F1 Visa Interview Experience shared by Deepa.
I have been following HSB from about a year, it has really helped me with my visa process. Here i am posting my F1 Visa experience Chennai Consulate, which I gave on September 8, 2011, the most memorable day of my life..:)
As soon as i got my acceptance from the college I wanted to do my master’s in i started preparing for my visa.
First thing i did was to ask friends of mine who are already in US about their experience (this will come in handy while mentally preparing for interview), along with that i was reading Students USA Visa experience posts on HSB.
Well i got pretty mixed experiences some good and some bad and few ok.
I was confused a lot like everybody, a friend of mine who got his visa in his first attempt gave me a detailed explanation of his experience, it actually didn’t sound bad at all.
I made sure all my documents were ready 2 days before (check and re-check documents*very important).
F1 Visa Documents
- I20 and college acceptance letter
- passport and DS160 form (Note : It NOT DS 160, its DS-160 Conformation page with photo and barcode).
- SEVIS fee receipt and visa fee receipt
- mark sheets( bachelores, 10th , 12th)
- certificates if any
- charted accountant letter.
- parents affidavit. (Sample Affidavit for F1 Visa Interview )
- bank statement
- gre and toefl score card
(keep a photocopy of all the documents and don’t forget your photo)
I prepared myself for the usual questions like why us, why that university and future plans and so on.
When you go for any interview first thing that should be taken care is your appearance, you should walk with confidence and no mater how much nervous you are never show it to the person who is interviewing you.
I had decided on what to wear and which folder ( get a file which has leaves or multi partitions- easy to organise your documents) I will be taking (giving importance to all these minor details beforehand will help you)
On the Day – F1 Visa Interview
My interview was in Chennai consulate at 7.45 am, I was staying with a friend of mine at IIT Madras. On the interview day I got up early got ready, my bad luck didn’t find bus or auto waited for almost 20 min, finally got auto and reached consulate at 7.40. There was a big line, went and joined them, met a couple from Bangalore who were there for visitors visa.
I had made a mistake, while I printed my visa interview letter I jus got one page and I didn’t get my DS160 form (a very big mistake indeed). The person who gave me token number asked me to go inside and inquire what has to be done.
Inside an Indian official gave me permission letter to go out and get a print out and be back by 12 the same day.
It was 8 in the morning where did they think I will find an internet café open. Neways I got out and started searching, took help of an auto guy to find a internet café and got printout( I had to fight with him as he was demanding 400 rupees after reaching the consulate). I was back by 8.20(lucky me).
Got a new token number went inside. Finished all my formalities and then waited to be called by an Indian officer to take my fingerprints. I was called after about 15 minutes, he asked me why I had to go out and I explained.
He asked for my I20, Ds160 form, fees receipt passport and my degree certificate, put it all in a folder and gave it to me.
My fingerprints were taken and I was asked to go to the next building where the actual interview will take place.
Inside Chennai Consulate
I was a little nervous when I got in, it was very quiet. I went and sat near counter number 20, from there I could see the US officers interviewing in counter 19, 20 and 21. in 19 and 21 there were ladies interviewing they gave visa to almost everybody there but in counter 20 the guy was asking too many questions and not everybody who went to him got there visa.
The couple whom I met outside went to him as well, they were denied.
My instincts were screaming that I would end up going to him, and I was praying that I shouldn’t. Finally my turn came WOW no surprises there I was called at counter 20.
VO: good morning (with a big smile) how are you today.
Me: very good morning sir, I am good how are you( with an even bigger smile )
Vo: I am good. Give me your documents.
I gave him the folder I was given by the Indian officer in which all my main documents were there.
Vo : so student visa.
Me: yes sir.
Vo which school
Me : answered
Vo: so deepa what course have you taken.
Me : masters in aerospace sir.
Vo : (with an impressive smile)why aerospace.?
I was totally unprepared for this.
Me: told him the truth, he was listening to me keenly looking at my face and I looked at him back (never break eye contact ) with a smile and told him doing aerospace was my dream from high school when I saw the name aerospace in one my friends slam book(he laughed at that), and from then on its been my passion and took up aeronautics while doing me BE and fell in love with the subject.
Vo: which is favorite aircraft?
Me : (not prepared again) Boeing dreamliner sir,
Vo: why ?
Me: told him
Vo asked for my certificates and scorecards. ( my toefl scorecard was an internet printed copy) He had some doubts,he called an Indian officer, they switched of the mike and started discussing for sometime. I was standing there looking at them trying to figure out what’s happening. Vo then turns on the mike
Vo: where did you take toefl?
Me: prometric Bangalore. [ F1 Visa Issued at Chennai – (Fake TOEFL Score Check) ]
He checked for it in my printed copy and was satisfied.
My toefl score is 103, got the least in speaking 24.
Vo: which part of toefl was difficult deepa.?
Me: speaking sir, as there were lot of them speaking at the same time I could not keep consistency and stammered a bit.
Vo and the Indian officer discuss again, they check all my marksheeet, my rank sheet which I got from college as well. Finally Indian officer leaves.
Me: any problem sir.
Vo: No deepa, I am new to Chennai consulate and not sure about college documents so need assistance with that.
Vo: who is funding your education.
Me: father sir.
Vo : what is your father.
Me: told him.
Vo: did your father inspire you to be an engineer.
Me: started telling him, he was listening and in between he said if that is the case then you will have to bring sweets when you come at US port of entry.
It took me few seconds to realize that my visa was granted( I was worried that I will not get when vo and the Indian officer was discussing so much). I jumped and literally screamed a bit. I was happy more than I can explain.
VO was typing something on this system, looked up when I screamed(not too loudly, you get it right) and gave me a very big smile and asked did it mean so much to me.
I told him thank you may be a hundred times(not literally), he smiled and wished me all the best. He told me to study well and fulfill my dreams. He asked me to wait a minute, typed something on his system and told me my visa was approved.
I got out of the building after successfully completing my first step towards my goal. Aerospace has not much preference in India and us was my main option, getting this visa for the first time itself boosted my self confidence.
All I would like to tell you is no matter how much precautions you take or preparation you make there will be some mistake most of times, just make sure you will accept it and correct it at the right time.
All the best to all of you who will be applying for there visa, there is nothing to worry just be yourself and don’t pretend about anything.