F1 Visa Interview Experiences

F1 Visa Interview Experience in Abu Dhabi

I’ve noticed that there’s almost no F1 visa interview experiences from the UAE, so thought I would be the first to do so.

I have been admitted to the January 2012 Producing Program in New York Film Academy, New York.

So, as you can tell, I’m roughly applying just a little less than a month away.

I went in for my interview at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi today. They have an appointment system but they accept walk-ins only for students and medical visa purposes.

So all you have to do is turn up at the Embassy before 10 AM on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Thursday with the proper documents and they will interview within the next few hours. You don’t need to have a prior appointment and anything of that sort.

So I entered the Embassy at 10 AM, finished my security check, waited in line and finally got my token, 359 at 10:15 AM.

So first they call your number, gather your documents and then send you to another counter for fingerprinting.

After they take your finger prints, they will tell you wait till your number is called again for the interview itself. I finished this process at 10:35 AM.

The numbers are in random order, so you might have to wait a while. My number was called again at 11:55 AM for my interview.

F1 Visa in Abu Dhabi

VO: Hello, how are you?
Me: Good, how are you?

VO: Very good. So, how long have you been living in the UAE?
Me: Roughly about 15 years

VO: What year did you graduate high school?

Me: 2007
VO: It seems like you were working till very recently?
Me: Yes, I just quit my job 2 months ago in order to pursue higher education

VO: Okay (looking through my I-20 now), it seems that you are interested in attending film school?
Me: Yes, very much. My primary interest is in the area of film production.

VO: What are your plans after that?
Me: I plan to return to India to work in the film industry there, as opportunities are great for people with a US qualification.

VO: Okay, who will be sponsoring your education and expenses while in the US?
Me: My father will be my sponsor.

VO: May I please see your financial documents?
Me: Of course (handed over financial documents which was a letter from the bank, bank statements and some deposit slips)

VO: Okay, thank you. (returns my documents and looks at his computer for about a minute). Everything looks in order, so I’m going to go ahead and approve your visa. Please deposit your passport with the courier.
Me: Thank you (trying very hard to not scream)

Walked to the courier counter, handed over my passport and filled out details for the delivery. Paid 20 Dhs. for the delivery and left.

A very pleasant experience I must say, the Embassy is very organized and handles walk-ins beautifully. Hope this was helpful 🙂


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  1. i want to apply for us f1 visa
    an we have our own business in abu dhabi
    what are the chances to be selected?i completed bcom in 2012 and want to do mba from usa ,plz rreply

  2. Any f1 interview experiences of Indians working in other countries for short time? I am working in UAE as a research engineer since an year and very much hopeful that I will get admission into a good university. But afraid that I can be misunderstood as a potential immigrant because I am already away from family and living as an expatriate since a short period only.

    I know there are many applicants like me in UAE, singapore etc. Please share the experiences if anybody is like me and give us some suggestions.

  3. Here’s my experience at the Chennai Consulate on the 16th. My interview was very pleasant and lasted probably 2 minutes.

    I’m a doctor and I’ve just finished MBBS and applied to a masters program in Public Health in several universities across USA.

    My interview was slated to be at 8:30. Despite the hour or more spent at the OFC site for photography and fingerprinting, we were still made to stand in a queue and wait for nearly 2 hours before the actual interview with the VO. It was quite a miserable experience having to wait. Having the interview in December definitely helped, we couldn’t have asked for better weather!

    I waited a good two hours from the time of entry till I actually stood in the line when my token number was displayed on the screen.

    TheVO for my line looked youngish, a man in his 30’s and probably of Arab/Lebanese origin. He was very quiet and I could barely hear what was going on at the counter.

    Not so the flanking lines. Another bald man probably in his late 30’s was rejecting every student visa in sight! And he was loud. It was very unnerving. His first question was inevitably – Show me your GRE/TOEFL scores, followed by why so low? And that was followed by – How many backlogs? and without going into the financial detail at all he kept saying I’m sorry I cannot grant you the visa at this time. On being questioned why he always directed at the sheet of paper saying – it’s all in the paper.

    After this happening around twice I was completely dizzy and overwhelmed.

    An elderly aunty was up front of me and she was interviewing and I thought I was about to faint from listening to the disparaging remarks of the VO of the next counter when my number was called.

    This was how it went.

    Me: Good morning sir
    VO: (smile) Good morning. Are you going for a masters program sir?

    Me: Yes, a masters in Public Health.
    VO: Hand me your I20 please.

    (Did that)

    VO: Do you have your GRE/TOEFL scores?
    Me: I’m actually a doctor and I was not required to take the GRE for this course. I do have my TOEFL scores though ( gave it to him)

    VO: That’s fine. Don’t you have a USMLE score then?
    Me: Of course. (Handed him the USMLE score report)
    (USMLE is the board exam for licensure in the US, there are three steps and universities have varied requirements for a GRE waiver or how many of the USMLEs need to be taken)

    (Long pause while he goes through the report and keys in something on the PC)

    VO: What does your father do, sir?
    Me: He is the Head of the department of Electrical Engineering at x-y-z company. My mother will also be supporting me.

    VO: What does she do?
    Me: She is a teacher of Mathematics at my school.

    VO: Great! What is her annual income? And your father’s?
    Me: Told him.

    Long silence of around 30 seconds.

    ME: (interrupting) I have a copy of some financial documentation with me if you would like to see it.
    VO: No, that won’t be necessary.

    VO: Have you decided what specialty you would like to pursue?
    Me: I’d like to come back and eventually do a residency in Internal Medicine.

    VO: Sir, your visa has been approved, you will get a text message on your phone when it is ready for pickup.
    Me: (blank stare of disbelief)

    and then it sinks in! I got it! Woot!

    Me: My courses are scheduled to begin on the 22nd, will I get it before that?
    VO: Yes, it should take around 3-4 working days. Good luck.

    Me: Thank you, thank you so much!
    VO: You have a nice day!

    And that was my story.

  4. Hi xx,

    As I am planning to give my Interview in UAE for Student visa.I have checked the list of documents to bring.I have a doubt about one thing “the Full and Detailed CV”
    Is it related to your job and responsibilities and publications or its related to your student life.
    Could you please help me out with this document and if possible can you please share the sample of it with me.


  5. Hi xx,

    Could you please let me know as i have read they need ‘a complete and detailed CV’ what are the things do you have included and could you please share the sample of the same with me,As I am planning to giv interview in UAE.


  6. Hi guys, pls i need ur help, my interview is comming soon. I intend to sponsor my self while schooling in the US. do you think its safe to tell the counselor that?

    1. Its okay to say you are sponsoring yourself..but you need to show atleast 1 year of amount in your savings and some other fixed assets

  7. what are the things i could do to get my f1 visa once am 23yrs old.i graduated from high in the yr 2006 with 3 dinstinctions and 6 credits.though i did a yr foundation programme in science at federal university of technogy akure ondo state nigeria afteq dis course i was denied admission to undergraduate course at dsame skul .now VIU,U.S.A OFFERED ME ADMISSION TO STUDY BUS.MANAGEMENT IN FINANCE.PLS WHAT IS MY POSSIBILITY OF GETTING VISA AND WHAT ARE THE NECCESSARY STEP TO TAKE TO GET MY VISA ONCE.WHAT DO I TELL THE V.O AM DOING DURING 6YEAR INTERVER BTWN MY AGE NOW AND THE YR MY HGH SCHOOL CERTIFICATE.THANKS LOOK FORWARD FOR POSITIVE RESPONSE

  8. Hi HSB & blogReaders,

    I have posted my comments so many times, but i am not getting any reply and this is very disappointing, my friend Deepak referred HSB and he was very much sure that you will help me out but i did not get any help and if you dont have answers/ solutions to my problem, then please let me know about it.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….I have posted my comments earlier also about my wife’s admission in PhD at ISU. Total living expenses including tution fees and etc are $26,551 and she will be getting aprrox. $19,000 ascholarship from the professor/Department. There is a difference of about $7550 per year for living expenses including tution fees and etc. so we need to show the same amount available with us for a period of five years. I will be sponsoring her graduate studies at ISU and my annual salary package is 15 lac rupees. I just wanna know how much amount i need to show into my account or my annual salary package would suffice for getting F1 visa as i can pay $7551 per year from my salary ? We will try to take an education loan of about 7.5 lac rupees the max we can take from bank as we don’t have anything available for collateral. She will be getting her i20 within a week time and has to appear for visa interview for Fall 2012 session. Please do help me with this as we are very confused right now about how to proceed?

    Please HSB do reply back to my email id .com. Thanks in advance for your time and help!

    Please help me out if you can.

    1. I have seen your comments. Answers are there if you search around the blog or you could buy the university picker book.

      What you ate asking is like almost complete consultation for finances for visa.

  9. Is it possible if i go to us on visitors visa and change it to f1 visa is that possible please suggest me if anyone knows.

  10. hi i hv applied for fall 2012
    my UG is 79%
    GRE – 305 (149V-156Q)
    TOEFL – 99
    my brother is already there and my parents are going there in summer. would VO get to know this? are there chances of mine for visa approval?

  11. Pls guys…. i have a visa interview on the 21st of december. Am a nigerian and this is my first time… what and wot do i need to do? i really need ur help guys. God Bless You.

  12. I have posted my visa experience yesterday but i couldnot find it here neither i got any mails. what is the procedure to share it. i got my visa approved on dec 7th in chennai consulate.

  13. Did you appear GRE or toefl? I’m also interested in film industry but I have completed my bachelor’s in engineering.I have lot of certificates in acting from my school and college tho I have never joined in an acting school.So pls suggest me how to start..

  14. Whao, I really wish the interview process was same in Nigeria. All the same ur experience has been helpful. Will b going 4 my interview in a couple of weeks too, I believe it will b pleasant like urs. All the best in your film making career…

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