International students interested in studying inside the US do not have it easy. Not only do you have to worry about being accepted into a desirable and competitive program at a US college or university, you also have to convince the US government to grant you an F1 student visa in order to pursue your studies.
During the F1 Visa application process international students are put through a visa interview in English, which can be intimidating for English as a second language speakers. Not only will the students need to ensure that they attend the interview with all of the required documentation, they need to be prepared to answer specific, personal questions regarding their plans for study and leaving in the US. Below we have tips on answering these questions, however, if you need more personal assistance explore consulting an immigration law firm.
Knowing what questions to expect can be a huge advantage! Most questions will be related to these 5 categories:
- Your study plans
- Your university choice
- Your academic capability
- Your financial status
- Your post-graduation plans
Below are some sample questions and tips on how to answer these questions during your interview. If after you review this information you think you need personalized guidance, explore F1 Visa Advisors, Inc for one-on-one help and mock interview practice.
Your study plans
These questions will be similar to your university application essays and interviews. Simply enough, they are interested in your choice of pursuing higher education rather than joining the workforce. They are also interested in your choice to study in the US versus your home country or any other place.
- Why are you going to the US?
- What will you specialize in for your degree?
- What will be your major?
- Where did you go to school now?
- Who is your current employer? What do you do?
- Why are you planning to continue your education?
- Can you not continue your education in your home country?
- How will this study program relate to your past work or studies?
Your University Choice
Similar to your study plans, your choice of university is of interest to your interviewer. These questions will look to shed light on your qualifications as a student and future professional. Higher caliber university choices will be better regarded than little-known colleges or universities
- How many colleges did you apply to?
- How many schools did you get admitted to?
- How many schools rejected you?
- Have you been to the US before?
- Do you know your professors at that university? What are their names?
- What city is your school located in?
Your Academic Capability
Not surprisingly, you will need to prove your capability to succeed in a US university during your interview. Your test scores, previous GPA, and previous study abroad can all be evaluated to determine your likelihood of success during your program.
- What are your test scores (GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS)?
- What was your previous GPA?
- How will you manage the cultural and educational differences in the US?
- How good is your English?
- Why do you want to pursue a degree in the US?
- Why not study in Canada, Australia or the UK?
- What do you know about US schools?
- Can I see your high school/college diploma?
Your Financial Status
This is the most important piece of obtaining your F1 visa. Regardless of your academic qualifications, you cannot be awarded an F1 student visa without the means to finance your education. The cost of education in the US is much higher than other countries. It is important to investigate and have a solid financial plan. This plan should include more than just tuition expenses. You should consider housing, food, transportation, health insurance, and all other relevant expenses.
- What is your monthly income?
- What is your sponsor’s annual income?
- How do you plan to fund the entire duration of your education?
- How much does your school cost?
- How will you meet these expenses?
- Who is going to sponsor your education?
- What is your sponsor’s occupation?
- How else will you cover the rest of your costs?
- Do you have a copy of your bank statements?
- Did you get offered a scholarship at your school?
- Can I see your tax returns?
Your Post-Graduation Plans
Technically, the F1 student visa is only granted to those who plan to return to their home country after graduation. Although it is not impossible to stay in the US after your graduation, through programs such as OPT and H1B, it will be important for you to prove that you have ties and obligations, including family, property, or a job offer, that will lead to your return to your home country.
- Do you have relatives or friends currently in the US?
- What are your plans post-graduation?
- Do you have a job or career in mind after you graduate
- Do you plan on returning back to your home country?
- What are your plans after graduation?
- Are you sure you won’t stay in the US?
- Will you continue to work for your current employer after you graduate?
The most important thing to remember during your F1 visa interview is to remain calm! Being well prepared is extremely important. Be sure to have all of the required documents and receipts with you so that you can focus on your interview questions. Answer all of the questions asked of you, and remember to be open and honest!