F1 Visa Interview Experiences

Successful F1 Visa Renewal Interview After 221g in India

Rohan shared his F1 Visa Renewal interview experience with questions and answers.

Hello guys, I would like to share my F1 renewal experience. I am in the United States since past 7 years. Here’s a brief information about me:

  • Undergrad degree: BAMS (Ayurvedic Medicine) from Maharashtra University of Health Scienves.
  • Graduate degree: MPH (Public Health) from Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
  • Current Student at: PhD Environmental Healrh, Occupational Health and Toxicology) at University of Nebraska Medical Center,Omaha, NE. admitted in Fall 2012. Finished most of the coursework already and working towards my dissertation.

I previously has F1 visa which was expired in August 2011.

I was in University of Wisconsin-Miwaukee from 2009-2012 and transferred to UNMC in 2012.

I decided to visit home after 3 long years.
f1 visa renewal interview
In order to re-enter the United States, I must have a valid visa.

I submitted DS-160 forms and booked the visa appointment when I was in the US in early July.

I departed the United Staes on July 14th,2013 and appeared for fingerprinting on July 17 and took my visa interview on July 19th.

F1 Visa renewal interview

CO Refers to Counselor Officer or Visa Officer

Me: Hello there.
CO: Hi

Me: How are you?
CO: I am good. How about yourself ?
Me: I am good.

CO: So what you have done in the States so far?
Me: I went to the States in 2006. Since then I completed MPH degree in 2008. I was on OPT in 2009. Then I finished PhD credits in University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and eventually transferred to my current University in 2012 and since then I am there.

CO: So you graduated with MPH 5 years back and jumping from college to college since then. Why?
Me: University of Wi is a great school and the program was challenging and one of the best in the country. But after finishing the PhD coursework, I was assigned to perform lab work. It was nice experience but I realized that I wasn’t keen on doing my career in Environmental microbiology.

CO: And why is that?
Me:My background is medicine. I like to work with people instead of bacteria. (CO was laughing )

CO: Didn’t you know it beforehand ?
Me: Initial couple of years went in heavy coursework which was a good learning experience. It took me about an year to realize I don’t like lab work. I discussed my situation with my adviser and she gladly allowed me to find another program where I am a better fit. During spring 2012 semester, I took the GRE( new format) in the states and started looking for other universities. I received positive response from my current adviser and he suggested me to attend the spring 2012 open house and meet him. Things worked out between us and I got admission to UNMC. Fortunately I have been working on my dissertation from the day one and its focused on community health. In the nutshell, I like the work that I am doing.

CO: This still doesn’t convince me. So you have to finish another 5 year program after spending 3 years in another school ?
Me: No mam, I have transferred most of the coursework from WI and finished about all courses in UNMC. It’s a matter of dissertation which I am aiming to defend next year. In short I will graduate next year.

CO: But your I-20 is for full five years.
Me: They gave I 20 of full course duration upon admission. Course transfer took place in later months. I can show you my program of studies approved by my committee.

Co: Look, an I-20 is the only immigration document we put highest weight on. ( I was afraid at his point. I thought strongly that 214b denial is coming)
Me: So, you don’t want to look at my program of studies?

CO: No No you don’t understand. I -20 is a very important document. What you need to do is contact university of Nebraska and I ask them to send another I-20 which will reflect end date that actually you are telling me. You don’t have to come here there is no need to pay another application fees. Take this(handed over white 221g form) attach it to the new I-20, send it to us via travel docs people and you should be fine!
Me: Thanks I will do that.

CO: ok have a good day.
Me: You too

I called my university the same day and they sent me new I20 in next two days. I submitted it in the HSC center on July 24th.

I utilized CEAC tracking system of my application.

From July 24th till July 28th it reflected administrative processing (221g).

On July 29 entire day it said ready for processing and in the evening of that day it again went back to administrative processing.

On the morning on July 30 CEAC tracking system said ‘Issued‘.

In the afternoon of that day I received an email from HSC center to pick up the passport.

I went to HSC center the next day July 31st and collected my passport after showing my identity proof.

I looked at my visa and unbelievably received visa for another 5 years. I am going back to the states to resume my studies exactly one month from now.

I am sorry this is very long post but there are virtually very rare F1 visa renewal experience and I thought I could put light in this area.

I hope this experience will help people aspiring to enter the great nation of the United States for higher studies.

See Also : F1 Visa Renewal on OPT Interview experience

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  1. What other documents did you take with you for the interview? Did you take your transcripts as well? Also, did you require proof of funding even though the i20 suggests you have funding?

  2. @ Dev,
    Sorry about the misunderstanding. Bollywood is known to portray fake, unrealistic stuff over ad over (at some extent Hollywood too). This conviction lead to that bitter response. But it’s alright.

  3. My friend did something similar. His got 2 years master’s visa. He was on the verge of completing his master’s with only one course remaining. He went to Canada and attended the visa interview. So they interviewed him and extended his F1 visa for a year more.

    1. I don’t think so. As everything in his papers were real and true..and he had ous from gud univ.. he gets it.

      1. Fake???? When did I say that??? By a bollywood movie I meant dramatic,exciting,twisty-turvy… Good Lord!!! Comprehend people,comprehend !!!! Don’t just yell at me… Seems you have had misunderstanding… And yeah b4 u tell me what I know ,improve ur english comprehension…

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