Following F1 and F2 Visa Interview Experience at Seoul, South Korea is shared by Noman.
Applied for Visa from US Embassy Seoul and got approved. So, here I was, a Pakistani National, applying with my wife and daughter ( F2 Visa ).
Unique Situation :
I do not have any “most favorite/typical” ties with Korea or Pakistan.
My parents died, no brother/sister, no property etc.
Completed my MBA from Korea and working there for almost 2.5 years, admitted to PhD in International Business program at University of South Carolina.
We decided to attend F1 and F2 Visa interview together.
I had planned to attend just F1, then go to USA, settle down and have my wife and children attend the interview later. But, attending F1 and F2 Visa interview together had much better advantages.
- Complete List of F1 and F2 Visa interview Experiences here in HSB
Procedures At U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea
This is my first time in any US Embassy. As I had a baby with me (1.5 year old) I was put ahead of the line.
Koreans love babies off course. You have a baby and you can gain any favor from Korean people. So nice of them.
There were three Visa Officers and the environment seemed really tense.
There were only two foreigner groups applying for Visa (My family and an African Family). The visa officers were hard grueling Korean people.
Koreans, despite their technical command, are very week in speaking English. They were having real hard time.
The Visa Officer who interviewed us seemed exceptionally scary.
He seemed a bit angry and I think he rejected 2 people ahead of us and we were the third.
His questions were really pointing. E.g. he asked a person, “If your English is not good, how come you completed your DS in English?”
Maybe it is his style to take truth out of people with an angry voice? So, it was logical to get worried when we reached him.
My wife was especially terrified and both of us were reciting holy verses of Quran.
Throughout interview, I was standing in a very relax manner (bending one leg actually) and spoke like I’m talking with a friend in a food street.
Throughout interview, He did not ask any question to my wife but in between, 3-4 times, he just stared right in the eyes of my wife and my wife was standing smiling confidently.
As we approached, I just said Hi, and passed my waiting number. He said he did not need this just pass DS160 and passport. I passed.
F1 and F2 Visa Interview Together – Questions and Answers
Here’s how our visa interview went.
Q: How long have you been working in Korea?
A: 2.5 years
Q: Contractual job?
A: No, permanent job
Q: What type of Job
A: Associate in International Business department
Q: So, you will leave the job?
Q: Why you will resign from a permanent job?
A: After PhD, there are better career prospects.
Q: Do you have a CV or Resume?
A: I did not understand? I asked: What?
He said: CV? I asked again: Sorry what? This time He very angrily said CV, CV,
I: Oh CV (without reacting to his anger), Passed my CV, He scanned and said: Oh you are from Yonsei University?
A: Yes ( Yonsei is the premium University in Korea)
Q: What you will do after PhD?
A: I will join a Korean University as a Professor.
Q:/ Oh Professor, OK. He kept on writing so long.
Q:/ How you will finance your studies?
A:/ University Scholarship
He checked my I-20. Asked for admission letter (showing scholarship) and also asked my salary certificates and Tax returns.
The per year amount mentioned in my I-20 to be financed by my own finances was less than my 2 month salary.
Later he asked some basic questions: Where do you pay taxes, How many kids (one daughter, going with us )
He then said “OK Your visa is approved you will get passports in 1 week.”
I just said “Thank You” and moved back with a happy smile.
Lessons Learned and Interview Tips :
Throughout interview, I was frank, spoke very little, and talking like I’m talking with a friend.
He posed many questions with anger and I did not even notice his angry style.
When he was typing on PC, I was looking here and there in a relaxed manner.
Here’s Why I Got Visa :
I think the University of South Carolina, a PhD degree, and my past academic records were most important factors. Otherwise, 90% questions he asked were just YES/NO Questions.
Even for lengthy questions like career prospects, etc. I just gave normal, one line answers.
What I hypothesize, and this is still my idea which can be wrong, that US has a policy for visas what they do not openly say.
Visa officers abide by that policy that direct them what people which field, which universities should be given Visas after checking some basic facts.
Basic Facts like : Which fields, Universities, profiles, evaluation and which fields/Universities, they should restrict Visas.
And these policies change even daily or even hourly. There are top policy makers in US who are determining Supply/Demand of human resource in US and they are instructing Visa officers what to do.
There is a severe shortage of Business faculty across world. So, may be they are really encouraging Business PhD students especially at top universities.
Finally, an excerpt from the book “The world is Flat” by Freidman and a lesson for all of USA Visa aspirants, I hope it does not violate copyright
“As in Bangalore ten years ago, the best place to meet zippies in Beijing today is in the line at the consular section of the U.S. Embassy.
In Beijing in the summer of 2004,1 discovered that the quest by Chinese students for visas to study or work in America was so intense that it had spawned dedicated Internet chat rooms, where Chinese students swapped stories about which arguments worked best with which U.S. embassy consular officials.
They even gave the U.S. diplomats names like “Amazon Goddess,” “Too Tall Baldy,” and “Handsome Guy.” Just how intensely Chinese students strategize over the Internet was revealed, U.S. embassy officials told me, when one day a rookie U.S. consular official had student after student come before him with the same line that some chat room had suggested would work for getting a visa: “I want to go to America to become a famous professor.”
After hearing this all day, the U.S. official was suddenly surprised to get one student who came before him and pronounced,
“My mother has an artificial limb and I want to go to America to learn how to build a better artificial limb for her.”
The official was so relieved to hear a new line that he told the young man, “You know, this is the best story I’ve heard all day. I really salute you. I’m going to give you a visa.”
You guessed it. You guessed it.
The next day, a bunch of students showed up at the embassy saying they wanted a visa to go to America to learn how to build better artificial limb.
So my advice is to be genuine.
Know your strengths and say what it is about you.
You may learn from the experience of others but do not copy others.
So, that’s my F1 and F2 Visa interview Experience.
Comments About F1 and F2 Visa interview
Overall, I (Raghu) think it was detailed F1 and F2 Visa interview experience. I would like to correct one important observation posted above :
There’s no policy with U.S. government about visa quota or supply and demand. Visa Officers approve visa to qualified students. That’s the Truth.
If they think you are a qualified student, then they would approve the visa. You proved during the interview process that you are a qualified student and you and your wife and son got visa.
I don’t think they have a meeting every day where they would decide, “We are going to approve visa for Business Majors and Engineering Majors.”
Why this interview was published :
This family attended F1 and F2 Visa interview in Seoul, South Korea where they didn’t have any ties to South Korea. They were Pakistani Nationals living and working in South Korea.
When you don’t have ties to your home country, visa officer could reject the visa due to Potential Immigrant under 214(b) section.