> Following F1 Visa interview tips was shared by Chetan.
I got my visa today. It was a breeze and I feel there’s little use in sharing my experience but here are some tips to ease tensions a bit. (this is going to be one long post).
First things first, this is an overhyped interview. They issue you the visa if you are honest; look and sound confident. They want to know who you are, what you want to do and intentions while in U.S.A like HSB recently tweeted.
Prepare your own answers in 1 or 2 sentences for few common questions like –
- Why the U.S? why not India, Europe?
- Why did you choose this univeristy among the other admits?
- What do you want to do after M.S?
- How do you plan to fund your education? (There is absolutely no need to show astronomical figures in bank. Liquid cash for 1st year and some plan like loan for second year. Sound confident. Do not be in a hurry and show your bank statements or CA statements unless asked for)
- Will you return to India after Master’s?
- A. YES. Just say yes I would. Cut it there. Do not go on telling him stories of how companies like XYZ are investing so much and it will help u etc etc…elaborate it only if asked. Don’t try too hard to convince him. Short confident answers will do the job. Remember they are like high level HRs taking the interviews. With their experience, they have the ability to read and assess you in a minute.
- etc//. Do your homework
Listen to the question properly and think for a second before answering. Don’t be in any sort of a hurry to start your answer the moment he ends the question.
If you take that little pause, you will know what exactly is being asked and will answer accordingly. Otherwise the answer may turn out to be vague or irrelevant.
F1 Visa Interview Tips
Consulates Doesn’t Matter
Don’t worry if you are attending interview at Mumbai consulate. It doesn’t matter which consulate.
All that matters is how well you answer. They have been rejecting quite a bit but don’t let that fear suck you in.
What happens at the most? They will reject you. Anything else? Apply again.
If it’s the second time already, still it’s okay.
There are plenty of opportunities in other countries and in India. When the fear of reject doesn’t come into the picture, there is no place for anxiety and you’d be calm and confident.
Luck is a factor but not the only factor.
99% of the factors are in our control and don’t mess it up there.
Have a cool mind. I have seen people shivering literally.
How can one expect to answer properly in such a state of mind?
Remove the fear of a reject totally. When the univ gives us admission, when we want to study, when we have funds ready, there is no reason why we’d be rejected unless we mess it up ourselves by fumbling too much.
Will You Come Back
Will he believe when I say I want to come back? Answer is no.
He won’t. but sound confident about your plans if asked.
“There is absolutely nothing you can do to prove that you’d return”.
If a country is against immigrants, it will not believe people on word on the basis of a 1 minute interview.
This is all a trap and a good reason for them to reject applicants. If they want, they can kick us out soon after our graduation ceremony. They wouldn’t offer us OPT’s of 12 months (extended to 24 now) and give us options.
Basically what I want to convey is U.S needs us more than we need U.S. Let us look at it from a different perspective now. After providing world class infrastructure for research, will they willingly allow us to go back, work in home countries and become a competition to them inturn?
No. Surely not. They are looking to filter and take the best brains from all the countries.
This filtering is done from the visa stage as I see. Who is a potential immigrant and who is not? How can it be decided in a few seconds? Don’t try too hard to convince him here. If he has decided to give you that potential immigrant slip, no amount of explanation would convince him.
U.S. Visa Rejection Reasons
Now you may ask why and when he gives this slip. As per my understanding, he uses this tool to remove people who he thinks are false, people who lie, who can fabricate, who can cheat. Many good applicants fumble, confuse, shiver which should be avoided at all costs!
A little of that is expected and VOs understand it – they are humans too. But too much of it won’t help for sure.
I saw a guy today worrying about what he should say if the VO asks his name!
His worry was that his name on i20 is a little different tthe han passport. How does it matter if I say Gudepu sai chetan or sai chetan gudepu!!
Too much worry will lead to nothing.
Conclusion is – Avoiding 214b is almost entirely in our hands.
Don’t try to be brilliant in that 3 minutes.
Don’t try to be brilliant in that 3 minutes.
Can we change our gre score? GPA? Univ?
Nothing! Take a deep breath and Just be yourself. Look into his eyes deeply and answer but don’t try to interpret his expressions.
Don’t start thinking that he’d issue the visa or reject you. HE should analyze YOU and not the other way round! Forget about the result and talk freely.
Be crisp with the answers
Be crisp with the answers. When he asks why this univ? don’t go on explaining with too many technical terms. He may be an arts grad or a psychology or a political science grad. Explain in words that he can understand!
To those going to not so good univs; VOs don’t care where we are going.
They are just there to make sure that we atleast know why we chose that univ.
I have come across terms like ‘visa rating for so and so univ’.
Trust me, there’s nothing like that! If it’s not a ranked univ, expect some grilling and prepare accordingly. Search for USPs of the univ or course there.
Did Consultant Fill Your DS160
If he asks whether consultant filled up DS160, blindly say NO (even if you went to one).
Don’t try to convince him by giving proofs.
I read that a guy memorized his IP address and told the VO to crosscheck with his DS160 IP address.
Will anyone ever by heart the IP add’?
Is it a part of interview preparation?
Such things will obviously lead to further questions.
Don’t complicate things. Just stick to a confident NO.
If he keeps repeating the same question, you could probably tell him you have nothing to hide and can answer any question from the DS 160.
Visa Interview Counter Numbers
There is nothing to worry about specific counter no’s or specific VOs in any consulate.
As soon as you walk to the counter, by looking at you, no one will decide whether or not to issue the visa.
They are not so unfair.
The initial impression you make will be the most important.
Face the interview confidently. The way you walk to the counter and greet him itself will speak volumes.
Black Listed Universities?
Consulate is not against RIT or UTA or NEU or SJSU. Don’t let all these things take a toll on your performance!
There are exceptions as always. Few of them with perfect answers also get rejects. But such cases will be through in the second attempt without doubt. It’s for our own good that we forget such cases. Take as little pressure as possible. Don’t bother about luck, officer’s mood etc which are not in our control.
To sum it up –
- Fact #1 : You want to study, you got admission, you have funds. There is no reason to worry about anything.
- Fact #2 : U.S needs you more than you need U.S A. We have an upper hand! So don’t go with a fear whether he’d find you good enough or not. Don’t underestimate yourself. Go confidently. Go like a brave soldier not like a wounded one.
We deserve a visa.
The only reason we fumble and get tensed is that we feel something is lacking in us and try to convince visa officer on that.
Do not do that.
This is not a professional job interview where you’d be tested on the subject matter. These are questions even a 10th standard guy can answer casually. So don’t lose your sleep over it. Let us break this hype.
When we do that, automatically the anxiety, tension, euphoria surrounding will vanish. ATB!
P.S: These are entirely my personal views. I’d be happy to know what you think!