6 Mistakes International Students Must Avoid During Their F1 Visa Interview in the United States
You are given an immediate decision – “visa approved” or “visa denied”!
Your F1 visa interview will be no more than 5 to 7 minutes long. This makes it difficult to impress the visa officer interviewing you in such a short period of time.
1. Failure to Prepare for the Interview
Nothing is worse than showing up for a US visa interview unprepared! If you are serious about studying in the United States, you must bring all relevant documents to the interview, be well-dressed, and prepare for often requested interview questions and responses ahead of time.
While there is a comprehensive collection of F-1 student visa interview questions available below, here are some of the most common question types to get you started:
What are your intentions for studying in the United States?
Why did you decide to study at the university that you want to attend?
How will you support your research?
Information on your parents, guardians, and/or relatives in the United States
Where do you intend to stay in the United States?
What are your plans after graduation?
Always be specific in your responses. Don’t belabour the point or over-explain your responses.
If the interviewer believes you need additional information, you may be asked extra questions. You may also be required to produce particular documentation to back up your claims. As a result, it is always wise to be prepared.
2. Failure to demonstrate your Intent to Return
Proving your desire to return entails stating that you intend to return to your home country after completing your study in the United States.
The F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, therefore stating that you want to stay in your home country permanently or not being specific about your property, company, family or friends, and any links you have back home would be regarded red flags.
3. Lack of confidence in your replies
Make an excellent first impression. Smile at your interviewer, exchange pleasantries, and dress formally. The tone of the rest of your interview will be set by this.
The essential thing to note here is that the interviewer wants to know whether you have a good justification for picking the university you want to attend and if you have a solid financial plan to back up your school charge and cost of living while studying in the United States.
So be prepared to respond to these inquiries. Be truthful and stick to your response. Your interviewer will notice if you appear doubtful or reluctant when answering a question. They may even ask you a series of questions on the same subject or request documentation to back up your allegations. Respond boldly and comfortably.
4. Failure to carry your documentation
You will be familiar with the DS-160 form and the I-20 form if you are familiar with the requirements and application process for the F1 student visa.
Your I-20 paperwork is issued by the SEVP-approved US college or university where you have been admitted. This form contains information such as your course duration and education money. It also allows you to make an appointment with the local US Embassy or Consulate for your F1 visa interview.
At your visa interview, you must bring the original Form I-20, the DS-160 confirmation document, and a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your stay in the United States.
Other papers include the payment receipt for your F-1 visa application, your photograph, and so on. See the list of F1 visa interview papers below for a comprehensive list.
5. Being late or missing an appointment
Arriving late for a visa interview demonstrates that you are unconcerned with your academics.
You will not be permitted to enter the US Consulate for your interview if you arrive 15 minutes after your planned appointment time. You will have to reschedule your appointment for another day.
6. Failure to clearly share information regarding your lodging
If you wish to remain with a relative in the United States throughout your course, or if you want to stay in university-provided housing, you must be certain.
Your interviewer will want to hear why you are making these decisions. Assume you have an uncle in the United States but wish to remain on campus. When asked why, you can say that you don’t feel safe living with them because they aren’t blood relations. Staying on campus will also provide you with greater freedom in terms of group studies, projects, part-time employment, and any other extracurricular activities that you may be interested in.
What exactly is an F1 Student Visa?
An F-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that permits overseas students from all over the world to study full-time in the United States.
What is an F1 Student Visa? F1 students can only study at institutions recognised by the SEVP.
Who requires an F1 visa?
If you wish to study at a, you’ll require a F Visa.
College or university
Senior High School
Elementary school for the wealthy
Another educational institution with a language training programme
How can I obtain an F1 visa to study in the United States? (F1 Visa Application)
You must be accepted into a degree programme at a US institution of higher learning that is accredited.
Then, through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, wait for the I-20 form or the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (SEVIS).
The institution or college that a student has been admitted into sends the I-20 form to them.
Obtaining the I-20 paperwork is the first step in the US student visa application process.
When your I-20 is issued, the SEVIS receives the following information:
Your SEVIS identification number
Start and finish dates of the study programme
Your programme of study’s name and funding sources
Additional personal information
After receiving your I-20, you must perform the following:
Pay the SEVIS charge ($350) online and retain the e-receipt.
Use the online DS-160 form ($160 USD) to apply for your non-immigrant visa. A printed confirmation with a barcode will be sent to you. To obtain your DS-160 form, you will need your I-20, passport, trip itinerary, and a picture for your visa.
Make an appointment with the nearest US embassy or consulate.
Student (F and M) visas to the United States can be issued up to 120 days before the commencement date of your study programme.
However, don’t wait too long after receiving your acceptance letter to book your visa interview, since the procedure might take up to two months. Check the wait time for a visa appointment here.
Also Read: How to Apply for a Study Visa in the United States
Can an F1 student work in the United States?
Yes, an F1 student visa holder may work in the United States.
For overseas students, the F-1 visa in the United States allows for free on-campus employment and four options for off-campus employment. This will allow you to finance your living expenses in the United States while also gaining valuable experience in your subject of study.
Off-campus work falls into four categories:
Employment on Campus
Optional Practical Experience (OPT)
Economic Difficulties International Institutions Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Optional practical training (OPT) allows F1 visa holders to work off-campus both during and after their degree. The assignment should be closely relevant to your topic of study.
Curricular Practical Training (OCT) incorporates practical training within the curriculum. Both of these allow F1 students to pay for their studies while gaining useful job experience.
You must select one of the programmes since you will not be able to work for both.
What papers must you bring to your F-1 visa interview in the United States?
Before your visa interview, gather and prepare the following documents:
Nonimmigrant Visa Application with a Valid Passport, Form DS-160 Confirmation Page
Receipt for application fee payment
Bring a digitally printed photo (Photograph Requirements) if your upload failed while completing Form DS-160 online.
A signed Form I-20 from you and your SEVP-approved school official. Individual Form I-20s will be issued to your dependents who wish to live in the United States with you.
A consular official may ask for proof of:
Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from the schools you attended; and Standardized test results needed by your U.S. school;
Your intention to leave the United States after the term of study is completed; and
With financial support documentation and bank statements, explain how you intend to pay for all educational, living, and travel expenses.
The Price of an F-1 Student Visa
The SEVIS charge is $350. (INR 25,380)
Fee for Visa Application (DS-160 Form): $160 (INR 11,602)