F1 Visa Interview Experiences

3 Golden Rules for Successful F1 Visa Stamping

F1 visa Interview Experience – Shared by Anish

Accepted even though elder brother is working on H1B in US.

My Visa interview was scheduled at Mumbai Consulate on 02/June/2011. Time:- 07:45 hrs.

My number came at 9am. The interviewer was a lady. Frankly speaking her smile was far better than any Bollywood actress. Wow…

F1 Visa Interview

VO: Good Morning. How are you.
Me: A very Good morning Mam. I am Fine.

VO: So Mr. Anish. hmm…………..what is the purpose of your trip?
Me: To pursue my Master’s in Computer Science from University of Texas, Tyler.

VO: Thats not your purpose.
Me: No definitely my purpose is to get higher education.

VO: I don’t think so.
Me: (Frankly speaking i thought that i have lost it. ‘Ab to lag gayi.’) No man its my dream to get the best knowledge in the field of Computer Science from a US university.

VO: Ok. So which university…..ha…………..UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS. Oh its a good university.
Me: Yes mam. Its a Public University. Ranked 25th..(interrupted by the VO).

VO: So do you have any siblings over there?
Me: Yes mam, My brother works as a Software Engineer for CollegeBoard at Virginia.

VO: CollegeBoard!!!!!!!! Very Good. So you too plan to join his company and work with him?
Me: No mam, My purpose of going to US is to complete my higher education.

VO: Ok so what are your plans after graduation?
Me: After graduation i would like to gain some experience and come then later come to India to work as a Software Engineer (Again interrupted by VO.)

VO: Ok Mr. Anish. (VO putting my docs and passport in the envelope) Your F1 VISA is approved. All the Best.
Me: ha???????? Thank you mam, Thanks a lot mam. I just can’t. God bless you mam.

Happy School Blog Rocks. Its just because of this site i was able to pass this interview. The experiences are awesome.

Golden Rules for F1 Visa interview

There are 3 golden rules that i would like to share with you all aspiring students.

  1. Score good marks/GPA in your undergrads.
  2. Score good marks in GRE/TOEFL. Approx 1100/90.
  3. Always and only apply in public universities that too with a good ranking.

What I think is that the interview is kept just to see your interest and seriousness. The university which you have applied fills your SEVIS form.

It’s upto them how they describe you. So provide them all the best documents. In my experience the VO didn’t ask me to show a single documet.

That means she knew everything about me. “Even luck goes with hard work.”

Related : F1 Visa – A Lesson About Confidence and Hard Times

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  1. hi,
    I am planing reappear for f1 visa for 3rd time as i was rejected twice in december 9th 2011 at mum consulate,i felt as my gre score was less 890 i got it rejected but this time i gave gre again and my score is 309 according to the patern and toefl 90 ,my gpa 3.98,i have done graduation in pharmacy and planning to pursive masters from usa.
    i got acceptancy from ball state university (indiana),longisland university,stevens university of tecnology,governor state university(illinoise)
    plzz help me are their any chances to get my visa approved in my 3rd attempt

  2. Hey hiii…i had applied to university of texas arlington and i got an admit from this univ….i m going to uta for bachelor in cs…nd i so i appeared for visa interview on 8th dec 2011..but got rejected…the questions asksd were :which univ m going?, which univs i applied?, what u liked boyt mississippi?, wht ur father does? your fathers annual income?,toefl and sat score, nd den rejected….buh i din understang yy she askd bout mississippi…as i m going to uta..plzz suggest somethng..

  3. Thanks 4 your helpful remarks.
    I also need help.I applied for Graduate studies-Theology in Notre Dame University for admission Fall 2012.However,I am neither sure of admission nor F1 visa acceptance b’se of my GRE (570,verbal 300 & 270Qunt,2.0Analytical) poor performance.I did my GRE test when I was under malaria medication.I am from Uganda-E.Africa and a catholic priest.
    Advise me. Thanks in advance.

  4. Hello,
    I have a question please let me know if anyone can answer please. I applied to only one university and got an acceptance letter from them. I know it is not recommended to apply for one university only at all, but i did not know about this fact before and whatever is done is done. Now, I have taken a visa interview date and I need to know that whether I should simply lie that I applied to 4,5 Universities and got the acceptance from the only one? or Should I just tell the truth? Having said that..I have read it a lot that people who told truth that they applied to only one university were disapproved. So wouldn’t it be killing your own-self by telling the truth in this case?

    Do they have information about every university I applied for? or only the ones that accepted me?
    Please let me know soon.

    1. Hey Yassine,

      I have the same querry as you have posted above.

      I have applied only to California State Univ., LA. And got admitted too. I will be applying for Visa Interview very soon.
      1) So should i say the truth that i applied to one university, which most of us wn’t approve or should i tell that i have applied to 4-5 universities.
      2) Do they have information about every university I applied for? or only the ones that accepted me?

      Please reply soon.

      Also ANISH, could you plz suggest what to do.

      Would be really greatful to you all !!

  5. gre 980(quant-670,verb-310)
    toefl 85
    acad 62 with 9 bklgs
    major :computer science

    i am trying to apply for these uiversities can i get admission in the following universities plzzzzzzzzzzzz tell me

    indianna st uni
    cleaveland st univ
    texas tyler
    eastern illinois
    new mexico highlands univ

  6. hi this is ravikanth. i have my interview on 4th august 2011 so anyone can help me..i completed my garduation in 2009 and passed out in oct/nov 2011 with 9 backlogs. my toefl score is 52.how to answer for f1 visa interview. thanks and regards from ravikanth

  7. Hi everyone,
    My name is Ben. My GRE score is 1160 and TOEFL is 80. My aggregate is 69.30% and have no backlogs. I got an I20 from LIU Brooklyn. I have my visa interview in Hyderabad on 13/July/2011. What are my chances of survival. Please do reply.

  8. First things first, this site has helped me alot in getting my Visa, the interviews of people that has been given is truly helpful
    Thanks again

  9. Hi ,

    I have a visa interview next week. I have gre test take score report on which there is the last university written e.g university of Southern California only. but i am admitted in university of Illinois. i dnt have the test taker score report that is showing the name of university of Illinois. is it necessary to provide the test taker score report sh owning the same university that you are admitted?
    Can i print the online score report and show it to the VO?

    Please advice…..

  10. hai anish i got i20 frm tyler am little bit afraid to go for visa interview can u give me ur mail id plz n suggest me

  11. Nowadays most of the US universities accept IELTS. Also do a google search and get IELTS = TOEFL score. If you are asked this question by the VO then u can present it.

  12. I have a IELTS score of band 7, Is IELTS accepted for a study in USA?

    or will i have a tough time if IELTS is not accepted at the Consulate???

  13. hi… my gre–1170.. but i have low toefl score–84… will there be any problem during the interview? 🙁 i have good acads–3.7 GPA

    1. First of all be proud of whatever you have. u have worked for it. You will have to show the same feeling over there at the embassy also.

      If a question is raised regarding low TOEFL scores then tell them that u have done your complete academics from an english medium school and college. also ur grades are good. be confident.

  14. hei ANISH…its tapan … m from nadiad near to baroda …
    i read ur comments on how u found out ur university can u pls suggets me few….. i got gre score of 1000 n yet to give toefl…

  15. Any one availed this loan from “Paras Educational Foundation”. It seems the interst rate is cheaper than nationalised banks. Can some one throw light on this.
    “The Paras Education Foundation” would like to introduce itself as an education consultant & financial facilators. We are specializing in assisting students with finance for their education abroad through Soft Term Loans / Finances, which are provided @ 7% to 8% p.a. app. Interest (depending on Wall Street PLR) repayable within 20 years & above.

    As a Wiseman once said, “A Ship in harbor is safe but then that’s not what ships are built for.” Same is the case with a student like you, who may be anchored for want of finance.

    In order to obtain financial assistance for your further education, kindly log on to our webstie http://www.isloan.org or register on the link http://www.isloan.org/reg.asp.

  16. Hello Anish…

    I agree with two of the rules that you have mentioned above, i.e. the first two. But the last one, which says “Always and only apply in public universities that too with a good ranking” is not a rule to be followed. There are many good private universities in the USA that have a much larger and better reputation than the one you have mentioned above. And many students do get their F1 Visas approved to these universities. So please dont misguide students based solely on your personal experiences.

    1. I am not misleading anybody. I agree with you that there are many Private Universities that are better than public. But my rules are meant for an average student/applicant. Extraordinary student don’t even need to view F1 visa experiences or http://www.happyschoolsblog.com

  17. congratsm,
    hey man may i know your greduate aggregate, gre and toefl score along with how many backlogs do u have in your graduation.

  18. Hi Anish,

    Glad to hear that you’ve gotten your F1 visa.

    To be honest, if all that you’ve mentioned in your post is actually how your interview went, then you certainly were lucky – there were atleast a couple of different things that could’ve went wry (your elder brother being employed in the US, and your going for a degree in Computer Science engg.). May be the visa officer woke up on the right side of her bed that morning! Just saying. Anyway, congratulations to you and your family.

    In the “3 golden rules” it is mentioned that a GRE score of 1100 is ‘good’ – one should shoot for a score upwards of 1400 while preparing for (old)GRE. To all would be GREers and F1ers – please do not settle for a low score, atleast not while you are still preparing for your GRE. Just strive to do your best during preparation and during your exam – don’t go in with any target less than 1600.

    – aman

    1. Thanks Aman. I agree with you. The VO told me that she is happy to wake up on the right side cos it made her luckier than other VO’s to talk to me personally in a cabin.

      You are true about the GRE score. One should aim for the stars, atleast you will reach mount everest. But what if one is happy with the NEPAL trip. See if your sole aim is to study in USA then nothing less than GRE score 1500 will do good to you. Mine is not.

      USA is not like INDIA where you have a campus placement system. For them all graduates are equal whether you are from FALANA DHIKNA UNIVERSITY or UNIVERSITY OF DHIKNA FALANA. If you have the caliber as you showed in the above figure (reply) then you will surely get a good job. All the best bro. Best luck.

      1. BTW Anish…Plz tell us all…wot wz ur gre, toefl score, how much wz ur undergrad…how mny univs u applied and how mny rejects/accepted, did u get any scholarship or a TA/GA…

        Congrats on ur Visa….best of luck for ur studies…..

        1. Thanks a lot Lakshmi.

          GRE: 1030. Q-700, V-330.
          TOEFL: 90
          Aggregate Percentage in Bachelors: 79%
          Applied in 5 Universities:
          University of Texas, Arlington. (Rejected)
          University of Texas, Tyler. (Accepted)
          University of Maryland. (Awaiting)
          University of New Mexico. (R)
          George Mason University, Virginia. (Accepted)

    Thanks a lot ALI. Best wishes to you also. Prepare yourself with for the worst questions. I was very confident throughout my interview. Eye contact. I couldn’t let my eyes off also from her face…wah…Jokes apart.

    One more tip. The VO calls nearly 5 candidates at a time. Try to be the 2nd or third. So you can show your smiling face to the VO from the back. She definitely gives a look the next candidate.

    All the best for your interview. Any other help then do leave a comment over here. See ya.

  20. Just one question.. how does your school have a good ranking? it’s ranked lower than most schools in america.

    1. Anish Joy
      Buddy that you know but the VO doesn’t. My University is a part of UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM. Which is more than enough for the VO to know.


  21. It was an awesome conversation went on between the VO and the candidate. Am yet to attend my VISA interview. This kind of stuff helps me.

    1. Thanks Abhi. You know what watch the movie “JO JEETA WAHI SIKANDER” the day before your interview. Sleep for atleast 8 hours and make a print out of all your visa questions and carry it with you in your folder, like I did. You’ll get a lot of time in the embassy. But I was thinking about my trip to LAS VEGAS & MIAMI. It kept my mind calm and cool.

      All the best for your INTERVIEW.

    1. Thanks Disha.

      See you pay for the SEVIS form and just verify it. But actually your DSO (Student Officer) is the one who has already filled your SEVIS. That is why you get a SEVIS no. Just tell me How come the VO knew about my university?

    1. I don’t believe in luck. Since last 2 years I was running after this thing.
      * I have spent 1000’s of hours on the internet.
      *I cleared my GRE/TOEFL without attending any classes.
      *I didn’t join any agency. It took me nearly 16 months to shortlist 5 universities out of 40 that i liked. Imagine the no of universities i might have searched. My google docs is filled with US UNIVERSITY info. I can start my own agency or blog. lolz……. I made my own techniques for searching.
      *Still maintained my grades of Bachelors at an average of 79% = GPA 4
      *Contacted 1000’s of students through FB, ORKUT and MAILS. I used to get the names of the students from the UNIVERSITY STUDENT DIRECTORY from the Uni website and personally mail them.

      I don’t think its mere LUCK. Its my HARDWORK and my last line of the VI exp states it very clearly.

      “Even luck goes with hardwork.”

    1. They are few more factors including family tie ups, strong reason to come back and financial stuffs. . So just don’t stick on for one thing.

  22. Well it seems like I fall in all the 3 golden rules. Worth reading and I second your opinion. 🙂

    1. Thanks a lot Gourish. There are tons of perspective, opinions. But one goal.
      Work hard and you will surely succeed.

  23. Hi,

    I hv got an i-20 from University of Houston-Clear Lake for MBA this fall. I hv the dollars for scholars scholarship also awarded that would pay 1000$ for the first yr and waive my mom resident tuition fee. My GMAT – 590, IELTS – 8. Yet, it was mentioned in the i-20 that I am not proficient in english. I passed out in 2005 in B-tech CSE and worked for 2 yrs in India, and then went to US as dependent after marriage. We had to return to India in a very short time due to some family issues. Before we returned, I hv applied for H! there, but did not get it. Now I am trying for F1.

    Please advise about my chances for getting visa.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Thanks Sivamala. Congrats for your admission in Uni of Houston. Your IELTS score is just awesome. Hats off. I just can’t think of touching any book after marriage. God bless you both. Jokes apart. See your passport is already registered in their database so they know about you. Now chances are that they also have records about your H1B rejection. So be prepared to Qs regarding these issues.

      Now coming to your question regarding your visa chances. There are def many aspects. Don’t lie in your DS-160 form about anything. Also be prepared for questions regarding all of your issues. Now your scores are good, you have experience too. But regarding university ranking according to US NEWS is not promising. So it can be a problem.

      But don’t get discouraged. You will be surely asked 2 questions, which you will have to prepare like your lifeline.
      1) Whats the purpose of your visit?
      2) Why this university?

      (1) ans you will have to prepare very carefully cos it will give an impact on the 2nd one.
      (2) ans……here is where you should give more stress on. What I did is contacted many students in my uni to understand their perspective regarding the course, professor, uni, etc. Then did a lot of research to understand the research of my professors. Mailed them to show my interest to assist them. Took out the copies of these mails to show to the VO. So you too do the same. You will have to prove the VO that this uni is the best for you, its profs profile, describe some diff subjects they are offering, etc. You need a lot of preparation.

      Don’t worry be happy. Believe in yourself dr. God bless you. My best wishes are with you.

  24. That is a very nice interview experience. I don’t get why it’s important to apply to state schools? There’s very good private schools, well most of the better schools are private? What’s wrong if you go to one of those? Could you explain this please.

    Again, thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. It’s too simple. VO knows all about the ranking of Universities. Therefore he/she will be knowing that your college of good reputation or not. If they found that your college is good. It will work as an add ons in your visa interview.

      1. Very true Ashish.

        See Captain Sq115 (ur name sounds like an spy). Just kiddin. I agree with your point but all the State/Public universities are funded by the state, as the name says. Private universities have to manage by themselves. If you will compare the endowments/fundings between both your doubt will get cleared.

        Once again thanks a lot for your wishes. Best luck dude.

  25. WOW!! It was funny to read your VI bro! lol
    Good luck for future , Do you have fb? Can I add you there bro?
    I really want to ask you some questions?
    I hope you won’t have problem:|

    1. Not at all dude. Its with the same name Anish Joy, Baroda, Gujarat. I am always ready to help others.

      1. hei ANISH…its tapan … m from nadiad near to baroda …
        i read ur comments on how u found out ur university can u pls suggets me few….. i got gre score of 1000 n yet to give toefl…

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