F1 Visa Interview Experiences

F-1 Visa Stamped at Chennai Consulate – 1 Minute interview

  • Status: Approved
  • Place : US Consulate – Chennai
  • Time : 07:45 hrs
  • Date : May 18 2011

First Building

Reached there at 0730 hrs exactly (as i was asked to be there 15 mins before the appointment time :P). There was a short queue to which the security guided me. My DS 160 confirmation page was checked outside and a token was given to me. Then my documents and person checking was completed and i was asked to wait looking at the monitor above for a counter to call my token number.

I was called after 5 min and the lady in the counter pasted a barcode in my passport arranged my documents (I-20,Sevis,DS 160 confirmation,Passport,GRE&TOEFL scorecards) in a folder and asked me to go to another window where my left and right hand impressions were taken. I was asked to move to the next building for visa interview.

Second Building – Actual Interviw

I enter the building and see many faces, some nervous some cool. I was asked to sit there and wait for my turn. Waited for a few mins and there came my token number. I was directed to that particular window. There were a guy already giving his VI in that window so i stood in queue about 100 cms away frm him. After he left, I was called.

Me: Good Morning Mam ! (All smiles !!)
VO: Good Morning ! Can i have you documents?

(passed the documents folder that was given to me earlier)
VO: So why UFL?
Me: To pursue my masters in Mechanical Engineering.

VO: Ok but why specifically UFL?
Me: Course flexibility,advanced research in my areas of interests……

VO: Good. Can i have your undergrad transcripts?
Me: (showed)

VO: Any Backlogs?
Me: No Mam !

VO: Whats you final GPA?
ME: Told.

Vo: Who is sponsoring your education?
Me: My dad and uncle

Vo: What is you dad?
Me: Told

Vo: Whats you uncle?
Me: Told

Vo: Your visa has been approved. You will get your passport in a week.Happy journey 🙂
Me: Thank you very much mam. Is there any other procedures to be followed here ?

Vo: No thats all for now. Carry your I-20 and SEVIS receipt when you travel to US.
Me: Thank you mam. Have a great day !

Just was smiling all the way back and found the exit signs and came out and then checked for my transcripts. Luckily found them inside my folder safe 🙂

Itz shopping time :):)

I am no expert and i have attended just my first visa interview. But like all others tell, only confidence matters. Be confident and you will have your visa approved in no time.

Thanks to Venkat for sharing his experience. This student visa for USA experience is added to the complete list of experience.

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  1. Hi,
    Shall I knw why For the visa officer giving β€œMNC” and β€œcome back and R&D” are two important words for rejection of a visa?

  2. Hi bro!just to know something from U,why people said it backlog when before going for M.S. U already clear all ur pending subject?In my undergrade I fail 11 but clear them all before my graduation in due time.So how these subjects will affect my admission and in visa approval,I v only 3 backlog(departmental -theory course-I got highest grade when I clear them),others all non departmental N practical course.My gre score is ist time-1230(780-Q+450-V,AWA-2.5),2nd time-1280(760-Q+520-V,AWA-expecting over 3),toefl-expecting over 100.Do U think I stand any chance for Florida University?By the way,I am a civil engineer N wanna persue my M.S. in structure.My 10grade-77.5%,12grade-77.1%,Bachelor-2.69out of 4(58.5%).Pls if anyone have any suggestion just reply,Any kinda reply will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hey Helal,
      A backlog is a subject in which you “fail to get a minimum pass mark”. Once you have a backlog, it is called a backlog even if you clear it. Suppose if you flunk in 5 subjects during your Engineering and you cleared them all during the next semester, the subjects are still called backlogs. Check out the interview experiences where people who had 11 backlogs got through the interview. All that matters is confidence and trust in yourself.
      As HSB advises, do NOT convert your CGPA to US GPA since the calculations are always wrong and cannot simply put, “You cannot convert your CGPA to GPA. So just send the CGPA and the % while applying for the university.

  3. I was rejected after two questions at US New delhi embassy…1130 hrs. 27 July..

    ME: good morning.
    VO: Not even looked at me. (His mic was off)

    VO: How did you choose Northeastern University..?
    ME: I have been searching for master’s degree programs since my undergraduation and i found that northeastern university provides interdisciplinary courses where i can choose subjects from a wide range of courses. Also it offers me the course of my interest. Thats why.. (he was looking in his computer throughout my entire answer)

    VO: where else did u applied.?
    ME: sry sir. what..?

    VO: where else did you applied.?
    ME: University of north carolina, charlotte, Michigan Tech, California state university fresnp, iowa state university, state universty of new york at buffalo, clarkson Unversity.

    VO: after looking in his computer…….sry i can issue u the visa today.
    ME: why sir. reason..?

    VO: thankyou…

    tell me where i was wrong.

    1. Well, in my view, the part where you tried convincing the officer regarding why you’ve choosen north eastern university was not really solid… You just said that the “university provides interdisciplinary courses where i can choose subjects from a wide range of courses”… well, every university in the US offers a wide range of courses from which you are supposed to pick out the subjects of your choice… You just stated the obvious… Instead, you should have delved a bit deeper and spoken about the courses that you are interested in and named a few. Throwing a bit of technical jargon doesnt really harm anyone πŸ™‚ Having said this, dont lose heart… the visa interview is just a stepping stone. Re apply asap… and most importantly, keep reminding yourself that you’ve won bigger battles in the past… I myself am heading to ASU for this Fall πŸ™‚ All the best !!!

      1. hello,
        my VISA has been rejected the second time under 214(g) section.
        applied for same uni this time- northeastern uni, boston.

        they dont disclose any reason for rejection.

        1. 214(b) means that they look at you as a potential immigrant… They usually never give out the reason for rejection. Anyways, don’t worry… Re apply after 2 weeks, show strong home ties and be confident… Hope this helps… All the best… πŸ™‚

          1. NEU is a good university, keep trying and shoot out some technical words like Rahul said above. If you know your stuff, you should be able to tell the VO right?

  4. The GRE and TOEFL score reports printout that we take from the website are all unofficial copies right ? Is this accepted during visa interviews or we need to order an official copy from ETS ?

  5. hello to all…………m applying vthout GRE n TOFEL to usa …vl it b possible fr me to get viza….? iz there any prblm ….wt shld i say if they ask me about my score in GRE n TOFEL…

    1. hi… as far as i know, TOEFL is a must if you want to study in the US. There are grad schools that will accept you even without GRE but TOEFL is mandatory. As for visa, the embassy officer expects you to have atleast a minimum of 80/120 in TOEFL. So i would suggest you to go ahead and give your TOEFL. The exam in itself is very easy. I myself scored 108/120 in TOEFL πŸ™‚ ATB

  6. Hi,

    Is there any limit for annual income? I mean if we have an annual income of 5 lakhs are there any chances of rejection or anything?

  7. Are GRE scores mandatory to carry to the US consulate? I got admit in one university wothout my GRE scores. The school did not require it. I had to only give TOEFL.

    1. If you are going to that university it might not be necessary. In that case even if they ask you, you have a valid explanation. But if you have written GRE then i would strongly suggest you to take the scorecard with you. It is being asked in separate counter even before your Visa Interview.

    1. I am sorry to hear that. You have done all the hard work in reaching till this. So 5 min of bad luck yday should not deter your progress. The general case is that you can apply for Visa Interview again in 2 days. However i would advice you to take about 1 month before giving your next interview. Since you had full funding,finance would not have been your problem. Please post your experience and i will try to tell you where you might have gone wrong. With bit more preparation i m sure you will get your visa definitely the next time. All the best !

  8. Hello Everyone,

    Sry for the late reply. As asked by the first few, @rajkumar & @Ater

    My profile

    GRE : 1350
    TOEFL : 107
    UG CGPA : 9.3/10

    @SAI Yeah I have read a few experiences where people with backlogs have been accepted.

    @Aman Sorry for the delay. Please feel free to post your queries. I will reply to the best of my knowledge.

    @Davinson All the best πŸ™‚

    1. Hi ven,

      thanks for sharing. I am interested to further master degree in mechanical too, but i want to concentrate on Design-CAD. I checked the UFL website, it shown UFL have concentration on system design, may i know when you send your application for the MS, you need to choose what concentration at the same time? or the UFL will assign based on your profile?

      1. Hi Ater,

        Your specialization is not decided by the university based on your profile. I sent my application in January and got my admit in March last week. Yes, they will be asking you to mention your area of interest while applying. But that doesnt mean that you have to do that specialization. You specialization depends on the courses you take after you join. Deciding the specialization before joining will ensure that you will not miss any prerequisite courses. To sum it up, your specialization depends on the courses you take and not on what you give in your application. Please feel free to ask more queries or even if i am not clear about this answer.

  9. Best VI explanation I ever read πŸ™‚
    and Congrats Dude πŸ™‚

    But sadly i had like 14 backlogs πŸ™
    If Venkant is reading this ,bro i would like to ask you some questions like.
    Please reply! It’ ll be really nice of you !!

    1. sounds verry simple.but it really feels real good reading your post.
      i wish tthe same for my self.

    2. Hi aman,

      I think i have answered how to go about your VI. Please feel free to post further queries.

      1. Bro , which program you going for? and What were your GRE and TOEFL SCORE ?
        Thanks for replying πŸ™‚

        1. Sorry i did’nt read your comment above and I was happy to see your reply so i asked my question πŸ˜› and bro do you think with 14 back logs i would make it ?:/ but i had no backlogs in my last year of degree as i was very serious i got 76% i as well in my 7th semester and now my 6 months training period is going on in an automobile industry πŸ™‚

          1. Hello Aman,

            Getting backlogs doesnt look good on one’s profile. But that doesnt mean that you can get your visa approved. However, no matter how high you say your undergrad percentage, they would ask “Do u have any backlogs?”. Be honest. Make sure you have convincing answer prepared for these questions,

            1. Why 14 backlogs?
            2. How do you think you will cope up with the studies there if you have backlogs here?

            I would suggest that you highlight that you have no backlogs in papers in your area of interest. The backlogs are in a different area and so you need not take that during your masters. Its just my suggestion. You can prepare a better answer too. please post your queries and i will try to reply to the best of my knowledge. Confidence plays a main role than your profile. So confidence is the key to get your visa approved.

          2. I am sry for a mistake in the above comment. “Getting backlogs doesnt look good on one’s profile. But that doesnt mean that you CANNOT get your visa approved.”

          3. First of all, I’m really really thankful to you bro for your reply.
            There are very few people who try to find time for others to help others. I guess may be that could be one of your good habit and god finally paid it by getting your visa approved.

            Secondly, I’m sorry for late reply as I was really busy with college viva’s and project reports.

            Let me come to my point now. Listen bro, first let me introduce you about me and my qualifications so you may get the idea about my present condition and will able to judge me properly and will suggest me best of your knowledge.

            I got 68% 10th class C.B.S.E
            80% in 12th Non-med C.B.S.E
            I’m doing B.tech mechanical engineering at Govt. college here in Punjab.
            I got 2 backlogs in 1st sem.
            1 in 2nd sem.
            3 in 3rd sem.
            4 in 4 sem.
            2 in 5th sem.
            1 in 6 th sem.
            none in 7th sem.
            final semester going on with one month left (It’s my 6 month training sem. jan-june , no exams just final report in the end whose final viva is on June 13,14 2011)
            13 in total and 1 internal

            Bro I know you are right and let me tell you my reason for it. Actually it’s not that I found those subjects difficult the one I didn’t pass , to be honest I live in different city as that of my college and I never lived away or studied away from my home so because of that I was very irregular at my classes and I didn’t take must tension about my exams either , to be honest I didn’t get much supervision or advices from anyone πŸ™ .
            I know its a lame excuse but bro trust me I’m very good at studied as well when it comes to my seriousness which came later and I have passed all my exams now with good exams as well.

            Plus brother I have following HSB for quite long time and I read some where that if I lie in VI about my backlogs , the VO’s will find out as they can check the DETAIL MARK SHEET OF EVERY SEMESTER WHICH HAVE YEAR AND MONTH printed the time it has issued and it’s true as well.

            For example- My first sem. DMC should have DEC’2007 PRINTED as my degree started in 2007 dec but as i got failed in 2 exams in 1st sem and i cleared it in 2011 it will be printed MAY 2011 instead of DEC 2007 (which is the regular time period to pass without back log so visa officer can figure it out ) and so on. πŸ™

            but if I lie and say i have for example 6 back logs 1 from each sem I have failed it won’t show coz 1 or 2 it does’nt matter it just will have the date month , the time it has been issued , i hope you are getting me.(It’s my thinking)

            and bro my degree is almost over now with 65%marks overall in august.
            and bro because of my backlogs I’m planning to do job.

            As I’m selected for KIRLOSKAR BANGALORE !

            Now comes my queries.
            Bro I have decided that I’ll do job for upcoming time (Starting from sept.) and side by side I’ll prepare for my GRE and TOEFL exams and near nov-dec, I’ll be done with them and we ll apply for my Visa.

            Is it Fine?
            Do you think I should go for job? or should just prepare for my exams? As many times I keep on hearing from employees of my present company (DCM ENGG. Products , A Foundry Industry ) where I am working for past 5 months doing my training period is that “you cannot study will once your into job” πŸ™

            I’m planing for job coz if visa officer will ask me I would have more positive answers as I’m working with MNC (IF THEY ASK ME WHAT WERE YOU DOING SINCE YOU HAVE PASSED OUT) and want to persecute my masters degree in USA .
            If they ask me why you want to study I”ll be like “AS i was working I found out my education has been saturated and my thirst for knowledge is more ” (its just in my mind i ll prepare better answer for that.)

            PLUS i ll tell them i ll be back and will work with RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TEAM of my present company (and i will also take written letter from my boss or some senior officers approval for it as well along with that my salary slips etc. as well )

            Please help , but for the loss i did in my past I’m sure I’ll make it as I am more dedicated now , as that bad time came up as a lesson for me to work hard in future and i actually learned a lot now.


            and lastly bro , I know it may be in your mind how will I study living aboard when I failed living in different city from where I had my college.
            Bro as I said now I’m mentally prepared for it now and to get something, to be something in your life you have to sacrifice . So thats all in my mind .
            Please do reply with your free mind and time.
            God Bless you !
            What ever is your mind please reply straight forwardly !

          4. Preparing for exams, making yourself free for 2-3 months will affect your profile as it will be considered that no useful work is done. These exams dont require you to prepare 24×7 and so you ll be fine preparing alongside your job. For the visa officer giving “MNC” and “come back and R&D” are two important words for rejection of a visa. So be careful about the answer regarding this. You might want to frame a better answer for “what will you do after MS?” I didnt not tell to lie to VO about you backlogs, as you said they will easily find out. I just said frame a convincing reply for “Why backlogs?”. Its not what you have got in papers but what you pull out of your mouth at that time is going to get your visa approved. Though the reply is short i think i have conveyed the required message. Please post if you are not clear about my suggestion.

          5. Thank you so much bro.
            Yes I will prepare for that answer as well , Visa Interview is a later on topic to be worry at . Presently I have to focus on my GRE and TOEFL exams .
            If you don’t mind Sir , I just want to ask your profile a bit more. Can you please tell me your courses you are doing masters in USA like any special section of mechanical engineering? and which university you studied in INDIA . If you have time please tell me your GRE preparation schedule or plan or some tricks please. If possible please suggest something that can help me now , I really want to study in USA and i will do every possible thing to make it . I just have one thing in my mind “IT’S NEVER TOO LATE” . I have that spark ,the ability , now to make my successful career .
            Please help !
            Many Thanks again for replying bro I really appreciate your suggestions.

          6. Hello Aman,

            Ur question requires detailed ans. Please drop me a mail @ urpalvenki at gmail.com and i will respond πŸ™‚

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