Comprehensive list of F1 visa questions and possible answers.
1) Why this university?
Sir, the number one reason for choosing this university is the level and kind of research that is being carried out in <e.g. Electrical Eng OR MIS OR Computer Science>. I have understood that my research interest correspond with what the university and faculty is currently pursuing. Based on this, I want to join their team, contribute to the research that is currently in progress and ultimately gain more knowledge. At this university, the main objective of the research is to develop new technologies to ease daily operations of humans. Apart from this, there is a laboratory where students can test and learn from industry practitioners about the latest happenings in the industry. Apart from this courses are well planned and are aligned to my interests. Specializing in this field from this University is an achievement, as the institution is rated in the Top 10 as per US news for the last 10 years.
2) Why do you plan to do MS? Why MS in <CS/EE/IE,etc.>?
With 2 years work experience in an <Manufacturing/Management >firm, I have learned a lot of skills around <development of secure code>, and have also gained a better understanding of the intricacies this field. However, getting much more knowledge around cutting edge technology in this field will prove invaluable when I return to join a great company. In today’s world, an advanced degree also opens a lot of doors which I do not have access to – right now. Hence, it is my intention to obtain my MS in order to open the window of opportunities.
3) Why do you want to study in the US?
When we compare US to other countries, schools in the US are leading in my areas of interest <e.g. CS/EE/>. The US schools also have advanced degrees such as Info Security, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Derivative Trading, etc. which cannot be be found in universities from other countries. Additionally, US schools emphasize on practical / real world training and education rather than theoretical knowledge. Globally, US degrees are highly respected due to these reasons.
4) Why don’t you study in India?
This is similar to the above question and should be answered by pointing advantages of US education, its inclination towards cutting edge technologies and methods and opportunity to open doors that remain closed for now.
In India, most MS programs focuses on theory and practical knowledge is a small portion of the curriculum. Due to this, a MS Indian degree will not help me advance in my career. The US also offers more flexibility in terms of courses, and allows me to opt for courses from different streams / schools (e.g. I can pick a course from the Electrical school if I like the course).
5) Why MS CS with a major in software engineering?
I have been interested in CS since childhood. After completing my undergraduate studies, I worked in a large company where I applied a lot of CS skills I learnt in school. While working, I realized I lacked skills in Computer Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. I hope to enhance these skills through my Masters program.
6) Where was your college as an undergraduate?
I obtained my BS in <> that is an affiliate institution of Mumbai University.
7) How many admits/rejects do you have?
I had applied to 10 universities and I got admits from 7 of them. The following are the admits and rejects.
8) What was your first option?
My first option was this university <>.
9) What was your TOEFL/GRE score?
I obtained 325 on GRE and 115 on TOEFL.
10) How are your grades?
I obtained 70 % aggregate over the 4 years of my undergrad studies. That equates to 3.8 GPA as per WES.
11) Were there any backlogs? [if any]
During my 8 semesters, I had <XYZ> backlogs. [You could get a reject if you say it was your involvement in sports or other activities that distracted you from your goal of completing education on time]
13) What field was your Bachelor’s degree in?
My Bachelors of Engineering degree was in <Computer Science>
14) What is the reason for switching from Electrical/Electronics to Computer science?
During my initial years, I had interest in Electronics and due to this inclination I decided to pursue my undergrad in Electronics. After my undergrad, I got a job at a great company where I focused on building technologies for the future using Robotics. During my tenure at the company, I had to work on Electronics and Computer concepts, to develop robots for the future. While at this, I realized that my CS skills need further fine tuning, hence I am deciding to pursue school in CS.
15) What is the aim of your trip?
To obtain a MS in computer science at the <University Name>
16) Where do you plan to go for the program?
To obtain the degree, I plan to attend <University Name>
17) Who is sponsoring your program?
While I was working I managed to save <XYZ $>. In addition to that, my parents are lending me <XYZ $>. Additionally, I have secured <XYZ $> from Indian Banks as line of credit.
18) The records on your passbook, indicate huge deposits made in the short term. What is your explanation for that?
Our family had money distributed across different bank accounts. For the purpose of my study, we consolidated the money to one account. Hence we see a large transaction. As evidence to that, you can see money being deducted from our other accounts.
19) What is your parents’ occupation?
My father works / owns a business and my mother works / owns a business. They have been doing this for the last 20 years.
20) Do you have any relative residing in the US?
Remember to answer the truth – it’s fine either ways. DONOT HIDE ANYTHING! that could against your case.
21) How will your parents support you when your brother/sister are already studying in US / India?
My brother / sister has obtained scholarships and that is taking care of part of their fees. Apart from that they support themselves, by taking up so jobs on the campus. In addition to this my parents have saved money for us throughout their working careers.
22) Why do you have a low GRE score?
After giving wrong answers to the first few questions, it was very hard to bounce back and get a great score. On the other hand, my TOEFL scores are great and indicates I have a great proficiency with English language.
23) After graduation, what are your plans?
I am currently thinking of two paths – during my course if I begin liking the Research I will be involved with – then I did like to pursue my Phd. Incase that does not happen, I did like to join a startup and define the shape of the company and its direction based on the knowledge and experience I have obtained.
24) What is the income of your parents?
The annual income of my family is <## lakhs Rs>. My father earns ## lakhs and my mother earns ## lakhs annually
25) What happens when you have a job offer in the US? Or Do you plan on returning to India?
It depends, if the opportunity is short term and aligns to my area of interest, I would like to pursue with the idea that the company will transfer me back once the project ends. For the most part, I did like to return back and get a local job which will enable me to be close to my parents.
26) Tell me about the location of your University?
The university is located in south plains of New York. It is 25 miles from New York City.
27) Have you been interviewed for a VISA before this? Is this your first time?
Yes , in the past I have applied for a B1 / B2 Visa and a L1 visa for a short term assignment in USA.
28) What courses does the university offer? Or what are the types of courses offered there?
Give holistic categorization of courses offered in the university for the field you applied for.
29) What do you know about the University?
The <University Name> situated in <Location> is a public university focused on research. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered by the university, as well as several research opportunities. The number of academic degree programs offered by <University Name> exceeds 200, with about 60 undergraduate and graduate courses. The number of full-time faculties exceeds 320 with over 7000 students.
30) How did you come to know about the university?
I did my own research for finding best universities which offer <Program Name>. Also, Through the Internet and email correspondences with seniors, I was able to know about the university.
32) Assuming you meet someone in the US that you like, would you consider marriage with her?
My first and foremost goal is to complete my masters in <program name>. In any case I would not choose something that will derail my focus from my education.
33) Do you have plans to work in the US, maybe on-campus?
I do not plan to work while studying. I would rather focus on my studies and complete my degree as soon as I can.
34) What is your family size?
Give honest answer.
35) Why are your passbook entries recent?
Give honest answer.
36) Despite the economic boom in India, you still want to go to the US, why?
I really appreciate value of US education, it has been center point for all the innovation and that reflects through research that happens at university level. My only goal is to complete my master which will be rock-solid foundation for my career in long term. For the very fact that you said about economic boom in India, I will come back.
37) Why not <University you rejected> ? It has a higher ranking than this?
Basically, be specific in terms of course choices and how <University Name> EXACTLY offers what you are looking for.
e.g. <University Name> offers advanced courses, such as Functional programming, Machine Learning, End-User Software Engineering and so on. Through my email exchanges with Professor <professor name>, I realized that I had the same research interests as him and desired to be a part of his research team. Moreover, the university has an Empirical Software Testing Research laboratory for students studying empirical techniques of software testing. Also, the Usability Testing Facility that is used for systematically testing software robustness and usability across a wide array of typical desktop systems. My choice of <University Name> is hinged on these reasons.
38) Do you know some professors of the university?
Always affix “Professor” before you take anyone’s name.
39) Why have you not made your application to __________ university despite having sent your GRE score?
I was unaware of the most suitable universities during the time I took GRE. As a result, I decided to choose the top universities that I knew of back then. I researched broadly on universities prior to my application. I tried to make my requirements match the requirements of the university. In some way, the match was not successful, hence, I skipped applying to that university.
40) Since your father is a businessman, why are you going for computer science?
It is about my passion and likings. I believe, you succeed only in the field you like.
41) How many people work under your father?
Be honest with your answer.
42) How are you managing your funds?
My father saved 60% of the funds for my education from very early on and I have my savings (if you are working). My mom is also chipping in. And for remaining amount I have sanctioned loan from XXX bank.
43) When did your parents begin saving for your education?
For the past # years
46) How much would your parents be supporting you with?
Answer Similar to question #42
47) Where did the sum suddenly come from? How do I believe that your passbook records are true as they are recent and large?
Answer similar to Question #18 above.
48) Can you tell me how you got this money? How did you get this amount? (Any specific entry)
49) Tell me your transactions for the last three months. How much was deposited in the past three months? How much have you transferred in your savings in the past three months?
Answer similar to Question #18 above.
50) Why is there only one filled page in the passbook? For how long have you had this account?
Answer similar to Question #18 above.
51) What will be the fee if you were to study in India?
It really depends on where would I get admit in India.
52) How many universities did you apply to?
53) What are the yearly expenses of your course? What is the tuition fee? What are the living expenses?
Explain according to your university.
54) You appear like a potential immigrant OR I don’t think you will return to India.
I really appreciate value of US education, it has been center point for all the innovation and that reflects through research that happens at university level. My only goal is to complete my master which will be rock-solid foundation for my career in long term. Besides, I would not be the who likes to be away from my family. And given India’s current start-up culture and innovation trends is a big motivation to come back and contribute. So, for all of these reason, I will return to India.
55) Won’t your family have any problem if most of your father’s savings are spent on your education? What is your justification for this?
My family is a close-knit unit with educated members with a regard for career growth through education. Aside from this, I will only be using ___% of their savings for my education.
56) Will you completely use your father’s savings? So do you think your father will spend all of his savings?
No sir. I will only be making use of ____% of the savings. The bank loan will cover the remaining part of the educational expenses.
57) Who is your sponsor for such an expensive program? Is this course not too expensive for you?
I have a sanctioned bank loan for ___ lakhs and my father is going to pay for the rest of the expenses using his savings. Considering the financial position of my family, this program is an affordable one and is seen as an investment. I’ll be reaping the benefits of this course for the rest of my life.
58) Do you think that you will get the visa?
Since I have presented my funds available for this course and my strong resolve to come back to India, I do not see any reason why I will not get the visa.
59) Tell me about your current project? [For people already working]
60) Have you traveled abroad before now? Have you ever visited a foreign country? Have you left India before? So you have not been to the US before?
61) How will you transfer funds to the US?
I will do that through wire transfer.
62) Why do you look tensed up?
Today is a big day for me, hence, the little nerviness.
63) How many passports have you?
64) Are your parents glad with your decision?
Yes, they are. Since they are educated themselves, they understand the importance of having a US Masters for my career growth.
65) What is the relevance of your studying abroad to India? Same as ….. WHY MS?
See answer of Question # 36
66) Do you have any relative in the US? If so…. What is their occupation?
Please be honest about your answer. Don’t try to hide anything.
67) Why did you make applications to 2 universities in California?
During my applications to 5 universities, I never considered location. It was just a matter of coincidence that 2 of the universities were in CA. My primary factor to too choose universities is quality of course that best fits into my area of interest.
68) Do you have any immovable property here? Do you own any lands?
69) What do you think about the US? What do you like best about the US? What good things do you know of the US?
The US is the most developed country on earth. The people are very cordial and helping. In the US, education and research are at the highest quality. Any US degree is recognized worldwide because of the high standards of education there. Also, it has been center point of innovative research for a long time.
70) How can you adapt in a new environment? Do you have language problems, residing there and studying?
I sincerely think that would not be a real problem as english was primary language of instructions in my college and my primary focus be will be education which will also give me time to adjust in the environment.
71) Have you referred to any websites for this visa interview?
Besides the VFS-USA website, no.
72) What was your preparation methods for this interview? Did you join any Group to assist you in preparing for this interview? Did you visit any educational consultant?
I didn’t use any preparation methods. I only obtained my documents as described in the VFS website.
73) It seems like your answers are rehearsed?
Maybe because I am little nervous that’s why they sound like that? Of course, don’t sound like you are rehearsed.
74) If the need comes up, is there anyone you know in the US that could help you financially?
75) What kind of job will you get in the US?
Well, as I said I will be coming back to India after my graduation. It would mostly be Software Engineer. (Using your area of specialization, explain your answer)
76) What kind of companies will employ you? Who is going to hire you? So what type of companies will you work for?
There are lot of startups in India now and I am sure with US degree I will have plenty of opportunities here at home. I will be looking for software companies which challenge me enough to apply my knowledge and creativity.
77) What US companies would you want to work with? [Again a snare]
There are many MNCs in India and native Indian companies as well. Not particularly looking US companies only. Also, this would be a bit premature to select company before completing my MS.
78) What is your expected salary after returning to India? How much is your expected salary?
To be honest, I haven’t given a thought about it yet. But I am sure I will have my MS by then to get that desired remuneration.
79) Why will you return, considering your current salary? What is your expected salary? How much are you expecting in India?
Answer like above.
80) Do you plan to have any study break?
81) How do you plan to adapt to the US cold climate?
For me, weather does not seem to be a challenge as my body gets acclimatized easily.
82) It looks like you are not the same person?
Yes, I am the same person, sir.
83) Are these original copies?
84) The documents you presented are highly suspicious. Your documents are forged.
Sir, all my documents are genuine and have been duly signed by the signatories.
85) What places would you visit in the US?
My primary focus is to complete my MS. Moreover, I have only 2 years to stay, so I don’t think I will have enough time to visit places.
86) Why don’t you move to ###? It is a reputable university, will you move?
No. To me, <University Name> is the best for your <Course Name>.
87) Why a Masters degree 3 years after your GRE?
Since I obtained my GRE after my sophomore year as an undergraduate, I decided to pursue a career in computer science and software engineering to gain sufficient exposure before going for research. Hence, my application for MS 3 years after the GRE.
88) What if I do not accept you?
To my best, I have done all I can to meet the visa requirements. Given my financial and academic background, I never thought this question would arise.
89) Why should you get a visa?
Sir, my solid financial and academic background and other reasons I presented are genuine enough to get me a visa. I have a good profile for a MS in the US and a Letter of Admission from a reputable university like <University Name> serves as a good evidence. Having done my best to meet the visa requirements, I believe there will be no reason that I will be denied a visa.
90) Your visa has been approved, you can collect your passport x days.
This clearly means yours visa has been approved. And in that case they will keep your passport for stamping.
91) I am sorry, please apply next time.
That means, your visa has been rejected. DO NOT argue with visa officer! That could ruin your chances of getting it next time.