F1 Visa Interview Experiences

F1 Visa Experience at Abuja Embassy – Nigeria

f1 visa interview nigeria

> Following F1 Visa interview in Nigeria is shared by Sylfad.

I was at the American Embassy, Abuja, Nigeria yesterday for my F1 VISA interview, and I would like to share my experience with you all.


  • No GRE, No TOEFL
  • 20 academic/research articles published in journals and conference proceedings
  • Universities : 2
  • Admits : 2
  • Travel history
    • China, Senegal, India, Malaysia, USA for conferences. Attended a PhD summer School in Finland
  • University : Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Funding : Full scholarship with research assistantship
  • Course : Medical ethics, PhD, to begin Fall 2013

After waiting for about 3 hours, the F1 Visa interview in Nigeria went thus.

Me. Good morning, sir
VO. Good morning, how are you?
Me. I am fine.

Vo. Can you give me your application documents and your passport
Me. (passed them)

VO. Where do you work?
Me. X, Y, Z Research centre

VO. (Coughs twice)
Me. Take care

VO. (Nods head, begins reading my 1-20 intently), so you’r going for PhD. PhD in what
Me. Medical ethics

Vo. What specifically?
Me. Medical ethics deals with …

VO. (interrupts), I know what medical ethics is. I mean a PhD is supposed to be on something specific
Me. Oh, my specialization. That will be done in my thesis year, but I am looking towards research ethics or animal rights ethics.

VO. (goes back to reading my I-20) can you show me any proof of Scholarship from the University?
Me. Yes (passed him my admission letter)

VO. (reads it carefully), why Duquesne?
I presented a paper at an international conference on clinical ethics in the U.S in 2010, and met a number of Faculty from different universities who gave me their cards. When I returned home, I started checking out the Departments, their focus and research direction in terms of how they suit my interest in bioethics/medical ethics. In the course of this, I realized that Duquesne has a one-year clinical rotation in clinical ethics consultation. This is actually an emerging field in bioethics which is useful in deciding complex life and death as well as end-of-life issues for patients. For instance, the recent debate over whether or not to pull the plug from Nelson Mandela’s ventilator would have required the expertise of clinical ethics consultants. I have previously worked in a University teaching Hospital and I know that Nigerian hospitals do not render these important services, hence, I was keen on acquiring the practical know-how at the PhD program in healthcare ethics Duquesne.

VO. Are you married?
Me. Yes

VO. Do you have children?
Me. Yes, we have a child, a baby actually

VO. (types into the system, and looks at me) Do you have plans of taking your wife with you?
ME. No. She will often get to see me. For instance, I have a conference in India in December and I will come home before returning to the U.S. Also, I have an arrangement with the research centre where I work such that during holidays I can come home to work for them.

VO. You said you were in the U.S 3 years ago; where precisely?
Me. Portland, Oregon.

VO. (types into system, glances at me then returns my I-20) your Visa will be ready on Wednesday, this paper will tell you how to go about it. Make sure you show your I-20 to the American Immigration officer, have a nice day
Me. Thank you

My take on F1 Visa interview

Unlike my B1 Visa interview 3 years ago, I found the F1 interview effortless.  My advice to every potential interviewee is as follows:

  • Build an international profile. You can achieve this by attending at least two international conferences out of your country (whether or not you are presenting a paper). This will be useful in your DS 160 profile which also significantly reduces the level of suspicion given you as a potential immigrant
  • Build prior confidence in order to be readily confident
  • Read other people’s experiences but be open-minded about the interview.
  • Logically connect your Choice of University to personal experience and personal Choice.
  • Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.
  • Ask for wisdom from God through the Lord Jesus Christ in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Next – F1 Visa Interview Accra,Ghana – PhD Biochemistry

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  1. 20 papers????? If there were couple of thousands of people like u, ETS will have to shut down!!! Jokes apart, genuinely ur profile is envious!! Congrats, and best of luck!! Best of luck for the conf. in India!!

  2. Duquesne University is a high profile University and the candidate got admit there with full funding. There is very little chance for VO to reject such cases. Besides that, the student has a good profile with conferences around the world. All the Best.

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