This is How Visa Officers Make Decision in Few Minutes of Interview

Raghuram Sukumar F1 Visa 13 Comments

We have seen so many comments and complaints from folks who have Visa Rejected.

How can USA Visa Officers decide on a person within few minutes or seconds without even looking at documents?

I’m sure there  several others who wants to know the answer. I was able to find Official Answer (from US Embassy Site) for the same question.

How Visa Officers Make Decision

We schedule 150 – 200 NIV appointments per day.  Given this volume, officers have to get right to the point and make a decision quickly – no time for small talk.  Their questions are carefully honed to get the information they need in the shortest amount of time.

Most of the work of processing a visa is done before the interview even starts:  we verify the applicant’s identity, enter their biographic data into our system, take fingerprints, analyze biometric data, conduct security checks, screen required documents, and more.

While applicants are waiting in the waiting room, we are busy working on their visa applications.  Applicants think that decisions are based solely on the 5-minute interview with an officer, but in fact, here in Kenya, the decision to issue or refuse a visa is only made after a team of 15 people have scrutinized the application for about two hours.

Why Not Looking at Documents

Document fraud is rampant in Kenya so we cannot rely on local documents.  Rather than trying to sort out the good documents from the bad, officers base their decisions more on applicants’ answers to their questions than on any documents they might present.In almost all cases, the officer can make a determination based on the information provided by the applicant in the application form and during the interview.

Even though above text is from US Embassy in Kenya, I think process should be same in other US Consulates and Embassies around the world.

You must have read Visa interview experience, where student’s F1 Visa was approved, but 221(g) was issued.

When Consulates ask documents to be submitted few days before the interview, I think they must be doing background checks on visa applicants. In Chennai, students are not required to submit documents in advance. But, I think there are other US consulates where documents have to be submitted in advance (few days).

That doesn’t mean background checks are not done in Chennai. Its my guess and maybe where there is more documents fraud, they need additional time for background check.


    1. You agree or disagree that’s from US Embassy site. I don’t think you and I have power above what US embassy.

  1. please justify how visa approved in second/third/or more attempts, without making any changes. I think not applicable to india/F1

  2. Genuine applicants should get visa and fraud should not. Application should be 100% correct. Many visa officers in different embassy’s are not qualified to take an appropriate decision. Visa officers are reluctant to rectify their mistakes. No international forum is there to discuss issues related to genuine visa applications. United Nations should discuss issues related to refusal of genuine visa applications. No genuine applicant should be denied justice.

    All countries should take appropriate measures to punish fraudulent applicants.

    Applicant should get the chance for a hearing. Now earth is like a village and denying the visa means denying the chance to see what is in this village.

  3. ’15 people scrutinize document for 2 hours’.I come from kenya and my interview lasted for 5 minutes in dec 2010.But maybe since we submit our profile information to their comps online, days or hours b4 the interview,it’s possible.
    Yeah some people are desperate to come here,their families don’t have the resources but they have an ‘A’ child in their family,a gifted child.’The audacity of hope’ lives in all of us.When you go for the visa interview with either fraudulent (which i sincerely don’t encourage) or non-fraudulent documents we wish you luck,because you are the only one who knows why you want to come here.

  4. I want help from you,I am a Gambian and I applied to North Idaho College to study Social Work and in a couple of days from now I will receive my I-20 and go for my interveiw but my sponsor is not my parent and we are not related so what can i do

  5. Hello,

    I am on F1-OPT visa.
    Background: I came on H-4 visa to USA. Applied for F-1 visa and after three years while I am on OPT would be traveling to India. Currently I don’t have f-1 visa stamped on my passport. Its still H-4 visa as I never went India while on F-1.
    My question: What is the process of getting F-1 visa stamped on passport when I travel to India.
    Steps already taken: Filled Ds-160 form. Please guide me for further steps. Thank you!

  6. Recently applied for F1 visa and the interview went on well.Everything was fine.The VO looked at my passport and i-20 and even asked for University transcript which i gave.He later asked for bank statement which had 4 million kenyan shilling.This raised alarm and asked what my aunt does.I said she is an accountant and a business lady as well.I told his all the kind of businesses she does.He later said the statement is fake and if he finds out he will deny me even in future but honestly the statement is true and certified copy of the original.Now he placed me under administrative processing and said it will take 3 days to one week for them to do a bankground check.When i was leaving the interview window, he called me back and asked when am starting school but later saw it on the i-20 and told me thats fine as he handed me a yellow form where he marked a statement reading “you will hear from us”.I surely dont know what will happen now am waiting to see the outcome.All i know is that the statement is true issued to me by the COOPERATIVE BANK OF KENYA.Guys kindly any idea of how my case can be?

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