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F1 Visa Stamping Experience – Islamabad, Pakistan

One of our readers Amir Shah shared his F1 Visa stamping experience with us.  Thanks to Amir ! You can share your experiences here

Background – F1 Visa to attend University of Houston for MS – Computer Science

I gave my F-1 visa interview at Islamabad embassy for going to University of Houston for MS in Computer Science. I visited USA twice on a visitor visa before applying for F-1. I had high hopes of getting the visa despite having recently heard of a visa rejection case of a student going to Yale on scholarship near my home. After 2-3 queues I reached the embassy and joined the last queue outside the embassy. In this queue there were only F-1, J-1, Green card, H-1B, etc. visa applicants but no tourist visa applicants. I would say about 100 people were there. My interview took place in June 2007. There were some students ahead of me, whose visas were rejected in 5 minutes and that sank my heart. A catholic nun was also rejected in front of me. I knew these people as we were chatting with each other while in the line outside the embassy. I wasn’t able to hear anything but financial credentials seem to be of major interest to VOs. I was not asked a single question regarding my education/percentage/scores. I was happy and confident that day but I must admit I was also scared on the inside as I had spent considerable amount of money by that time. My interview lasted around 20 minutes and following is the conversation I remember from that day:

F1 Visa Interview Questions – Visa Office (VO)

VO: When will you graduate?
Me: Next month.

VO: Who is sponsoring you?
Me: My brother?

VO: Where does he live?
Me: He lives in Dallas,Texas.

VO: Do you have his financial information?
Me: Yes. (Gave his pay stubs, bank statements and investment portfolio papers).

VO: (Typed continuously on computer and then asked) What is the status of your brother?
Me: He is a US citizen. (And gave his original naturalization certificate.)

VO: Have you ever applied for immigrant visa?
Me: No.

VO: (She took a close look at the certificate and then continued to type).
Me: (My heart was beating faster. I gave her a financial responsibility letter from my brother.)

VO: (She read the complete letter and then typed a bit more) Is your brother married?
Me: Yes.

VO: How many children he has?
Me: Three.

VO: What are their ages?
Me: Oldest is about five years, next one is 3 years and the youngest is about 6 months.

VO: Can your brother support you since he also has a family to be responsible for?
Me: I have another brother in New York, another one is a doctor in UK and my sister’s family has good business in Saudi Arabia so they will also fund my education.

VO: Which universities did you applied?
Me: University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, University of Texas at Dallas. (I was taking more names but she stopped me.)

VO: Why have you applied to universities in this region? Because you will be closer to your brother and he can help you?
Me: No, because this region has warm climate and it will be easier for me to adjust.

VO: I am issuing you a visa, it will be mailed in two weeks.
Me: Thank you very much.

In my humble opinion, wearing a smile and confidence helps a lot. Confidence comes from preparation so prepare as much as you can and find out as much as you can about the whole process. Know what documents might be needed, know what shortcomings you have and have clear answers. For example if you failed a course or have poor percentage, be prepared to explain. A great deal of decision is made before one gets interviewed and it is based upon the information provided in the application forms and supporting documents so those forms are very important. Last but not the least, if you don’t get the visa, don’t take it as a personal failure. May be it is good for you in the long run.

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  1. Hi hayat,
    I dont have answer to your query but i deeply feed sad for the vo decision though your profile is very good….all the best for your future

  2. Hello,
    i have been rejected visa under section 214(b) on Nov:2 -2012, i am applying for MS in Computer Science…
    my interview goes as under:
    i booked my interview on 2nd Nov-2012 at 9:00 am and i was taken inside the consulate at 8:00 am only…
    there were some security checks performed and then i was given a token which consisted a number,according to that i had to appear for the interview, the numbers were flashed on the LCD screen and my no was 441…
    nearly after 2 and half hours, i.e. on 10:30 am my turn came for the interview…
    the interview goes as(VO:Visa Officer, H:Hayat)

    VO:give me your passport and i20 form(I-20 form is the admission letter)…

    i gave hime the passport and I-20 form…

    VO:give me your score sheets…

    i gave him only the IELTS and GRE scoresheets…

    VO:how many univ applied???


    VO:name them??

    H: 1.Saint Joseph univ,Phildelphia
    2.Eastern Michigan univ,Detroit
    3.Loyola univ,Chicago

    VO:why Eastern Michi univ??

    H:i think the course suits me and as i want to do specialization in network security it offers those courses, also the syllabus of Eastern michigan univ is flexible and i can choose the subjects according to the syllabus…

    the VO typed something

    VO:right now i cannot issue you the visa and the reason is mentioned on the paper which i am giving you and you may go now…..
    ————————————————————————————— the point to note is that he did’nt even looked at my financial documents and also my BE marksheets…

    the university starts on 2nd january and i have to be there on 2nd Jan as it is a mandatory orientation on that day…

    i also want to mention my GRE score which is 282 out of 340, as well as my IELTS score is 6.5 as an overall band, i secured 69% in my final yr of BE Computer Sci Engg and in my diploma in Computer Engineering i secured 83% in my final year which i did prior to Bachelor in Computer Sci Engg…

    I have got a scholarship of $3100

    so when should i reapply as the deadline of the univ i have given above is 2nd jan, so i will have to be there 1-week earlier, which may be somewhere around 25th Dec, also the embassy may be closed in christmas, so what would be appropriate date to apply..

    i also want to tell you that i am having a Mild Stammering(Stuttering) problem as well, will it not be a matter of concern for me to present my case at the interview…
    if i am re-applying, according to you are there any chances of mines to get the visa as i have presented my case above…

    waiting for your reply,

    can you please tell me when should i reapply as univ starts on 2nd jan-2013…


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