choice of course and college. And it also helps to answer questions briefly and to the point. From my own experience and the experiences that I have read on HSB, I think this works every-time.

    Cheers!!

  5. Many of the HSB fans have said about this “Particular” (I would say) VI. So there left a little for me to add, Awesome! The best post and Congrats to Vishal and Thanks to HSB. Wish you a happy degree and life at USA.

  6. Congrats vishal, you gave lot of hope to face the VI, I will be having VI on coming tuesday. you are right smart answers never pay, as you did we should be very frank and just tell the truth.
    Friends iam going for (3 years) 1 year graduation and two years of the MBA, becoz i don’t have 12+4 education i had only 12+3 so i have asked to go for this, friends iam a govt employee working for past four years, MBA is my dream iam going for studies on long leave as granted by my dept, i don’t have GMAT i had only tophel (82) i don’t know exactely how my profile look in view of VO, friends if anybody had suitable experiences or material regarding my profile plz send.

    1. Rajesh,

      It’s always advisable that you give GRE or GMAT. It gives VO a measure to weigh your profile. Also many officers believe that GRE & GMAT open lots of options for students to apply for different universities. As your VI is on tuesday obviously now you can’t do anything about it now. So prepare well for question why didn’t you give GMAT?

  7. Awesome vishal you rock, hello friends here i can share you few tips. don’t get over excited at Visa interview you should seem like you have a lighter intention to go abroad and you have to have express that you have enough option even if you won’t get through the interview,

    The very important point is you have to make him believe that you will come back at any given juncture to your home country but don’t give routine answers think wise and answer it because this ans is very crucial in the today. over all you have ans confidently and more over smile through out the interview don’t give answers suggested by somebody be bold and have a blast, don’t be tensed and think that your life is depended on some VO you have to be with pribe and happy, and finally i read lot of experiences plz don’t get upset if you are not approved also cheer up

  8. Hi vishal have a great eduacation at USA, i hope you feel like the lucky charm of that day, anyway your parents might very happy about it, hope guys please follow the foot steps of vishal for a better result, maintain that confident levels and smile untill the interviews finishes see everybody smiles at the begining but it will some thing great if you smile even you got a tough question don’t get tensed it will kill your language and clarity beleive only you and i guess yu can will the rece, see even was we know slow and study wins the race as how the tortice runns faster than rabbit story and as lord krishna and swamy viekenanda said only cool minds can acheive great goals keep this in your mind stay cool all the time think that you will fine even if you won’t get approved also this will give lot of energy and less excitment and total maturit

  9. Congrats vishal , great experince yaar you did a great job i guess it is simply superb

  10. Great work vishal, you finally got the visa approved that is really good to read this kind of posting really help the students alot thanks to HSB you guys really giving ues lot of moral support we are gaining knowledge only because of your website

  11. Vishal all the best for your life at US, thanks to HSB for providing us such a great flatform to gain about what we don’t know

  12. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Vishal all the best for your life at US, thanks to HSB for providing us such a great flatform to gain about what we don’t know

  13. Congrats vishal, All the best for your degree, Hello everybody i need some guidance regarding my profile iam having interview on this tuesday plz help me guys if you find any relavance in my profile, iam a docter finished my MBBS at kurnool medical college this year i applied for masters for one of the prestigious medical universities in USA, i got good tophel score (105), but for our stream i hope gre and gmat are not relavant, i got some less grades over all i had 55 % i guess this is not too bad but still i have lot of fear regarding my interview, i didn’t find any relavant experience which suits my prifile till now this make me feel more worse plz send me if you guys really know anything about this back ground i guess i can only find in this wensite thanks to all HSB people i hope you are doing an excellent work everybdoy is gaining just because of your website we can’t find any of the information we find here any where else because everybody is new to this the people who gest approved won’t stay here so plz guys reply me if you find anything

  14. awasome experince, guys what i personally feel is all the interview is based upon on the luck, don’t think that we are not upto the level so that’s why they rejected you they will have their own objectives on this they will ensure that we are up to the hidden requirements are not that’s absolutely not in our hands i hear many things some peolle with low grades and som ebacklogs got the visa in very few minutes some with very good grades with exceptional profile got rejected so plz guys think wise have a lucky draw and pray god.

    1. Hey Prasad,

      I agree to you in some extent. It’ s really in VO’s hand’s, only what we can do is- do our homework well & prepare for all the questions. Throw it at VO in fearless way that’s the best we can do it. Everything else is then VO’s hand.

      1. On the other hand, it is not just a lucky draw. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any need for consulate to open so many counters. It’s really your academics + GRE + intention + University selection & last but not least your confidence. You mentioned that some people with numerous backlogs get accepted & with good profile get rejected; but what about proportion. I am pretty sure that very few people with good profile get rejected while very very few people with weak profile might get accepted.

  15. Hey guys don’t worry i have some news for the people who are attending Visa Interview at delhi consulate the situation is too worst here almost every body was getting rejected without proper reason all the VOs here are very young i hope are unlucky for this time, i even heard at bombay the situation is too good alomst 7 out 10 are getting appoved, so better luck next time guys

  16. HI HSB thanks for your support for the studenst i wantd to ask you very important question, the question i heard that the f1 quota for 2012 spring was filled, is that ture and one more do the embassy has certain quota at all

  17. HI HSB thanks for your support for the studenst i wantd to ask you very important question, the question i heard that the f1 quota for 2012 spring was filled, is that ture and one more do the embassy has certain quota at all

    1. Hey Amit,

      To my knowledge, there is not a quota system for F1. So just ignore whomever says it.

  18. Congrats vishal great post, thanksto HSB this all time best visa interview experince i ever read , you just had on great way vishal, god bless you

  19. Hi vishal have a great eduacation at USA, i hope you feel like the lucky charm of that day, anyway your parents might very happy about it, hope guys please follow the foot steps of vishal for a better result, maintain that confident levels and smile untill the interviews finishes see everybody smiles at the begining but it will some thing great if you smile even you got a tough question don’t get tensed it will kill your language and clarity beleive only you and i guess yu can will the rece, see even was we know slow and study wins the race as how the tortice runns faster than rabbit story and as lord krishna and swamy viekenanda said only cool minds can acheive great goals keep this in your mind stay cool all the time think that you will fine even if you won’t get approved also this will give lot of energy and less excitment and total maturit

  20. Hi,
    i am applying for the visa for the 3rd time can u help me with the question.
    > what was the changes in ur life since ur last interview?
    there was no big change which i could notice i was blank to her this question on which i was rejected 🙁 so can u tell according to ur opinion so i get a idea what i should be saying plz

    1. Hi Mahmood,

      ‘what was the changes in ur life since ur last interview?’ – I hope you know that this question means what are changes in your profile since last interview? If you had given details about first two interviews like where you think you failed, it could have been easy for me to answer your question.
      I guess there is no really good answer for this. The answer should be the factual, I mean the changes like change of university, change in profile like you worked as a RA in IISC or IIT’s, you applied for more universities & got some more admits etc.
      Obviously one cannot lie on this question, so my opinion is bring some changes in profile. You need to be really lucky to get visa approved with same profile. So I would say wait & bring those changes.

  21. Thanks Vishal , i think i will tell the vo that i am working now which i am! yes this was the change and i have changed the univ also should i be mentioning that to ?

  22. To,VISHAL

    HI ,I AM WRITING ON THIS FORUM FOR THE FIRST TIME.MY US VISA INTERVIEW IS ON 29/12/2011 AT KOLKATA .THIS IS THE 2ND TIME I AM APPLYING 4 IT.MY 1ST APPLICATION WAS ON 13TH DEC AND WAS REJECTED BY VO SAYING YOU NEED TO BE A BETTER STUDENT.
    WELL IN MY 1ST APPLICATION I JUST GAVE DETAILS ABOUT MY UNDER GRAD WHEREAS I AM ALSO A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT.SO IN THIS 2 ND APPLICATION I HAVE MENTIONED THE SAME ,DO U THINK IT WILL MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE,ALSO MY TOFEL IS 98 AND GMAT IS 470,WHICH I THINK IS LOW.
    I ALSO DID 2 MISTAKES IN THE 1ST INTERVIEW
    1.BACKLOGS, I SAID 1 YEAR ,WHEREAS I DONT HAVE ANY BACK LOG I HAVE A GAP YEAR BETWEEN MY UNDERGARD AND HS.
    2.WHICH ALL UNIVERSITY, I SAID NEIU THATS THE ONE FROM WHICH I GOT I20,WHEREAS I HAD APPLIED TO 3 UNIVERSITIES. AND COULD MEET UP WITH DOCUMENTATION AND OTHER DEADLINE WITH NEIU ONLY.
    KINDLY ADVICE AND HELP ,I AM IN GREAT NEED.

    1. Hey Shilpi,

      Generally change in profile is expected; but as you have already set for second interview just eliminate the mistakes from first interview. Tell VO all universities you applied & don’t mention anything about GAP year until & unless asked specifically. For example: Any backlogs? Answer: No. That’s it keep it short & to the point.
      I hope this helps you & all the best for your interview.

        1. Just wanted to add, try to sound confident whether you feel or not 🙂 . I guess that would be the key as you don’t have any changes in your profile. I forgot to add if at all VO asks ‘Why do you think you get rejected last time?’ tell him that I mis-interpreted some questions & tell that you don’t have any backlogs. Don’t need to mention anything about GAP year.

  23. Hey HSB ! beware Vishal is on the verge of taking your place…his advices are too good and insightful….

  24. Hi to all,
    I am one of reader of this blog since decided to pursue my MS,now its my turn!!!

    I am in big trouble now, I got I20 from National university(GRE score not required) ,But my GRE score -276 and took IELTS -6(overall).I am a may 2011 passedout(69.38%3 Backlogs),since then i searched for JOb but I couldn’t stick into any(JOB),these way 3 months passed from june to september,then i decided to do MS in US and gave GRE(urgently without prep more than 10 days) and applied 5 Universities for spring,most of universities which applied by defermented my appl to fall because of late recieving of my scores,so I chose that univ among others .Now, My visa interview is on 3rd JANUARY-2012,

    Now my question is,
    1,Will they asked about my gap during june to sept?then wat shud i say? please help me out to get rid of this question
    2.In my I20 states that “NO GRE REQD”,will it make any pblm in my interview?
    3.I took ielts instead of toefl(there is no available dates to appear at my time,will it be the question?
    4. General FAQ- why ur GRE score is low(plz help me for tz too)
    I am really afraid because of this dillemmas,please help me out dudes,
    please reply all dudes and HSB.

    1. Hey Pradeep,
      I am just guessing that you are very confused (by looking at your comment) by questions mentioned which are actually not at all confusing. Secondly calm down. There is nothing like a perfect answer for VI. It’s the way you answer. Also answers help only when you have good profile & profile means: GRE + IELTS/ TOEFL + Academics + Undergrad University + Intentions to return. I will give you suggestions on your questions; but those will be just mere suggestions.

      1. Will they asked about my gap during june to sept?then wat shud i say? please help me out to get rid of this question
      Ans: You can answer them that I was working on My gre & other stuff. It’s just a gap of 4 months how can that be a problem? Tell them I was busy with research on universities etc.

      2.In my I20 states that “NO GRE REQD”,will it make any pblm in my interview?
      Ans: It’s hard to answer; but I guess as you have given GRE that wouldn’t be a problem. If VO asks anything tell VO that you have given GRE & if he asks why? then answer should be I gave GRE in order to be able to apply more universities. You SHOULD NOT TELL THAT I HADN’T KNOWN BEFORE THAT THIS UNIVERSITY DOESN’T REQUIRE GRE. IT WOULD LEAVE BAD IMPRESSION ON VO THAT YOUR RESEARCH ON UNI wasn’t good enough.

      3.I took ielts instead of toefl(there is no available dates to appear at my time,will it be the question?
      In my openion that won’t be a problem. Ans: I had decided to apply to set of universities which give same preference to TOEFL as well as IELTS. I didn’t get SUITABLE dates for TOEFL so I gave GRE. Don’t tell that you were in hurry.

      4. General FAQ- why ur GRE score is low(plz help me for tz too)
      That’s a tricky one. I don’t have answer as such.
      Trust me generally VO don’t ask why this much score? They decide for themselves whether it’s sufficient or not.

      1. My Bad, I wrote GRE instead of IELTS..

        3.I took ielts instead of toefl(there is no available dates to appear at my time,will it be the question?
        In my openion that won’t be a problem. Ans: I had decided to apply to set of universities which give same preference to TOEFL as well as IELTS. I didn’t get SUITABLE dates for TOEFL so I gave IELTS. Don’t tell that you were in hurry.

    2. HI PRADEEP. this is akhil. when is the intended date of arrival for spring 2012 for national university?????????????/

  25. HI…
    I HAD 3 BACKLOGS IN MY 1ST YEAR.. AND ON 1ST SUPPLEMENTARY I FAILED TO CLEAR ALL 3..AND ON MY 2ND ATTEMPT i CLEARED 2 AND ON 3RD ATTEMPT I CLEARED LEFT 1..SO,IS THAT REQUIRED FOR ME TO SHOW CERTIFICATE IN VISA FOR WHICH I FAILED IN ALL 3 EXAMS APPEARED? OR CAN I TAKE THAT PARTICULAR CERTIFICATE OUT? PLZZ HELP ME

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