6 Lessons I Learned from My Student Visa Interview for University of Houston

First of all, I (HSB Reader) would like to thank Happy Schools Blog for being most helpful, right from the day I started thinking about giving my GRE to the day of my F1 Visa approval to Study in America.  This blog has educated me with highly informative articles on almost every topic possible relating to student visa interview questions, higher studies, test prep and travel. My hearty thanks to you.

The following is my visa experience along with the questions I was asked and tips for future student visa applicants based on my preparation and experience.

  • U.S. Consulate – Chennai.
  • F-1 Visa Status: Approved
  • For: University of Houston (Main campus), Texas, USA

Profile:

  • GRE: 1380
  • TOEFL: 110
  • CGPA: 8.4/10
  • Backlogs: None

6 F1 Visa Tips:

  1. Be confident
  2. Be yourself and do not change your English accents
  3. Eye contact with the VO is highly important
  4. Be very brief and concise with your answers (2-3 points per answer)
  5. Put a smile on your face while greeting the consular officer
  6. Never degrade your country, nor compare it with other countries

I finally reached the counter and was petrified to see two F1 applicants before me ‘rejected’ in short time.

I was thinking about the possible student visa questions and answers.

Consular Officer was an Indian American guy who never smiles. The guy looked annoyed and was barely receptive. Finally, came my turn.

Me: Good morning, sir (with a smile)
VO: Good morning (Of course, no smile)

VO: Why are you going to US?
Me: To pursue Masters in Computer Systems and Engineering

VO: Why did you choose the University of Houston?
Me: Thought he was asking about my course and I started explaining.. (VO interrupted)

VO: Did you hear my question? I asked about your school.
ME: Oh, sorry. The course content offered by this university is better. I also I’ve received a scholarship from this university.

VO: How much?
ME: Sir, $1000 scholarship plus instate tuition waiver.

VO: Can I see those papers?
ME: Sure, sir,  (gave him the scholarship letter)

VO: So which college did you study in?

ME: Told

VO: How much is your CGPA?
ME: 8.4

VO: Got any backlogs?
ME: No, sir

VO: What’s your father?
ME: Told

He was typing for some 10 seconds… Then came the Golden words..
VO: You will get your student visa in a week.
ME: Thank you sir.

That was pretty much of it. Be confident and be yourself. Maintain eye contact throughout and put a smile on you face. Good luck.

Next – Why do you want to study in this university in USA?

16 Comments

  1. Rai Sahib Verma on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Hloo Sir/Madam.
    I Rai Sahib Verma, i have done +2 in commerce stream in 2011and at present i am persuing B.com professional 2nd year.now i like to go to U.S for Undergraduate program.in Concordia University Wisconsin.
    Please tell me how can we prepare documents.
    how much funds can we show for usa F1 visa.



  2. Oseni babatunde on July 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    I really want to know if my SAT score which is 1150 will affect me during interview.thanks



    • Jeff on July 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      It won’t only if u pray to God for favor in the sight of the consular by the way I was not asked for any document at all



  3. Neeraj on July 2, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Hi,
    I scored around 1500 in my SAT, but I still got into a SUNY as they dont require the SAT scores for international students and consider my highschool transcripts and my TOEFL.

    I am going to have an interview this week, and the first question VO will ask is what’s my SAT score, what should I tell?
    Should I tell him I didn’t give SAT and went using my transcripts, or tell him my SAT score and tell him I didn’t use it, or should I simply tell him SAT score, that’s it.

    My SAT score is too low, I didn’t go prepares and this is why I am reluctant to show it off as he might think I am not a capable person…
    My TOEFL was 94.



  4. pankaj pandya on July 1, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    my daughter is doing master in pharmaceutical engineering in usa.she wanted to do ph.d. can she get green card after ph.d?



  5. avinash on July 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    hello sir,
    my name is avinash varma i completed my b-tech in EEE so i wanted to do in ms in USA , but wats the problem is i having backlogs of 10 so it will be any problem in visa interview plz help me out



  6. Naveen on June 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    hello sir,
    my name is Naveen i pursed my b.tech in computer science department. i want to do ms-in-us sir problem is i’m having 12 backlogs in engi. carrier it may effect me in visa time sir ?? i was worried in that and if i scored good marks in GRE & TOEFL it may help me sir ??



  7. Chikaodili on June 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    HI HSB, I HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED FOR AN INTERVIEW NEXT MONTH. I GOT ADMITTED FOR MASTERS. MY DAD IS A RETIREE AND HE IS IN TO A PRIVATE BUSINESS NOW. THOUGH STILL COMING UP. HOW DO I CONVINCE THE V.O THAT I INTEND TO WORK WHILE SCHOOLING TO ASSIST MYSELF?
    SECONDLY, THE SCHOOL WOVE GRE AND TOFEL FOR ME BECAUSE OF MY G.P, BUT FRIENDS HAVE ADVISED I STILL GO AHEAD TO WRITE GRE. ITS BEEN STRESSFUL FOR ME BECAUSE MY WORK TAKES A LOT OF MY TIME. PLEASE ADVISE ME?



  8. Karthik on June 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Hi,
    My Father is a private employee and doesn’t earn too much.
    His annual income is around 1,50,000 /- P.A and i don’t have another source of income.
    Will that be a cause for my VISA rejection ??
    How can i convince the V.O that i am capable of paying back the loan i am gonna take to pursue my higher studies ??
    Please Help Me. . !!



  9. RAGHU RAM on June 29, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    great job dude…………..,WISHING U FURTHER SUCCESS……..



    • Rangesh Ananthalwar Raghunathan on June 30, 2012 at 5:20 AM

      Thanks dude !! …and Good luck for your VI if you have not yet given one …

      – Rangesh



  10. ANIQUA JAFRI on June 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    hi HSB.

    I am very thankful to this blog for helping me during visa preparation.
    By going through each and every visa interview experience , help me learning do’s and don’ts.
    It help me a lot during my interview. and I got the visa for master studies on 26th June…
    GRE-288/340
    TOFEL-84/120
    GPA-3.04/4
    University- Texas woman’s university.



    • xyz on June 29, 2012 at 2:21 AM

      Hey Aniqua………..For which course you moving to TWU…I am also going to same university this Fall.



    • Manthan on June 30, 2012 at 3:42 AM

      Heyy,
      Can u briefly describe your Visa interview.It would b helpfull.



  11. vish on June 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    I absolutely love this point:
    Never degrade India nor compare it with other countries.

    Very simple, smart and sensible. Good work.



    • Rangesh Ananthalwar Raghunathan on June 30, 2012 at 5:15 AM

      Thanks mate …. I believe these tips will be of good use to u all …Wishing u Good luck …

      – Rangesh