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

Raghuram Sukumar F1 Visa

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


  • 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?