F1 Visa Experience – Is Smiling a Prerequisite? American Embassy in Kampala, Uganda

f1 visa interview smile

f1 visa interview smile> Following F1 Visa interview experience at Uganga is shared by Maurice Bukenya.

  • Name: Maurice Bukenya, Ugandan
  • School and Degree being Pursued: Tufts University, Bachelors
  • Date Interviewed: 6th June 2013
  • Consulate: American Embassy, Kampala, Uganda

I would like to thank all users of this blog for sharing their F1 Visa Interview experiences. I must say, this blog has gone viral – it just does not serve Indians only, Ugandans too!

It’s been an invaluable tool in preparing me for my visa interviews.

I thought I could also share my experience at the Consulate as a way of giving back to the Happy Schools Blog community.


  • Surprises: I must say, I was very surprised at how brief the interview was. Yes, it was barely 2 minutes. Even more surprising was the VO’s relaxed and largely conversational tone.
  • Advice: Carry as much of the necessary information about your financials, family background, education History and University/ College as you have. Secondly, in the interview room, think of the VO’s as human being with emotion. They wouldn’t put your future at stake simply because they can.
  • Must I smile? : Well, you may, if you want. No need for faking smiles and looking stupid though! Chances are the visa officer won’t even look at your face. I kept a plain natural face and because I deserved the Visa, I got it.
  • Material I carried with me: I-20 of course, Passport, a photograph of visa specifications size, DS-160 confirmation page, Visa payment receipt, SEVIS payment receipt, Visa appointment confirmation page, Support letter from High school, O’Level and A’Level Transcripts, Tufts University Admission Letter, Tufts University Financial aid award letter, Mother’s Bank statement for the past 3 months, afew internship documents.

My F1 interview went as follows

VO: Hi (Looking through my i-20)
Me: Good morning

VO: How did you .choose Tufts?
Me: I had a list of schools with strong academics and academic support systems, close-knit community and medium populations. Tufts stood out from all!

VO: When did you graduate from High School?
Me: June 2012.

VO: Was that in Uganda?
Me: No. At the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa

VO: Let me have a look at your report cards? O’Level and A’ Level
Me: Here (I hand her 2 transcripts)

VO: (Looks through my Transcripts).. Does this mean you had two years in Uganda and two in South Africa?
Me: No. Four in Uganda and two in South Africa

VO: (Again looking at my transcripts) You’re grades are very good. So Tufts paying for almost everything?
Me: Pretty much!

VO: How did you you receive the Tufts Scholarship?
Me: I applied for Financial aid from Tufts.

VO: Okay, Come for for your passport tomorrow at 2.30 pm.

SATreg.-Pic3And that, brother and sisters, marked the end of my interview session. Let me know if you have any questions.


Thanks to Maurice Bukenya for sharing this F1 Visa interview in Uganda. Here is a pic of him (on right side)

Next – Ignore These 7 F1 Visa Interview Tips at Your Own Risk


  1. Samson on December 24, 2016 at 1:05 AM

    Thank you for sharing your experience,Maurice Bukenya.

  2. Nneoma on June 27, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Maurice. It definitely makes me more comfortable with my own interview I’ll be having really soon.

  3. Pankaj on June 25, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    In my opinion, this article seems totally made up to appear instructional to some applicants. He even wrote bullet points. In my own interview, the VO did not ask to see anything. He simply asked me 4 Yes/No questions, and then he retained my passport and politely told me to scram.

    Go to the US consulate only to get your visa. You’re not there to socialize, and you’re not there to make friends. This should be reflected in your psychology when you approach the VO.

  4. Linu on June 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Good for you brother. God bless you Maurice and have a solid safe time in USA!

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