F1 Visa Interview Experiences

Students F1 Visa Rejected Twice for Spring 2012. What Can I Do?

Following F1 Visa interview experience is shared by Pavan (for Spring 2012).

Background: I have just finished bachelor of engineering in electronics and communication and have 62% with two backlogs which are cleared. I have a toefl of 98.
My Academy if New York Film Academy and I am going there for Master of Fine Arts.

First F1  Visa Interview was on Sept 26th, 2011 for Spring 2012 semester.

US Student Visa Interview

Me: Good Morning, Sir (With a smile)
VO: Good Morning, pass the documents please (Without a smile)

VO: Which school are you going to?
Me: New York Film Academy at LA

VO: What course are you going to?
ME: Master of Fine Arts
(VO types something for a while, few seconds)

Vo: Why did you select this school?
ME: Told three reasons out of which one I guess was a mistake, (I said the location California attracted me)

VO: Oh! Okay. If you wanna do Master of Finance, why did you apply to a film school?
(Doesnt look at my face at all, types something on the system)
Me: Sorry!!(Confused, my facial expression had already changed from smiley to an irritated face i guess, i dont actually remember)

VO: If you wanna do Master of Finance, why dint you apply to a Business School?
ME: Oh! Its Master of Fine Arts Sir, Fine Arts

VO: Oh!! Got it!! Got it! Okay!
(Looks at my face for 2 or 3 seconds and again Types something)

Vo: So have u acted before?
Me: Yes sir, I have been performing with a theater group for a long time now.

Vo: When does your school start?
Me: 12th of next month Sir

Vo: When did you complete you degree?
Me: One month back Sir, Actually two months back.

Vo: How much percentage have you got?
Me: 62% Sir

Vo: You have got only 62% here, what makes you think you will do well in US?
Me: Sir, I am very passionate about the craft sir, I am sure I will do well.

Vo: Sir, I do no think you are eligible for the non immigrant visa, please take your documents?
Me: Thank You, Sir and left

Second Student Visa Interview

This was the second interview on 7th of October

Me: Good morning, Sir (with a big smile again)
Vo: Good morning, Pass your documents

Me: Yeah, here you go sir..

Vo: So, Have you got US visa before?
Me: I had applied ten days ago and I was denied Sir.
(I was already nervous cos I wanted this so much and I think it was seen in my face)

Vo: Okay!! So, New York Film Academy? Right!!
Me: Exactly Sir!!

(This guy was looking very interested and staring at my face through the answers that I gave)

VO: So, who’s funding your education?
Me: My father Sir!
(I could have told my brother is also funding because he has a Minerals Firm)

VO: What does your dad do?
Me: He works for a Minister Sir

VO: What’s his post?
Me: He works as Official Assistant

VO: What’s his salary?
Me: 3.6 Lacs Sir. (We have a property that gives us a rent of 1 lac per year but I did not include this cos I did not have the rent agreement and the property was in my mom’s name)

VO: So, your I-20 shows $37k per year, I dont think he will be able to pay?
Me: Sir, He has made other arrangements. 5 Lacs comes from his PF and commutation, another 5 lacs comes from a part of his investment returns(I made mistakes here, I looked like I was trying to recall an answer), another 5 lacs comes from the loan. For the second year, We will be getting another 5 lacs from the investment, another 5 lacs will be liquidating the gold that we have, and 5 more lacs from loan.( I forgot to mention I have totally $10k Tuition Grant and I could have simple said 15lacs is in Savings Bank instead of all this)

VO: So, let me see? Your bachelor is in Engineering, Why are you switching over from engi to FIne Arts?
Me: Through my engi years, I started participating in the creative field and I started loving what I did. And then I started involving more and more in creative fields which made me incline towards Fine Arts more and hence there came a day when I was supposed to decide whether to go for a stable career or to go for something I love, and I decided to go for something that I loved the most.

VO: (Types something) I’m really sorry to give you this sheet sir, because your funds were not quite satisfying for me and I think you are short on funds.
Me: Sir, I have enough proof to show I have funds

Vo: No, its not entirely that, just go through this and I recommend you to wait for a while and see if your circumstances changes and then you are always welcomed to re apply

Me: Sir, does the school gives me extension, because it starts in 5 days?
Vo: I dont know much about the school. You will have to contact the school for that and see.

Me: Thank You, Sir. and I left

I looked a bit nervous I guess through out the interview because this was my second interview. In the first, I was not nervous but had I guess made an irritated face.
So, What can be done guys, anyone can help me out. I have already paid first sem tuition fee and will be asking for a refund in a couple of days. So, is it worth to give it a shot again guys or just quit. How will the third interview be? Will it be tougher and will they scrutinize every point of mine.

My agent had told me to be upto the point but I did not follow what ever she told. She took my interview but since i knew her, I was normal and more confident.

I came across this site recently. I guess I would have done well if I knew this site and had read the actual Visa Experiences. Anyway, please help me out and thank you HSB. Nice place to share our experiences.

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  1. I think obtaining F-! student visa is by the grace of the Living God.Even after u have done your preparation and paper work very well,you need the favour of God to speak for you before the VO.I hope veryone in this forum will learn to trust the Living God.

      1. True True True… even i was rejected for 2 times… hoping for the best in my 3 rd interview.
        Bt still i want God’s will in my Life !!!

  2. Hi,
    Sir can u please give me suggestions for applying it for 3rd time . that how can i convince VO for my mistake

    1. I havent been to a visa interview but will be applying for one very soon and from the info that i’ve got one needs to be confident and upto the point and dont needs to sound as if we are trying to convince the VO to give us a visa. from your interview it seems you went a bit over in explaining certain things keep that short the next time and hopefully you’ll get one and the most important believe in yourself.

    2. Ok first stop stop overdoing the “Sir” part at the interview. Say it once during the interview. Walk up to the VO and depending on the day just wish him or a simple “Hello” will suffice. I have been very fortunate to have travelled abroad and what I learnt is that it doesn’t matter that you have an Indian accent, what matters is how clearly you speak. Make sure its audible, slow and right to the point. Always observe that when he is interviewing someone before you he will definitely look at you and your body language. So if you are nervous and when you walk up to the VO looking extremely happy, he/she will get a bit taken aback by it. Also when the VO asks “How are you?” you could always say something like” I’m a bit nervous honestly but I’m trying to hold myself together” and you could further state that ” its not my chances of going to the US I’m tensed about, its the fact that I might miss out on a chance to good education” If the VO asks you to explain, just mention the fact that the University is a good place to study…Funding ofcourse is a tricky one. But one thing that could really help is liquid assets. They really don’t care about fixed assets. I mean they do look at it, but they want liquid cash cause liquid cash is assurance. FA needs to be converted and its not the easiest of things to do. Its not so simple to sell your land just cause you couldn’t afford it. Its a very lengthy process and the VOs know this. And please don’t suddenly put a large sum of money in your account..its a definite reject. They will check your transactions and they would have already decided not to give you. My reply is not just based on your situation, it is also for others to see as I to had the same curiosity. Believe it or not, the less desperate you seem, the more the chances of you getting it. And lastly, if they ask..” What do you plan on doing after your MS?” be frank. Say something like ” I respect the fact that I’m on a “student” VISA, and misusing this as a ticket to permanently settle in the US would be completely unacceptable to me. Also, this could affect my brothers/sisters chances of getting a VISA and I would never do that to them. ” By the way, whenever you know you’ll have to speak a little more that 2 to 3 sentences always ask them for a little bit of their time respectfully..Start off by sayin something like..” With your permission could I just explain myself” and then begin. So yea there are always a lot of factors, but be confident act like If it’ll be it’ll be or it won’t.. casually walk towards the line and know that what happens to the people ahead of you has nothing to do with you and this is none of your business. Usually he will make up your mind there itself.. Let him know honestly why you were rejected in the first interview when they ask it..try and come with a little bit of improvement to supprt your case like experience of somethin…

      1. Hope you get what you want man.. I just had my visa interview(good news).. If you want just post and I will share it..

  3. Hi,
    friends this is kiran, i have been rejected twice for f1 in the year july 2010.i have applied for ITU which is CA, i din’t change the university even while appearing for the second interview.but on the second interview i have lied that my percentage is 61. but actually it is 59%. now iam planning to apply for this spring 2012. i have 2 years of experience in software and 1 year in teaching field.
    pls friends give me the suggetions that how to speak and how to convince VO.

  4. Hi Pavan,
    Though I haven’t applied for F1 visa, what all I heard from friends is, if you have a bank loan (educational loan) ,90% of getting f1 visa is done. rest how you perform during the interview.
    Why don’t you try some bank for educational loan?

    1. Thank You buddy….I wont get a bank loan for my degree but we are trying to make it look like I have a loan….It will be genuine….No fakes at all…..Thanks buddy…That will ease my prob a little bit….

      1. Sorry to poke you guys but what I have noticed from other’s experiences is that the moment you speak about your loan amount, they will consider your loan as liability and can shift your application to insufficient assets or Potential Immegrant as they think you will be working in US for repayment of your loan.

  5. sir i got double drop in engineering,after second year and after third year also i have lots of backlogs during this years,but i still want to do ms in us,i had given old gre in july 11 2011 and got 610,i know this score is very bad,i am planning to give new gre in august 2012,and want to get admission in computer science,sir i request you to give suggestion for me regarding on my chances of getting admission with worst academic record also please reply me if this time i score good in gre and toffel,will they consider my application,also the final stage is getting visa,and getting admit from universities

  6. Hi am Vincent , i was denied F1 visa to US for my MS in Information system Management. I went for my VI on August 17 ,2011. VO gave me a document stating that am not eligible for visa under sec 214(b) . The interview went well and i answered him without any hesitation. After my interview i felt i dint say anything to the VO regarding the return. I think that could be the reason behind it .And one more reason is that i was not having GRE score card. The university which i opted issued me an I-20 with the IELTS and my Work experience certificates.I worked as a Software Engineer with a leading MNC for over 4.6 years. Now that i have taken my GRE and shall keep my scores ready at the time of my VI.Please guide me, if am anywhere wrong? Thanks …

    1. Vincent…Hi, I am the guy who was rejected in the above posts….
      You know, Americans are people, especially VOs, no matter what you do, for them, there is that one factor that always comes into play…something called ‘likability’…You have two chances to make yourself likeable.
      1st is look likeable. Dress up that way, and keep ur smile. But this factor just covers 20 on 100….Does not matter much but the first look will always give a head start…
      2nd They way you talk. If you are an outstanding speaker in public, it might help but doesnt get you through because they need respect and they deserve it.
      3rd Your record…Obviously, your record is very very likeable….So you need to present and talk the VO into it….
      Not that I am bragging but most of the times, many people say I have a gorgeous face for a boy….But I did not keep that constant smile in the first interview, while in the second interview, I was nervous because I wanted this so much and my dreams just broke. I’m in limbo right now….
      Well, you are on the right track but we cant think the way VO think. Just give it your best….Dont sound desperate and do not i stress do not make yourself feel that ‘you want it like hell’. This will probably make you nervous or make urself look fishy for VO….
      All the best….

  7. Really..??? From Engineering to Fine Arts..??? Well it happens at times but this looks suspicious even for me. What do you think the VO will think. If I was one, I would also regard you as intending immigrant.. Wish you all the best in your next try…

    1. Hahahaha…Thanks Dennis but changing my course does not I an intend to stay there forever. Hollywood is something I love, Yeah but I am going there was that incredible, priceless training. What chance do I have in making it big in a country filled with creatively immensely strong people. I have a better chance here. Frankly, I could have cracked GRE just like that and got into a good University. I did not….And I have been working with the craft and performing for a long time now….So, it is evident that I am changing to something that I have done before….
      But thanks anyway…. πŸ™‚

      1. Hey pavan, i am sorry to say that you have committed very big mistakes in your 1st interview. It shows that you might have appeared for it without any preparation. The mistakes in chronological order,which i think made you lose your chance..
        1. California
        2. Taking arts as a course ( you know there is perception that people prefer arts degrees as fee is low in comparison to science or eng)
        3. There is lot of confusion in financial revelations. (you have to open up in your reasons)

        Anyway, don’t lose hope bro!

        1. Hey Revanth….
          Its not just Arts…Its Fine Arts….There is extreme difference between the two…Fine Arts is one of the toughest and hardest degree to get into and the fee is sometimes much higher than engineering or science degree…..

          1. Hi Pavan. Most people aren’t familiar with degrees in art. For the VO the title “Fine Arts” doesn’t make it any more special. At least you should specify what specialty you are seeking (Film, Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Design, Acting, etc). You have to be as specific as possible. You say you love Fine Arts but didn’t really specify what your goal in life was. What do you want to do after you graduate? Make sure you mention some job you would love to have some day in your country.
            Also, a lot people tell you to smile all the time. You have to act natural. Imagine if you were a VO officer and the guy you interview is smiling 100% of the time. That would also look suspicious. Being likeable doesn’t mean to be overacting.

  8. Your first interview was pretty good not bad. But in the second interview the main reason for your rejection is your financial status. Now as the Visa officer told you that you should have changes in the next attempt you do when you re-apply. Improve your financials and the most pobable, and most probable question next time will be what is the change you have bought. So, say that now I am with better financials.
    This is what I can suggest you.

  9. I would like to thank all the others who have tried to come up with their advices….
    And I am not going to USA just because I want to do my higher studies or just because I want to go to USA.
    @Rakib : So there are two things I can possibly tell. Changing my branch or field at the next interview will put me in a greater abyss than what I am in now because they will surely think of me as a potential immigrant and I am not clear with my aim.
    Secondly, it was my passion ever since but as I said certain things did not allow me to take it up intially. And training in acting i guess its best in USA.

    And someone said I did a blunder by changing my branch from B.E. to MFA. Well life isn’t about being right always is it. I made a blunder by taking up B.E. though I knew I was extremely good creatively than technically though 62% is quite some percentage in my university and at some point of time you always realize what you want and thats what I did….I dont have to change my branch just because of a visa officer…..

    Next time my answer to my financials will be this. First is we have paid 5 lacs to University already and another 10 lacs is in the bank account. My dad also has another 20 lacs in cash in his FD which is accounted for but dates back a long time. It is not possible for me to get an education loan because mine’s MFA. So we will be taking another 20 lacs loan pledging our FD which is possible and during the interview this will be my answer.
    “My dad has 10 lacs in his savings, another 5 lacs is grant and I have another 20 lacs loan” If asked, I can show the loan entry in the passbook. And for a backup, I will be taking a letter from a movie production agency that they are ready to fund one year of my college fee, but I will not be using a single penny from them cos I will have to sign a contract.
    So will this do well guys. HSB. Will this look strong…..Sorry for the long reply….though…

    1. @Pavan: I guess you are heading for another disaster. Your sources of funds seem to lack guarantee of existence even though they may be available. they are well wishes. taking a letter from a movie production for a one year sponsorship is getting the whole thing messy. I guess you should give it a try if that’s the only option left. If you were in my country I would have known what to tell you. But the clims are different and so is the deal.

  10. He doesn’t seem to have scored 98 in TOEFL. He has made many mistakes in this article itself.
    He is a fool.

    1. Making mistakes in writing blog post vs TOEFL are two different things. Nobody is a fool just because mistakes are made while typing.

      Why don’t you first define fool, then we can extend the discussion from there and relate how making mistake in writing relates to being a fool.

      1. HSB…Thank You for backing me up…
        @Vignesh Thank you for making me realize that I have made mistakes. Then I will take up some english writing classes and post when I am at your level….Fools right, we do not understand…. πŸ™ what can be done….

        1. @Pavan
          There are lot of ‘Vignesh’ in this forum buddy. I was not the one who commented on that post. I guess you mentioned the wrong person.

          Anyway I wish you the best of luck in your life πŸ™‚

          1. Hahaha….The thing is I have replied to the comment here…so it is obvious that the vignesh that wrote the comment will be offended and the vignesh that did not comment doesnt have to get offended….Sorry if I offended you and thanks….

          2. No I meant that by using “@” you referred to my profile and I got a notification that you mentioned me. So I was a bit surprised because I never commented anything here!
            Anyway no worries now! Take care.

    2. dude the basic purpose of writing blog is to make others know one’s point,,,,not to get a good score,,,,,,,and never judge a book by its cover,,,,

  11. I could find myself in a similar situation in the near future and am rather nervous. I must confess i have never faired well in basic interviews though am a performer. i hate to lie and i realise sometimes one has to tell simple lies to pass. i generally do not know how best i can be prepared….God will pave a way

  12. I would say u should sort out your financial first. Show the funds from one or two sources (your brother and father) and then back it up with clean financial documents showing those amounts. You might also seriously think of changing your major to Engineering or Information Technology or MBA that would make your case more acceptable to the VO – fine arts is an about-turn from your current academic background and it obviously draws attention – the key is to keep your case as standard as possible and less you have to explain the better. Hope this helps. – Rakib

  13. To be frank I believe you should have taken those practice interviews more seriously… But if you are really passionate about it then wait for a year and re apply.. Just make sure your financial documents are very well prepared the next time, for I see it as the main reason for the denial.. apart from that work for a year which will add experience to your resume thereby making it sronger..

  14. The biggest blunder that guy committed was switching tracks from B.Tech. to Masters in Fine Arts.
    That is all.

      1. Dude….How many times will you type the same statement….You have made your statement and thats enough, you dont have to copy paste the same again and again trying to prove your english is better than everyone else’s here….People make mistakes while typing because they do not notice the mistake again when they are editing the post….I guess you are from shakespeare’s family….Look at yourself…Pathetic….

      2. Vignesh seems to be the literature guardian here. dude what’s with u & TOEFL? didnt u score well either so u have to pull down everybody else?? sorry, couldnt help not commenting, u r really the irritating type!

        @pavan: i appreciate that u have the guts 2 chase ur dreams. most of us are chickens who stick to the flow rather than reach out for our dreams. I’m sure u will do well b’coz u are pursuing something u like. Dont give up, dont change ur field or whatever. Stick to it. Sincerity & perseverance pays. Goodluck! πŸ™‚

  15. I feel you simply messed up on funding. You somehow told about 25 Lacs (less than your 2 year I20) coming from 5 different sources and by the time you do this, you would have lost VOs interest.

    I am not picking on you, but you should have been more prepared for this question.

    1. Actually I had prepared the answer that way. I thought mentioning the sources would sound more genuine….but I did not know this would happen….By the way my batch was in October…I have deferred to Jan, 2012…
      How do you think my answer should be next time?

      1. First of all Pavan, don’t get depressed! Try all your best again!

        In your first interview, your academic percentage was VOs point? Did you write any tests? GRE?

        In the second interview, you messed up really. Take it in the chin. Prepare your financial docs carefully. Consult with any CA. I don’t think you will be having financial problems as your father works in the ministry. We know, but VO need not. So make him aware. Be precise also. Did you get any educational loan? Why is only 5 lakh loan? You did not say about aid!! You realized your mistakes. You wish to be a actor. You could have done well. As HSB said, take this as an exam. Never go to any exam without even a small preparation.

        For VI generally, there are three factors. As in your case, 1) Academics 2) Financials 3) Home ties. In the first VI, academics turned you down. In the 2nd, the VO was very concerned, but again Financials turned you down. Prepare for the worst in the 3rd VI, hope for the best!!

        1. Hey

          I have done B.tech in ECE and going to RIT,NY for MS Finance. And my VISA has been denied twice.
          What would you suggest is it worth giving third try or I should look for some other country for next session?

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