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Top 9 Tips for F1 Visa Interview


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F1 visa interviews sometimes can get very scary, very interpreted, very confusing. Don’t worry! Here are a few tips to crack the F1 visa interview without breaking a sweat. 

1. Get your papers ready

The first thing you need to do is to keep all the documents handy. Documents like your academic records, transcripts, mark sheets, diploma, GRE and TOEFL scores, etc. Here is the list of documents you need to keep ready for your F1 visa interview.

  • I-20 Certificate of Eligibility Form provided by ISSO at UCSF. 
  • Letter of admission provided by Graduate Division or UCSF professional school. 
  • Passport – valid for a minimum of six months into the future at the time of entry. 
  • Financial support documents (Current proof of support that would meet expenses for program duration as indicated on Form I-20 (i.e. bank statement, award letters or loan approval letters). 
  • Form DS-160 “Non-immigrant Visa Application” available at your local US Embassy or Consulate’s website.
  • MRV fee Machine-readable Visa
  • Two photos
  • Receipt for payment of $200 SEVIS Fee. 

If available

Explanation on what you would do once your course is completed. You can’t say that you are going to continue your stay for work. The US officials are very strict about it as they can even reject your application for an F1 visa. 

No degree certificate yet? You can submit a provisional degree if in case you haven’t got the original one. 

2. Dress-up properly and comfortably

Gone are the days when dressing up for an interview was only about strictly professional or formal dresses. You don’t have to wear a suit but dress up to look professional as well as comfortable. Not too formal, not too casual. 

3. Be confident about yourself- Don’t stress about the interview

If you are even a little stressed, you can make some unexpected mistakes during the interview. 

You have got admission from a top university. You made it out of hundreds of applicants who have applied for the same university or same program. You are surely better than a lot of other students. So, there is no need of getting nervous about the interview. You are only a step away from landing to your dream study destination. 

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Be sure about your ambitions, why you have chosen a particular program and plans. If you are confident enough, cracking the F1 visa interview will get a lot easier than your expectations. 

4. Be clear about why you are going to the USA

You have to be very clear on why you are going to the USA on F1 visa. You are going there only for the studies. Don’t even give a vibe that you’re thinking about working after studies. Leave that for later. The US officials are very strict about these things. If you are not clear about your stay in the USA, they won’t even continue your interview. 

5. Keep your financial documents ready

  • Who is going to fund you?
  • Where is the funding coming from?
  • Do you have the proof if another family member is funding?

They don’t want you to come to the US and work part-time to meet your expenses. So, keep all your financial documents ready before the scheduled day of the interview. 

6. Be concise with your answers

Answer only what they ask you. Don’t give misleading or unnecessary answers. For example, if someone asks you, “what are you drinking?” And you are drinking a coffee. You have to give a precise and straightforward answer. “I’m having coffee”. That’s it! There is no need of explaining other details about coffee like the amount you have paid to get a cup of coffee, from where you have got your coffee, etc. Be very clear and concise with your answers. 

7. Be sure about your program details and future plans

Know your program and know what exactly you are going to do with it. You must have to explain everything regarding your choice of program, your plans, and everything related to your study in the US. 

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Always remember, nobody does something without having future goals in mind. 

You must not sound like you are only a part of a crowd wanting to fly to the USA. If your vision is not clear, everything becomes irrelevant. 

If you get asked a question like Why you want to do masters?

You can simply answer: “The knowledge I have is not sufficient for my future academic work” or “I want to expand my repertoire of knowledge in the best possible way” .

8. Write down the answers

If possible, write EVERYTHING you are expecting to answer in the interview. 

For some people, writing down the answers to possible questions makes a lot of sense. And for some, just thinking about the answers is enough. So, whatever makes sense for you, do that! But please, get prepared for your interview!

You just can’t wake up and go for the interview. 

You must know exactly what you want to say in front of those who can decide whether you get the F1 visa or not, whether you go to the USA or not. 

9. Consulates don’t matter at all

It doesn’t matter at all if you are going from Hyderabad or Mumbai or Kolkata or Chennai consulate. It all depends on you and the way you present yourself. Keep in mind that all the different consulates are under US embassy in New Delhi. They are not various embassies. So, approach a consulate that is most convenient for you.

Hopefully, everything is clear in your mind now, and you will be prepared properly on time for the interview. Be confident, be clear about everything. Have a blasting interview! A lot of good wishes from Team Macha.

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