An F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa meant for students wishing to study in the United States of America. An F1 visa is mandatory for all courses and levels of education in the USA, and all foreign applicants are required to apply for it.
Individuals who have secured admission to a course in an American university have to apply for this visa once they have proof of their acceptance. The F1 visa permits the holder to live in the United States of America for the duration of their course only. This visa is meant exclusively for individuals who wish to study and cannot be used in lieu of a tourist visa/work visa.
Questions Asked During an F1 Visa Interview
What do you know about American universities?
For such a question, the immigration officer wants to know the reason you chose to study in America. As an applicant you should put forward points that made you choose universities in America for your education by highlighting certain advantages.
Why choose the United States of America? Why not choose Canada or Australia?
For this question, the immigration officer is checking to see if you can justify your reasons for picking an American university. As an applicant, you will have to list points that appealed to you when it came to American universities over their counterparts.
What specialization are you pursuing?
For this question, provide the name of your course in full (for example, a Masters in Political Science or a Graduate Degree in Biology).
Why do you want to do a Masters course?
For this question, the officer wants to see if you have a definite reason and purpose for pursuing the course you have applied for. Provide an explanation that states why your course is necessary for your prospects and ensure you are confident it is the right choice.
What was your major in your undergraduate programme?
For this question, provide details of your undergraduate major as well as the subjects.
Could I see your Bachelor’s/School Degree?
For this question, answer appropriately. Provide original documents.
Why choose to pursue a Ph.D. program in the United States of America?
For this question, the immigration officer wants to know the rationale behind you choosing to pursue higher education in the U.S. Make sure to list the key points behind your decision as well as why it is important for you to pursue such a course.
Why have you changed your academic background now?
For this question, provide a clear reason for the reason behind the change of stream/specialization. Make sure your reason can be backed up if you are questioned further.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
For this question, the immigration officer is checking to see if you plan on staying on in America. Ensure your response demonstrates your desire to return to your home country.
Have you visited the United States of America before?
For this question, answer truthfully, if yes, mention the purpose (for example, on holiday, to tour a campus etc.)
Do you have your GMAT/TOEFL/GRE test score report?
Answer appropriately. If you have the scores, provide originals.
Why are your test scores low?
For this question, answer truthfully, explaining mistakes made in the tests. Provide a reason for the poor performance instead of attempting to cover up mistakes or errors.
When did you graduate from school/college?
For this question, provide the year as well as the educational institution from where you graduated/ completed your schooling.
Could I see your transcripts/mark sheets?
Answer appropriately. Provide originals, and provide a justifiable reason if you do not have them.
Which universities did you apply to?
For this question, answer appropriately, listing the names of the universities you applied to.
Which universities did you get accepted to?
For this question, provide details of the universities that accepted you into their program.
Which university will you be going to?
For this question, provide the name of the university you have selected.
Why have you chosen this particular university?
For this question, the immigration officer wants to know the reason behind you choosing the particular university. Provide a truthful answer that you can justify if probed further.
How will this university benefit you?
For this question, the immigration officer wants to know how well you have researched the university you have selected. Your answer should reflect the reasons behind choosing the particular university. Ensure you are conversant about the university’s background.
What do you know about the city your university is located in?
For this question, the immigration officer wants to know if you have done adequate research on the city you will be moving to. Answer truthfully and keep your answers short and to the point.
Are you the recipient of a scholarship?
For this question, answer accordingly. If you have received a scholarship, mention the amount of the scholarship. Also provide documentation to back up your claim.
Did you contact any professors during the course of your application?
For this question, provide a yes or no answer depending on if you did.
Do you remember the names of the professors you contacted?
For this question, provide the names and designations of the professors you contacted, if any.
Do you have any family living in the United States of America?
For this question, provide an appropriate answer.
Do you have any friends in the United States of America?
For this question, provide a direct answer (yes/no). Answer truthfully, as there could be follow up questions (such as where they stay etc.)
Do you have any siblings?
For this question, provide a direct answer (yes/no) and details (for example, I have a younger brother/older sister).
What do your parents do?
For this question, provide a truthful response as the immigration officer can verify the answer you provide.
What are your parent’s incomes?
For this question, answer truthfully as the information can be verified.
Could I see tax returns?
For this question, provide a direct answer. Provide original documentation.
Could I see a bank statement?
For this question, provide the necessary information.
Have you taken any loans?
Ensure you are truthful. If you have taken a loan, divulge the amount and the type of loan taken (personal, education etc.). Also provide the loan documentation as given by the bank.
Where do your parents live?
Answer this question as appropriate.
Do you live with your parents?
Answer as applicable. If you live apart from your parents, provide details of your residence.
Are you working at present? / Did you work during your graduate course?
For this question, answer as applicable. If yes, provide details of the job held or currently held.
How long have you worked for?
Provide information as applicable. Ensure you have valid documentation for each of your employment stints.
Tell me a little about the company you work for?
Describe your current/past company in brief, mentioning the industry type as well as the location.
What are your roles and responsibilities at your current job?
For this question, provide a truthful description of your present job and the work you perform. Do not embellish or try to glamourize the position deliberately.
Could you provide a few references from your current job, like a supervisor’ contact?
For this question, provide correct contact information for a direct supervisor/boss.
How much are you being paid?
Answer this question as applicable. Provide salary slips or salary statements as proof of your answer.
You seem well settled in your job. Why have you chosen to pursue your course at this juncture?
For this question, the immigration officer wants to know the reason behind your decision to study. Provide a reason that is truthful and make sure your answer is delivered in a confident tone. Justify your answer.
Who is sponsoring your study in the United States of America?
For this question, the immigration officer wants to check the veracity of your claim. Provide a truthful answer of your sponsor as you may be asked follow up questions.
Will you require a loan to finance your education in the United States?
For this question, provide a truthful answer as the immigration officer has all financial documentation in front of him. If you will be applying for a loan, state the amount and the tenure of the loan.
What will your living arrangements be one you begin your course?
For this question, the immigration officer wants to check if you will be able to fund your stay once your course begins. Provide a truthful answer (example, I will be staying in campus accommodation/with a relative/off campus/with friends etc. as applicable).
Have you applied for a student visa before?
For this question, provide a truthful answer as the immigration officer has access to past documentation, if any.
Why should you be given a student visa?
For this question, put forward a strong case for why you should be given a chance to study in America at your university of choice. Be confident when making your points and list a few key points. Do not ramble/digress from the key reasons. Make sure the immigration officer sees the purpose and drive behind your desire to study in the United States.
The above are possible questions that could be asked at an interview for an F1 visa interview. They are merely representative and the questions could vary based on the responses provided as well as on the course being applied for.
Providing clear, concise and succinct responses that convey your points in a straightforward manner go a long way in helping you clear your visa interview.
Rules and Regulations International - F1 Visa Students
I-20: Your I-20 Form is issued for two years. You may be given an extension on the I-20 dates if needed as long as you are continuously enrolled. Do not let your I-20 expire. If you need an extension on the I-20, you should contact us in a timely manner before the expiration date. If it expires, you will be out of the F-1 student status. It is your responsibility to check the I-20 form.
Passport: Do not let your passport expire. You must possess a passport that is valid at all times. You should renew your passport six months prior to the expiration date at your country's Consulate in the United States or in your country.
I-94 Card: Card issued to you at time of entry into the United States which documents your legal status, your initial entry date and port of entry. Should note F-1 and D/S (Duration of Status). This is your permit to stay in the U.S. and should be kept in your passport.
F-1 Visa: This visa reflects the status given to you to enter the U.S. temporarily for the sole purpose of study. NOTE: If your F-1 Student Visa expires while you are in the United States, you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are in valid F-1 student status; you should update the visa the next time you travel to your home country.
Update - us of any address, phone or email changes.
Full-Time Enrollment: Pursuing a full course of study is one of the cornerstones of maintaining F1 status; you must continue to pursue and maintain a full course of study throughout the entire time under an F-1 student status. If you are not enrolled full-time, we are required to report to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This will impact your continuing eligibility for a student visa and continued enrollment.
You MUST complete the following number of hours each semester: Fall Semester – minimum 12 credits (4 classes)/ Spring Semester-minimum 12 credits
Summer 1- optional/ summer 2- optional
Withdraw - If you withdraw, fail to maintain full-time status or otherwise terminate or interrupt your course of study without first obtaining approval, you will be considered out of status. Immigration only allows withdrawals under specific reasons. If you need to withdraw below the required hours, please contact us. You may or may not be eligible to withdraw below the required amount of credit hours legally.
Only 3 hours of distance learning or on-line education courses may count towards the fulfillment of your full-time enrollment requirement for each semester.
On-Campus Work: As long as you are in legal F-1 status, you are eligible to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters.
Off-Campus Work: Working off campus requires special authorization and is available only in certain situations. You must be in F-1 status for at least one academic year. You will be out of status if you work without authorization.
Traveling outside the United States: I-20 Form- Signature on third page is valid for ONE year. If any information has changed, you will need to get it updated. Also be sure to check the expiration date. You will not be allowed to travel or re-enter into the U.S. if the travel signature has expired. Valid Passport- your passport it should be valid at a minimum 6 months beyond your expected date of re-entry into the U.S.
*NOTE- These are only some of the rules associated with your F-1 Student Visa- please see the International Student Advisor/Counselor for questions or concerns regarding your Visa.