> Following post was shared by Venkataraman
I have been following HSB weeks before i went for my first visa interview in December 2011.
The visa was for an exchange program between my undergrad university (SASTRA, TAMIL NADU) and University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Iwas supposed to spend the final semester at UWM and do a project under the best faculty there but the dream went into the gutter.
There was a long selection process after which 3 students including me were selected for the program.
The university asked us to apply for F1 visa instead of J because the MOU was that after the exchange program, the students would be directly taken for the masters program.
Long story short, the other 2 got in and i didn’t. 5 months afterwards, i applied for visa for my MS program in software engineering from san jose state university, california.
I dreaded my exchange program rejection factor mite greatly my chances. Well here is what happened..
I had my visa interview at chennai consulate on 24th may 2012 @ 0745.
After the preliminary security check i got in the second interview hall at 0730. The shutters of the glass separating us and the mighty gods who determine our future stayed closed toll 0800.
After that they started to open one by one. Slowly the queues started filling up and i was called to a counter number where i was rejected 5 months ago! i was scared out of wits and also i was third in row and the two people in front got rejected.
The lady was merciless! here is how my interview went.
VO: step forward please
ME : very good morning madam! how are u doing (i was fumbling to pass my documents while saying this)
VO: (She started typing something and didn’t ask me anything for around 30 secs.. the samething happened during my exchange visa interview..i was praying all gods i knew!) SO.. u aplied earlier for exchange program. can u tell me more about it?
ME:( BULLS EYE! first question this?..) Yes madam. It was an exchange program between my university and UWM where i was to do my last 6 months of learning and then come back to India to get my bachelors degree from my university..(I didn’t not fumble! It was a clear sentence. I was happy with the confidence i showed..)
VO: So, SJSU.. why?
ME: I always wanted to be a software engineer and also from my admits sjsu is the only university allowing a specialization in cloud computing and virtualization. Cloud computing is the technology of the day with more and more companies taking steps to implement it and..
VO:(asked me this when i was telling the previous answer) who is financing you?
ME: (another troubler. In my first exchange visa interview i said my parents were financing me and my dad is retired.Though i did have the required amount deposited in bank i was dumb enough not to show the amount or even tell about it.. i was afraid again this might cause some trouble!). Mam my family is supporting me.(I started taking out the statement given my the CA.. she said it was ok if i just answered.) My brother is working in HP, bangalore and has XXX compensation per annum and my father through the years has saved enough amount of money to fund my studies and told an amount that 4 times the minimum requirement for the course.(I truly had that much amount of money). I offered to show the statements again she said it was ok.
VO: Was typing very long statements.
ME: I was actually scared she would reject me and i wanted to make my case strong. I asked her if i may add something. she said go ahead. I said even a lot of Indian companies are going towards cloud computing like TCs and HCL and also the Indian government has plans to convert its e-governance to cloud which would provide a huge opening for job offers.(true fact! i had thoroughly researched on this. i had enough data to say for the next 5 min.)
VO: (she started to say something so i stopped) all i heard was sumting sumting.. I’m approving your visa. You will get your passport in a weeks time..
ME: My joy knew no bounds!! i thanked her profusely.. came out.. called the whole world. went to saravana bavan round the corner ate food and paid a elephant size bill 😛 😀
My advice and F1 Tips
- Prepare well. Do a lot of mock interview and say ur answers out loud! (believe me!! i did a lot of it and i am very happy with the result).
- Do research on why u took this course and why this course and this university suits you best.
- Show good finances and always have supporting documents. Its better to have it and not get asked than get asked and show poker face 😛
- Prove that you are coming back to India. never say you will work there for 1 year or 2 years and return. you will be doomed for ever!..
The visa law is every person applying is a possible immigrant. it is your duty to convince them you are not one!..
I thank HSB and its people for making this the best site ever for students and a lot of your posts got me through 🙂 ~victory~