F1 Visa Interview at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is shared by Rafay.
Hello and Assalamalaikum! I am a Pakistani national residing in Saudi Arabia and I would like to tell you guys a bit about my experience at the Riyadh Consulate.
Firstly, when I arrived at the Embassy, there was a huge line of people waiting to get inside. I had to wait about 50 minutes in the extreme, Saudi Arabian heat for my turn to arrive.
Over here at the entrance, a woman checked my DS-160, passport and receipt for the application fee. She told me to go inside a little cubicle where where they passed me through a metal detector and my stuff through the X-ray thing you have at the airports.
Now, I went inside the embassy where a young American took my DS-160 and passport and put a sticker on them with a code on it.
He also gave me a ticket which had a number on it. A security guard told me to be seated in a little hall where 3 counters were present, each with a screen on top of them on which the number would change momentarily.
There was a TV in the room with some American channel on it which I didn’t find particularly interesting. Anyways, a middle aged American came into the room and explained the process to everyone.
He said that in the counters fingerprints would be taken and some of your documents would be put in a transparent plastic packet which you would have to show to the interviewer later.
He said that if your visa is approved, you’ll be sent to the Fedex counter where you’ll have to pay a fee to get the passport with the visa stamped on it delivered to your home.
He added that if your visa isn’t approved, you’ll be given a yellow paper which will have the explanation as to why your visa wasn’t approved.
I waited for about 40 minutes until my turn came about. I went to the counter, and the guy took my fingerprints. He asked me for some of my documents like high school transcript, passport, application fee receipt, DS-160, I-20, proof of funds etc.
I gave them to it and he put them inside a packet and gave it to me. I thanked him and went outside the room.
Now, the security guard told me to be seated again in another, bigger hallway. This time, the wait was shorter; about 20 minutes.
I went to the counter where me interviewer was. It was a young East Asian American lady and she looked like she was in a really bad mood. Before you read my interview, here’s a thing you should know.
My father, for my family, applied for an immigrant visa to the US many years ago and the application is still under process. I really didn’t want the interviewer to bring this up because I feared it could lead to blunt rejection.
Anyway, here’s how it went
F1 Visa Interview – Saudi Arabia
Me: Good Morning!
Interviewer: (something along the lines of) Pass me your documents.
I: Put your right middle finger over there [on the fingerprint detecting thingy] I: What will you be studying in the US?
I: Which state will you study in?
I: Who will be supporting you?
M: My parents
I: What do they do?
M: *I told her*
I: Do you have an immigrant visa pending?
M: No (Initially, I thought she asked me whether I have an immigrant visa)
I: You need to tell me the truth.
(I realized my mistake, almost had a hear attack but corrected myself immediately)
M: Yes, actually my father applied for an immigrant visa and my name is on the application as well.
I: (this part’s a bit of a blur to me but she said something like) So the visa you’re applying for is just for study?
(At this point, I was absolutely sure I was getting rejected)
I: Do you have any relatives in the US?
M: I don’t have any immediate relatives but I do have some others.
M: *I told her*
I: Where do they live?
M: *I told her*
I: Are they both US citizens?
I: Okay, take your DS-160 and go to the Fedex counter.
M: Thank you ma’am, thank you so much!
I: Good luck with your studies.
During the interview in between the questions, she constantly looked at my documents and kept on typing stuff in her computer. Anyways after the interview, I went to the counter, paid the fee for the mail, and received my passport with visa stamped on it in a couple of days. Inshallah, I’ll be leaving for the USA in September.
I hope that posting this experience will be able provide some help and guidance to people with upcoming interviews.