Applying for the study abroad program? Students who want to live the dream of studying abroad and enhance their career opportunities; F1 visa is their option to study in the United States. It’s not easy to get the university admissions in US. They have to work very hard to get the visa approval. The main part of the visa approval process is the F1 visa interview. Even if you have all the documents ready it is not easy to convince the visa officer to approve your visa. To get F1 visa approval, clearing the visa interview is a must. You must prepare for some basic visa interview questions and answers much before the interview. Must read our F1 visa interview tips which will be helpful for you while appearing for the student visa interview.
12 F1 visa interview tips for you to remember while preparing for the student visa interview:
Keep all documents arranged in order so it makes it easier for you to retrieve them if asked during the interview. Keep a copy of all the required documents for the interview.
DOCUMENTS TO BE TAKEN:
- I-20/SEVIS form issued by the U.S University.
- Completed DS-160 visa application form.
- Receipt of the visa application fee.
- SEVIS receipt fee.
- Visa appointment letter.
- Passport and recent photograph.
- Academic certificates and documents, resume, transcripts, SOP, original GRE and TOEFL score reports.
- Documents that confirm your financial and personal tie-ups to your homeland which proves your compulsory return after the completion of your course in the US.
- If financially dependent, proof of relationship with the sponsor such as birth certificate is necessary along with the sponsor’s salary proof and job details.
- Strong financial support documents and bank statements.
- THE FIRST IMPRESSION SAYS IT ALL
An interview starts right the moment you come face-to-face with a visa consular. So creating a strong first impression is very important. Visa counselor considers both the aspects of the candidates through nonverbal communication as much as verbal communication.
Always have a confident smile throughout an interview. This shows a positive outlook and how much you are into the process. A smile conveys that you are friendly, open and genuine.
Eye contact is extremely crucial. Maintaining an eye contact with the visa officer shows that you are confident and honest and not having an eye contact gives a negative impression that you are not confident, nervous or rude.
Good posture communicates confidence, passion, and boldness. Your posture is a good way of presentation to others of how you carry yourself. When you sit in a good posture, it also helps you to project your words when interviewing. When you sit up straight, you are able to look directly into the interviewer’s eyes when speaking which results in a positive eye contact.
Dress neatly and look professional in your interview by wearing some decent and formal clothing. Make sure your clothes are ironed and clean. Don’t walk into the interview looking untidy. Good attire reflects positive outlook. Avoid too much makeup, wear minimal Jewelry, no strong or too much perfume, don’t chew gum; these are few apparent reasons that can lead to bad impression.
- EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Communication is the key element. Effective communication projects a positive. So it is important to communicate clear and sharp image as it boosts your chances in the interview. Avoid using words such as ‘Like’, ‘Um’, or ‘I guess’, etc. Don’t just start answering hastily; Listen to the counselors’ questions properly and think and answer appropriately. If there is any chance, you can practice English speaking with a native speaker before the interview.
- ENGLISH IS FOREMOST
It is clear that visa interview will be conducted in English. Before attending the interview, you can go for a short term class or crash course for Spoken English classes if you don’t know good English. You can also practice English conversation with a native speaker. As you are going to study in United States, English is the very important in the interview as well as for cultural and social survival in US.
- FIGHT THE FEAR IN YOU
Bring nervous at the interview is a little normal because of the pressure to do well in the, don’t let the fear of interview overtake your mind and control you. But don’t let nervousness ruin your visa interview. Eliminate the fear of a rejection as it will drop your confidence. Don’t appear too confident that leads to overconfidence. Relax and just be calm and confident.
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- PREPARATION IS A MUST
If your dream is to study abroad in the USA, start your Preparation right now. Preparation for F1 visa is a must irrespective of the financial and educational background that you possess. Start research about the visa status information, about your study program and what it includes and all technical follow-up of your program. You should be able to prove in the interview that you have enough skills, knowledge and ability to advance your studies or work in the United States.
If you are not able to express the thoughts about why you chose that particular study program, the visa officer may not feel convinced about your full faith in study abroad plan. They may think that you have less intention to study purpose and rather going to immigrate. You should be able to explain how studying in the US is your dream to learn most advanced knowledge and technological information and use this to your future professional career in your home country.
Also prepare for the interview questions with the help of sample interview sessions, and by researching visa interview related questions that are generally asked to applicants. Prepare for these answers and practice as we provided you F1 visa interview tips.
If you would know about all the information, then you will be able to answer confidently in the interview.
- RESEARCH YOUR UNIVERSITY AND PROGRAM YOU CHOOSE
Do a study about the university you choose. Research about the goods and positive and also know negative of the university you choose. You can read the website and handbook of your university carefully. You must know everything about your course including course duration, fee, commencement and end date, credits points etc. The consular offers can ask about the fact that we at least know why we chose that university and where we are going. One should be able to answer questions about your course easily and without hesitation.
- STRONG BOND IN HOME COUNTRY – NEVER SOUND LIKE POTENTIAL IMMIGRANT
Under United States law, all applicants for non-immigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants until they can convince the visa consular officer that they are not.
You have to show strongly that you have no intention of staying as a permanent in the US. For proving your point you need to show some strong connections with your home country and you will return back. You must clearly mention in your answers that you are only planning to study abroad and not immigrate.
Demonstrate the things that bind you to your homeland or current place of residence and show them that you have some strong reasons for returning back to your home country. Some of the points or documents that you can include are strong relations, family investments, financial prospects that you own or will inherit or in simple words strong financial background in home country, blood relations and career prospects in your home country.
This includes the documents like strong financial documents, Property & Land documents, and Employment offer letters. If you have a substantial bank, stocks and fixed deposit account you can also them up as a good reason to return. Some good examples to avoid potential immigrant notice of denial are:
If you have a current employer and you have a plan of going as a student and then expect to return back and work at a certain job/company upon completion of your studies ask your employer to write a letter stating they expect to employ you after your further education. This may increase your chances of getting a F1 visa approval.
If you have strong ties to your family, it is also expected that you will come back to be with your family; especially if you are leaving your wife and children behind.
If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address what is the source of income of your family in your absence and how they will support themselves. Make yourself ready to explain how will get money whether it can business or working person in the family, you have to show them that you family is financially independent need you to remit money from the United States in order to support themselves. If the consular officer gains the impression that your family will need your financial support from the United States, your student visa can certainly be denied.
If your Father owning his own business in your country and you as his son/daughter going for higher studies, it also gives a positive feedback to returning back to country to handle up your family business. Therefore one of the important focus is to be able to show that you have reasons for returning back to your home land that are stronger than those for staying as an immigrant in the US.
- TIMING IS DECISIVE- BE SHORT AND EXACT
Because of the significant number of applications that are received, all consular officers have to conduct a quick and efficient interview under certain time. Normally, visa interview doesn’t last for that long, if you are lucky, even less than two minutes. They have to make a conclusion during the first minute or two of the interview. Thus as cited before the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Always keep your answers short and to the point without too much explanation. Speaking too much unnecessary and without asking gives a bad impression of yours. Doesn’t use too many technical terms instead use the basic words that everyone would able to understand. Use the initial and limited amount of time wisely in answering counselor questions effectively.
- MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
It is very important to maintain a positive attitude throughout the interview. Greet them warmly and always answer in polite manner. Do not get involved in any arguments or use questionable accent in front of the officer if your student visa gets denied. You may politely ask the officer for some positive advice to overcome the denial next time, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing along with any document required which was not present currently in the interview to avoid rejection next time.
- STAY HONEST AND NEVER LIE
The visa officers are so experienced that they can check your intentions very quickly. You should never lie in the visa interview as it increases the chances of your denial. You should never take any fake documents to the interview at all. If they caught you, you could be banned or blacklisted for applying for a U.S. Visa at all. So don’t take any risk.
IF your lies get caught after you enter US they have the right to send you back to India. Its better you be yourself and not lie.
If the consular officer asks you about your any previous rejection, then honestly tell about your rejects. Anyway if you will hide or lie about anything they can easily track you by using your passport details in their system. Stay 100% honest and relaxed.
- PROOF OF FUND FOR EDUCATION – WHO CAN SPONSOR YOUR EDUCATION?
To ensure the officers that you have well established financial support for your education and living expenses in US you have to furnish certain financial documents that proves that you have the necessary financial resources to fund your studies.
To prove your funding of education you will require a sponsor who will either need to present proof of funds for yourself through a sponsorship. The sponsors can be your parents, a relative or friend who is financially backing your education.
If the sponsor is a US citizen, they would need to provide the I-134 Affidavit of Support Form that requires the sponsor to commit that they would cover all expenses of the student.
If the sponsor is outside the US, then the embassy would check if there are any fund transfer restrictions from the specified country and seeks evidence that the student will be able to use their funds during the study in US.
You can show up the proof of liquid assets to the consulate officer to show that you are able to cover your education and living expenses. Some of the common documents that can be used as evidence of financial resources:
- Original tax returns from the last three years (Form 16)
- Original bank records and/or fixed deposit statements of the past Three years of your sponsor (which can also be your parent)
- Pay slips, employment letters
- Chartered accountant statements
- Scholarships (which should be indicated on your I-20)
- Property documents
If you have received a scholarship, then you need to provide a confirmation letter and if you have taken a loan then you will have to provide official documents to prove that the loan has been approved.
You can search for sample questions online and prepare your answer in 2-3 sentences maximum. Here is a list of some commonly asked questions in F1 Visa Interview. Do your homework properly and practice more f1 visa questions and answers.
Why U.S? Why not India, Europe?
What do you want to do after M.S? (Return back and so job or business in home country or handle existing inherit business)
What course do you want to study in USA?
Which schools did you apply to? (Name them)
Which schools did you get admission to? (Name them)
Which schools rejected you and why? (Name them)
How did you shortlist your universities?
How do you plan to fund your education?
Have you taken assistance from any counselor/agents? – Answer is always NO!
Why are you going to this University? Or why have you chosen this specific university?
Will you return to India after Master’s? – YES. Always yes I would. Do not elaborate it only if asked.
Do you have any friends or students studying at this university?
What is your research interest or what specialization would you like to pursue?
Which professors are conducting the research that you are interested in?
What is your academic background?
Do you have any backlogs? How many? Have you cleared them?
Show us your degree certificate?
What is your current GPA?
What do you think why you were rejected last time?
What was your GRE/ TOEFL score?
Why do you want to study in US?
Why didn’t you apply for the Master’s degree in India?
What are your plans after the Degree?
Did you apply to any other country for student visa?
Who is sponsoring your study in the United States of America?
Do you have any relatives in the US? Where do they stay? What is their Visa Status? What do they do in USA?
Have you traveled abroad before? When? Where? What was the purpose of your trip?
How do you know about this university?
Tell me something about the town/city in which your university is located?
Do you have any siblings? What do they do?
What do your Father and Mother do?
What is your sponsor’s annual income?
How do you plan to fund the entire duration of your education?
What is your Parent’s Annual Income? – You should also know their individual income.
Have you applied for a student visa before?
What is the cost of education per year at your chosen university?
What is your per semester fee?
Have you taken any educational loan?
Do your parents have any loans to be paid?
If you return back which companies do you plan to work with?
For Students with work experience – take your updated Resume for the Interview.
Where are you currently working? What are your roles and responsibilities? What is your pay?