F1 Visa Interview Experiences

3 Reasons for F1 Visa Rejection given by Visa Officer

Thanks to Aly for sharing his F1 Visa Interview Experience in Ethopia. Its very rare for a Visa Officer to give 3 reasons why Aly’s F1 Visa was refused under Potential immigrant.

From the previous F1 Visa experience posted in this blog, sometimes by looking at the interview you can identify the reasons for F1 Visa refusal. In this interview, its easy to relate the answers to why F1 visa was rejected, even before readng the reasons for F1 refusal.

F1 Visa interview Experience – Ethiopia

First I would like to thank HSB, it helped me a lot to improve presenting myself in front of VOs, I was interviewed April 4, it was my second trial and it was my second rejection; the interview has gone like this:

Me: Good Morning sir, How are you?
Vo: I’m fine thank you (looking on the computer)

Vo: Have you ever visited the US?
Me: No

Vo: What is your purpose of your trip?
Me: My purpose of trip is getting American degree from XYZ university in the field of Computer Science.

Vo: What field? (looking the I20)
Me: Computer Science

Vo: What is your length of stay?
Me: 4 years

Vo: How did you came to know about this university?
Me: Sir, I was very focused and clear about the field in which I wanted to do my degree, then I checked on the internet and found out that XYZ is one of the prestigious University found in the US which has variety of programs and courses offered especially in my field of interest which will help me to fetch highly respectable job on my return to Ethiopia.

Vo: Do you know someone living in the Kansas?
Me: No

Vo: So how did you came to know about this University?
Me: I did a good search on the internet and also I read articles published my current University.

Vo: Are you still learning? (I’m accepted for undergraduate program and I’m going to transfer in to that US university)
Me: I have been studying February 21 this year.

Vo: How many years did you study in your university?
Me: 5 semesters

Vo: 5 semesters?
Me: Yes sir

Vo: What any other admits do you have?
Me: I have reviewed some other universities but I only applied to XYZ.

Vo: You reviewed other universities?
Me: Yes sir

Vo: But you only applied to XYZ?
Me: Yes sir

Vo: Can you show me your high school transcripts?
Me: Showed University Transcripts.

Vo: Your high school transcripts?
Me: Showed high school transcripts

Vo: Who is going to sponsor you?
Me: Family

Vo: Tell me specifically
Me: A brother of my aunt’s husband

Vo: Can you show me his documents?
Me: Showed

Vo: Where does your sponsor live?
Me: He is in Annandale, Virginia

Vo: What will you do after graduation?
Me: Once after the completion of my studies I will be a person with a great knowledge, so I will work with a well known organization to get my knowledge more practical and skillful. Then after getting experienced I will set up my own IT Company. (I think the problem is here that I didn’t express coming back to my home country)

Vo: Aly I’m afraid to tell you that I’m agreed with the previous consular officer. Giving me the 214(b) and my documents.
Me: Can you please tell me the reason?

Vo: Firstly I’m not sure your sponsor is going to pay your tuition (I showed triple of my tuition listed on the I20 and also I showed him the Affidavit of Support)

Secondly, you have to show that you are a credible student (I have a CGPA of 3.16 in 5 semester stay at my current university also my high school score was more than average and the university is state university but I didn’t take TOFEL assessment)

Thirdly, you told me that you are going to set up your own IT Company. But I’m not sure that you are coming back to Ethiopia)

Me: Okay, Thank you and have a nice day.
Vo: Thank you.

So where do you think the refusal comes from?

Reasons for F1 Refusal

Its very rare for an Visa Officer to give out 3 reasons that you have listed.  Also, you have commented

I think the problem is here that I didn’t express coming back to my home country

Setting up IT company shows you are Potential Immigrant.  Few other indicators for rejection

  1. Application to only 1 university
  2. Sponsor already living in USA
  3. Sponsor doesn’t look like close relative (why would some distant relative sponsor you?)


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  1. Pls my interview is next week Wednesday 25th of July and i’m from Nigeria i’m really scared i don’t wanna mess up pls i need help. Although my points are good but i’m really scared about the interview……pls i really need help.

  2. Hi! Just wanted to know if it’s okay to mention that I would have a relative/guardian living where I would be going to study. Also, Is it better to mention that I had applied to 3 colleges and got accepted into two? Does three colleges seem like a small number. Thank You

    1. Hi Sakshi, did mentioning you had applied to 3 colleges affect your decision negatively? It’ll be ahuge help if you could reply asap.

  3. Hi Raghuram Sir, I am Rahul Welekar I have got admit in New Jersey Institute Of Technology for spring 2017, but I have got my visa rejected twice in Mumbai
    the interview goes this way
    Vo: how many universities I have applied
    Me: 4 universities
    Vo: how many admits
    Me: 1 only
    and one more thing VO have asked me about my father in my second attempt and I have told them that my father have taken a retirement so is that a reason Vo rejected me
    this happens both the time in my visa interview so is this the main reason that they have denied my visa or anything else please sir help me out from this I have my visa interview on 9 January again

  4. hi
    i have 4 rejections in USA Recently
    now what i have to do

    My educations Detail as under :
    B.com 2007 (India)
    ABDM 2010 (UK)

  5. Hello,

    My name is Haseeb.
    I have IELTS score 6 band and I want to start my undergraduate program ( Computer Science ) in US so which universities you recommend me to apply for ?
    And do I have to apply more than one university to have higher chance of getting F1 visa ?

  6. Hi Sir,

    My visa got rejected on 7th July.
    I’m attending City Universityof New York for Political science.

    Me: Good morning mam.
    She: You’ve a family or friend in the US?
    Me: A family friend.
    She; what’s your father’s income.
    Me: in lacs (more than my tuition and everything)
    She: who’s sponsoring you?
    Me: Mother and Grandmother
    She: what does your mother do?
    Me: she’s (interrupts administrator
    She: your mother’s income
    Me: a figure in thousands (monthly salary)
    She: what’s does your grandmother do?
    Me: she’s Retired
    She: her pension
    Me: in thousands(monthly) but she also has other incomes.(interrupts)
    She: what does your friends do in the US?
    Me: he has a taxi business
    She: what’s your highschool fee?
    Me: 1 lac approx
    She: where does your family friend live?
    Me: New York
    She: will you live with your friend in the US?
    ME: No, I’ll live in the Dorms
    She: sorry your visa has been denied
    Me: Thank you

  7. Hello Sir/Madame,

    Today my brother went for F1 interview but he got 214b refusal letter without giving interview.

    Interview time was 10am n he went half hour early n he waiting there till 2pm n then they handed 214b refusal letter saying time out.

    I research a lot for such instance but I didn’t came through any so, can you please tell me why he got refusal letter. It will be great if you help me out.

    Thanks in advance.

    Kajal shah

  8. Guys Im also going for an F1 interview nxt week,admitted in a community college in maryland,planning to do Business administration n management,i have two sponsors,my uncle n my aunt,so guys do I av a chance?

  9. Hi,
    I am also planning to take f1 visa for a bachelor’s degree in business mgmt in a comminity college. I only applied to one college. aside from that i already had a degree in BS hoslitality mgmt. And been to states twice for j1 visa. What are my chances for visa denials? I’m really worried..

  10. Hi,
    I am from Bangladesh, I was in UK as a student 2006 to 2008, after that I was issued Post Study Work visa for two years. In 2009 I came to Bangladesh for a short holiday and when going back to UK, terminal-3, refused my entry to UK as they said I submitted false documents to get PSW work visa. They cancelled my visa and put a ”cancelled” stamp on the visa, but i was released to UK upon right of appeal. I came back to Bangladesh in 2012 but my appeal was still going on. I though after coming back to Bangladesh, I will go to different country. Now I got I-20 from a USA university for August semister. Do you think the stam” CANCELLED” on my UK visa will affect to get F1 Visa for USA? I will be sponsor for myself.
    thank you. anybody please help me.

  11. hello can some body help me out ?? my sister is working legally in us with h1b visa.. can i apply for fall 2013.. will my sister staying in us cause any problem ?

  12. Hi im from Morocco and I got accepted in nova community college in virginia , and it was the only one that i have applied to , my brother is sponsering me and he is in Usa , my interview is in two weeks and i really need to know what r my chances to get my visa

  13. Hi,

    I applied to few universities for Spring 2013. But unfortunately, i got one admission for Fall 2012 itself. So, others suggested me to attend Visa interview and then decide.
    Hence, I got my Visa last week. But now, I am planning not to attend that university and wait for Spring admits from other universities. So, is the Visa valid for another university ??
    Will the university which gave me Fall 2012 admit be ready for my rejection to that university ??
    Please send the reply as soon as possible.


  14. Hi, I am from Bangladesh.
    I have completed my under graduation in at the end of 2011 with CGPA 3.10 out of scale 4.
    My major was Finance and minor concern was Media and Journalism.
    Basically rather than finance i was more interested on Media. I have did some short films and docu-fiction production during my undergrad program.

    After finished my graduation now I am running my own ad firm (partnership).

    Now I want to go USA for doing masters on Media related program (film making or digital production).
    My father will give me sponsor.
    I need to know, if I will show that I have a business over here, what would be its impact?

    NB: should I need to show them my previously done productions or not?


  15. Hi HSB

    Will i look like a potential immigrant if i say that my plan after graduation is to persue my masters at a university related to the undergrad college i’m going to?


  16. Hi, in the year 2011 I was in UK for a period of 9 months and had applied from London twice to go to US on visitors visa B1/B2. On both the occasions my visa got rejected as my only intention was vacation before leaving UK as the tickets were cheaper. I worked in UK as an established staff and was sent by my company on a sort term assignment to UK. I returned from UK in Dec 2011 and after that I gave my gre and decided that I want to pursue my higher education. I applied for just one university and got admit from North eastern university. I have enough personal funds and saving to comfortably complete my studies. For anything else I have my 3 brothers and 1 sister all in Mumbai working and earning well. I am the youngest of all, unfortunately I lost both my parents. I am keen on studying in US as after 4 yrs of experience I feel that there is a need to develop my skills which my course can help me to enhance it. As of now, I am in Russia on a short term assignment. UK and Russia due to work and have been to Dubai, Italy, Thailand, Paris and Barcelona for holiday. I have first class in my engg and my gre scores are 300/340 with Toefel as 95. I am really nervous about the past two visa rejection. My PM has also given me an official letter stating that after my MS company wants me back as I have always been a good employee. Can you please tell me what are my chances to get F1 visa. Any chances to make my application stronger.

  17. It is rare to find such a long interview, here in India. Normally in India visa officers just ask two or three questions and say that they can’t issue visa. It is sometimes that they like your face and give visa and sometimes they don’t like your face and reject you.

    It is the only embassy that never gives any reasons for rejection and leaves upon you to keep guessing what could have gone wrong.

    USA is the only country where we say that the visa is a gamble. But I want to tell all the students that wait till the crisis deepens in USA and then you will have easy access to their education system.

  18. As I can understand from this interview, He has went to interview on 4th April 2011 for Fall 2011. So, When can someone go for visa interview for Spring 2012 at the earliest.

    1. No it is advisable to go as early as you receive your I-20 from the university you want to go to. VO’s will not decline visas because of that, because you can’t, no matter how early you get the visa, enter USA before 30 days from the start of your semester. And you always have to take in the probability of getting a 221(G), and it takes from days to months, depending on the case.

      1. Thanks for the reply sq115.. Actually, I have already got any I20 from UNH for MBA fall 2011 however, I am not able to complete my financial documentation because of which I can go for visa interview only in 2nd week of Aug and My Education consular in Bangalore is telling me that, there are very less chances of getting visa after 1st week of Aug for Fall 2011 intake.. Is that true…

  19. hi,

    I already have MBA from UK and am going to US for MS. I am changing my field to IT Management. I have been to US a few times n traveled a lot across the world. If I mention that I plan to take a transfer to another Univ in Spring, will that create a problem in the Visa stamping?


    1. Did u apply for the visa and what happened after that, i have a similar profile with work exp in presales for microsoft in singapore

  20. Looks like u are showing Heroism here in visa interview before VO.
    U should never say i will gng to establish an IT company in USA or gng to work in USA.
    Here only Ur visa will be rejected just u have to mention tht i want to pursue my education in USA only tht’s all and would return to my home counrty as son as i complete my education.

  21. Hey If u post ur Visa Experience thn why dii u post is as XYZ univ….?
    Is it so below grade univ……. as u cannot say it proudly i got admission in tht univ…. so tht if any student is there it may be helpful for them……. I request to every body who ever post their personal experience dont mention it as XYZ or xxxxxx or ABC it does not mean any thing.

  22. hello sir, i need to ask u that what would count to my positive respose from visa officer while having an interview. i’ll be sponsered by my mama(mom’s brother). he is a citizen of U.S from last 30 yrs and what are the documents required from him to show to a visa officer.

  23. Hi Aly, sorry for your Fi Visa application rejection,but i think u did tried ur best, i think the VO asked you so many questions more than the usual two to five minutes interview even though the VO sounded very calm,i will advice you to obtain another degree from your home country then you apply for a different US university, but this time read a lot about other universities and make comparism with the university that gave you the i20 to the similarities and differences with others.then go to the VO well determine at the first week of a month or the last week of a month,experience show that each month the embassy have a limit for the visas they issue,may be first lucky person for the first week or at the end of the month when visas are still being issued due to so many visa rejections within the month.
    Wish you good luck,but put in mind that the VO’S are well trained officers that can easily detect a lie and truth,no panicking this time around.

    1. Yeah, that was what I thought too! That must have been an intense interview! I was only asked three questions and I’m from Nigeria where its much harder with our reputation of corruption and scam!

      (I walked in smiling and shaking at the same time! But I didn’t let my fear show… I guess the VO realized that I was nervous)

      VO: Passport and I-20 please…

      Me: (still shaking and I could not find my I-20… ) O.M.G!!! (… nervous smile… knowing I have screwed up even before the interview started… well guess what, the interview started long before I got in front of the VO… WTH is my I-20)

      Me: (…finally found my I-20… deep exhale!) Here we go…

      VO: (looking at my passport and the many immigration stamps on it… VO frowning like this is sketchy) Have you traveled outside Nigeria before?

      Me: Yes! I have been to Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast. (VO looking at me like why??? more sctechy look)

      Me: I served on a voluntary Mormon Full-time Mission for two years in Togo and Benin. My Missionary Training Center where I was trained was in Ghana and I went to Ivory Coast to practice French in preparation for my mission since my mission language was supposed to be in French and I didn’t speak any. That was how I heard about (**) University. I was referred to (**) University by my mission president who is an Alumnus from (**) university.

      VO: Wow! So.. you’re Mormon??? Tell me about your mission (seeming automatically interested and blown away… Countenance changed from frown to smile)

      Me: (laughing slightly… )well, where do I start? I mean, it was absolutely the best two years of my life… I have the opportunity of learning a new language, adapting to a new culture and disciplining myself to follow strict mission rules. But most importantly, I was able to share something precious to me– the gospel of God that has brought peace to me and my family with others.

      VO: Wow! I don’t know what to say… (smiling and looking at my I-20)

      Me: Is that a good thing?

      VO: Haha… surprisingly, yes!

      Me: haha… good! I’m glad!

      VO: Give me one moment…

      Me: Sure. (he walks away for a second and cames back with a white paper…)

      VO: I have one last question for you… kind of a bad news too but…

      Me:(about to pass out… my heart failing me gradually…) okay…

      VO: Utah is super cold right now (December 23rd… so its winter) How would you cope because its famous for the snow and I know you might think its easy but you’re going to freeze you butt out… haha… (VO passes me the white paper… I didn’t look at the paper because my full gaze was on him the whole time… My countenance dropping… I was already a little disappointed)

      Me: Honestly… I don’t know… yet, but I look forward to it.

      VO: you didn’t even look at the paper yet… I have requested that they process your visa ASAP so you can pick it up tomorrow before noon since we go on a Christmas break tomorrow and we wont come back until January and you have to be able to attend the mandatory orientation which is Monday right?

      Me: Confused and speechless…. ummm… what??? YES!!!! YES!!! wait, did you say I got the visa???

      VO: haha… correct. That’s what I said and the instructions on the next steps you need to take are on the white paper you’re holding right now. Haha… go home, call your family, you’re going to America! (He winked at me…)

      Me: (me… cleaning my eyes like I hope this is not a dream gosh dang it!) Haha… I can’t believe this!

      Haha!!! This was Three years ago! Now, I’m almost done with my program and currently working on starting my own company.

      I don’t know what happened and obviously, this was not something I said nor did in the interview. Some interviewers a just nice and while others are not. But the one thing I know for sure is… when you get in front of them, before they even ask you any question, they decide whether or not to give you the visa, based on your dressing, appearance, how old you look, rich or poor, your persona, likability, confidence, countenance etc. And then all the questions are just to see if you could change their mind or if they made the right judgement. So, while you’re waiting for your interview, the interview already started.

      I wish you a much better luck next time! let me know if you need tips on preparing for a future interview. After my interview, I help 8 of my friends get their visas too.

  24. Hey Aly,
    Sorry that your visa was rejected twice. I am afraid it will be rejected again if you try third time unless you change your situation considerably. You are in the middle of your undergrad education. You are transferring to the US university after finishing half the program home. You applied only one university and that too is a mediocre university. If you get admit from top univ then its okay if you have only one admit. Your sponcerer is in the United states. That’s direct NO to the visa application.
    Ideally, you should finish your undergrad degree at home. Apply for masters programs later to at least 7 to 8 good universities and have 3 to 4 admits with full funding. Have a good reason why you will come back. Don’t ever say that you will start a company. Its not that easy in life buddy. Have some logical reason why you will come back.How this degree will help you to get a good job back home. explain family ties etc. If you follow these direction then the chances of your acceptance will increase substantially.
    I think it will help.
    One review I saw on your case, the denial was not due to slip of tongue. they review entire situation of the applicant and provide decisions only based of that situation. cheerfulness and etc are okay. they will help. But they dont care about those emotions. Only thing that can help to increase the chances is the profile of a good applicant as i have explained above.


  25. sounds like silly mistake killed the opportunity. kindof a lip of tounge. thats feels bad. whats ur plan now Aly. whats ur next move? if not any plans right now. try for higher studies later.

    1. Currently my plan is finishing my undrgra course. After finishing i also would like to consider Canada for higher studies.

  26. Hmmm… Sad experience! Brother, you could’ve been more cheerful! 😀 The VO would be convinced with your cheerfulness! 😀 Infact use it as a weapon for the interview! Next time, go with full confidence

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