COLLEGEPOND STUDENTS – VISA INTERVIEW
MQM: Business Analytics at Fuqua School of Business (Duke University)
Mumbai Consulate, Visa Approved
I was told by the Consulate co-ordinator to go to the counter no. 32. While I waited, the officer (an American 45ish lady with a pleasant disposition & soft features) at my counter had a translator along & was interviewing someone else. When my turn came, she told the translator that she would take me up & that he could leave.
Me: Good morning officer! (while sliding my I20, Sevis fee receipt & Passport through the glass opening)
Visa Officer (VO): Good morning! So let’s see…. You are here to interview for pursuing your Master’s?
Me: That is correct.
VO: (Raises hands in the air when she sees the I20) Oh Duke?!! Are you excited?
Me: Very! Really looking forward J
VO: Amazing. So what are you doing currently? What is your role?
Me: Told her that I work as a consultant right now with a US based company.
VO: So why do you want to do this course?
Me: Explained her in detail but quickly by speaking fast about why I wish to pursue this course in less than a minute. Data explosion, the kind of position I want to be in etc.
VO: Ok, so my understanding is that you want to shift from your current position to a managerial one?
Me: Yes, that would be correct. (Even though it wasn’t exactly true but I did not want to oppose her & risk my chances in any way!)
VO: Have you been to the US before?
Me: Yes. Told her the years of travel.
VO: How do you plan to fund your education?
Me: Scholarship + self-funding + parental sponsoring. (Tried asking her if she wanted to see my financial docs. She said not really, it’s fine)
VO: Ah, I see. But what would be the precise split?
Me: (Now this I hadn’t exactly prepared as I thought lumpsum financials would suffice & my intention was to liquidate one investment or the other as & when the requirement arises) So I took like 5 secs & then started thinking aloud & buying time. Told her that the tuition is $X & living expenses come up to $Y totalling up to $X+Y. (Time bought!) and then told her on the spot made up precise split of the sources (scholarship, self-funds, parents)
VO: Alright (At this point she started keying in to her computer & I had a faint feeling that my visa might just be in the process of being approved as otherwise she would have tossed my passport back to me & not taken any efforts to key in details) And then the golden words…. “OK! So your visa has been approved!” Please take utmost care of the I20 as that would be required when you land in the US.
Me: Sure, officer. Thank you so much!
MS in Business Analytics – Purdue university- Mumbai Consulate- Counter 28- Chilled out VO.
Visa Approved I was asked for I20 and Passport.
And my Interview went as follows –
Me – Good Morning. How are you doing?
VO – Very good and Good Morning to you too.
VO – Pass me your Passport.
I passed my Passport, I20, SEVIS, DS 160, to which he replied, he only needs Passport. I took back all the documents.
VO – So why are you going to the US?
Me – I have received admit into MS program at Purdue University.
VO – Oh wow, Purdue University. Please pass me your i20 only.
VO – When did you get your first degree?
Me – 2012. completed my Bachelors in Commerce.
VO – That’s good. And what have you been doing since then?
Me – I have been working with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Aegis Limited and currently working at BSH Home Appliance group.
VO – (Looking at the i20) So now you are doing Management Science. Why do you want to go back to the school?
Me – Yes. I am using Analytics in my work where I use Regression to forecast and do business planning. I want to enhance my skills and learn more analytical techniques.
VO – Ok. On your i20, I can see that you have a partial scholarship. How do you intend to pay rest of the tuition?
Me – I have my own savings of 64,750/- which will be enough to cover entire tuition fees and living expenses. Also, my parents have savings of $ 70,000 which I can use in case of any emergency or contingency. I will use my parents savings only if required.
VO – I am approving your VISA. Have a safe trip to the US.
Me – Thank you very much
Me: Good morning officer!
Visa officer (VO): Good morning! Which visa are you applying?
VO: Where are you going?
Me: University Of Minnesota
VO: Wow. It’s very cold over there.
Me: I know. Extreme temperature in winter.
VO: Why are you going there?
Me: I want to pursue MS in Business Analytics. It has one of the best programs in the world.
VO: Which universities were you looking for?
Me: I also applied to UTA, CMU, Purdue. Received an admit from Purdue and CMU.
VO: Carnegie! Nice. It’s also cold in Pittsburgh.
Me: Both the universities are in a cold region.
VO: What is your ungrad degree?
Me: BE Comp engg
VO: So you work at XYZ?
VO: What is your GRE score?
Me: I applied using my GMAT score. It is 710.
VO: Don’t they accept GRE?
Me: They accept both GRE and GMAT.
VO: How are you sponsoring your education?
Me: I have my own savings and rest is sponsored by my parents.
VO: What your parents do?
Me: My father works as xxxxx at xxxx and my mother is a xxxxx.
VO: Buy a warm coat. I am approving your VISA *smiles
Me: Thank you officer. Btw I am planning to buy a coat from states. Warm clothes from India won’t be useful over there. 😜😅
The above script might look long. But the conversation and the whole process hardly took 80-90 secs. Apart from I20, passport and SEVIS receipt, no documents were asked.
VO: Good Morning. How are you?
Me: Good Morning Sir, I’m fine. How are you?
VO: I’m fine. Pass me your passport, i20 & SEVIS receipt.
(Gave it to him)
VO: Tell me something about TAMU.
Me: TAMU is located in College Station with a campus of….
VO: I mean the coursework.
Me: The coursework is quite advanced and flexible with courses like Applied Probability, Industrial Case Analysis, Probability for Engg Decisions.
VO: How are you going to pay?
Me: My parents are sponsoring me.
(Was about to talk about assets when he interrupted me)
VO: What do your parents do?
Me: My Father is a practicing CA and my Mother works in the same firm in the administrative dept.
VO: Why Industrial Engineering?
Me: I developed an interest in IE during my Bachelor’s as I had courses like Probability, Statistics, Computational Programming….(Interrupts again)
VO: What’s your GRE score?
Types for 10-15 seconds
Keeps the passport with himself
VO: Your VISA is approved.
Me: Thanks a lot.
Throughout the interview, the VO was showing interest in the coursework I mentioned. He was nodding his head throughout the interview. It lasted for a minute or so.
Dama: Good morning sir!
VO: Please pass your passport, i20 and sevis
Dama: Sure sir
VO: Oh Wow! Virginia Tech! That’s a top notch university!
Dama: Yeah sir
VO: (thinking what to ask) so why vtech
Dama: VT known for mech
Univ started with mech program in 1872
courses, research and prof excellent
(VO nodding head continuously)
VO: so this is the only one or u applied somewhere else?
Dama: I applied to 8 universities and got admits from 3 of them
VO: (looking at pc continuously during my answers – probably checking profile visible to him)
Which University did you get rejects from (shockingly)
Dama: I was rejected from
(forgot Minnesota-but he didn’t tally the rejects and didn’t ask for the 5th reject
VO: That’s really shocking. I don’t know why you were rejected. You have amazing score (he didn’t ask me the gre toefl score – don’t know why he said that)
Dama: (Didn’t say anything)
VO: nonetheless VT is amazing University. But this is a costly program. How do you plan to pay for it?
Dama: My parents are sponsoring me.
VO: what do your parents do?
Dama: dad is chartered accountant and mom is lic agent
VO: (typing on pc and looking at my face through 90 degree turned eyes) where do you plan to live at VT
Dama: since I got admit late, I haven’t received confirmation for on campus housing. So I will be staying off campus unless I get..
VO: (interrupting) oh that’s fine. No problem. One of my friends also stayed off campus.
I am approving your visa
Dama: Thank youuu sir!
And happy independence day in advance to you
VO: thank you sir.
Int: why do you want to be a cavalier(UVa mascot)?
me:Haha, Virginia because it gives me courses in biomechanics without prerequisites in bio and also it has the largest injury test biomechanics lab in any university in the world.
Int: who is funding you.
Me: my parents and i also have taken a loan for tax benefits
Int: what do you plan to do after you graduate?
Me: I plan to be a research analyst in companies like Mahindra corp and Tata motors.
Int: what do mom and dad do?
Int: who founded the university?
me: Thomas Jefferson did.
Int: who was he?
me: 3rd prez of USA
Int: Congratulations your Visa has been approved.
Me: Thank you.
Date- 13th june
Vo -good morning, can i see ur i20 and passport
Me- yes sure
Vo- So RIT
Me- Yes sir
Vo- (He looks at the scholarship amount) Why do you think you got the scholarship?
Me- Because of my GRE, TOEFL scores and undergrad acads
Vo- Oh, whats your GRE score?
Vo- What is your undergrad acads?
Vo- how are you gonna pay for your education?
Vo- what they do?
Vo- Dad’s salary per year?
Vo- Amount that has been kept aside for you?
Vo- What specialization you plan to take in CS
Me- Machine Learning
Vo- What topics do you have in it?
Me- Computer vision, robotics, computer graphics, that’s it
Vo- ok i am approving your visa
Date: June 5, 2017
Appointment Time: 9;00 am
In-time: 8:15 am
Out-time: 9:20 am
Program: MS in Civil Engineering with specialization in Construction Engineering and Management
University: Purdue University
Duration of interview: approx. 45 seconds.
Visa Officer(VO): Good Morning.
Me: Good Morning Sir.
VO: gestured me to pass him my I20 and SEVIS
Me: passed the docs
VO: So, how many universities did you apply to?
Me: Sir, I had applied to eight.
VO: Why Purdue?
Me: My principal area of interest is Risk Management in Construction. Purdue not only offers courses for the same but also has an entire laboratory that is devoted to the sole purpose of Risk Assessment. Another area I’m interested in is Building Information Modelling, which is also covered in great detail at Purdue.
VO: What is your GRE score?
VO: I feel the university is a little expensive. How do you plan to finance your MS?
Me: My parents have kept aside a significant amount of savings as liquid assets for financing my masters.
VO: What do your parents do?
VO: What kind of liquid assets?
Me: Fixed deposits, mutual funds, etc.
VO: Have you taken an educational loan?
Me: Yes, I have.
VO: All right, I am approving your Visa. You will be asked to collect your passport back in 2-3 days.
Me: Thank You.
Appointment time: 9:30am
Reached at 8:45, went in at 9:20, out by 10:20.
Security check, then open waiting area with a roof to block the sun. After a while our lane was sent in.
Got my fingerprints scanned at Counter 42 (the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything), and moved on to wait in the queue for the interview. I saw a girl being rejected for her Tourist visa, but apart from that there was no rejection during the time I was there.
Counter no: 31
VO: young guy with a beard, very friendly and good sense of humour.
VO: Good morning, please pass me your passport and 1-20. Why are you going to the US?
Me: I want to pursue Masters in Industrial Engineering from Texas A & M.
VO: When did you graduate?
Me: I graduated in 2015
VO: What have you been doing since then?
Me: I have been working with thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions for the last two years
VO: Why Texas A&M?
Me: Texas A & M has a course curriculum that completely matches my field of interest. The program has the right amount of breadth courses, application courses and free electives.
VO: What was your GRE and TOEFL?
Me: My GRE was 329, and TOEFL was 114.
VO: 329.. woah! Thats a great score!
Me: grins and blushes yeah.
VO: Are they providing you with a scholarship?
Me: No, no scholarship.
VO: Not even with that score? When you go there, yell at them.
Me: hahaha.. sure!
VO: Who is funding you?
Me: My parents will be funding me.
VO: What do they do?
Me: (dad works in a bank, mom in a private company)
Typing typing typing
VO: Ok, your visa is approved!
Me: That was fast! Thanks!
Consulate : mumbai
Date : 24/05/2017
Status : approved
University: OSU (msba)
Me: Good morning ma’am. How are you?
VO : good morning(with a cute smile) !M fine.. Give me your passport
and i20. (she might have figured out that i was there for f1 as i had i20 in my hand already)
Me : Passed passport and documents
Vo : So, Oklahoma…. How did you come to know about this university?
Me : I had done my own research on online forums such as that of edulix and stupidsid. I also contacted my seniors and professors who are alumni’s of this university.
VO : what is your specialization?
Me : Electrical but I have done projects and courses related to analytics.
VO: what projects?
Vo: how many universities you applied?
Me : nine
Vo:how many admits
Vo: how many siblings do you have(asked her to repeat the question twice. She came closer to the mike and then asked me the question again)
Vo: who is sponsering your education?
Vo:What do they do?
Me: they are central govt employees
VO: their job profile?
VO: so, not taking a loan?
Me:No ma’am, I won’t be needing one.
Vo: Your visa is approved.
Me: thank you ma’am. You made my day.
Course: UIUC MSIM
VO: She just rejected 4 visas before my turn came
VO: Give your documents.
Me: Passed my documents
VO: So how many univetsities have you applied?
Me: 10 Universities.
VO: So many. How did you decide upon them?
Me: Research work, flexibility and courses.(Explained in detail. She got impressed)
VO: What was your GRE score?
VO: Were you happy with your performance in GRE?
Me: Not a good day. Got a good score in quants. I scored more in my mocks.
VO: When did you complete your bachelors?
VO: What were you doing since then?
Me: I was working as a Software Engineer in a startup.
VO: Which Company
Me: XYZ Company
VO: Who is going to fund yo?
Me: My parents
VO: what do they do?
Me: Textile Manufacturing and export
VO: Have you taken a loan?
VO: Do you have an elder brother or sister?
Me: Yes. Elder Brother.
VO: What does he do?
Me: Explained his job
VO: You look nervous. Dont be nervous your visa is approved.
Me: Thank you mam
My Visa Experience:
Time slot: 930 am
Reached the counter by 11:15 am
The lady right in front of me at the same counter got her visa rejected.
There were babies crying, people taking pretty loudly and all of that.
The interview went on for about 2.5-3 mins and it goes like this:-
Me: Goodmorning ma’am..(No reply)
VO: Can I have your Passport, SEVIS and i-20
Me: Yet again, Goodmorning ma’am..How are you doing today?
VO: Goodmorning, I’m doing good, how about you.
Me: I’m good, thank you.
VO: When did you finish your Bachelor’s Degree?
Me: I just finished it on 5th May and am yet to receive my results.
VO: Oh, so you have no work experience
Me: Ma’am I have 2 relevant internships of 6 weeks each that I did during my 2nd and 3rd year
VO: What did you do there?
Me: During my second year, I interned at Arvind Limited, Ahmedabad which is the largest producer of knitted garments in India..and during my 3rd year I interned at NAL, Bangalore which is the only facility in India where Carbon fibres are manufactured. Carbon fibres are used to make bodies of the aircrafts and sporting equipments.
VO: Okay, How many colleges did you apply to?
Me: Ma’am, I applied to 7 colleges and got accepts from 5.
VO: Which all admits did you get?
Me: Named all of them
VO: Why NCSU?
Me: The course that I want to pursue is Masters in Textiles and NCSU is the only college that has a dedicated college of textiles with specialised courses in non wovens and medical textiles.
VO: Why do you want to do a Master’s degree in Textiles?
Me: I want to upgrade my knowledge and know more about what I’ve learnt in my Bachelor’s Degree. Also I believe, I shouldn’t be restricting my knowledge to just the basics and hence I would want to pursue an advanced degree in Textiles. It’ll help me stand out of the crowd.
VO: Tell me the scope of your field after you graduate?
Me: I could be working as as a R&D person, production,etc. Textiles include a wide range of applications from Clothing to high end technical textiles. I am particularly interested in Medical textiles, which includes stents, sutures, artificial organs, etc.
VO: What did you want to do after graduation?
Me: I would want to work as a textile engineer at reputed companies like Arvind, Raymonds, Aditya Birla (consciously told all Indian companies ONLY).
VO: How are you going to fund your education?
Me: Ma’am, my parents have set aside $100000 in liquid assets to pay for my education.
VO: Oh, but I see a education loan of your i-20.
Me: Yes ma’am, the loan is part of the liquid assets. My parents would be paying off the loan and I don’t need to pay them back, which they are fine with.
VO: Explain me the terms of your loan
Me: (shocked for a moment)..So ma’am I will be given 2 years until my course is done, after which the EMI will start. (Here, eventhough I’m given a grace period of 1 year to find a job actually…I somehow at that moment did not say anything about the job)
The EMI’s will be paid by my parents eventually and there is a 7 year payback period.
VO: Congratulations, your visa is approved
Me: (Don’t even remember whether I said Thank you or not, I just left happily)
I might have still missed a question or two…which I don’t remember now.
The following questions were asked to me for my visa interview:
Consulate : Mumbai
VO: Good morning. May i have your passport and I20 please?
Me: Good morning, sure.
VO: Which other countries have you travelled to before?
VO: What was the purpose of travel?
VO: What are you doing now?
Me: BTech final year.
VO: Which course?
Me: Comp Sci
VO: When will the course be conpleted?
Me: Next month
VO: who is funding for your studies?
Me: My parents
VO: What do they do?
VO: Congratulations. Visa approved. You may colleted your passport after 5 business days.
Me: Thank you!
Slot: 9 am
Counter No: 38
University: Georgia Tech (MS in SCE)
Reached the consulate by 7.40 and was let in at 7.50. Not a huge queue as I was let in early. Had to wait before entering the hall. After fingerprints had to wait in another line, and finally my time had come.
A guy before me had been rejected and I felt a tad nervous. Here’s how it went,
Me: Good morning sir.
( No reply from the VO )
VO: what’s your GRE Score
VO: Woah!!! That’s great
Me: Thank you sir.
VO: How many colleges did you apply to?
VO: How many admits did you receive?
Me: All 13 sir.
VO: That is outstanding. Name 3 universities other than Gtech to which you have been admitted
Me: Columbia, Purdue, UIUC
VO: (Surprisingly) So why Gtech over Columbia?
Me: Sir only Gtech has MS in SCE and the course curriculum is super awesome.
VO: okay so who is sponsoring you?
Me: My parents
VO: What do they do?
Me: Father has a chemist and mom supermarket.
VO: Wonderful !
VO: So what will you be called if you go to Georgia Tech
Me: Yellow Jackets sir.
Typing for a few seconds,
Congratulations son, I’m approving your Visa.
Me: (Feeling on top of the world) Thank you so much sir.
It was super cool, no documents except passport and I20. Rejected a guy before me, and the problem I felt was he was too nervous and didn’t answer what was asked. As has been said in this group previously just be confident and answer everything to the point. Not one bit more not one bit less. All the best to all those who are left with the interview, and a huge thanks to the people who posted their experience on this group, and more so the ones who were rejected and still posted, it all was greatly helpful.
Cheers, have a great day !
VO- Give it. Just give it all.
Me- Good Morning Sir. How are you?
After a frown
VO- Do you know what cranky means?
(Returns my DS160)
Me- Yes sir.
VO continues – No? Do you know what crabby means?
Me- Yes sir, I get it now.
VO- How are you?
Me- Not that well either, I got wet outside while standing in the queue.
VO- So now can you do something to make me happy?
Me- Sorry Sir, nothing at this moment.
(Starts typing something. Really slow typing. One letter at a time. He then looks at my I20)
VO- So why Colorado Boulder?
Me- Sir it has a great course….
VO interrupts waving his hand- No. I don’t want to hear any of that. Tell me something else. Everyone tells this. Do you know any friends there? How is Boulder? Any other factors? Is it expensive?
Me- Yes sir. Boulder is a beautiful town. I have two friends who are my seniors and are currently studying at Boulder. They told be about the hiking clubs, winter time skiing and the football team. They also told that the professors are good and studying there is a great experience.
VO- What will you learn?
Me- I tell him about the courses which I have taken for he fall semester and about Internet of Things course which other colleges rarely offer.
VO-How many children in the family?
Me- Only 2 sir. Me and my sister.
VO- What does your sister do?
Me- She’s pursuing her MBA here in India.
(Starts typing again)
Me-My parents are going to sponsor me.
Me- My father is a businessman. He owns…..
VO interrupts again- explain.
Me-Sorry, I didn’t get you.
VO-I don’t understand business. Exolain it to me.
Me- I tell him about my father’s business and my mother’s work.
VO- How many employees?
Me – Told.
(Typing all the time now)
VO- Do you need to take a loan?
Me- No Sir, but….
VO waving his hand in disagreement – I don’t need to know more. That’s all.
( Passes my I20 and Sevis receipt. I’m expecting my Visa is approved but waiting for him to say it)
VO looks at my passport front and back then says – I am arriving your Visa.
I interrupted – Thank you with a smile and a sigh if relief.
(VO raises his hands and dances with a funny face trying to emulate my feelings)
VO- You will hear from us in 3 days to collect your passport.
Me- Thank you Sir. You made my day.
VO in a strength scolding voice pointing his finger towards me- Work hard!!
Me- I will sir. Thank you. I hope you have a good day ahead.
VO- I hope you too have a good day. Enjoy your stay.
I leave with a smiling face.