Below is a detailed F1 Visa stamping experience at Chennai, India from one of my friends. This is not from 2010 and written some time ago…some of the administrative procedures might have changed so double check on that stuff, but it is very well articulated and help anyone going for F1 Visa stamping. Thanks to my friend for sharing his experience. If you would like to share your visa stamping experience with our readers, do send me an email at redbus2us(at)gmail.com.
F1 Visa Stamping Experience in Chennai Consulate, India
My GRE-1410 (verbal – 640, quants – 770, AWA – 4.0)
TOEFL – 260, Acads – 74.3% with 4 drops( fails according to VO)
Visa stamping to go to Clemson University.
(11.00 a.m)….The Most eventful moment in my life…I received VISA today morning i.e. 27th may ….I owe this success fully to my parents who worked hard to accumulate money in the savings bank account at the peak moments before my visa date…….
Initial Visa related preparation
1.BOOKING A SLOT:
Book your slot as early as possible. Early is the best. They did’nt even ask about my 4-2 results. Many threatened me not to apply before the final year second semester results are announced but I booked my slot 20 days right after the completion of my final year second sem exams.
Keep all the documents Perfect..(Better not to go for false documentation).The very essential documents are.
1. All Semester Marksheets in your Undergraduate ( actually I went without 4-2 transcripts)
2. Degree certificate(if u’ve received)or else Provisional certificate or course completion( I took course completion).
3.10th and 12th certificate(In chennai consulate they did not ask for this but it is safer if U carry it with u).
4.GRE & TOEFL score sheets.
5.CA statement ,
6. All bank passbooks.
7.Family IT returns (I didn’t have any coz my parents are govt. employees and their pay scales are non taxable)
8.Affidavit of Support (Not required if parents are the sponsor but its better u carry it along).
9.Valuation certificate of house and house documents etc…
10. LIC, P.F. statement, Valuation certificate of car and Jewelry (not particularly necessary) and also any documents relating to ur car (RC book),….
These are the most essential documents needed….U could also carry your professional honors such as gold medal or any other certificate…U can also type a resume if u need.
3.ARRANGEMENT OF DOCUMENTS:
I arranged my documents in a file, which has many pouches in it.
I arranged my documents in this order.U can choose ur own order but the first pouch should have the documents in the same order given ( this is according to embassy rules)
Passport, 2 DDs, Web appointment, DS forms, I-20, GRE & TOEFL score sheets, All mark sheets, Admit letter.
CA statement and all banks pass books
Affidavit of support, F.D. maturity documents ( if you have but I had none of them actually).
Salary Income Certificate, Familly IT returns and Form 16.
P.F, LIC, R.D.s, Shriram chits, Jewelry valuation, car valuation and RC books.
SOP given to this particular university,Resume,Final year project abstract.
Prospectus of the Univesity or any corresponding webpage printouts of the university say about the research in the university , about the faculty member’s projects etc.
Other admits (I-20s)
Proofs for getting your bank balance (if there are any)
Any honors like any gold medals, paper presentations, e.t.c.
SOME TIPS for Preparation for Visa Stamping:
1.Take ur photograph with a white background and don’t forget to remove borders around it(Normally in Studios they know this rule for VISA photograph but some people may forget., so better check it).
2.DS forms filled properly(write Nil or None in the which is not applicable for you. Don’t leave any space blank)..Type your DS form and take print out as soon as you do as you cannot save your file in normal Acrobat reader…Typed DS forms give a neat appearance and it is the DS form that’s going to be your first impression…
- Write the period of stay.(Qn.no 26 in Ds-156) to be 24 months even though its mentioned 36 months in your I-20 if you are going for your Master’s.
- If you are a fresher, write your undergraduate institution name and address for Qn.no.20
- When filling your e-mail address its better to give the i.d you gave for web appointment.
- For Purpose of your trip (qn.no.27), Do fill as “To pursue Master’s in ABC in XYZ university.”
- In one of my friend’s web appointment, I saw that it was mentioned… .DS- 157(for all applicants), so Gals..look into your Web appointment and carry DS-157 filled along with you…Better have it with you even though it is not mentioned in your web appointment…No harm in having an extra form filled with you….and Submit it if they ask you there.
3.Keep your primary documents arranged in this order… Passport, Web appointment, DS forms, I-20, GRE and TOEFL score cards, all your mark-sheets and admit letter (this is according to embassy rules)
If you’ve got good Academics than your GRE-TOEFL,Place it at the top and then arrange your score cards(if u’ve got a TOEFL better than GRE, place it at the top).
4.Memorize your C.A. statement…Better know the dollar values, so that you could reduce a little strain for the V.O. to convert from rupees to dollars.(If they ask how much salary do you expect on return say this in Rupees).
5.?Have Good knowledge about the university infrastructure i.e about the lab, library etc…Go through your faculties’s webpage and have an idea bout their research and areas of interest…Match some of the research there with the research going in some companies here in India…Memorize some faculties name and also the courses in your program.
Initial Procedure at US Consulate:
1.First they check in your web appointment and passport outside the consulate and let you in..It is enough if you come there ½ an hour before…But if u r lucky enough u can get in b’fore that…My slot was 11.45 to 12.00 a.m but I was let in by 10.30 a.m
2.They ask if u’ve got any electronic equipment such as cell phone….They scan your file manually and using a machine…
3.Now u’ve got to stand in a queue , show ur web appointment and passport and pay Rs.400 DD or cash for the TTS people.
4.After paying it, u’ve got to stand in a Queue titled Cashier and Pay your Rs.4600 D.D passport; She’ll now give you a pink slip with your token number and a white slip.
5.You’ll see other five counters and you‘ve to stand in a queue in any of the counters and give your primary set of documents (Passport, Web appointment, DS forms, I-20, GRE and TOEFL score cards, all your mark-sheets and admit letter) pink slip and white slip.
6.They’ll arrange these documents in a separate file and will give back a part of the pink slip to you and the white slip, will ask you to go to the main room where in u r to be interviewed…
7.You’ll reach an Ac room…U’ve to push the door hard by pressing the handle in order to open it. U can go have water, snacks here…and take a comfortable seat inside the room. When a set of file comes to the V.O, he/ she calls the attender, Who will make us stand in a queue starting from a white line drawn there…The V.O will signal each and every one to come there…
SOME TIPS at Consulate:
1.Be friendly to the people in the Indian counters, Say good morning…Thank you etc and if they delay by making you wait…Don’t show Ur impatience outside…Be calm and wait till they ask you the documents…..these people are going to decide your VISA…if they are impressed by our behavior and DS forms without mistake…..they can recommend it to the V.O by some indication…..the same can happen the reverse…if u r a bit harsh and DS forms with lot of mistakes..….they’ll again indicate it to the V.O…So be amiable to these persons.(don’t think this is some kind of a bull shit. It really works)
2.After you enter the main venue…standing in the queue…..Wait till the person before you gets off from the counter…Wait till the V.O. signals you to come…Patience is very essential here….
3.Greet the V.O and make him/her impressed with your first answer….
My F1 Visa Interview Experience :
I had my visa interview for some 15 mins (I think so)..Anyhow before that…I entered the AC hall by 11.00 a.m…
Second counter was closed actually but when my time came VO came into that counter and called my token number. I was a bit tensed but was very confident that I’ll surely get my VISA…The only thought that was in my mind when I was in the queue was…”GOD PLEASE SAVE ME….I SHOULD AND I WILL GET MY VISA…..”.I did not even rehearse my answer…..but I had lots and lots of confidence that I will get my VISA……
ME.. very good afternoon sir.
VO.. (looks straight into my eyes……….and nods his head) where did you graduate from
ME.. sir, I graduated from XXXXXXXXXXX. college at XXXX, affiliated to XXXX
VO.. which school are you going to
ME.. clemson university
VO.. where is it located
ME.. it is located in south carolina, sir.
VO.. why to that university only
ME.. sir, its my privilege to join one of the most prestigious institutions of US…..
(VO impressed very much here)
(I tried to open the file in which my whole communication with the college was there but he did’nt allow me)
VO.. no you just explain
ME.. for my specialization it’s the ideal university in US….
(he interrupted looking at my transcripts)
(here comes the most terrible question and I never wanted it to arise)
VO.. Mr. XXXX, you wrote some subjects again. how many did you fail
ME.. sir, those are not failed subjects but I dropped them
VO.. no we consider them as fails. why did you fail
(I don’t know how I got this answer but it was very timely)
ME.. sir, having very good academics I am feeling very sad to answer this question but it was done out of my innocence. Actually my university do not put any remarks on our final transcript though we fail, drop or absent for any exam so my seniors suggested us to drop any exams which are very difficult. But later I came to know that its bad practice and left that right after my 2nd year you can see that.( actually I had drop in 3-1 also)
VO.. oh. That’s ok
(VO was satisfied with my answer)
VO.. what’s the duration of your course
ME.. 2 years sir
VO.. how are you going to support your studies
ME.. sir, I have a bank balance of 19.5 lakhs……..
(he interrupted, I think he did’nt get the answer he wants and repeated the question again)
VO.. no no . I am asking how are you going to support your studies.
ME.. sir, we have 19.5……
VO.. ok. Mr. XXXX, what’s your father
ME.. sir, he is superintendent of academic section in XXXXXX university
VO.. what’s his annual income
ME.. 1.44 lakhs per annum (actually 1.49 but that came out my mouth in confusion and I did’nt try to correct it)
(here comes the most wanted question)
VO.. do your mother work
ME.. (with lots of enthusiasm) yes sir, both my parents are govt. employees
VO.. what’s her annual income
ME.. 1.20 lakhs per annum
VO.. do you have any siblings
ME.. no sir, I am the only son.
( at this point he wrote F1 on my application and kept my documents in the tray but I was staring at him to know his decision like a fool )
( he was writing something on a scrap paper, while I was concentrating on that he asked……)
VO.. do you have a car
ME.. (confidently) yes sir
VO.. what kind of a car
ME.. zen II, sir
VO.. how much did you pay for it
ME.. 3.75 lakhs
(now came the golden words out of his mouth)
VO.. you will get your VISA to your home in two days Mr. XXXX. You can leave now
ME.. Thank you very much sir.
( took my file which was never opened before him and the documents in the tray and left the counter with happiness)
All the V.Os are pretty lenient and kind…they test your confidence and try to find out if you are genuine student….that’s it…..So..STAY COOL…Carry lots of confidence and prayers…the VISA is yours…..
Some Tips for Visa Interview :
1.Be very cool.
2.Answer ur first question very well..that gives a good impression..See I did not get a long interview because My first answer satisfied the V.O…
3.If they ask for income or abt fees answer it without hesitation …..
4.Answer with a cool, confident and loud voice..
5.Look into the V.Os eyes when answering.
6.Have water and use the toilet if necessary before the interview….
7.Dress neatly…comb up ur hair properly…..
8.Have a good sleep the previous night.
9.Have your bath and don’t forget to have ur breakfast or lunch on the day of your interview….
10.Above all Pray god…that solves lot of your problems…..Hes the one who will give u the VISA…..
You can also read other F1 Visa stamping experience at Hyderabad in 2010