US Student Visa: How To Ace The Interview?

    Updated on: 25 Sep 2022

    Students dream about studying in the United States of America in order to elevate their career to the next level. However, it is easier said than done. Going to the US for studies involves countless steps and a humungous amount of documents. One such step is to attain a student visa for studying in the US. This study visa is given after the student’s visa application gets approved by the university and visa authorities. 

    One such visa type is the F-1 Visa. The F-1 visa is allotted to students who aim to study any academic or language course in an American university. Once you have applied for the visa and submitted the required documents, you are called for an interview.  

    So, what is the USA Visa Interview Day like? Continue reading to find out. 

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    What is F-1 Student Visa?

    In America, the visas under the F category are the non-immigrant visa. It allows various foreign students to study in numerous streams and fields. The visas are of course issued by the US embassies and consulates. In fact, the visa can be extended as per further study or work opportunities. The F visa has three subtypes:

    • F-1 is for foreign full-time study students
    • F-2 is for the dependents such as partners or children of the F-1 students
    • F-3 is for across-the-US-border Canadian and Mexican students

    Thus, the F-1 visa is of the greatest interest to foreign students such as the Indian students. 

    What Are F-1 Student Visa Eligibility Conditions?

    To reap the benefits of the visa, it is advised that students produce evidence of educational funds and sponsorship along with the visa application. The eligibility conditions are- 

    1. Foreign native: The students should have a nationality other than American. 
    2. Must have admission letter/offer approved by the university as it forms the very basis of the visa.
    3. Finances to complete and fund education.
    4. Health Insurance and Medicare backups.
    5. Assets back home, family, business, etc to demonstrate strong home-ties.

    The visa-holder can stay only sixty days after the visa expires, that is the completion of the course. 

    How to Apply?

    • Apply for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) university and get approved for admission.
    • Obtain the I-20 Form from the university.
    • Apply for SEVI, fill the form and pay the fees.
    • Login on to the US Visa Application site.
    • Apply for the Student Study Visa with the required documents at the US Consulate Office or Embassy. 

    What Are The Visa Document Requirements For An F1 Visa?

    The required visa documents are as follows:

    1. Valid Passport
    2. Recent Photographs according to the format and dimensions mentioned on the visa website.
    3. Payment of $160 Visa Application Fees.
    4. Proof of Visa Application Fees
    5. I-20 Form or the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status form
    6. DS-160 Form or the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application form
    7. For male candidates, in the age group of 16-45 years, DS-157 form needs to be filled.

    Once you have these documents, apply online for the visa application. Follow the instructions and you will reach the Book Appointment page. Therein you are required to book two appointments, one for the Visa Centre and the other to the Visa Interview. 

    Visa Application Centre

    At the centre, you have to appear nearly a day before the Interview. Here, the applicant’s fingerprints and photographs are taken. Here you need to take your passport, photograph, DS-160 form and the appointment confirmation letter.

    Find Out More 

    Visa Interview

    Next is the Interview Day at the Consulate’s office. 

    1) What Happens on Interview Day?

    The interview is motivated to test your readiness for the course and eligibility for the F-1 visa type. The interview includes personal as well as career-motivated questions. The questions will include your educational qualifications, the purpose for selection, of course, career plans, finances and sponsorship, etc. You should arrive at the venue well in time, along with all the documents. It would be better if you could research some interview questions to have a fair idea of what the interview will be about. The documents will help as proofs to validate your statements in the interview. However, they should be produced only when asked to. 

    2) What Documents to Take Along?

    On the interview day, you have to carry all key documents, which are:

    1. Your passport for the applicant’s immediate details. If you have more than one copy of the passport, that is you have one new and other old passports, carry all of them along. 
    2. DS-160 form confirmation page, which has a 10 digit barcode number on it.
    3. All documents mentioned according to the F-1 type. (Mentioned under Visa Eligibility Conditions and Visa Requirements). 
    4. Proof of paid visa application fee.

    3) Things to Keep in Mind During the Interview

    So, basically it is a general interview. If you keep calm and be yourself, you are on the right path. Your honesty and readiness for the interview are things that you can’t prepare for, these are innate. But you can prepare to present yourself well and in a way that makes them want to sanction your visa application, owing it all to your capabilities. For this, you should make sure your answers are satisfactory and to the point, neither over-the-top not nor the ones that create doubts. 

    Next, if your visa has been approved, you will be asked to pay the visa fee for issuing the visa. Make sure you go prepared for that too. For this, your passport will be taken over and you will be fingerprinted. 

    However, if the visa has been denied, you will be given specific reasons. The essence behind denial is ineligibility, of which kind or type, you will be informed. You can then work on those reasons and re-apply. 

    4) Mistakes to Avoid During the Interview

    First and foremost, anyone who forgets to bring in all the documents mentioned loses his/her chance at the visa. In addition, if the documents submitted are found to the false or tempered with, it straightaway leads to cancellation of application. Make sure you answer the question asked. Giving haywire answers or in an informal or unacceptable tone or gestures will lead you to a denial. 

    We hope that now you have an idea about what you can expect on your US Student Visa Interview Day and you are subsequently, able to ace the interview as well!

    What Are The Basic Questions To Expect During F1 Visa Interview Process?

    1. Questions Regarding Your Study Plans
      • Why are you going to study in the US?
      • What will be your specialization?
      • Where did you go to school now?
      • What do you do currently?
      • Why are you planning to go for higher education abroad?
      • Why aren’t you going for a degree in your home country?
      • How is this study program related to your past work or studies?
    2. Questions Related To Your University Choice
      • In how many colleges did you apply and how many gave you the admit?
      • Have you been to America before?
      • Do you know any professor at that university?
    3. Questions Related To Your Academics
      • What are your test scores?
      • How will you manage the educational & cultural differences in the US?
      • Can you show your high school/college diploma?
    4. Questions Related To Your Financial Status
      • What is your monthly income?
      • What is your sponsor’s monthly income?
      • How are you getting the funds for your education?
      • How much does your degree cost?
      • Did you get a scholarship at your school?

    How Can GyanDhan Help in The US Visa Interview Preparation?

    GyanDhan has partnered with officers who have worked for the U.S. Department of State in embassies & consulates around the globe. These consultants are all ex U.S. Government employees who have worked as visa officers on behalf of the U.S. State Department and have taken millions of official visa interviews. You can contact GyanDhan to avail of the best help in visa application & interview preparation. 

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