Visa Officer in Saudi Arabia: You Need To Tell Me The Truth

Raghuram Sukumar F1 Visa Interview Experiences 25 Comments

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?
M: Engineering

I: Which state will you study in?
M: California

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?
M: Yes
(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.

I: Who?
M: *I told her*

I: Where do they live?
M: *I told her*

I: Are they both US citizens?
M: Yes.

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.

Comments

  1. Hi
    Can anybody tell me under what conditions the admission to an university for spring season get cancelled.
    what if one gets acceptance from an university for spring season and during his last semester of last year one eventually get a backlog! what would happen ?
    As in this case the person is going for spring season he has time to appear for papers but the results may be out till feb end.
    So in this case would he be able to attend the University for the spring season and submit his degree documents in feb .
    Please reply on this comment.

    1. Plzz HSB reply to this question , I daily read your posts in fact I open my gmail account every morning to just read your posts. Please spend some minutes to reply on this question ,I would be extremely thankful to you .

      1. Most probably, you will be able to attend the Spring semester — though it might also depend upon the university’s rules. In my case, I hadn’t got the final degree certificate before going to the university for Spring enrollment. So the university placed a hold on the next semester’s enrollment — that is, “It’s OK to enroll this (Spring) semester, but I will be prevented from enrolling next semester unless I submit the final certificate” (within some future date). To be sure, inquire with your university’s Graduate School whether it’s OK submitting the final certificate afterwards (in that case you may attend the Spring session).

        1. Thanks a lot Albert for replying . Can u please tell me ur university name .Thanks a lot for ur reply . 🙂

  2. CONGRATZ!!!! im also planning to take interview in riyadh, here saudi arabia only….can you tell me the detail procedure(paying the visa fees etc) and imp thing whether they required any NO OBJECTION CERTIFICATE from the employer or company(where im working in saudi arabia).
    waiting for your reply……..THANKS A LOT

    1. I suggest you take a look at the official Riyadh US Consulate website. It has all the info about paying fees and everything. As for a certificate from your employer, that would definitely help prove your ties to the country. You don’t require it if you can prove the ties some other way.

      1. Hello RAFAY,

        I m from hyderabad city India IN JEDDAH KSA NOW Working with Saudi Bin Laden since 2 years plus.

        I m planning to apply for USA STUDENT VISA FRON JEDDAH / RIYADH.

        Do I need to take NOC certificate from Employer ? OR I CAN APPLY BY MY OWN.

        Hope to hear,

        Regards,
        Shuja Ali.

    2. Hello Imtiyaz,

      I m from hyderabad city India Working with Saudi Bin Laden since 2 years plus.

      I m planning to apply for USA STUDENT VISA FRON JEDDAH / RIYADH.

      Do I need to take NOC certificate from Employer ? OR I CAN APPLY BY MY OWN.

      Hope to hear,

      Regards,
      Shuja Ali.

  3. in KSA,ur visa is more likely to b approved coz most ppl go on king abdullah schlrshp.so u r 1 in 100 who is paying himself for xpenses.
    nyways gud luck buddy,i was goin to do d same thing but cudn’t coz i was in india for grade 11 n 12,so my counsular district was india n not ksa.
    again,gud luck

    1. Hello Mannan,

      Does applying for USA student visa from riyadh or Jeddah KSA need a NOC certificate from Employer ? OR I can apply by my own ……? please let me know ASAP.

      rEGARD,
      SHUJA ALI
      JEDDAH KSA

  4. Hi Rafay,

    Congrats. How did they get the info about your immigration visa? Did you mention in DS-160 that you have a pending immigration petition? Or, the VO searched the uscis [us citizenship and immigration] webpage?

    regards/
    Alim

    1. I don’t remember inputting any such info in my DS-160. I think the Visa Officer got the info from some database through her computer where she was constantly typing stuff in.

  5. hey rafay
    i have the same problem . my uncle applied for immigration for my parents but that was closed dueto his death. i didnt disclosed that but VO caught that and gor rejection . what should i do 2 nd time . plzz help me rafay. i got my parents in india and showed my parents property here.
    thanks

  6. i do have some backlogs bro ..which i cleared them later..so just wanted to know …whther it is possible to get a study visa or not ? coz usually in india they are rejecting visas which has bcklogs..but as i am residing in jeddah ..i do xpect smething better ..wat do u say bro ?
    thanx in advance.

    1. Backlogs may be a little concern. But usually if cleared, should not be an issue. Your other credentials will also be looked at. specifically the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS sores.
      Rejections of student visas solely on basis of backlogs in bachelors programmes are usually not done.
      Be confident and try to convince the visa officer with the genuinity of your candidature. Do go through the F1 visa experiences shared at HSB here: http://www.happyschoolsblog.com/f1-visa-interview-experiences/
      All the best!

      1. thanx a lot for your reply..i just wanted to know which is the best university…i mean which i a cheap one in terms of fees and cost of living?

        1. Kindly mention which all Universities you have to make your choice. Based on the available options we can suggest you on making a final call for the University selection.

    2. I want to ask you can guide me if can go for a f1 visa interview in riyad us consulate as I have working here in ksa for the past 4,5 yrs .

      but I dnt hav any realatives here ksa as I here that we need to show them sponsors are to be here working or resideing . pls any who can guid or who went like

      1. am planning to studuy in usa, and presently am working in jeddah, my question. am living alone here, and my parents are in india, so can i show my sponsors from india and bank balance etc, or else it will effect in visa interview that am attending saudi consulate and showing my indian assets and sponsers…please suggest me

      2. Hi , all any body applied from jeddah embassy please share experience..My interview in one week.

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