USA is one of the most sought-after destinations for young talent worldwide. Regardless of the domain, be it technology, medicine, business studies or art, American universities attract millions of students from across the globe each year.
The F1 student visa lets you study in a US university, high school, elementary school or any other academic institution, including a language training program. The M1 visa, on the other hand, is for acceptance to any vocational or other recognized non-academic institutions.
Nearly 364,000 foreign students with F1 visas were newly enrolled at a US college or university in 2016, according to statistics released by Pew Research Centre.
Students from India accounted for 66,000 visas of this total figure, accounting for approximately 18% of the foreign students. So, if you are one of the young aspirants planning to pursue an education in the United States, here is a list of common visa interview questions to help you prepare.
Commonly Asked F1 Visa Interview Questions
Why did you choose to study in the USA? / Why study in USA and not UK, Europe or your own country? / Why did you choose this university?
Give a detailed answer about why you wish to study in USA in the first place. Mention qualities of the American education system that you like. For instance, you might feel that US universities provide excellent opportunities for research.
Tell the official how the university in which you are going to study excels in your chosen field. Do not give answers like my brother or sister or friend said it is one of the best. Actually, one of my friends did say that he was going to a particular university because he has been rejected by other colleges! This did not really please the consular official.
So, even if that is the case with you, give valid reasons about why your chosen university is a good option. Basically, they want to know that you are sure about your career plan and will not be wasting their resources for the next few years.
Why do you want to do a Masters’s degree? / How will it help you? / What will be your major in MS?
Again, these questions are to determine how much effort you have put into deciding upon your future plan.
Explain your purpose enthusiastically, as to how a master’s degree will further your quest to gain more knowledge in the field and advance your career prospects. Give details of your specialization in MS, and the reason you have chosen that subject.
What are your plans after you graduate?
This is a very tricky question. Refrain from making any statement that could be construed as you possibly staying back in the US for employment. Give answers like, “I will return to my country and take up a teaching post in a good university,” or “I will come back and join a reputed IT firm.”
Have you been to the US before? / Have you ever been outside India?
Answer these questions truthfully and give full details of any previous foreign trips you have made. If you have not been anywhere outside India before, answer with a confident “no,” it does not matter if you haven’t.
Which universities did you apply to? / Which universities did you get admission in? / What was your GMAT or TOEFL or GRE score? / Why are the scores so low?
Give them all the details of your application procedure. Tell them truthfully about the universities that did not accept you and why you think that happened. Carry your score sheets. If the scores are low, give them valid reasons for that. If you have been accepted to more than one university, provide a solid explanation about your decision to choose the particular university you are going to attend.
What do you do? / Which company do you work for? / What is your salary? / What responsibilities do you fulfill in the company? / Why do you want to leave such a good job and go to the US?
These questions are mainly asked by students who wish to pursue MS after working for a few years. Answer them truthfully, and convince them that the education is going to help you in your career growth and that you plan to come back and get much more suitable employment.
What do your parents do? How much is your father’s or mother’s salary? / Who is sponsoring your education? / Do you have a scholarship?
Answer truthfully regarding your parents’ occupation. Carry documentary evidence, such as their bank account statements, passbooks, pay slips, and education loan documents, if they are funding your education.
In case you are going on a scholarship, mention the details, and also plan how you will sustain yourself for other costs, such as, “I will work as a teaching assistant” or “I plan to take up a part-time job at the library.” I have seen people getting rejected because they submit documents in which non-related individuals are paying for their education. That could be the case but work around it.
It is ok to be nervous and fumble. Just make sure you don’t distort facts due to your nervousness. The visa officer already has an idea about you and your application. You have to hold your ground on two main points, your finances, and ties to your home country. You will be fine!
All the best! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Don’t forget to share the article if you liked it.