Two Undergraduate F1 Visa Interviews – 3 Lessons Learned

Here’s two undergraduate F-1 Visa Interview Experience as shared by the two students who attended visa interview in recent weeks. And there’s an interesting statement at the end of the second visa experience. The majority of the reader would overlook that, but it contains the key to your F1 Visa approval.

Students who submitted the following experiences specifically requested these to be shared since they couldn’t find meaningful F-1 student visa interview experiences to learn from.

Experience 1:

  • U.S. Embassy in Nepal
  • Bachelor’s in Computer Science
  • Visa: Approved

Experience 2:

  • U.S. Consulate in Chennai
  • Bachelor’s in Software Engineering
  • Visa: Approved

There are several Under Graduate F1 Experiences shared by the readers here at Happ Schools

But, Visa Officers (VO) tend to get surprised when they see someone walk-in for the interview for Bachelors Degree.

F1 Visa Experience – Bachelors in Computer Science

8:00 AM

I had an interview at 9:20 at U.S. Embassy in Nepal. So I woke up had a light breakfast and went to U.S. Embassy for my student F-1 Visa interview. I reached the embassy at 8 AM.

There were lots of people waiting outside the embassy, and the guards were letting the people inside the embassy if their interview is within 15 minutes. People were going in coming out of the Embassy, but I was focused on my interview.

9:18 AM

I checked the clock, and it was 9:18 AM. I slowly walked towards the security guard. I  showed my appointment cconfirmation page and I was asked to join the slow moving line

I was taking long deep breaths, and it helped me calm down, and my brain was just saying “You can do it.”

After that went to the hall and there it was people giving the interview. Some folks got their U.S. visa approved and looked happy, and others walked way with faces with yellow paper. But I didn’t care about that did not focus on what was going around.

Now it was my turn to go. Took few long breath and there it was counter number 7.

VO: Congratulations I’m issuing you a visa. The girl went with a happy face, and it was my turn.
Me: Namaste sir. How are you?

VO: Namaste good. Hand me your passport I20 and your transcript.
Me: Sure. Here it is (smiling)(had no fears)

VO: (looking at me) So any other universities?
Me: Yes sir. Ohio Valley University.

VO: So you got admitted there?
Me: (My mind was saying yes but I don’t know all of a sudden) No sir, I haven’t received their I-20 yet.(wtf did I say omg)

VO: umm okay.
VO: So what will you do with this……
Me: Pardon me, sir, can you repeat that question again?

VO: What will you do with this degree?
Me: (Smiling) Sir, I come from a computer science background, and I want to study computer science. With this degree, I want to upgrade the e-commerce of Nepal as it is only limited to people out there. Only a few people in Kathmandu and Lalitpur have access to it.

VO: (typing) Umm okay. (acting weird) Is their anyone in the U.S.?
Me: Yes sir my brother is there currently doing his Masters Degree.
VO: Where did he complete his bachelors?
Me: China sir.

VO: Cool! So how will your family manage both of your expanses?
Me: He is currently in his last semester and all his expanses are paid off that’s why I’m applying for my undergraduate.

VO: (he was typing and stopped here)(looking at me) Income?
Me: (Smiling) 33 thousand dollars sir.

VO: Bank balance?
Me: (Smiling) 53 thousand dollars sir.

VO: Okay all good. Congratulations boy, I’m issuing your visa. Stay on campus don’t go anywhere and study well okay. (pointing me to counter 11)
Me: Thank you, sir. Have a nice day.
VO: You too young man.

Now here’s what I learned:

No matter how good your academic is, how good scholarship you have all that it matters is how you perform in the interview. I have seen people with full scholarship rejected and people with backlogs and gap getting their visa. Here are some tips for you guys who will be giving their interview soon.

  1. Be confident and smile. Yes, If you smile they will think that you’re a good student and confidence in your face also shows that you are.
  2. Make your answers more personal rather than making it professional. Example: Instead of “This university has the top professor. Dr. XX and Dr.YY who were awarded best professors of the year”, go with “I was impressed by this university as it has high skilled professors Dr.XX with whom I want to learn more from, He is such a great professor”.
  3. Find answers within you. Ask yourself what you want to do with this degree what changes you want to do, what more facilities will you get from it etc. etc.

I hope it helps you. Best of luck for your student visa interview.

Let’s look at the second F-1 Visa Interview now. Shall we?

F1 Visa Experience – Bachelors in Software Engineering

  • Consulate: Chennai
  • Course: BS in Software Engineering
  • University: San Jose state University.

Me: Good Morning mam.
VO:Good Morning give me your I-20 and passport.
VO: When did you graduate.
Me: Mam, I’m going for (interrupted)

VO: Oh you are going for your undergraduate, it’s quite unusual. Tell me why you are going for Bachelors than Masters.
Me: Mam so that I’ll get more learning opportunities that students are going for Master’s and USA has a practical education curriculum which I’m interested in.

VO: What are the universities you applied to.
Me: San Jose state University, University of California Riverside, Florida International University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California Santa Barbara.

VO: How many admits?
Me: UCR, SJSU, FIU

VO: Why you chose SJSU that the other two.
Me: SJSU offers Software Engineering program which I passionately want to pursue, the other two universities did not offer this program.

VO: Who’s your Sponsor?
Me: My parent’s

VO: What does your father do?
Me: Both my parents are agriculturist.

VO: Can you produce the financial documents.
Me: Gave them

VO: Oh you’ve got an education loan.
Me: Yes mam for 20lakhs.

VO: Went through all the documents I gave and was typing for 30 seconds.
Me: Was eagerly waiting for the decision.

VO: You’re visa is approved here are you’re documents.
Me: That’s it, mam

VO: Yeah that’s it you’ll get your passport in 2-5 days.
Me: Thank You, mam.

I thought that the process would be more difficult but my appointment time was on 10:00 am and I reached there by 8:50 am and followed a line and after a lot of formalities I had my interview on 9:50 am. I was out of the consulate at 10:00 am. It was very smooth and easier that I expected. My SAT score is low, but my SAT score was not asked. None of my academic documents were asked.

Undergraduate Visa Interview Experience: Comments

As you can see, there’s nothing fancy with these two undergraduate F1 Visa interview. But, if you take a deeper look, you will know that this was not a walk in the park kind of interview. For example, read the following visa interview:

VO: Good morning! How are you doing?
Me: Good morning sir, I’m doing great.
Me: Sir, with your permission, I’d like to say something.
VO: Typed something and said go ahead.
Me: Sir, I don’t need a VISA.
VO: Typed something again and said, your visa is approved. Good luck in the United States.

But the undergraduate F1 Visa interview experience did not have anything as crazy as this “Don’t give me Visa” kind of drama.

When you read F1 Visa interview experiences online, they don’t convey emotions or show the student’s personality or tone of their answers. 

Without that, all the experiences look the same – dull, monotonous and uninteresting.

What else did you notice from the experiences?

Both student visa interviews followed the same pattern and order of questions:

  • Academics
  • Student’s intent
  • Followed by Finance.

That’s pretty standard student visa interview flow. Right? You must have read 100’s of interview experiences. The question you need to ask, “Why do some interview have this standard flow, whereas another start with finance as the first set of questions.”

Think. Take a Guess. Tell me in the comments section below.

I started this article mentioning abut an interesting statement that is often overlooked by a causal reader ( and 99.8% of those preparing for F-1 Visa). Can you guess that as well?

Here’s the statement “None of my academic documents were asked.”

I will let you wonder why that’s an interesting statement, which is often overlooked and it has the key for your visa approval.

 

10 Comments

  1. Rashid Ahamed on March 28, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    Hello! I got admitted to MSU for bachelors of computer science.My father is my sponsor.should I submit his 6 months’ turnover bank statement for F1 visa interview? or just fixed deposit statement is enough?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on March 30, 2018 at 7:59 AM

      Depends on how are you planning to show in FD’s.

  2. Utsuk Paudayal on December 19, 2017 at 7:21 AM

    I’m going for my F1 visa interview on coming Friday , i.e., on 22nd of December and all i want to know is that what can be done in Nepal after graduation having major Biology/Biological Sciences ?

  3. shelmith on July 29, 2017 at 5:50 AM

    Am going for my interview on Tuesday but its a community college, I hoping there will give me

    • Oscar jones on December 5, 2017 at 5:48 AM

      How did your interview turn ut? I am also going for f1 for community college

  4. SUSMA PANDIT on April 2, 2017 at 10:17 PM

    sir, i was rejected once and i am reapplying i have applied for the same college does it affect? and my sponsor is not my parents rather a non-profit organization of USA who is going to cover all my expenses? PLEASE SUGGEST SOME USEFUL TIPS.

    • Raghu on April 17, 2017 at 11:29 AM

      If you have previous rejection, you have like 30% approval rate. So, for complete analysis, sign-up for F1 Rejection Review and we can discuss the options and chances of approvals.

  5. ravi on August 12, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    sir I have applied for mba at United state university after bachelor of arts a three year degree. I m free from last three years. I don’t have any work experience. how I will clear this point to visa officer

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 13, 2016 at 8:47 AM

      IT doesn’t affect Visa.

  6. Jay on August 3, 2016 at 2:52 AM

    This questionnaire part is really helpful for every student. Such a brilliant idea to share those students experience.
    Thanks.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.