Interview Guide for F1 Student Visa for USA
clickHere

Interview Guide for F1 Student Visa for USA

21 mins read9.6L Views 62 Comments
clickHere
Aishwarya
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jul 11, 2024 17:42 IST

F1 Visa Interview Guide: While getting into a University in the USA is a matter of cheer, exhilaration is often dampened by the prospects of a Visa Interview. Students from across the country swear by gruelling sessions with Visa Interviewer and how all their plans might simply go to waste if the person rejects the application.

Interview Guide for F1 Student Visa for USA

Well…all that is true but at the same time, there is nothing to fear. The interviewer is not tasked with a target of rejecting applications! His/her only purpose is to validate your reasons for visiting and studying in the USA and by no means are they intent on thwarting your US dreams. Once your visa slot booking is done, you can go on to prepare for your F1 visa interviews. 

It is important to understand that while the F-1 Visa process and USA interview questions are an integral part of your US Student Visa Application, it is by no means the lengthiest. In fact, on average, the US Visa Interview would last about 3 to 4 minutes (sometimes even lesser). Contrary to normal beliefs, the Visa Officer would not scrutinize all your documents. The visa interview questions for students are based on different parameters. The officials ask for any documents on the rarest of rare occasions. As a rule, the Visa Officers do not ask for any documents. Though you are always recommended to carry them with you, it is important to note that you must not offer your documents until and unless asked.

Score Predictor

Predict your IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE in just 4 steps!

Share 12th Board, Percentage, english score
Get estimated scores or IELTS, TOEFL & PTE


Learn more about F1 Visa:

F1 Visa Interview Experience

Reasons for Rejection of US Student Visa

What is 214(b) Visa Rejection?

What is 221(g) under US Visa Refusals?

This guide tries to remove a few misconceptions about the Visa Interview, provides Basic Do's and Don’ts and also lists down a few frequently asked questions with pointers to guide you on how to best answer these questions. This guide also provides you with facts about USA study visas which will help you in applying for an F1 study visa plus about visa interview questions for students. Remember, there are no rules here. Like any interview, every interview is bound to be unique. What remains constant, however, is that like any interview the key is confidence and intent. So prepare for USA interview questions and answers with precision.

Preparing for the US F1 Visa Interview Day

Things you should know before you go for your US Student Visa Interview:

Like any interview, it is a formal interaction between two or more people – the Interviewer/s and the Interviewee. And like any interview, you need to prep for this one as well. So, before you start prepping for the questions or worrying about the Interview Officer, here are a few things you must do. Remember, doing your homework is the key to success…

  • Prepare your File–neatly catalogued with every possible document in place and marked
    • Though you would not be asked for any documents, it is important to ensure all the documents are filed and catalogued (refer to the upcoming list of documents to carry during the interview)
  • Go through the Admission Essay or SOP you have submitted, the complete list of Universities and courses you had applied to
  • Thoroughly revise the course you have enrolled for, the kind of credit systems it has, the tenure, the faculty and the course highlights – basically why you chose that particular university
  • Read up about the state you would be visiting, the University’s history and the nearby location
  • Go through your Financial Documents to clearly understand how you would be paying for your education in the USA

Watch: Expert Guidance on Acing your USA F1 Visa Interview

Check out the video below on USA Visa counselling sessions by our in-house Shiksha counsellors. This video covers important topics like Steps to apply for a visa, documents you must carry during a visa interview and experts handling students' queries.

Documents to carry for your US Student F1 Visa Interview

There is a list of supporting documents required for every application. In the case of an F-1 Visa interview, the major documents cover your personal information, academic background, professional documents, and financial documents. It is always recommended to remain prepared with all the documents handy.

Check out the whole List of Documents required for the US Student F1 Visa Interview.

Dress Code for your F1 Visa Interview

Any US visa interview starts from the moment you come face to face with your interviewer. And the first impression is often ascertained by your dress. So before D-Day, think about your wardrobe carefully and keep the following things in mind.

Tip 1: Keep it formal but not overdone

  • Formal Attire for Men includes formal shirts and trousers and for girls, it could be the same or formal Indian Attire which could be a simple sari or a salwar kameez
  • Remember, do not choose garish outfits or outfits that don’t match the weather. For instance, you need not wear a full suit if your interview is in the hot month of June. Instead, choose a simple formal shirt and trousers

Tip 2: Choose light or solid colors             

  • Avoid fluorescent colors. Instead, choose pastels when the interview is in summer or solid colors when the interview is in winter
  • Avoid shaded garments as they tend to distract

Tip 3: Minimal Accessories

  • It is important to keep your accessories to the minimal
  • Danglers, long necklaces and bangles that jingle are a strict no for women
  • If you must accessorize due to religious beliefs, please keep it to the bare minimum – anklets, for instance, that do not make noise are advised if you simply must wear them
  • Men are advised against wearing heavy bracelets or chains that jingle

Tip 4: Make sure your clothes are clean and well-ironed

  • Waiting for your interview can be time-consuming, hence you are advised to wear clothes that do not wrinkle quickly/easily
  • Needless to say your clothes should be neat – messy clothes call out for unnecessary attention and are not acceptable

Tip 5: Make sure you smell: neither good nor bad!

  • While it is important to wear deodorant or light talc to ensure that you do not smell bad, it is important to avoid strong colognes or perfumes
  • The Visa Officer might be allergic to the same and you would not want him/her sneezing through the interview or worse…being uncomfortable about the smell

Tip 6: Wear your glasses if the same is in your passport

  • If your passport has a picture with glasses, make sure to wear them
  • You can wear contacts if it is otherwise!

Talking about preparing for the interview, you might want to refer to the F1 Visa Timeline.

Are you looking for an interview waiver? Then you should check out Dropbox for US Student Visa.

Download this guide to read it offline

Tell Us About Yourself
When do you plan to start?
Have you given any study abroad exam?
7k users downloaded this guide

What to do and what not to do during the US F1 Visa Interview?

Like any interview, there are a few things you must do and then some that you must not do. Most of them are related to one another. We have tabulated the same:

Do's

Don’ts

Smile

Be Nervous

A smile brings confidence. There is no reason to look serious. Going to the USA for your Studies was your dream and you are closer to it. There, you got a reason to smile…

Your primary intent to travel to the USA is studying and there is no reason to be nervous about it. Thousands of students from all around the world do that. While a little nervousness is natural, sweating or hyperventilating is not a good sign. If you tend to get too fidgety, try some breathing exercises before you start your interview to keep your nerves calm.

Speak in English

Speak English with a forced Accent

Being able to communicate in English is one of the primary requirements for pursuing education in the USA. You have to be able to speak in English.

Visa Officers can understand Indian accents, so do not try to throw off an American accent. Be clear, crisp, and without forced accents as much as possible.

Look at the Interviewer

Stare

Not being able to make eye contact is considered a sign of dishonesty. Practice at home and look at the interviewer when answering the questions.

Looking in the eye and constantly staring without blinking are two different things. Continuous staring can make the interviewer uncomfortable – remember to blink while talking.

Carry your Documents

Offer your document unless asked

Always make sure the file you carry is complete with all the necessary documents and it is catalogued properly so that in case you are asked to present a document, you have it ready.

The visa officer, in all probability, would not ask for any documents. Please do not offer to show it to them (until and unless they specifically ask to see something).

emphasize Strong Home Ties

Show you are a potential immigrant

You should be able to convince the visa officer that you will return to your home country after completing your studies since you have strong ties.

Do not emphasize staying back for a long period after the course completion. Also, do not extend

your thoughts on getting a full-time job in the US and staying there permanently.

Also, read:

Commonly Asked F1 Visa Interview Questions with Answering Tips

F1 Visa Interview Questions and Answers: We cannot say it often enough – every interviewer is different and there are no set questions he/she might ask. However, the intent of the interview is simple enough:

  • One is to understand your intent – whether it is to settle in the USA or to study and come back
  • Two, and more importantly, to assess whether or not you can afford your stay in the USA

Based on the simple understanding, here are a few sample questions that might be asked and tips on how to answer them. Check out the following US interview questions and answers for reference:

Q. Why have you chosen this specific University?

Tip: You should go through the website and handbook of your university carefully. Pen down some highlighted features such as World ranking, the research facility, the faculty profile, Alumni profile etc. The Visa officer wants to know the reason behind joining the particular University. Also, reasons like – because I only got admitted from that University is not acceptable. Choosing the university should not come out like it did not matter which university you got through. You should be excited about going to that particular university. 

Q. Which universities did you apply to (both admits and rejects)?

Tip: Visa Officer wants to know if you are really serious about your education. Even if you applied to 4 and were accepted in 1 and got 3 rejects, honesty is the only way. Be honest about which University you chose. Be confident about the selection process you followed and in as short a statement as possible, suggest how you were really happy with the acceptance. For example,

On the basis of my specific course requirement, I was shortlisted and applied to four universities. This was among my top two choices and I was lucky to get an admission from the same. 

Q. Where did you complete your bachelor's?

Tip: Mention the name of the course and the university. If the university has a high ranking or some specific feature, mention that too. Keep it crisp and to the point.

Q. Who is sponsoring you?

Tip: If you have a scholarship to study in the USA, say that. Else mention the name of your sponsors, you may add that your father and mother are supporting you for your higher education as per the financial documents.

Q. What does your father/mother do?

Tip: The Visa officer basically wants to verify the financial capability of the sponsors. You are advised to go through the Income Tax Returns (ITR), and supporting documents of your sponsors carefully. Have a good idea of the income source of your father, mother and any other person who is sponsoring you. Also, do not simply suggest that he/she is in business or service. Be very clear about the nature of their work and their specific role

For example:

He is the Senior Branch Manager with SBI, Patiala Branch.

Or

She is a Professor at Hyderabad University, where she teaches Mercantile Law.

Q. What is your father's/mother’s/sponsor’s Income?

Tip: The Visa Officer wants to know if your sponsor’s annual income is sufficient enough to meet your expenses of studying abroad. They think that money can be put into banks, but annual income is proof that they heavily rely upon it to decide the student's sponsor’s capability to meet his/her educational expenses. You should mention the annual income as per IT Returns filed and submitted to the University for your I-20.

Q. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Tip: Such kind of questions is basically to verify whether your family has other members for whom your parents may have to raise fund later on. Basically, such questions are asked to evaluate the balance of income and expenses of the family.

Q. Do you have any relatives in the USA?

Tip: Be truthful in this instance. The Visa Officer will have a full record of this (about your brother/ sister/ mother/ father) with them. If your distant aunt or uncle stays there, then you don't have to say about them. All that matters is your immediate relatives i.e. own brother, sister, father or mother. Any of your relatives overstaying their legally permitted stay in the USA is not favourably considered.

Q. Why don't you do this course in your country?

Tip: You should know what difference the course would bring to you if done from the USA instead of India. If the course is not available in India, you can tell the Visa Officer that it is not offered in India. If the same course is available in India, highlight the differences in the quality of education and the course structure in India and the USA. You should convince the Visa Officer that doing this course from the USA will add value to your profile. Talk about a few pieces of research being conducted in that field. Technical words work out when other things don't.

Q. What will you do after completing MS/MBA/UG? Tell me how can you prove that you are going to come back?

Tip: If you intend to work after completing your course then say so. Tell them you are looking forward to working with some companies back in India. It would be good to mention the names of a few companies. If you were working, you could mention that you have an offer of joining your last organization after completing your education. If you are inclined towards continuing your education and pursuing research, mention the same as well. But do provide a hint that your family continues to be in India and you would want to come back to them once your academic pursuits are over.

Q. Why Study in the USA?

Tip: The Visa officer wants to understand your intentions to go to the USA. As you are applying for a student Visa you should only talk about how the USA offers quality education which would help you bring the best of the world to your country. Focus on highlighting the infrastructure available, the research and the method of teaching. Instead of the country, try to focus on the University and the course to highlight that it is only about education.

Q. Have you received any scholarship? Why has the University granted a Scholarship to you?

Tip: You should know how many scholarships you may get and probably the reason why a university is giving scholarships to your Visa Officer wants to know if you are aware of the scholarship programs and financial aid. Also if you have submitted any Statement of Purpose for the scholarship then mention that and carry a copy of the same.

Q. Have you got any Loans? How do you plan on repaying your Loan?

Tip: Answer about the quantum of the loan you have applied for and from where you have received the same. Also, to repay the same, suggest that you are confident to find a good opportunity in India after you graduate and you have all the intent to pay it off with your income. Do not suggest you would be paying off the loan by taking up part-time jobs in the US.

Q. Will you come back home during vacations/holidays?

Tip: The Visa officer wants to assess your ties to your home country and family. You can say that you plan to come back to meet your family and friends here in India. You should not say that you plan to work in the USA as that shows you are not financially strong and you are going there to earn money. This will make the Visa officer believe that even after completing your education, you would like to take up a job in the USA and try to settle there.

Apart from the above, the visa officer might ask you questions regarding your academic percentage, your sibling’s education and jobs as well as your current job. Remember, you need to be confident about your purpose – which is education from the USA and also confident that you can afford it.

So, take a deep breath and smile... All the best!

Interview Guide for F1 Student Visa for USA FAQs

Q. Which F1 visa interview questions can I expect during my interview?

A. Usually, interviewers ask basic questions related to the academic profile of the candidate or their reasons to study in USA choose a particular university, and more. We have provided some examples of the F1 visa interview questions and answers below:

Q. Why have you chosen this specific University?

To confidently tackle this question in the best possible way, you must thoroughly research about the university, its ranking, specialties, the research facility, the faculty profile, Alumni profile etc. You must make the examiner feel that you genuinely want to get into this university, instead of reasons such as you only got an offer letter from them.

Q. Which universities did you apply to (both admits and rejects)?

Tip: Visa Officer wants to know if you are really serious about your education. Even if you applied to 4 and were accepted in 1 and got 3 rejects, honesty is the only way. Be honest about which University you chose. Be confident about the selection process you followed and in as short a statement as possible, suggest how you were really happy with the acceptance. For example,

On the basis of my specific course requirement, I was shortlisted and applied to four universities. This was among my top two choices and I was lucky to get an admission from the same.

Q. Why don't you do this course in your country?

To answer this, you must research about the facts that how pursuing this in USA particular course is different from that in India. In case this course type is not offered by Indian universities, mention the same. If the same course is available in India, highlight the differences in the quality of education and the course structure in India and the USA. You should convince the Visa Officer that doing this course from the USA will add value to your profile. Talk about a few pieces of research being conducted in that field. Technical words work out when other things don't.

Q. How can I pass my F1 visa interview?

A. In order to pass the F1 visa interview, you must be well-prepared, wear that confidence and stay calm. We have listed some tips below to tackle the USA interview questions and some other best practices:

  • You must be well prepared with your portfolio containing all the documents, even though the Visa officer may not ask for it;
  • Thoroughly check out the Admission Essay or SOP you have submitted, the complete list of Universities and courses you had applied to;
  • You must be thorough with the course you have enrolled for, the kind of credit systems it has, the tenure, the faculty and the course highlights – basically why you chose that particular university;
  • Do your research about the state you would be visiting, the University’s history and the nearby location; and
  • Go through your Financial Documents to clearly understand how you would be paying for your education in the USA.

Other tips and tricks:

  • Wear formal clothes in basic/solid colors;
  • Practice minimal accessorizing;
  • Make sure your clothes are clean and well-ironed;
  • Ensure that you don't smell funky, neither use too much fragrance as it may irritate the interviewer; and
  • If your passport has a picture with glasses, make sure to wear them.

Q. What to wear for a US visa interview?

A. You must always appear for an interview in formal clothes. However, do not choose garish outfits or outfits that don’t match the weather. Men can wear formal shirts and trousers. Whereas girls can go for some formal Indian Attire which could be a simple sari or a salwar kameez. When it comes to the color scheme, go for basic, neutral, solid colors. Strictly avoid fluorescent colors. Instead, choose pastels when the interview is in summer or solid colors when the interview is in winter. One thing you should keep in mind is to avoid shaded garments as they tend to distract.

Ensure that your accessories are minimal. Women must not wear heavy danglers, long necklaces and bangles that jingle. If you must accessorize due to religious beliefs, please keep it to the bare minimum – anklets, for instance, that do not make noise are advised if you simply must wear them. Men should also avoid wearing heavy bracelets or chains that jingle.

You must make sure that your clothes are clean and well-ironed. Do not wear clothes that wrinkle easily.

Q. What to avoid during F1 visa interview?

A. Even the thought of appearing for an interview is often very overwhelming for students and can make them nervous. In the moment, it very easy to make a mistake. However, we have given below the list of some Dos and Don'ts to help you out:

Dos

Don’ts

Smile

Be Nervous

A smile brings confidence. There is no reason to look serious. Going to the USA for your Studies was your dream and you are closer to it. There, you got a reason to smile…

Your primary intent to travel to the USA is studying and there is no reason to be nervous about it. Thousands of students from all around the world do that. While a little nervousness is natural, sweating or hyperventilating is not a good sign. If you tend to get too fidgety, try some breathing exercises before you start your interview to keep your nerves calm.

Speak in English

Speak English with a forced Accent

Being able to communicate in English is one of the primary requirements for pursuing education in the USA. You have to be able to speak in English.

Visa Officers can understand Indian accents, so do not try to throw off an American accent. Be clear, crisp, and without forced accents as much as possible.

Look at the Interviewer

Stare

Not being able to make eye contact is considered a sign of dishonesty. Practice at home and look at the interviewer when answering the questions.

Looking in the eye and constantly staring without blinking are two different things. Continuous staring can make the interviewer uncomfortable – remember to blink while talking.

Carry your Documents

Offer your document unless asked

Always make sure the file you carry is complete with all the necessary documents and it is catalogued properly so that in case you are asked to present a document, you have it ready.

The visa officer, in all probability, would not ask for any documents. Please do not offer to show it to them (until and unless they specifically ask to see something).

Emphasize Strong Home Ties

Show you are a potential immigrant

You should be able to convince the visa officer that you will return to your home country after completing your studies since you have strong ties.

Do not emphasize staying back for a long period after the course completion. Also, do not extend your thoughts on getting a full-time job in the US and staying there permanently.

Q. What do they ask in US F1 visa interview?

A. Some of the most common questions F1 visa interview questions are:

Q. Why have you chosen this specific University?

Q. Which universities did you apply to (both admits and rejects)?

Q. Where did you complete your bachelor's?

Q. Who is sponsoring you?

Q. What does your father/mother do?

Q. What is your father's/mother’s/sponsor’s Income?

Q. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

Q. Do you have any relatives in the USA?

Q. Why don't you do this course in your country?

Q. What will you do after completing MS/MBA/UG? Tell me how can you prove that you are going to come back?

Q. Why study in the USA?

Q. Have you received any scholarship? Why has the University granted a Scholarship to you?

Q. Have you got any Loans? How do you plan on repaying your Loan?

Q. Will you come back home during vacations/holidays?

About the Author
author-image
Written by
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

author-image
Reviewed by
Niha
All courses in US

A postgraduate in English Literature from Jamia Milla Islamia, Niha has been associated with the education industry as a student counsellor for the past eight years now. Her expertise in customer service, communicat... Read Full Bio

Browse universities abroad

Comments

(62)

K

Kavya S

3 months ago

My paternal uncle lives in the US. He is a green card holder. However, I am not in touch with him. My father and paternal uncle share the same surname and Indian address. Should I mention my paternal uncle as a relative in the F1 VISA application?

Reply to Kavya S

C

Chhowang sherpa

4 months ago

My main sponsor is uncle/aunt. They are in USA. I am worried about how to tackle (sponsor question). desperate for the solution

Reply to Chhowang sherpa

A

Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

4 months ago

Hello! There must be a reason why you chose your uncle and aunt for sponsorship instead of your parents. Thus if your reasons are genuine and do not make your financial status weak, you can state the real reason for this decision. All the best!

A

Amandeep Kaur

5 months ago

why did you suddenly decide to continue your studies? please provide a solution of this question

Reply to Amandeep Kaur

A

Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

5 months ago

Hello Amandeep! If you have gap year (s), then this question might be relevant. You can simply share your views honestly as to why you want to study more and how are your goals aligned hence after. Try to be natural and convincing of your reasons. Good luck!

H

Harsh sandhu

8 months ago

Hi, I am going to alliant international university san diego for Masters in information technology and system. But I researched alot why this university, but I found the basic reasons, I want some genuine reasons having weightage in my answer, I have 60% in B.Sc IT from india, and after that I am wo

...more

Reply to Harsh sandhu

A

Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

8 months ago

Hello Harsh! Talk about your passion for the field of study you have chosen and how it will help you shape your knowledge and career prospects for the future. Plus talk about the scope of this field as well. Just be genuine with our reasons and have a proper logic-backed argument. Lastly, be confide

...more

D

Divine Ukandu

a year ago

Hi, I got accepted by Gadsden state community college and to study electronics engineering technology What do I need to have in mind about the school and the course I choose

Reply to Divine Ukandu

A

Aishwarya BhatnagarStudy Abroad Expert

10 months ago

Hello! You should just have clear ideas and reasons for your choice of course and university and also ensure that you are able to explain well to the interviewer. That would be sufficient. Good luck!