65 Questions to Prepare for the F1 Visa Interview

Updated on September 19, 2023
At a Glance: The F1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for academic students studying in the US. Eligibility requires intentions to return home, acceptance to a US school, financial support, and ties to the home country. The F1 visa acceptance rate is challenging but varies. The visa interview covers university choice, finances, family, work, and plans. Dress formally, bring required documents, and make a good impression. The F1 visa differs from the J1 visa in funding, on-campus and off-campus employment, and dependents’ permissions.

When applying for your F1 student visa, you will have to do an interview at the United States consulate or embassy in your country.

It’s crucial to prepare for your F1 visa interview. A lot of students fail 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.

Below we go over what kind of questions you can expect in your F1 visa interview so you can go to your interview prepared, no matter what your interviewer throws at you.

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. 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.

1. What is the name of the college or university you are planning on going to and why did you choose to go to this specific university or college?

  • Sample Answer: “I have been admitted to the University of XYZ in [City, State]. I chose this university because it has an excellent reputation for the [your program of study] program, and it aligns perfectly with my academic and career goals. Additionally, I was impressed by the research opportunities and the diverse and inclusive community at this university, which I believe will enhance my overall educational experience.”
  • Explanation: In this answer, you provide the name of the university and briefly explain why you chose it. Be sure to emphasize factors such as the program’s reputation, alignment with your goals, and any unique features of the university that attracted you.

2. To how many universities did you apply to and why?

  • Sample Answer: “I applied to a total of [number] universities in the United States. I chose to apply to multiple universities to keep my options open and increase my chances of gaining admission to a program that best suits my academic and career aspirations. Each university I applied to had specific strengths and opportunities that I considered in my decision-making process.”
  • Explanation: This question is straightforward. Mention the number of universities you applied to and briefly explain the rationale behind applying to multiple institutions, such as keeping options open and finding the best fit for your goals.

3. What are the names of the universities you have applied to?

  • Sample Answer: “I applied to several universities, including the University of XYZ, ABC University, and LMN University, among others.”
  • Explanation: Simply list the names of the universities you applied to without going into great detail.

4. Did you get accepted by all of them?

  • Sample Answer: “No, I did not receive acceptance from all the universities I applied to. I received acceptance letters from some of the universities, including the University of XYZ and ABC University, which I mentioned earlier.”
  • Explanation: Be honest about your admissions results. If you didn’t get accepted by all the universities, there’s no need to elaborate further.

5. What are the names of the universities you got accepted to?

  • Sample Answer: “I received acceptance letters from the University of XYZ and ABC University.”
  • Explanation: List the universities where you received acceptance letters.

6. What is the name of the university where you completed your undergraduate or graduated degree, and where is it?

  • Sample Answer: “I completed my undergraduate degree at [Name of University] in [City, Country].”
  • Explanation: Provide the name and location of your undergraduate institution.

7. Do you know your undergraduate Academic GPA or Percentage?

  • Sample Answer: “My undergraduate GPA is [mention your GPA], or my undergraduate percentage is [mention your percentage], on a scale of [scale].”
  • Explanation: Provide your undergraduate GPA or percentage accurately.

8. Let us know more about your university: Where is it, which degree did you study or which degree are you planning on studying?

  • Sample Answer: “My university, the University of XYZ, is located in [City, State]. I am planning to pursue a Master’s degree in [Your Program] at this university.”
  • Explanation: Provide basic information about the university’s location and the degree program you intend to pursue.

9. Tell us the name of the professors you are in contact with from the US university.

  • Sample Answer: “I have been in contact with Professor [Professor’s Name] and Professor [Professor’s Name] from the [Department Name] department at the University of XYZ.”
  • Explanation: Mention any professors you’ve been in contact with, especially if you have discussed your research interests or potential advisors.

10. In what year did you get your Bachelor’s degree and from which university?

  • Sample Answer: “I completed my Bachelor’s degree in [Year] from [Name of University].”
  • Explanation: Provide the year you received your Bachelor’s degree and the name of the university where you earned it.

11. What are the reasons for you coming to study in the United States?

  • Sample Answer: “I chose to study in the United States because of the country’s renowned education system, the opportunity to gain exposure to diverse cultures, and the access to cutting-edge research and resources in my field of study. I believe that studying in the U.S. will help me achieve my academic and career goals.”
  • Explanation: Highlight the benefits of studying in the U.S., such as the education system, cultural exposure, and research opportunities.

12. How long are you planning to stay in the United States?

  • Sample Answer: “I plan to stay in the United States for the duration of my [Master’s/Ph.D.] program, which typically takes [number of years].”
  • Explanation: Provide a straightforward answer regarding the expected duration of your program.

13. Why did you apply to this university and not to another one? And how do you know about this university?

  • Sample Answer: “I applied to this university because it offers a strong [mention specific program or feature] that aligns perfectly with my academic and career goals. I learned about this university through extensive research, conversations with alumni, and the university’s website. After thorough consideration, I concluded that it was the best fit for my aspirations.”
  • Explanation: Explain the specific aspects of the university that attracted you and mention your research sources.

14. Tell us more about your academic background.

  • Sample Answer: “I completed my Bachelor’s degree in [Your Major] from [Name of University]. During my undergraduate years, I focused on [mention key academic interests or achievements], which prepared me for further studies in [Your Program].”
  • Explanation: Provide a concise overview of your academic background and highlight any relevant accomplishments or coursework.

15. Are you also planning to study a Ph.D. in the US after having completed your master’s degree?

  • Sample Answer: “While I’m currently focused on my Master’s degree, I’m open to the possibility of pursuing a Ph.D. in the future. It will depend on how my academic and research interests evolve during my Master’s program.”
  • Explanation: Indicate your openness to further studies but emphasize that your immediate focus is on the Master’s program.

16. The major which you are taking is also available at other universities, why did you decide to go to this university and not to one of the others?

  • Sample Answer: “I considered multiple universities offering the same major, but I chose this university because of its [mention unique strengths, faculty, research opportunities, or any other specific reasons]. I believe that these unique attributes will enhance my learning experience and better prepare me for my future career.”
  • Explanation: Highlight the university’s unique features that set it apart from others offering the same major. Explain how these features align with your goals and preferences.

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 live and to study 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.

1. Who is paying for your education?

  • Sample Answer: “My education is primarily being funded by my parents, who have been diligently saving for my studies for several years.”
  • Explanation: Identify the main source of funding for your education.

2. How are they able to pay for it? What is their professional background?

  • Sample Answer: “My parents have been able to fund my education through their consistent savings and their stable professional backgrounds. My [father/mother] works as [mention profession or job title], and they have a steady income that supports our family’s financial goals.”
  • Explanation: Provide information about your parents’ ability to fund your education, including their professional backgrounds and savings.

3. Tell us more about your father’s/mother’s job and income and how long they have been working for the company.

  • Sample Answer: “My [father/mother] works as a [mention profession or job title] at [Company Name] for the past [number of years]. Their annual income is [mention income], and they have been with the company since [year].”
  • Explanation: Provide details about your parent’s job, income, and length of employment with the company.

4. What is the monthly income of the person who is going to sponsor your studies?

  • Sample Answer: “The monthly income of the person sponsoring my studies, in this case, my [father/mother], is approximately [mention monthly income].”
  • Explanation: State the monthly income of the individual responsible for financing your education.

5. Apart from that, tell us more of your sponsor’s annual income?

  • Sample Answer: “My sponsor’s annual income, which is primarily my [father/mother], is [mention annual income].”
  • Explanation: Provide the annual income of the individual responsible for financing your education.

6. How much does your university cost for a year?

  • Sample Answer: “The annual cost of my university for one year is approximately [mention cost].”
  • Explanation: Share the annual tuition cost of your university.

7. Does your sponsor pay for all of it or did you also get a loan?

  • Sample Answer: “My sponsor covers the majority of my university expenses. However, I have also secured a partial scholarship, which helps reduce the financial burden. I have not taken out any loans for my education.”
  • Explanation: Explain the breakdown of funding, including sponsor support and any scholarships obtained.

8. Please show us your current bank statement.

  • Sample Answer: “Sure, here is my current bank statement that reflects my financial situation and ability to cover my expenses during my studies.”
  • Explanation: Present your bank statement as requested to demonstrate your financial standing.

9. If you are planning to stay for two or three years, how will you finance your education and your living?

  • Sample Answer: “I have carefully budgeted for my entire duration of stay, including tuition, living expenses, and incidentals. My sponsor, primarily my [father/mother], will continue to support me financially throughout my studies. Additionally, I will explore on-campus work opportunities and internships to supplement my income.”
  • Explanation: Describe your comprehensive financial plan for the entire duration of your stay, including funding sources and potential income from work or internships.

10. On your bank statement, we can see large portions which only have been deposited recently. Please explain!

  • Sample Answer: “The recent deposits on my bank statement are a result of the funds provided by my sponsor specifically for my education. They have recently transferred these funds into my account to ensure that I have the necessary financial resources for my studies.”
  • Explanation: Clarify the source of recent deposits, which are intended to cover your education expenses.

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:

1. Do you have brothers and sisters? If yes, how many?

  • Sample Answer: “Yes, I have [number of siblings] siblings.”
  • Explanation: Provide a straightforward answer to the question about the number of siblings you have.

2. Are any of them living in the United States or do you have any other relatives who live in the United States?

  • Sample Answer: “No, none of my siblings are living in the United States, and I do not have any other relatives residing in the U.S.”
  • Explanation: Clearly state whether your siblings or other relatives live in the United States.

3. Does your mother/father work? If they don’t, what do they do for a living?

  • Sample Answer: “Yes, my [mother/father] is employed. They work as [mention the profession or job title].”
  • Explanation: Provide information about your parent’s employment status and occupation.

4. Why does your brother/ sister live in the United States? What do they do here, do they work or study here?

  • Sample Answer: “My [brother/sister] lives in the United States because they are pursuing their [mention degree or job] here. They are currently [studying/working] in [city, state].”
  • Explanation: Explain the reason for your sibling’s presence in the United States and their current activities.

5. What is your brother/sister doing in the United States and where? Would you also like to stay in the US to work?

  • Sample Answer: “My [brother/sister] is currently pursuing a [degree or job] in [city, state]. While I am primarily coming to the U.S. for my studies, I am open to exploring career opportunities here after completing my education if they align with my career goals.”
  • Explanation: Provide details about your sibling’s activities in the U.S. and express your openness to working in the U.S. if relevant.

6. Did your parents/brother/sister complete any studies? Which ones?

  • Sample Answer: “Yes, my [parents/brother/sister] have completed their [mention the highest level of education, e.g., Bachelor’s or Master’s degree] in [field of study].”
  • Explanation: Share the highest level of education attained by your family members and specify their fields of study.

7. In which country and in which city do your parents live?

  • Sample Answer: “My parents currently reside in [Country] in the city of [City].”
  • Explanation: Provide information about the country and city where your parents live.

8. As we can see you have brothers and sisters, will your parents be able to afford your education abroad in the United States?

  • Sample Answer: “My parents have been very supportive of my education and have carefully planned for my studies in the United States. We have discussed and prepared for the financial aspects of my education, and I am confident that they will be able to support me.”
  • Explanation: Express confidence in your family’s financial planning for your education and convey that you have discussed and prepared for it.

9. Do you have any relatives studying at the same university you are planning to go to?

  • Sample Answer: “No, I do not have any relatives currently studying at the university I am planning to attend.”
  • Explanation: Answer whether you have relatives studying at the same university or not.

10. Are you in a relationship?

  • Sample Answer: “At the moment, I am not in a committed relationship.”
  • Explanation: Provide your current relationship status as of the time of the interview.

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.

1. If you work, why do you plan to leave your current job in order to go abroad to study?

  • Sample Answer: “I currently work in a [mention your current job role] position, and I have decided to leave my job to pursue higher education in the United States because I believe that obtaining an advanced degree in [your field of study] will significantly enhance my career prospects. I see this as an investment in my long-term future, and I am excited about the new skills and knowledge I will gain during my studies.”
  • Explanation: Provide a clear and concise explanation for leaving your current job to study abroad, emphasizing how it aligns with your career goals and personal development.

2. Please show us your CV or any other paper which shows your work experiences.

  • Sample Answer: “I have prepared my CV, and I would be happy to provide a copy for your reference. It outlines my work experiences, including my roles, responsibilities, and achievements. May I submit it now?”
  • Explanation: Acknowledge the request and express your willingness to provide your CV to showcase your work experiences.

3. What is your salary at the moment?

  • Sample Answer: “My current salary is [mention your current salary].”
  • Explanation: Answer honestly about your current salary if asked.

4. Do you also have savings?

  • Sample Answer: “Yes, I have savings that I have set aside to help cover my expenses while studying abroad.”
  • Explanation: Confirm that you have savings to support your financial needs during your studies.

5. Once you have finished your studies, do you plan to stay in the United States to work?

  • Sample Answer: “My primary goal is to complete my studies successfully, and I am open to exploring career opportunities in the United States after graduation. However, my ultimate decision will depend on various factors, including job prospects and opportunities that align with my career goals.”
  • Explanation: Indicate your openness to working in the United States after completing your studies while emphasizing that your decision will depend on future circumstances.

6. Do you plan on working while studying?

  • Sample Answer: “While my main focus during my studies will be on academics, I am aware that some part-time work opportunities may be available for international students. If such opportunities are permitted under my visa and do not negatively impact my academic performance, I am open to exploring part-time work to gain additional experience and support my living expenses.”
  • Explanation: Express your willingness to consider part-time work while studying, emphasizing that it will not compromise your academic commitments.

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:

1. What are your reasons to study in the United States, why didn’t you choose to go to Canada or another country?

  • Sample Answer: “I chose to study in the United States because it offers a diverse range of academic programs, renowned universities, and extensive research opportunities in my field of interest. While Canada and other countries also provide excellent education, the specific programs and resources available in the U.S. align perfectly with my academic and career goals.”
  • Explanation: Explain your reasons for selecting the United States for your studies and emphasize how it matches your academic and career objectives.

2. Tell me some positive things about the United States, why do you like the United States as a country?

  • Sample Answer: “I appreciate the United States for its cultural diversity, innovative environment, and its globally recognized higher education system. The country’s commitment to research and development, along with its welcoming attitude towards international students, makes it an ideal destination for pursuing higher education.”
  • Explanation: Highlight the positive aspects of the United States that appeal to you, especially related to education and its overall environment.

3. What are your expectations after having completed your studies and returning to your country?

  • Sample Answer: “After completing my studies in the United States, I plan to return to my home country and apply the knowledge and skills I’ve gained to contribute to my field and society. My goal is to take on leadership roles and work towards addressing specific challenges in my country’s context.”
  • Explanation: Share your post-study plans and how you intend to use your education to benefit your home country.

4. Why do you want to do a Master’s or Ph.D. degree?

  • Sample Answer: “I am pursuing a [Master’s/Ph.D.] degree because I am deeply passionate about [your field of study]. I believe that advanced studies will equip me with specialized knowledge and research skills needed to address complex issues in this field. Additionally, I aspire to make significant contributions to academic research and potentially mentor the next generation of scholars in my area of expertise.”
  • Explanation: Explain your motivation for pursuing an advanced degree and how it aligns with your passion and long-term goals.

5. Can you tell me why your GRE/TOEFL scores are so low?

  • Sample Answer: “While my GRE/TOEFL scores may not be as high as I would have liked, I have worked diligently to improve my language proficiency and subject knowledge. I believe that my academic record, letters of recommendation, and personal statement demonstrate my commitment and potential for success in my chosen program.”
  • Explanation: Address concerns about your test scores by highlighting your efforts to improve and emphasizing other strengths in your application.

6. I think you want to immigrate to the United States, or are you planning on going back home?

  • Sample Answer: “My primary intention is to complete my education and return to my home country after gaining valuable skills and knowledge in the United States. While I am open to exploring career opportunities abroad, my ultimate goal is to contribute to the growth and development of my home country.”
  • Explanation: Clarify your intentions regarding immigration and emphasize your commitment to returning home.

7. Tell us everything you know about education and the education system in the US.

  • Sample Answer: “The U.S. education system is renowned for its diversity and flexibility. It consists of various levels, including primary education, secondary education, undergraduate, and postgraduate studies. Higher education in the U.S. offers a wide range of programs and degrees, and universities often emphasize practical, hands-on learning. Additionally, the U.S. is home to many prestigious institutions known for their research contributions and academic excellence.”
  • Explanation: Provide a comprehensive overview of the U.S. education system, demonstrating your knowledge.

8. Why did you apply for a summer semester and not for the fall semester too?

  • Sample Answer: “I chose to apply for the summer semester because it aligns with my academic timeline and allows me to start my studies earlier. This also allows me to maximize my academic progress and gain valuable experience during the summer term.”
  • Explanation: Explain your decision to apply for the summer semester and its advantages for your academic journey.

9. What are your plans after having completed your studies in the US?

  • Sample Answer: “After completing my studies, my plan is to return home and apply the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired to contribute to my field and society. I aspire to take on leadership roles and make a positive impact by addressing specific challenges in my country.”
  • Explanation: Describe your post-study plans and how you intend to make a meaningful contribution to your field and country.

10. How can you prove to us that you won’t stay in the US after the completion of your studies?

  • Sample Answer: “I understand the importance of returning to my home country after completing my studies, and I am committed to fulfilling this requirement. I am financially and emotionally tied to my home country, and I have a strong network and support system there. Additionally, I am aware of the visa regulations and the importance of complying with them.”
  • Explanation: Provide evidence and assurances of your intent to return to your home country after completing your studies.

11. Is it your first time to the US or have you visited before?

  • Sample Answer: “Yes, this is my first time visiting the United States.”
  • Explanation: Confirm whether this is your first visit to the United States.

12. What are your career goals back home after your studies? Or are you planning on going somewhere else?

  • Sample Answer: “My career goals are primarily focused on my home country, where I aim to make a meaningful impact in my field. While I am open to international opportunities that align with my expertise, my primary commitment is to contribute to the development and growth of my home country.”
  • Explanation: Explain your career goals and your commitment to contributing to your home country’s development.

13. As you choose this specific university, do you happen to know anyone who studies there?

  • Sample Answer: “While I don’t personally know anyone at the university, I have connected with some current students and alumni through social media and university forums. These interactions have given me valuable insights into the university’s academic environment and community.”
  • Explanation: Share your knowledge of the university’s community and connections you may have made.

14. What are your plans if your student visa is not approved?

  • Sample Answer: “While I am hopeful that my student visa will be approved, I have a contingency plan in case it is not. If my visa application is denied, I will explore alternative study options in my home country or other countries that offer suitable programs in my field of interest.”
  • Explanation: Outline your backup plan in case your student visa application is not approved.

15. Are you planning to go home during your summer vacation?

  • Sample Answer: “Yes, I plan to return home during the summer vacation to spend time with my family and maintain connections with my home country.”
  • Explanation: Confirm your plans for the summer vacation.

16. We can see you got a scholarship, why do you think they gave it to you?

  • Sample Answer: “I believe I was awarded the scholarship based on my strong academic performance, dedication to my field of study, and the potential I have demonstrated to contribute positively to the academic community. The scholarship recognizes my commitment to excellence and aligns with the goals of supporting promising students. My academic achievements, letters of recommendation, and personal statement likely played a role in the scholarship selection process.”

17. Why don’t you want to study in your home country?

  • Sample Answer: “While my home country offers education opportunities, I chose to study in the United States because it provides access to specialized programs, research opportunities, and a diverse learning environment that directly aligns with my academic and career goals. Studying abroad also broadens my perspective and allows me to gain a global outlook.”
  • Explanation: Explain your decision to study abroad and how it aligns with your educational and personal growth objectives.

18. Can you explain to us why you changed your field or career?

  • Sample Answer: “I decided to change my field or career because I discovered a deep passion for [new field or career]. Through various experiences and coursework, I realized that this path aligns better with my long-term goals and interests. I believe that this change represents a positive evolution in my academic and professional journey.”
  • Explanation: Provide context and reasons behind your decision to change your field or career, emphasizing how it relates to your goals.

19. Why should we give you the possibility to study in the United States?

  • Sample Answer: “I am dedicated to pursuing excellence in my academic and career pursuits. I have carefully researched and chosen the United States as the ideal destination for my education due to its world-class institutions and resources in my field. I am committed to contributing to both the academic community and my home country upon my return, and I believe that this opportunity will allow me to reach my fullest potential.”
  • Explanation: Present your case for why you should be granted the opportunity to study in the United States, highlighting your commitment to academic and societal contributions.

20. Do you think you deserve to get an F1 visa?

  • Sample Answer: “I believe I am well-qualified for an F1 visa because I have diligently prepared for my studies in the United States, including securing admission to a reputable institution, demonstrating financial capability, and showing a strong commitment to complying with visa regulations. I am excited to pursue my education and contribute positively to both the academic community and my home country.”
  • Explanation: Express your confidence in meeting the requirements for an F1 visa and emphasize your commitment to fulfilling visa obligations and contributing positively to your academic and home country communities.

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 that establishes that you meet the requirements of the visa. Not all F1 visa applicants need to interview, specifical 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.

  1. What is your intent on studying in the US?
  2. Can you afford your stay in the US?

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:

  • I-20/SEVIS form issued by the U.S University
  • Completed DS-160 visa application form
  • Receipt of the visa application fee
  • SEVIS receipt fee
  • Visa appointment letter
  • Passport and recent photograph
  • Academic certificates/documents, transcripts, SOP, original GRE, and TOEFL score reports
  • Documents that confirm your financial and personal tie-ups to your homeland, which proves your compulsory return after the completion of your course in the US
  • If financially dependent, proof of relationship with the sponsor such as a birth certificate is necessary along with the sponsor’s salary proof and job details
  • Strong financial support documents and bank statements.

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?

  • Formal attire for men in the U.S. includes button-up shirts and slacks.
  • Formal attire for women in the U.S. includes dress blouses and slacks or formal Indian attire

Dress for the Weather and Season

  • Remember to wear clothing appropriate for the weather
  • Clothing in the U.S. is seasonal by color; pastels work in the Spring and Summer and darker colors are worn in the Fall and Winter

Keep Accessories to a Minimum

  • For women, avoid anything dangling or distracting
  • For men, avoid accessories as much as is possible.
  • If your religion requires you to accessorize, keep it to the bare minimum allowed

Make Sure Your Clothes are Clean and Presentable

  • Interviewing can be a long process, so wrinkle-free or wrinkle-proof clothing is advised.
  • Make sure to iron or press your clothes before your interview

Make Sure You Smell Clean for Your Interview

  • It is advisable that you wear a neutral to lightly-scented deodorant, so as not to smell bad or too strongly

Make Sure You Look as Close to Your Passport Photo as Possible

  • If you wore glasses in your passport photo, wear them to the interview.
  • It is not advisable to get a haircut that is drastically different from the one in your passport photo

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 9 tips, you will be well on your way to receiving your visa in no time:

  1. Make a Good First Impression
  2. Communicate Clearly
  3. Speak English
  4. Be Prepared
  5. Know Your School and Program
  6. Prove Your Intent to Return Home
  7. Keep Your Answers Precise and Concise
  8. Stay Positive
  9. Be Honest

Each of these tips is discussed in more detail below.

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.

Communicate Clearly

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.

Speak English

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.

Be Prepared

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. (Link to the 65 F1 Interview Questions content here)

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.

Stay Positive

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!

Be Honest

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 visas, 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 an 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.

On-campus employment

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.

Off-campus employment

For off-campus employment or Optional Practical Training, the students on an 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!

Read More

F1 Visa Interview Questions: Common FAQs

The F1 visa interview can be a critical step for international students seeking to study in the United States. Preparing for this interview is key to securing your visa. Below are some commonly asked questions about the F1 visa interview process.

1. What kind of questions are asked in the F1 visa interview?

In the F1 visa interview, the consular officer will ask questions to determine your eligibility for the F1 visa. These can include questions about your educational background, your plans for study in the U.S., financial capability, ties to your home country, and your plans after completing your studies.

2. How should I answer the question about my plans after my studies?

It’s important to convey that you intend to return to your home country after your studies. The F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, and officers want to ensure that visa applicants don’t intend to use it to immigrate permanently. You can talk about how your U.S. education will benefit your career plans in your home country.

3. What documents do I need for the interview?

You typically need your passport, the DS-160 confirmation page, application fee payment receipt, photo (if required), I-20 form from your U.S. school, and financial proof showing you or your sponsor have enough funds to cover your education and living expenses in the U.S.

4. How can I show ties to my home country?

You can show ties to your home country by demonstrating that you have reasons to return after your studies. This can be through family ties, job offers, assets like property, or a detailed career plan benefiting from your U.S. education.

5. What if my F1 visa application is denied?

If your F1 visa application is denied, you will usually be given a reason based on the section of law which applies to your case. Depending on the reason, you may apply again. If your circumstances have changed significantly, you might have better chances in your next interview.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.