A Quick Look at Everything you Need to Obtain an F1 Visa!

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Today I appeared for my F1 visa interview and got the Visa approved. After you get the admission of your choice, you might feel a bit relaxed but the hectic part has just started. India has around 26% rejection rate for non-migrant Visas and given the ever-changing government policies you never know if your Visa would be approved or not. In this post, I will talk in detail about all the documents that I prepared for the Visa interview and will also share my personal visa interview experience.

Here’s a list of things that you need for the Visa.

You need to request for an i20 from the university that you have been admitted to. The I-20 Form is a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. An official representative from your school will issue you the i20.

Note: You can request i20 from any number of universities you wish to.

SEVIS is a nationwide, Internet-based system that the U.S. government uses to maintain accurate and current information on non-immigrant students. The SEVIS I-901 fee is for students going on an F1 visa is $350. You can pay the SEVIS fees here:

Go to the US travel docs website and schedule an appointment.

Before you schedule an appointment you need to pay the Visa fee of 160$. You can go here to find more information about how to pay the fees:


  • You don’t need to actually complete the DS 160 form before you schedule your appointment. You just need to start the DS 160 application and then use the same ID while scheduling the appointment.
  • You need to pay the SEVIS fee before you schedule an appointment.
  • Once you pay the Visa fee, it takes around 24 hours to reflect. So you can schedule your appointment only once it starts reflecting.

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is for temporary travel to the United States. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the Internet. You can fill-up the form here:


Here’s the exhaustive list of documents that you should carry for your Visa interview.

  • Passport
  • Appointment confirmation For Embassy and OFC
  • Form DS-160 & confirmation page
  • I20 & Offer letter
  • SEVIS fees Receipt
  • Visa application (MRV)fee Payment
  • Academic Documents: Class X and XII mark sheets and all mark sheets of your undergraduate degree. Also, carry the degree certificate and consolidated mark sheet.
  • Financial Documents: Depending on how you are funding your education, it might vary. I carried the bank letter stating my father’s savings, loan sanction letter for the rest of the amount, CA certificate letter for my father and affidavit of support from my father.
  • Current Work Experience Documents: Appointment letter and Experience letter
  • Previous Work Experience Documents: Appointment letter, Experience letter, and Job Reliving letter.

Slot: 11:45, Chennai

Counter: 18

VO was a young lady in her 30's

Me: Good morning officer

VO: Good morning, pass your passport and I-20

Me: Passed

VO: Why ASU?

Me: ASU is one of the top-ranked universities for innovation and it has built its reputation for research. Also, my research interest is in the field of data science and ASU offers courses that can help me pursue my research.

VO: How many universities did you apply to and what admits did you receive

Me: I applied to six and got 5 admits and listed them out

VO: Who is funding you

Me: My father is my main sponsor he has savings of xx lakhs and I have a bank loan sanctioned for xx lakhs

VO: I am approving your visa, have a nice day

Me: Thank you, ma’am, have a nice day


The USA visa process is quite hyped up and is rightly so. In 90% cases, the VO doesn’t ask you to show any of the documents except the i20 and Passport but it is always safe to carry all the documents along with you. If they ask for a document and you don’t have it then they might not approve your Visa.

Also, in the visa interview, your confidence and speaking skills matter a lot. If you are not nervous and are able to answer all questions by looking into VO’s eyes, she would be convinced that you are actually a non-migrant.

All the best for your interview. :)

Written by

Grad Student at ASU | Student Researcher at The Luminosity Lab | Ex Senior Software Engineer, Zeta | Volunteer, Wikimedia Foundation

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