usa visa officer
F1 Visa Interview Experiences

US Visa Officers Are Utterly Biased and Least Concerned with Student Hardships

Following F1 Visa interview experience and view about US Visa was submitted by Aditya. You will understand why he’s frustrated, only if you read the F1 visa Interview.

My profile: TOEFL iBT- 112

  • SAT I- 2380
  • SAT II Physics- 800
  • SAT II Mathematics (Level I)- 800
  • SAT II Mathematics (Level II)- 790.
  • Passed senior school in 2012.
  • Interview date- 16/05/2013

F1 Visa Interview  for Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering

Me- Good morning sir! How are you doing today?
Consular Officer- Morning. I’m doing well. Pass me your documents. *passed the documents*

Consular Officer- Which course are you planning to pursue?
Me- BS in Mechanical Engineering.
Consular Officer- What’s the name of the school?
Me- School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania.

Consular Officer- Did you apply to other universities?
Me- Yes, I did.

Consular Officer- Which ones?
Me- Cornell University, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Duke University and Georgia Institute of Technology.

Consular Officer- Ah! I see. So did you have a look at the research department of your school.
Me- Yes, I did sir.

USA Visa Officer- Tell me something about it and what made you think of taking up mechanical engineering as a major?
Me- Sir, mechanical engineering is one of those professions in which knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences is gained by study, experience and practice is applied with judgement to develop ways to utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind. So this happens to be the reason of my inclination to take up Mechanical Engineering as a calling.
As far as the research department is concerned, a wide variety of research and technical service projects are being carried out by the faculty. Current projects include- Applications of new materials and fabrication techniques, state-of-the-art materials testing systems, bio-fuels production processes and bio-fuel properties and Computational fluid dynamics.

Consular Officer- You seem to have done loads of R&D I must say. You’ve applied before as well for the F1 Visa. Am I right?
Me- Yes sir.

Officer types on the computer for 2-3 minutes.
Consular Officer- Well Aditya… I’m afraid I cannot issue you a F-1 Visa this time despite the fact there are some phenomenal changes in your profile.

Me- But what’s the reason, sir?
Consular Officer- I’m really sorry but the US Embassy or Consulates do not give any reasons for it’s approval or rejections of the visa applications.

Me- Sir, one year of my career has already gone awry because of the earlier denial and now my two years of my career will be spoiled for no good reason. Moreover no university will accept me now because of this 2 year gap. I implore you sir please approve my application.

Consular Officer- Well I’m really sorry for the incommodiousness and discomfort but there’s nothing really I can do about this. I’ve to work in accordance with the rules and regulations set up by the U.S. Department of State.

Me- I really cannot see an eye-to-eye with this preposterous US visa system, sir.. Your adjudications are utterly biased and least concerned with the ordeals and hardships a person has to suffer.

US Visa Officer- You really seem to be frustrated at the moment. You may leave. Thank you and good luck.

Me- Thank you so much.

US Visa Officer to Blame?

Always, almost always, when USA visa rejected, students find fault with US Visa officers. I understand that, its a long, hard process just to get to F1 Visa stage.

Think about your body language, answers to your questions and try to understand what could have been went wrong. Also, think from visa officers perspective.

Think several times before blaming US visa officer for F1 Visa rejections. They are doing their job. Its their job to admit only qualified students. During that process, they might reject qualified students as well. But, only the visa officer can decide what was wrong with your interview.

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  1. What the **** !! This guy scored perfect scores in all of his tests, and yet he’s rejected? As far as I can guess, his app has a huge snag he apparently overlooked. Its quite hard to reject a perfect applicant like that. There simply HAS to be a major mistake that the applicant does not know about. Not boasting or anything, but the VO issued me a visa for my Bachelors quite comfortably, even when I had a 1900 SAT, and a 110 TOEFL…..A tip for anyone who’s reading this : VOs aren’t patient enough to hear all our stories about why we chose a particular university or our majors too, they’re just interested in how we communicate with them. Don’t try to be too cocky, and don’t be too humble either. Speak with confidence, and try to prove your point using speech, instead of bringing too many documents to prove it, which will obviously irk the VO, and will likely affect his decision. Stay cool, and good luck!

  2. I think this guy has not mentioned why he was refused earlier – what went wrong earlier, and this time his rigid attitude again make him futile, he seems to be over qualified and wasted more then a year behind this; better he should have some backup like Canada, Australia, Germany.

  3. I feel the more likely reason his visa got rejected is because he is a undergrad.
    Its difficult to get visa for undergrads. They are potentially high immigrants.
    His answer for “why study mechanical engineering” though monotonous wouldn’t matter that much…not every1 is passionate about studying a subject from childhood.

    I feel the decision was made beforehand, interview was just a formality. The reason could either immigration or something else. Nothing to do with the interview

  4. I do feel for you, young man, and it is difficult to make out why your visa application was rejected. There are somethings I would have done differently. Your answer to the question on U Penn sounds like something you memorized and regurgitated without thinking. Visa Officers are not scientists or engineers. Speak to them in plain English. An expression like, ” So this happens to be the reason of my inclination to take up Mechanical Engineering as a calling” is not only bad English, but also sounds false and artificial. If you had said U Penn is not just prestigious, but one out of every 50 engineers in the US has done his or her BE at Penn, that the research done in composite materials is of great interest to a country like India with its enormous infrastructure development needs, or that the developments in bio-fuels research is of immediate relevance to an energy deficit country like India, your listener is more likely to understand you. And mentioning how your studies will translate into immediate applications in India will also reassure the VO that you intend to come back and use your knowledge in your home country.
    You must also learn to express yourself courteously: “What is the reason for your decision?” is not going to get you very far. If you had said something like, “Sir, if you don’t mind, could you please tell me what I am doing wrong. Did I make some terrible mistake?” you may not have antagonized him. You may still have got the standard rehearsed answer that they are taught to give, but you may not at least have been flagged for the next time.

    But wasting a year hoping for a favorable response from the US Immigration certainly does not seem wise. Your scores indicate that you could easily have gotten into an IIT or an NIT or other excellent engineering schools in India. If you were particular about pursuing your Bachelor’s Degree abroad, you should certainly have also considered UK, Germany or Australia as a back up..
    Finally, I can understand your frustration and anger (I have also done my share of yelling at bureaucrats in my youth), but the moment you lose your temper, you lose the fight.

  5. I think the reason behind his rejection is, the answer to why he choose mechanical engineer seems very monotonous and memorized. Had he told that it has been his passion from childhood and how he always admired the machines. There could have been chances of getting selected. I think USA looks for passion and interest of students before giving them Visa.

  6. Can’t figure out what went wrong with this guy. Great scores and the answers seem OK at least. Raghu Sir, please elaborate upon background checks and personality issues.

  7. This is unbelievable. He’s maxed out every single test, got admit to an ivy and the interview answers are reasonable. I assume all the documentation would be right the second time around. What could have possibly gone wrong?

    1. You are reading what he has shared. You don’t know about the back ground checks and personality and maybe attitude. I could be wrong. But can’t conclude just with written words.

      1. Three issues-
        1)Pursuing Bachelors degree. Chances of visa approval are lowest for Bachelors.
        2) Answer to the point- Saying the definition of Mechanical engineering is irrelevant. Officer wanted to know the reasoning behind pursuing mechanical engineering. While its hard to think it through at age 18, one must provide logical explanation. Saying something like I like working with machines, like the technology want to explore this field and find my specialization as I progress in the program and global education is helpful etc.
        3) Not providing information relevant to student’s area.- Thousands of projects going in the department but what the student will like to learn for his own well being is important and saying that is important.
        Overall, my assessment is that the student was not prepared. The answers only ‘looked’ right. But more over felt like just bunch of words that didn’t impress the officer. Remember the burden to convince the officer is highest for student going for bachelors as they don’t have much idea about the future and that put them in tough spot. Hence having a solid plan is important.
        Remedy- Just preparing for another interview as I mentioned. He will get through this time. Good luck to the student. 😉
        -Rohan Jadhav

      2. Yeah, this guy obviously has something he’s not telling us. Or maybe he’s just plain unlucky. The fact that he’s been rejected multiple times (and the visa officer said “phenomenal changes in your application” makes it pretty obvious that there’s something shady going on.

        Use Occam’s razor: If there are multiple alternate hypotheses, choose the one with the fewest number of assumptions.

        A) There’s US Visa officers are engaged in a vast conspiracy to deny Aditya (my name too, heh) a chance to come to the US

        B)There’s something in his application that’s a red flag that he’s not telling us about.

        What’s more likely?

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