F1 visa Interview in Mumbai consulate tips and advises. F1 Visa for U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Michigan Tech. Experience of two students.
US Visa Interview in Mumbai - F1 Visa (UIU, Champaign)
Date: June 1st, 2012 (7:45 am slot)
University: U of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Program: MS Structural
Prior to F1 Visa Interview:
After having planned for this day over a thousand times in my head, when it finally comes to the judgement day, you never know what's in store for you on that particular day. I had been very thorough as far as my preparation was concerned- all documents nicely sorted and arranged, over a 100 VI questions prepared; in fact, i had a supporting document for each question that I thought the VO might ask. Arriving at the consulate at 6:30am in my best presentable formal outfit, I realized that I might have been a bit late. (there were already like a thousand people present) Going through the entire routine, and after waiting for almost an hour and half, I found myself in the waiting hall right in front of Counter 37. Now, I had heard about the history of serial rejections rendered by this counter, but, I tried not to get intimidated.'Bring it on' i said ! After just 15 minutes and four rejections, I was terrified as if I had witnessed an accident, or something, and I took my words back..:P My token number flashed on the screen and I queued myself in front of counter 34. The VO was this white american (racism not intended) in his late thirties and he had this scarecrow-like-frown on his face (pun intended)
VI (lasted for a minute and a half):
Me: Good Morning Sir (with a huge smile on my face.....the guy didnt even look at me)
VO: Pass the documents, please.
(passed I20 and Passport)
VO: Which school are u heading for?
Me: Univ. of Illinois Urbana- Champaign
Vo: How did u pick this school? (dont know why he kept referring to school...kinda bugged me)
Me: It is the best public research-oriented university of the country. It offers a very wide intensive Masters program. Besides, it has this ongoing research on the topic 'Smart Materials' which interests me since I have done some work on this similar topic... (was about to show the paper that I presented on smart materials application...but looks like, he had already bought my answer)
VO: what all schools did u apply to?
Me: NCSU, UFL, UWS, UWM, Purdue, Virginia Tech (dont use the abbreviations....it may piss the VO off..... I also mentioned all my admits and rejects)
VO: (staring into my I-20 in a confused manner) Who all are your sponsors?
Me: My primary sponsors are my parents, besides them my mother's real brother and my mother's real sister have also agreed upon assisting me financially.... (truth is....both my mama and maasi are US-residents and all four of these names were present on my I-20 document.... I very well predicted this happening)
VO: So are you gonna pay them back?
ME I understood the question, but I didnt see this coming....... I thought between me and my relatives is a family matter... I never thought this question would be asked even in wildest of all my dreams....but, just to fetch some time to think about the answer, I said) Pardon me, I couldnt hear you...
Vo: repeats the question...
Me: Yes, ofcourse I am gonna pay them back (I should have said 'No', reason....Next question)
VO: How are you gonna pay them back?
Me: (Paused for a second) Actually, this is just like a stand-by option. My parents have enough funds for entire duration of my course. I wont be using my sponsors' money at the initial stage. However, in case of an emergency, I might ask them...(fumbled a bit here...) Do you want to see my financial docs summary..?
VO: Nah... Not needed...(satisfied with my previous answer) How was ur GRE?
Me: ( was about to say.... it was good... but realized that he is asking for the score) 315 on 340
VO: any backlogs....
VO: alright, well, ur visa is approved and ur passport will be couriered to you in next few days.... Blah blah.... (didnt hear the rest, collected the I-20 that he passed, kept all the documents in my folder.....tried to curtail my excitement)
Me: Thank You very much!
Pieces of advice for F1 visa:
1) In case u r going for ur VI in Mumbai consulate, and when u r standing in queue outside the consulate building, be careful with your documents. I saw some people barely managing to save their documents from going into the very well planned drainage system of BKC.....(not kidding)
2) If you have a similar case like mine....ur sponsors being ur relatives..etc.... Dont mention initially whether or not they are citizens of US. If you notice in my VI, I didnt mention it anywhere....and seems like, the VO also didnt realize it.
3) Presentation matters.... trust me. Be well organized with all ur docs....In case, they ask, you dont want to be in a messy situation trying to look out for it in front of ur VO. Know where all ur docs are kept.
All the Best guys!!
F1 Visa Interview in Mumbai for Michigan Tech
To be Honest I never ever expected the interview like this.
My interview was scheduled at 0745 Mumbai Consulate and I was expecting a long queue as everybody mentioned in their experiences.I'll skip the fingerprint and token part... Here comes the main part. The VO was an African American lady in her late 20's. She was calm and I was feeling good seeing her. She reminded me of my Mom
Me:Good Morning Ma'am (with a smile and passed the passport and I-20)
She saw the I-20 and said Michigan Tech hummm...
I didn't really listen it...
Me: Sorry Ma'am
VO: Which university?
Me: Michigan Technological University Ma'am!!!
VO: Why Michigan Tech??
ME: Told her about the curriculum and CCSR the research center and facilities.
VO: What course?
ME: MS in Computer Engineering
VO: Where are you from?
I don't exactly know why she asked this though I was speaking the american accent may be that's why??
VO: Who's going to fund your education?
ME: My parents are going to take care of expenses in US.
She asked me something I wasn't able to listen to it cuz when she typed something she moved from the mic. I don't no what happened and I said No Ma'am!!! and she moved on...
VO: What universities did you apply?
ME: Named them along with the acceptances.
VO: What after master's? (Couldn't listen to it so I asked her to repeat)
ME: I plan do the business back in India when finished with Master's
She looked into the screen for 5-6 seconds and said I AM APPROVING YOUR VISA.
F1 visa tips:
Don't be afraid of VOs they are there to give us the VISA. I would suggest you to talk with someone while waiting for your token number this will divert your mind form the fear of rejection and you'll feel good. I did that I talked with a guy from Pune he was a J-1 candidate. Find out interesting thing about your Universities and tell VO why you chose it. There is no harm in preparing for your interview questions but when you answer them to VO sound it like a conversation, it should not sound like you have mugged'em up.During interviews if you're not able to listen just kindly tell them to repeat that's just fine. I asked my VO to repeat almost every question in the end, but she seemed fine with it cuz she was not speaking properly into the mic. And Hope for the luck on you DAY...
I hope this will help guys who have their interviews ahead.
Good Luck Fellas.