After successfully getting an admit, international students have to convince the US government to grant them an F1 student visa to pursue their studies. As an F1 visa holder, you can pursue any course and can also work part-time for 20 hours every week.
The United States has always welcomed international students to pursue higher education. If you are an aspirant who is applying to study in the US, you need a US student visa to enter the US. Based on the course you want to pursue, there are three types of US Student Visas—F1 visa, M visa and J visa. The M visa is for vocational studies, while the F1 visa is for admission into colleges and universities in the US.
What is an F1 Visa?
The F1 visa is an international student visa that allows students from other countries to study an academic or a language training program.
Visa validity: The validity of an F1 visa is 5 years. The students may extend their stay up to 60 days beyond the length of the course completion unless the student has applied for and has the approval to stay and work in the US under the OPT program.
Questions for F1 Visa Interview
During the F1 visa interview, the consular officer will ask you questions in different ways about the college/university you have applied for, your finances, education, work, your career path, family, etc. The visa officer ensures authenticity of documents and determines if you are eligible for the visa. Some questions may even seem irrelevant, however you should answer them all honestly and precisely.
*Note: To help you prepare for your F1 visa interview, Zolve has compiled a list of 50 questions from students who have already given the F1 interview. For your better understanding, we have also divided the questions into sections. Please note that questions here are for reference only and do not reflect the exact question pattern that may be followed during your F1 visa interview.
F1 visa questions about your US college/ university:
- What is the name of the college or university you will study at, and why have you chosen this specific university or college?
- What is the name of the course and the degree you are planning to study?
- How many colleges/universities have you applied to and why?
- What are the names of those universities you have applied to?
- Did you get accepted by them, and if yes, what are the names of the universities you got accepted to?
- Which universities have rejected your application?
- What is the name of the university where you have completed your undergraduate degree?
- What was your GPA or percentage in your undergraduate course?
- In which year did you complete your undergraduate degree?
- What are your academic achievements? And what is your academic background?
- Tell me more about your university and which degree you pursued?
- Why do you want to study in the US?
- For how long do you intend to stay in the US?
- Do you wish to study for a PhD in the US after completing your master’s degree?
- Are you in touch with any professors from the US university, and what are their names?
F1 visa questions on finances of your study program
This is a critical section from the set of questions for F1 visa interviews. The consular officer wants to make sure that you can fund your education. You need to carry all the related documents to support the same.
- Who is funding or paying for your education?
- What is their source of income and professional background?
- What are your father’s/mother’s profession and income?
- What is the monthly income of the person who is paying for your studies?
- What is the annual income of your sponsor?
- Have you taken a student loan?
- What is the annual fee of the university you have applied to?
- Please show us your current bank account statement.
- Please explain the recent depositions of large portions in your bank statement.
F1 visa questions relating to your work and job
- If you work, what is your work experience?
- Why do you plan to leave your current job and study in the US?
- What is your annual salary at the present job?
- After completion of your intended course, do you plan to work in the US?
- What are your savings?
- Do you plan to continue working while studying?
F1 visa questions about you and your family
You need to remember all the details you have furnished in the form DS160. These details may include information about your relatives or any family members staying in the US.
- How many siblings do you have?
- Do any of your family members/relatives live in the US?
- Where does your brother/sister live in the US? Do they study or work there?
- Would you, too, like to stay in the US to work like your brother/sister/family member?
- Are any of your family members/relatives studying at the same university you plan to go to?
- What is your marital status?
- Do you have children?
- Who will take care of your children’s education during your stay in the US?
General Questions for F1 Visa Interview:
Why do you want to study in the United States when your own country has many premium institutes?
- Why did you not choose Australia/Canada or any other country instead of the US?
- What do you like about the United States as a country?
- What is your GRE/TOEFL score?
- What do you know about the education system in the US and how different it is from your home country?
- Why did you change your field/career path?
- What do you plan to do after completing your studies in the US?
- What are your career objectives?
- How can you prove you don’t intend to stay back in the US after completing the course?
- Will this be your first visit to the US, or have you visited before?
- What are your alternate options if you don’t get the student visa?
- Why do you think you deserve to get the F1 student visa?
F1 Visa Interview overview
F1-Visa interview lasts for 3 to 4 minutes. The visa officer interviews you to see if you meet the eligibility criteria for the F1 visa. Visa applicants under the age of 13 or above 80 years do not need the interview. You need to schedule an F1 Visa interview through the US embassy in your country.
Please note that you must receive your F1 visa at least 30 days before your course’s commencement. So, schedule your interview accordingly.
F1 Visa Interview Experience
The F1 visa interview experience varies from one candidate to another. It also depends on the interviewer and the applicant’s profile. The F1 visa interview can entail a personal conversation about your family and their details, a discussion about your career plans or a very formal interview regarding your academic preferences.
Here are a few suggestions for you to have a successful visa interview:
- Dress in formal attire;
- Be presentable and have a pleasant disposition during your interview;
- Appear confident and make a good first impression;
- Answer the questions in a precise and concise manner;
- Make sure that you have a resemblance to your passport photo;
- Prepare well for the interview. You can refer to the list of questions for the F1 visa interview we have shared above;
- Practice mock interviews;
- Be calm and be honest with your answers.
US Student Visa Application Process
After receiving your form I-20, you can begin your US visa application.
1. A valid passport.
2. Form DS-160, The Non-immigrant Visa application.
3. A passport photo.
4. Form I-20 A certificate of eligibility for F1 student status.
5. Other additional documents required for F1 student visa eligibility checks like academic transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates.
6. Documents with Test scores such as TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, or SAT.
7. The proof of your strong intent to return to your homeland or your own country once you complete the program.
8. Proof that you can financially pay for your program fees- Bank statements, bank transactions, etc.
9. SEVIS receipt fee.
10. Receipt of the visa application fee.
11. Visa appointment letter.
- Schedule and attend the visa interview – The F1 visa interview will decide if you are eligible for an F1 student visa or not.
We recommend you prepare well in advance for the interview and prepare your answers to the questions for the F1 visa interview.
US F1 Visa Status – COVID19
During the pandemic, from March 16, 2020, US embassy offices in India suspended all the operations and cancelled all the interviews.
Since October ‘20, the embassies in India have restarted the process. Please check with your local institution’s advisor and the regional embassy or consulate for more information on visa status covid19.
Owing to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as of 9th April 2020, US Consulate Mumbai has announced to grant only emergency visas, other consulates are operating normally.
Reasons for F1 Visa Rejection
The F1 visa process is, for sure, daunting. Here, we bring you the most common reasons the consular officer may reject your visa. We also tell you how to avoid and overcome these reasons for rejection in your F1 visa interview.
- F1 visa rejection 214b – You get the F1 visa rejection 214B when you cannot show the intent to leave the US once you complete your studies. If you do not qualify under the 214(B) section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), your application will get a 214B visa denial. To avoid this, be confident and tell the officer that your only purpose of visiting the US is attending the academic program.
- Documentation reasons – Be sure to provide all the documents required for the application.
- Proof of financial resources – You need to prove that you can support yourself financially and fund your education in the US.
- English language – Practice well before the interview and work on your English language skills. English is the primary language in the US and it is essential that students are well versed with the language to effectively communicate, understand and learn.
- Unsatisfactory responses to questions asked by the interviewer.
Your visa status is at the discretion of the official. The consular officer who takes your interview will scrutinize your application. He will judge you on various aspects including truthfulness, accuracy, how confidently you answer the questions at the time of your F1 visa interview, among others.
Preparing well for the interview is the only key to have a successful F1 visa interview experience.
We wish you the best on your journey to pursue higher studies in the United States. You can access the plethora of resources that Zolve offers you online .You should have a confident, concise and honest approach to ace your Visa interview at the US Embassy.