F1 Visa

Visa Officer – Why Do You Want to Study in USA?

How do you answer this question in the F1 Visa Interview?

I am Gopi,  I am an active member of this blog for the past 6 months.

I have taken my GRE and TOEFL exams and got 307 and 83 respectively. I have got admission to WKU and received I020 too.

I am now preparing for F1 visa interview.

I wish to say that your blogs has given much more information regarding the steps need to be taken and the documents need to be shown.

Many said that the officials may ask questions related to Why I have chosen USA for grad studies and why not other countries?

And why I opted specifically for this Fall term and all. I do not know how to answer these ques or what they may expect while I answer these. Please give information about this.

Gopi, you certainly have a good set of questions

Why do you want to study in USA?

After reading your questions, instead of thinking about how to answer your questions, I had a different thought process.

Let me ask you a few more questions that will help you find an amazing answer.

  • You mean to say that you applied to US universities or want to study in US without knowing why you want to study in US?
  • Looks like you applied to Fall semester without knowing the reason behind that?

Let’s be logical here.

In your case, you have received admission, but have no clue why you want to study in the US.

I’m not trying to discourage you or others who have similar questions. But, think logically before asking questions.

Because your discovery will lead to answers.

It’s pretty simple actually.

Ask yourself the following questions.

Why do you want to study in the USA?

I’m lacking technical skills and I want to Study MS in Computer Science.

What technical skills are you lacking?

I want to major in robotics. I don’t have good programming skills.

What specific languages do you want to get good at?

I want to get good at Java and Python.

If you happen to ask such questions, you find the answer to your F1 Visa interview questions.

I have said several times in the previous blog posts, that don’t make up new answers for Student visa interview.

It was frustrating to see professional engineers and students who have high ambitions to travel halfway around the world, spend a lot of money for quality education. But, they find it difficult to answer some basic questions about why study in the USA.

You have all the answers. You just need to get it out from you. You can ask the right questions and you will get the right answers.

Series: F1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers

  1. 101 F1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers
  2. Answers to Two Most Common F1 Visa Interview Questions
  3. An answer – Why Study in This University
  4. Why Do You Want to Study in the USA (this article)
  5. Answers to 3 Most Important F1 Visa Interview Questions
  6. 6 Lessons I Learned from My Student Visa Interview for University of Houston
  7. The Best F1 Visa Mock Interview Questions & Answers – UCLA

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  1. Hi,
    My spouse is in USA from past 5 years. He is on H1 from past 3 years after completing his masters.
    I have now stayed for 11 months in USA on H4 visa. Planning to join Fall 2019 session.
    Could you please guide me as how to answer the question in a way to show strong ties to own country ?
    Question like : What will you do after your Graduation?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Checkout the H4 Visa Career Guide & H4 to F1 Strategy Process and how to plan for successful conversion today. Courses.HappySchools.com

  2. Hi im from Morocco and I got accepted in nova community college in virginia , and it was the only one that i have applied to , my brother is sponsering me and he is in Usa , my interview is in two weeks and i really need to know what r my chances to get my visa

  3. Hi, I am Deepa, got my admissions for spring at Wichita state university for masters program in aerospace department. I have been following your blog from almost a year i have a TOEFL score of 103 and I have also given my GRE 2 times with 1050 and 990 scores. I would like to know will my gre score affect my visa and also should i take both my score cards. I have also realized from your blog that most of the students get their visa rejected under 214(b), how do I prove to the vo that i will come to my country after studies.

    Will be waiting for your reply.


  4. @HSB,
    can please anyone tell me what should be my answer if VO asks me why spring eventhough u have completed you degree by june 2010. does a gap of 6 months would effect my visa .

    1. Hi I dont think that should affect your visa. Especially if you have some valid reason for not applying soon like doing some trainng or internships.

  5. hi this is minhaaj i have a interview on 24th on this month , what should we tell him when he ask us about university . i din't write gre, toefl examinations.
    i got my i20 from npu

  6. hi,this is question about visa: "do VO consider discontinuity of a studies ".i have a discontinuity of one year studies after completion of bachelor degree. does it gonna effect my chances. if ,yes then give me a solution


  7. Hsb,
    My F1 visa interview is on 15th June.
    Is it true that we should not mention to the VO that we are interested in research or a research career?
    My backgroungd is M.Sc. in physics, admitted to M.S. in physics, 1 yr teaching experience.

    1. hello shilpa what happened?did you get your visa?can i know abt your interview.?the questions they asked

  8. Tell the truth. Why do you want to come to the US? There must be some reason. I know a student who was asked, "Why did you choose X university?" and he said, "Because my boss advised me to go there–he heard about it when he studied at Y university nearby." That was the truth and he got a visa.

    Don't get overly stressed about the visa interview. I know another student who freaked out when the consular officer asked her, "Do you plan to see a baseball game?" She didn't know the "correct" answer and she started talking nonsense about how baseball is like cricket and she loves cricket. Meanwhile the consular officer was just being friendly.

  9. hi dear ,
    I had same questions like you when i was applying for usa . The answers can very from a person to person and profile to profile. According to me there may be two following kind of answers
    Question:why only USA
    Answer:try to convince VO that USA is the most advance and pioneering country in your area of study . to make this argument effective give example of some inventions made in the USA in your field . Also include the more detail as you think appropriate I am sure that you will find some thing in your area
    Second and the most important thing through out the interview is that try to convince the VO that after finishing your study your job opportunity in your mother country will be even brighter than before . That is the only way by which you can convince that you are not potent immigrant and you will abandoned the USA after your study, other wise the VO will deny the visa on the basis of 214(b)
    Generally the F1 student visas are denied on the basis of three grounds
    1)potent immigrant ( under the immigration and nationality act 214b )
    2) insufficient balance ( less than fees of the first year in your state bank of India pass book )
    3)poor academic background ( like less than 50 in toefl and less than 800 in GRE)
    In your case if you have good toefl and GRE so the third cause is not the case
    Try to manage the first years fee in your pass book of government bank like State bank of India
    Third,try to convince the VO that you have good opportunity in India so you are going to come back

    Your second Question
    Question : why only fall?
    Answer : try to convince the VO that till now you did some other study like some computer course . But be careful that VO will ask about connection of your current opted program in the USA and your computer courses at that time you should be able to demonstrate the evidence for the connections like how that computer course is helpful in your future studies . ( this is the method by which you can show your carrier tie )
    If you are doing job in company than you can say like this . till now i did the job in my xyz field but now i feel that apart from my experience if i do master from xyz university and when i will come back to india i will have even better job opportunities than now
    Remember come back to India phrase i the key to crack the visa interview
    But again the VO will ask you about your designation of the Job , the proof of the salary ( salary sleep etc ), time period of your job . and many more things and if they think that your job profile is not GOOD and if they smell some NEGative in your profile than they will deny your visa within one or two seconds without any delay . Because even VO knows that in India only handful of them are having good salary like 50,000rs or 60,000 rs per month
    For this question i would suggest you to use first approach about (computer courses and not about job as it is risky)
    Also , i have the second approach to crack this question
    Convince the VO that after your two years of stay when you will come back to India let us say in August ( Diwali time ) the hiring in the job market will be maximum because that is the time when the most senior officials in the company take voluntary retirement at the end of their service period. So when you will come back to India you will have greatest job opportunity . Again don’t forget the phrase the come back to India .
    that is the way that you can show intention of coming back to India and your tie to your mother country and your carrier

  10. @Arnab,
    Have you applied for Phd in a sensitive field like Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering , Wireless communication etc ? People who intend to pursue a career in these fields have to face the brunt of all the security measures and yours is the first stop in this journey. Yes be assured. As long as your documents are legal and you clear the background checks, you must be fine.

    I do agree that India has a lot to offer just like US. But I personally feel that right now , India is facing a tough supply-demand crisis as far as education is concerned. There are so many eager, motivated and aspiring students to specialize in his/her area of interest but the competition is so rife and the infrastructure is so backward that it is close to impossible for everyone to pursue a desired career. You would be surprised(after landing here) that in US, there is scope for fields that you wouldn’t have even imagined will earn you a decent living in India. That is because of the proper infrastructure and scope. Engineers/Doctors form only miniscule fraction amongst a population with diverse academic backgrounds unlike in India where every 8 out of 10 student is an engineer/doctor. This is something that we must understand and assimilate from the US of A.

  11. I am really annoyed at the posts by many students who want to study in the US.

    Things I feel:
    1. You might not be an English major, but please use good English and write in full words – no short-forms. or SMS/texting language. Also, please run a spell-check before you submit anything if this is the level of English that you have! You don’t have to be absolutely perfect in grammar and your English, but please maintain some standards. With such a poor level of grammar and English, do you think you will be able to get a good job? Will any American like to have you as their co-worker?
    2. Most students just want to come to the US for MS and then start with some job – why? … because it is an easy way to earn money. Don’t you want to learn more, develop professionally, gain exposure to bigger things?
    3. Students ask questions like: ‘I have poor GRE score’ or ‘I have total GRE score of ‘ and then add: ‘will I be able to get into US university with scholarship?’ (of course they make many spelling and grammar errors in this). Well, duh, if you have a poor score and poor academics, you might somehow sneak into some US university, but what after that? You won’t be at par with other job-seekers from better universities who have better knowledge because they got into better schools due to their good GRE scores, academics, talents etc. Do you think you will be able to manage the course load at Masters/PhD level or get into a good company?
    4. I have admits and I-20s from 2 or 3 schools. Which school should I go to? Okay, some sort of advice-seeking is fine; but have you done your research before applying to the schools? Or did you just apply because you have seniors/friends in that university and you have heard it’s a safe bet? Well, at least now after getting admits, do some research on the university. All US universities have websites with program, departmental, research, career, student life and other valuable information. Did you go through that? If you have read it but are still confused and want to ask others for their opinion, summarize your university research and interests in your post – that will help others in helping you. Just randomly asking such questions without doing any research on your own about the university programs is futile.
    5. Learn some professionalism if you want to come to the US – it will help you tremendously.

    1. Andy – Think you are annoyed at reading the comments, what about me? I have read 14,000+ comments, several thousand emails. I’m trying to figure out a way to convey the message in the blog. I have come come with a design that will attract all readers. But, even then students are going to post comments like what you have said.

      My observation – Students with GRE Score above 1200 tend to write error free comments.

      1. HSB – I understand your situation. Your inbox must be brimming with such emails! Since you are patiently dealing with all this, I (and many other readers here) highly appreciate your efforts 🙂

        And I hope students get the message that you are trying to put across in the blog. I am happy to know that there are others, such as you, who agree with me above the nature of the questions being asked.

        In addition, it is annoying when people ask questions which have already been answered before elsewhere on the blog – why don’t they do some research? this blog is categorized properly. And people posting unrelated comments to a well-written article is another problem. (For example, asking questions like ‘Will I get admission to US?’ or ‘What companies to apply to?’ as a comment on an article about H1-B visa or something).

        Continue the good work. Thanks for updating this blog almost daily – it serves as a good read.

          1. Thats a good idea HSB. Though that would reduce the volume of comments drastically,regular blog followers and people who really want to post their comments will definitely register…

    2. You hit the nail on the head! But i think the people you mentioned wont even read this comment. They are so busy asking lame questions!

  12. sir

    aver student know that the quation ask by councler
    what is the right ansar why you are not giving ansar
    you confusing the student and makin fool why not giving
    right way

    1. There is no use in explaining it to you. You are the one making a fool of yourself. Try to improve your English before thinking about going to the US.. Best of luck!

  13. Real good article!I agree that one should me able to come up with a reasonable answer to these questions. Of course if there maybe other questions that are trickier and perhaps HSB can shed some light on that.

  14. Gopi, after going through what you have gone through as far as testing, are you telling us that you are clueless as to why you want to study in America? Now you are looking for some canned answer to give to a visa officer? Gopi, do you think these visa officers are stupid?

    America has had a little problem with terrorists, you had better come up with a very good reason for wanting to come to America; and that reason had better come from within you. Because if a visa officer gets a hint of a lie, or a suspician that an applicant has a hidden agenda, or if you cannot rationally account for every dollar in your bank accounts – you are not getting on that big white bird to that giant shopping mall known as America.

  15. Yesterday was my visa interview.I am having admit from FIU.After asking few questions like do you want to come back or not,he told me to be assured and collect the visa after a month.Now he has also given a set of questionnaire and asked me to submit it after completing which includes questions like “What are you doing now?”,”What are your previous research work?”,”Why do you want to do research in the particular field you have chosen?”,”Do you have a job or not?”,”What is the practical application of the field of your research?”
    I can and will answer all these questions as they are basic questions regarding my interests but my question is
    1.How can it affect my chances of getting visa?
    2.If he has already told me to be assured,then why is this questionnaire?Was this procedure present before?Do they follow it regularly or it’s just for some special cases?
    And please you are doing a great job.You are fab.

    1. hello Arnab

      there is nothing to worry unless all your documents are legal.

      In few cases, the US consulate would want to verify the student's background as a security measure and more than 95% of the cases are approved for the visa. so don't worry and just submit the questionnaire.

      all the best


      Srinivas Gumdelli

      1. @srinivas:-thanks for the assurance,buddy!!Hoping for the best.
        @varun kumar:-yes definitely investing in the studies in US is arguably the best investment i can make,but I cannot agree with you saying that anyone will fall for "US has lot to offer and learn from".Even India teaches you a lot and this is here that we all have learned our basics,we have to be grateful to India,whether we like it or not.I think there is no diverse country as India is,and if I really want to see different people he would issue me a tourist visa,not a student one!!!

  16. Tell the interviewer about the good things regarding your major in US. US education is the best investment because first its globally recognized, second u get chance to live in a diverse environment, see people from different backgrounds. This is something that you cannot learn anywhere else. USA is a diverse country and it has lots to learn from.

  17. I can't believe that all F1 students actually have non-immigrant intention, so being clear in own thoughts and targets is one thing, and getting F1 stamped is another. Just my naive opinion, not intended to counter or offend anybody.

    Forgive the silly question but does the statement : "I have said several times in previous blog posts, that don’t makeup new answers for Student visa interview"
    mean that we should stick to the run-of-the-mill answers only. Is it safer to give the usual answers to all VO questions. Please clarify/advise.

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