If you decide to study abroad in the United States, you will be hit with some us student visa interview questions we recommend you be prepared for in your interview. There is a long way to go to get your F1 visa and we want to explain the part of the process that puts some people on edge.
When applying for your F1 student visa, you will have to do an interview at the United States consulate or embassy in your country. We prepared a student visa interview guide for you so that you can go to your interview super prepared and not worry about faking it or being nervous about it. It is important to prepare for your interview in advance so that you can enter smooth sailing no matter what your interviewer throws at you.
Make sure to prepare for your interview because there are a lot of students that fail this interview simply because they didn’t put in the work to get ready for it. Many ended up getting asked unexpected questions they were not ready to answer and were not able to give the correct or clear responses to what can be very difficult questions.
Below we go over what the F1 interview looks like, and what kind of us student visa interview questions you can expect to receive!
What is an F1 Visa?
If you are a student, looking to pursue your dreams of studying in the United States, F1 Visa is one of the most common terms you could have heard of. Essentially, this visa could open the door to higher education in the States.
For starters, this is a non-immigrant visa that is usually granted for a period of 5 years. This visa is issued to academic students enrolled in universities, colleges, high schools, language training programs, and other academic institutions.
It is important to mention here that the eligibility criteria and qualifications set for obtaining an F1 visa are quite difficult.
First and foremost, you would have to prove that you have intentions to return home after your education is completed. If your visa interviewer knows that you want to become a permanent resident in the States, your application will be rejected.
That being said, your application must be backed by an official acceptance to a school or educational institute in the US. Talking about financial requirements, you must have sufficient financial backup to cover you living and study costs in the country.
Lastly, an important requirement of the application process is knowing that you possess ties to your home country, including family ties or assets or bank accounts and the likes.
F1 Visa Acceptance Rate
Although a lot of students want to study in the US, they are often laid back by the tough F1 visa acceptance rate. This is because the chances of getting a visa approval here are very low.
However, over the last few years, the visa acceptance rate has been on the rise which has enabled a lot of students to pursue their foreign study dreams. Let us understand how this analysis stands at present.
In the fiscal year 2015, a total of 987,831 visa applications were accepted. This also includes the J1 and M1 visa applications. This seems like a pretty big number. But, considering the fact that 259,722 more applications were eventually rejected, getting through the F1 visa application process is not easy.
Let us move one year ahead from then. In 2016, there was a total of 644,204 visas issued to students wishing to study in the USA. Coming to 2017, there was a 17% drop in the approval rate for pursuing students. The year ending September 2017, the total count of issued visa stood at 393,573. This indicates a 39% drop from the numbers we encountered in the fiscal year 2016.
Over the last 4-5 years, the US government has been scrutinizing the visa applications far too strictly. This statistical change, however, is dependent on the schools and their categories. While some high-end schools and institutions receive better responses for visa applications, some other schools fall back in this regard.
The F1 Student Visa Interview Questions
During the interview, visa officers are trying to figure out whether you are actually coming to the United States to study or not. They do those interviews because, unfortunately, a lot of people apply for an F1 student visa and don’t plan to study in the United States – they just plan to immigrate and overstay their visa. Many F1 applicants will pretend to go to the US to pursue studies so that they are granted passageway into the country. The important parts covered during the interview include questions about the college and university, bank and finances, family and relatives, work and job prospects and other miscellaneous questions that might seem irrelevant during the time of the interview.
Student Visa Questions, Part 1: College & University
In this part, the visa officer is going to ask you questions about the college or university you have applied to. Please note those are just example questions, but they will help you to get prepared.
Student Visa Questions, Part 2: Bank & Finance
This part is a really important one and you have to be prepared for all of these us f1 visa interview questions. The visa officers want to know if you will be able to financially support your studies in the United States, as we all know to lived and studying in the United States can be overwhelmingly expensive. It is very important that you answer all of the questions in a way that visa officers are expecting. For this part, you need to bring your bank statements, transactions, passbook, latest transactions, and other finance-related documents.
Student Visa Questions, Part 3: Relatives & Family Members
For this part of the student visa interview, you need to remember the answers you have given in form DS160. For example, if you have relatives in the United States, tell them that you have relatives there – don’t lie about it. Lying only makes things worse and can cause you a lot of trouble. The following questions are ones you can expect in the part of relatives and family members:
Student Visa Questions, Part 4: Work & Job
These questions also give an idea about your lifestyle and whether or not you might be going to the US to stay for longer.
Student Visa Questions, Part 5: General Questions
Here you can find a mix of all kinds of questions. Apart from the above mentioned they will ask you general questions in between. Here are some:
It is an exhausting list but it encompasses the possible us student visa interview questions you might be asked in your interview.
F1 Visa Interview
Once an F1 visa applicant completes all of the documentation for their visa application, the next step to determining their qualification is the student visa interview.
What Is It?
The F1 Visa interview is a brief interview between you and a visa officer which establishes that you meet the requirements of the visa. Not all F1 visa applicants need to interview, specifically students under 13 years old or older than 80 years old, have no requirement to interview. However, if you do need to interview, you will schedule the interview through the US embassy or consulate in your home country.
It is important to note that you must receive your F1 visa at least 30 days prior to your academic program start date. Since the F1 visa is the last step before receiving your visa, make sure to schedule your interview as early as possible to ensure that you will meet the deadline for the visa.
How Does It Work?
Every visa interview is different, and many applicants experience varying types of interviews based on their interviewing officer and their personal plans for the visa. Some interviews are very formal, whereas others are more like a conversion about your academic plans and endeavors.
There is no list of us f1 visa interview questions that every interviewer follows. However, every interviewing officer is only trying to find out two things about your time on your visa.
Most of the questions the interviewer will ask will pertain to these two topics so you should be prepared to adequately answer any questions regarding your educational plans and financial support while on the visa.
Documents You Need for an F1 Visa Interview
Like with other Visa application interviews, the F1 Visa interview requires specific documentation that you must bring to the interview (to avoid 221g refusal, above all else). These items include the following:
How to Dress for Your F1 Visa Interview
When going in for your F1 visa interview, you’ll want to make a good first impression. The problem with first impressions, though, is that they are made before you open your mouth. People form opinions about others immediately upon seeing them, so you want to make sure you’ve dressed appropriately for your interview.
What is Considered Formal Attire?
Dress for the Weather and Season
Keep Accessories to a Minimum
Make Sure Your Clothes are Clean and Presentable
Make Sure You Smell Clean for Your Interview
Make Sure You Look as Close to Your Passport Photo as Possible
Top 9 Tips for the F1 Visa Interview
Now that you know all about the F1 Visa interview process and the documentation you should bring with you, all that’s to do is complete the actual interview. For many, this is the most nerve-wracking part. Prospective students that have made it this far in the visa process want to make sure they don’t mess up.
You should know that it’s natural to be nervous, but there is no need to be scared! If you follow these 11 tips, you will be well on your way to receiving your visa in no time.
Make a Good First Impression
When meeting your interviewer, making a great first impression can set the tone for the rest of the interview. Dressing formally, giving a strong handshake, and appearing confident are easy ways to start off the interview on the right foot.
Just like in any other setting, clear communication helps get your point across much more effectively. You should try and avoid filler words such as “like” or “um” and take your time when answering the questions.
One great way to improve your communication is by having practice interviews with a friend or relative before your real interview. Ask them to take note of how often you use filler words, and to provide feedback on how you can communicate more clearly when answering questions.
All F1 visa interviews are conducted in English, however, if English is not your native language, don’t worry! You don’t need to have the fluency level of a native English speaker, but you should be able to understand all of the questions without needing a translation.
Again, it’s okay to take your time while answering the questions. As long as the interviewer understands that your English level is high enough for your academic program and living in the US, you will still do fine without having perfect English pronunciation or fluency.
Although every interview is different, as stated above, there are two main things the interviewer wants to determine from the interview: your educational plans and financial support. Therefore, you should be prepared to answer student visa interview questions that pertain to these two topics such as ‘how do you plan to pay for your living expenses?’, or ‘what do you plan to do after your educational program ends?’.
Even though the U.S. F1 visa interview questions are not the same for every interview, here are 65 student visa interview questions that will prepare you for what the interviewer will ask during your interview.
Know Your School and Program
The interviewer will ask a few questions regarding the school and program you plan to attend. Since the program is the reason you are applying for the visa, you should be well informed about what program you are attending and how it will help you in your future career or educational goals.
Some things to know are how long the program lasts, what you will be learning, what you plan to do with the knowledge you gain from the program, and why you chose that particular program to attend. Overall, think about why you chose to attend that program rather than one in your home country.
Prove Your Intent to Return Home
The F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, so after the educational program ends, you must plan to return back to your home country. The interviewer will try to ensure that this is your plan by asking you questions about when you plan to return home and what you plan to do after your program.
When answering these student visa interview questions, make sure to clearly communicate that you do not plan to stay in the US after your program ends. If you don’t, this would disqualify you from the F1 visa.
Keep Your Answers Precise and Concise
Most visa interviews are extremely short, often under 5 minutes. Therefore, you want to keep your answers concise so that you have time to answer all of the questions. Again, practicing the interview beforehand can help with this. When you practice answering common interview questions beforehand, you will eliminate the time it takes for you to think of your answer and will increase the effectiveness of your answer.
Since there is so much riding on this interview, many applicants will overstress during the interview. This can make them look questionable and flustered.
You should try to stay as positive as possible throughout your interview so that you appear polite, calm, and relaxed. Even if you feel like you made a mistake, stay positive!
Your visa interviewer has likely given hundreds of interviews before and will know if you are being dishonest. You should never lie during your interview or fake any documents that you bring to the interview. Doing so will only increase your chance of denial.
F1 vs. J1 Visa
Both F1 and J1 visas are provided to students who want to study in the United States. But how are the two different from one another? Let us evaluate these on some of the distinct features.
When it comes to F1 visa, the funding is generally derived from internal or external sources or a combination of the two. In the case of a J1 visa, the student is usually funded majorly by an outside source.
Further, to get the F1 visa, it is essential to provide proper financial support evidence for the first year. On the other hand, when it comes to securing a J1 visa, you need to show financial support for the entire duration of the course.
Thus, the source of funding is an important difference between the two.
A lot of foreign students in the US prefer to work part-time on their university campus to generate some extra income. Both J1 and F1 visas allow this. But, when it comes to the recess periods, the students holding the F1 visa can work freely. However, the J1 visa holder would need additional permission from the Alternate Responsible Officer.
For off-campus employment or Optional Practical Training, the students on F1 visa can engage in these activities for a total of 12 months, distributed during their study period. On the other hand, the J1 visa holders need to complete 36 months of similar work.
Can the dependents of the visa holder apply for employment during this tenure? For an F1 visa, the dependents cannot apply for a job whatsoever. On the other hand, the J1 visa allows the dependents to apply for permission to work in the United States!
It will not be wrong to say that the F-1 Visa is basically your gateway to the United States. If you meet the requirements and qualifications, you could pursue your studies in the USA and take-up part-time campus employment as well!
For more great visa and financial information, check out the Stilt Blog!
All you need to do is prepare yourself properly for the F1 visa interview. We hope this article would have helped you in cracking the interview.
So what are your views on this? How was your experience when it comes to securing an F1 visa? Let us know in the comments below.