After a long interview and waiting, I finally got my F-1 visa as Transfer student for Bachelor’s Degree.
Hi, this is Kamal Kumar from Nepal, and this is my first F-1 Student Visa experience.
Here’s my background –
- SLC- 51.5% (2003),
- HE- 55.5% (2005),
- BA- 57.5% (2013)
- Backlogs or back paper – None
- IELTS Test Score – 6.5
- Gap years- 2005-2011
F-1 Visa Interview Details
- Location: U.S.A. Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal
- Date: November 5, 2014, 8:05 AM
After completing all security checks and formalities, I was finally called to a window around 8:50 AM. I could see most of the students were getting visas, but one young male consultant, in his 30’s was denying every applicant by asking cross questions.
I was praying not to face him on my interview but fate was different and I was called by the same consultant. Here is my interview.
F-1 Visa Questions and Answers
Me: Namaste! Good morning Sir!
VO: Namaste and good morning! How you doing today?
Me: I am good Sir, how about you?
V0: I am also good (looking at I-20). So you are going Southeast Missouri State University?
Me: Yes Sir!
VO: Why this university?
Me: The faculty from Southeast Missouri State University’s College of Business is recognized by worldwide rankings, and included in U.S. News Magazine as one of the best business schools in the United States. It also appeals to me because 90% of faculty members have a PhD from top U.S. universities, which adds more value and quality in my education and research field.
VO: You already have a Bachelor’s degree, so why do you want a double bachelor’s degree?
Me: I am applying as a transfer student, Sir, so I can complete certain credits as an undergraduate, and then I can enroll in a MBA program.
VO: Oh, I’m sorry! So, how long will you have to study as an undergraduate, and what are the new things you will be learning?
Me: Since I already have a good knowledge of economics, I will have to study new subjects like labor economics, international business & marketing, SWOT analysis, business forecasting, etc., which will make give me a solid foundation for a future master’s program. But, it might take a year because I have to complete around 30-36 credits.
VO: Have you applied other universities?
Me: I had applied to two universities besides Southeast, South Dakota State University and University of Cincinnati, accepted by both.
VO: How are you going to finance your study?
Me: We have a good income from agriculture, my dad is retired from the army and has been taking care of the agriculture. My mom has been working as a production manager in a sweater factory. We have enough saved, especially the money brought from my father’s time spent in UN peace keeping missions from Sudan and Lebanon. There are no worries about financial matters, Sir!
VO: Do you have any siblings?
Me: No Sir, just me!
VO: What do you have planned after completing your Master’s in the U.S.?
Me: After completing my higher studies in the U.S., I will return home and help my mom establish and run our own sweater factory, since this has been a dream of hers for several years.
VO: When did you graduate?
Me: 2013, Sir, but results came out late in August of 2014.
VO: So, what you have been doing since then?
Me: I was doing research on educational institutes and preparing for the GRE Test. For the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to visit eastern Nepal with my father for his potential goat farm business.
VO: Tell me your GRE score.
Me: I have not taken it yet, but I plan to take the test in December. I have been working very hard on it since it is very tough to pass.
VO: Have you traveled abroad?
Me: Thailand, Dubai and Bahrain.
VO: Why Dubai? (Shocked)
Me: For work. Sir. After completing my 12th on 2005, I attempted to attend a military academy, but was declined. I was quiet frustrated and the political situation was not good here, so in a short time frame, that situation guided me there. After reaching and working in Dubai, I realized the need of a quality education, so I came back to my county and again commenced my studies. Life is tough everywhere without good qualification.
Then Visa Officer did not say anything and began to type on the computer for around 2 minutes. I was quiet scared that he was going to refuse me because of the gap I had between my academics. Finally he spoke out-
VO: (After taking long breath) Ok, everything looks fine for me and I am approving your visa. Do you have money? NRS 20,000?
Me: Thank you Sir! Yes, I do have.
VO: Ok, then pay the fee at the next counter and I will call you again.
After paying the fee, I waited for his call. I could see him reject a female student rather quickly, then he finally called me.
VO: Have you paid the fees?
Me: Yes Sir!
VO: Please give me the receipts.
I gave him receipts and he kept one and signed other one to give to me.
VO: For your passport Kamal, you have to wait around 2 weeks. Your case is bit different from the others, so it has to go through administrative processing, so do not worry. It is a very simple process and everything will be fine.
Me: Really Sir? I have not heard about this before.
VO: Don’t worry. When your passport is ready you will receive an email to collect it from pick up location that you have selected when filling out your application.
Me: Ok Sir.
VO: Don’t worry Kamal. You spoke truth, were confident, and did not hide any information during interview and in DS-160. I really appreciate it, don’t worry (finally I could see smile on his face by seeing dark cloud on my face). Have a good day!
Me: You too sir!
I finally walked out of the embassy with a bittersweet feeling; I could not smile nor cry.
I was a bit worried because when researching 221(g) administrative processing, I found that it takes very long time. But after conducting more research, I learned that people have stayed in regions in the Middle East or high risk zones, and have had to go through a security clearance.
I kept checking the website for the status of my application, and on the state department website but there was no change until the November 23.
They updated my case on the 24th, and I finally saw the ISSUED status on November 25. After a few hours, I received an email from the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal stating that my passport was ready to be picked up.
After suffering for several days and having a good interview, I got my F-1 student visa.
Lessons Learned after F-1 Visa Interview
If I were to give advice to various students and friends, I suggest that you be honest and confident.
Don’t forget to put correct and adequate information on the DS-160 form, as other supporting documents are not mandatory besides your academic certificates.
Visa Interview Officer only checked two of my documents (the I-20 and BA transcripts).
I am traveling to the U.S. the first of January 2015. Best of luck to my friends and loads of thanks to HappySchools.com for supporting and providing me with ample information.
Thank you for reading my F-1 Visa Interview experience.
I’m happy to help other students who are planning to study in this university with any questions.
Comments from Raghu
Kamal had a through interview and what’s unique about his interview :
- Confident answers
- Transfer Student for Bachelors Degree ( I have to find more about this transfer process)
- Spoke the truth not made-up answers.