First time getting an F1 visa:
Year: 2018. Consulate: Mumbai
Gloomy day. Guy before me is being grilled for what seemed like 15 mins. I go next.
VO: What college are you going to?
Me: *Tells the name of my university*
VO: Why this course?
Me: *Gives a befitting answer in one line*
VO: How much is your scholarship?
Me: *Gives the amount*
VO: What do your parents do?
ME: *States occupation in one firm sentence.
VO looks at me suspiciously. Approves visa.
Reasons I believe got me accepted: Conciseness of the answers.
Second F1 attempt:
I had flown back to India during the pandemic (big mistake).
Year: 2021. Consulate: Mumbai
VO has already rejected 2 applicants before me. I am nervous by this point.
VO: (Very sternly) Hello, ma'am. Can I have your passport and I20 please?
Me: Good morning. Sure! (Not sure he greeted me back)
VO: *Same generic questions he asked the previous 2 guys* - Where did you hear of your college?
Me: I did my research.
VO: Why an MBA?
Me: *I try my best to give him a convincing link between my old degree and the MBA, although i fumble. (I did not rehearse answers too well because I did not want to come across as bookish*
VO: You did a *insert name of previous degree* before?
VO: Who is sponsoring you? Your mother? What does she do?
Me: *States her occupation exactly as had stated in old interview.*
VO: *Types in intensively*
By this time I am praying to God he receives His grace.
VO: *Asks me to provide fingerprints and returns my passport back to me saying 'Sorry, you do not qualify for a visa today'.*
Me: Oh. Thank you. (Dejected)
Reasons I believe I got denied:
- Applied to college, not a university (often a huge red flag)
- Fumbled through my answers.
- Second degree seen as an immigrant intent.
- Didn't believe sponsor could actually sponsor me (VOs don't like to look at docs as they can be easily ***d. I had proper proof of funds)
- Lack of employment in India as stated in DS 160.
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