Documents to be carried to the Consulate This is a list of things that many of us carried to the consulate for the VISA interview. We have taken tips from one of our friends file that he uploaded on the ufl groups in the previous years. 1. How to carry so many documents? A harmonium file/folder is the best to carry all the documents. This is a folder where you can arrange documents in various sections and can use the small tag holder for every section. You can get it at any stationary shop for Rs.100-200. 2. How to arrange the documents? I arranged the documents in the following order in the harmonium folder, but you can arrange it in any order according to your preference Materials to be carried along 1) 2) 3) 4) I-20(signed) and Admission Letter of the University you want the VISA for + AID Letter (if any) I-20s and Admission Letters / Acceptance Letters / Rejection Letters of other Universities you applied to. (Usually rejection letters are not asked for, but keep it with you) GRE & TOEFL Score Reports (Originals) Bank Passbook of the SB or Current type account + Bank Certificate + Papers clarifying big entries in your PASSBOOK INCOME PAPERS: IT return Statement of your sponsors (Form 16) /If your sponsor is into business..BUSINESS Papers + Agricultural Income Proof CA Statement + Affidavit of Support FIXED Deposits + (ICICI or RBI or else) Bonds + Private FDs LIC + UTI + PF + PPF + Super-Annuation Papers of your sponsor NSC + Indira Vikas Patra + Kisan Vikas Patra + Share Certificates House Tax Bill + Land Papers (If showing agricultural income or immovable) + Factory Papers (If into mfg)+ Evaluation of Land &/+ House ( to show the value of your immovable) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) Emails of correspondence with professors of your Univ + SOP + Biodata 12) Degree Certificate / Provisional Degree Certificate / Bonafide Certificate from your College 13) Original Marksheets of your Undergrad, HSC, SSC + Transcripts of your college 14) Attested Photocopies of all the documents(not required as such, but who knows) 15) PASSPORT + VISA Form + 37 mm x 37 mm VISA Photographs, with white background( 2 Nos) If sponsor is employed then... Salary Certificate (Latest) and Employment Certificate if sponsor is doing a job. If tax is deducted at the source by the company, carry the TDS certificate as well. If sponsor is a businessman then... Income-Tax Returns of the Company (atleast 2 years). Title / Partnership deed. Passbook of the business account. Balance-sheet. Additional Documents (Not mandatory) Fund Flow Statement Jewellery Evaluation House Evaluation Land Evaluation Things to be kept in your mind while preparing the file and all the other document: Take both copies of your I-20 (the School Copy as well as the Student Copy). SIGN both the copies. Carry the original GRE & TOEFL Score reports and produce them when asked for your scores. Carry the Bank Passbook/Bank Statement (Originals) of your sponsor...In Case of a distant Co-Sponsor, you can carry the photocopies of these documents. Originals of FDs of your main sponsor are required, whereas Photocopies of FDs of Co-Sponsor will suffice. Take IT return papers of last 2 years. The VISA photographs are known to the Studio people, so you just go and tell them to get a VISA photograph. It is a photograph, showing your face closely. It has a white background, and its dimensions are 37 mm X 37 mm. FINANCIAL QUERIES 1. What is a Summary Statement? A - This lists all your assets and their worth in US Dollars and Indian Rupee. This is especially necessary for the Consulate Office at Mumbai where the officers have openly stated that they dont value CA Statements. 2. How to show bonds? A - Again this is something, which the VISA officers ask for provided they are listed in your Summary Statement. So carry your bonds with you. If you possess too many of them, carry the important ones at least. In addition to this, carry a summary of all the bonds you have. 3. How to show stocks? A - Provided you have dematted your shares, you can carry the transaction statements provided by the institution which has your demat account. Then you neednt carry the physical shares. In case shares are not dematted, carry some of the important physical shares you possess. In addition to this, you may carry a summary of the stocks. 4. Is a CA Statement necessary? A - Not at all necessary for Mumbai Consulate. I know of a few cases where the CA Statement was just thrown aside by the VISA Officer in Mumbai. I think other Consulates still value CA Statements. 5. Is property evaluation necessary? A - Its sufficent to simply carry the property papers. Its unlikely that the VISA officers will ask you for them, but you never know. A formal evaluation from an architect is not necessary at all. Simply list the worth in the summary statement according to what you think it is but dont quote an exaggerated value. VISA officers dont give importance to the value of your property as they assume you are not going to sell off your property to finance your education. It is essential only to indicate that your roots are in India. 6. Is jewellery evaluation necessary? A - A formal evaluation is not required. Only the approximate worth of the jewellery you own needs to be listed in the Summary Statement. However, dont exaggerate the amount too much. You can quote jewellery of about 2.5 to 4 lacs without evaluating. But for showing values larger than that, you need the evaluation papers. You can get it evaluated from a Jewellery shop, or Govt. approved appraiser. 7. What is a Fund Flow Statement? A - This statement is not essential. But it will help you in demonstrating to the VISA officer, how you are going to actually furnish your expenses. It lists the semester wise breakup of the amount required and what part of your assets will cover for it. 8. Is Affidavit of support required? A - This is NOT required if your sponsor are your parents (which should be the ideal case). However, if its not your parents you will need an affidavit of support from your sponsor notarized on a Rs. 20 Stamp Paper. 9. Who should be the sponsor? A - Ideally, it should be your parents. Even if you dont have the funds with you, try to borrow funds from your relatives, friends etc for the bank statements and then you can return the money. The entire amount borrowed shouldnt be deposited in the bank all of a sudden. It should be in bits and pieces - deposits ranging from Rs. 10000 to Rs. 2,00,000 would be fine.I would also recommend you to often pick some money in units of 5000 or 10000 to make it appear as if the account is an active one, and all the money belongs to you. As far as really paying for your education is concerned, you can take a loan or take support from some other sponsor. But try to show to the officer that you havent taken a loan and no external person (not even your uncle / aunty) is sponsoring you. It should be your parents only. 10. How to show funds for the finances? A - The most ideal scenario would be to have the amount equivalent to the first year's expenses in your savings account and the amount equivalent to your second year's expenses in your fixed deposits and/or provident funds. Other assets such as property, stocks, bonds will then serve to show that you are well to do. And it will pose you no problems as far as finances are concerned. However, this is the maximum. The minumum would be to cover your first year's expenses using your savings and fixed deposits and depend on your stocks, bonds, jewellery, property etc for your second year. Make sure that you can show that there is a sufficent amount left even after your second year's expenses so that they dont think that you will have nothing left after your education. You can arrange for any amount above the minimum specified. So the simple mathematics is : Bank Balance Minimum : One Year's Expenses + 1,00,000 Rs Maximum : One Year's Expenses x 1.5 Bank Fixed Deposits Minimum : 3 -> 4 lacs Maximum : 5 lacs + Gold Ornaments and other Jewellery Minimum : 2.5 -> 4 lacs ( without evaluation ) Maximum : 5 -> 8 lacs ( with evaluation papers ) Annual Income Minimum : 20 % of the total expenses of your full period of studies Maximum : As much as u can show 11. Can I show more than 1 bank account? A - Yes, you can. No one keeps 10-12 lakhs in a single account. So its ok to split it up into multiple accounts (say 3). But make sure that your bank statements are issued on the same date. This is just to avoid the Consulate Officer from thinking that you have simply rotated the same money from one account to another. 12. What to show - bank statements or passbooks? A - Show both. Passbooks are absolutely essential - bank statements are optional, but its good to arrange for it. Both should be issued for a date as recent as possible. Also put a Paper clip onto your passbooks so that the page having the last entry is readily visible. 13. Which should have more funds? savings acc or fixed deposits? A - Ideally, the amount should be in savings as indicated above. However, its ok to have an equal amount in both savings and fixed deposits. But its NOT advisable to keep a small amount (2-3 lakhs) in savings and the rest in fixed deposits. It would make sense to break your FDs and put the money in your savings. Its because they directly see the entries in your Passbook as to what is the amount reflected by your current savings. They interpret the current savings as the money that you have to spend for immediate expenses. So the bottomline is that whatever your fees be, even if you have full aid, your savings account should reflect atleast 8 to 10 lacs. 14. How do I cover up the recent Huge Passbook Entries? A - It is quite natural that none of us have 10 to 15 lacs in our bank accounts(usually!!!). So people get the money from their friends or relatives and deposit it into their accounts for some days. But then big, fat deposits at dates closer to the date of your VISA Interview create a doubt in the Officer'smind. As it is they are well aware that Indian people take money from their relatives and show it as their own. So the best thing is to have frequent transactions well before the date you have decided to appear for the VISA Interview. Besides depositing money, also have frequent withdrawals to show that it is an active account. If getting money before hand is really a pain, then you can resort to some techniques to patch up the recent, fat entries in your passbook. 1) Show that you had given this money to some needy relative of yours for some time and that now needed for your education, it has been taken back. Make a look-like-legal agreement on a notarized paper(You have to stuff up the notary for this). And when talking about these papers to the VISA Officer, be bold and confident as if the papers are as legal as your birth Certificate!!!.. 2) You can have some documents showing, you had invested in some private firms coz they offer higher rates of interest as compared to the banks. You can get some of your father's friends, who have a company/firm of their own, to agree to make such a document. Remember to give a copy of the Receipts to the person who issued them, as well..(just being extra cautious..they wont call up..but just in case).. 15. What about the drafts that I am supposed to carry alongwith to the Consulate? A- You are supposed to carry two drafts with you to the Consulate. All the drafts are to be issued in Indian rupee equivalent of the fees. The first draft is the VISA Application fees and the original amount is 45 US$, and the second draft is the VISA issuance fees and the original amount is 75 US $. The drafts or the pay orders have to be issued by any nationalised bank....Co-operative banks wont do. The drafts have to be addressed to " American Consulate General". They should be payable at the city you are appearing for your interview, I mean if you are appearing at the Mumbai Consul, it should be payable at Mumbai. Write your name and address and passport number behind the drafts. Also carry the counterfoils of your drafts, just in case the officers suspect the genuinity of your drafts!!!! VISA FORM You are supposed to submit the VISA Form along with your passport and I-20 as soon as you enter the Consulate. You have to be very careful while filling out the VISA Form, because apart some info the other info entered by you is entered in their database or is used to check for your entries. The security guards at the Consulate provide you with the VISA form. So you can fill it up at that time while standing in the queue, but it is so illegible, that you have to have an idea as to what you are filling up. So its better to get this form, if you are not allowed you can always put this as a reference and fill up the small one that they provide. Stick your 37 mm X 37 mm VISA Photograph at the space provide on Page 2 of the Visa Form. A detailed Review of each section of the VISA Form: Question # 1 to 8. As per your details Question # 9: Address: You neednot fill up the complete address,(as it is the space provided is less too). Just fill in the basic parts as Appt No., City, State, Country. Question # 10: NAME and Street Address of Present Employer or School If you are working at some place, fill up the address of the employer(just the basic parts as in above question). If you are doing some course at a Computer Institute, print the name of theInstitute as well as its short address. If you are in your final year, or are awaiting your result, you can write down the name of your college and its address. Question # 11 to 20: As per your details Question # 22: Do you intend to work in US? A Tricky question !! Even if you have a TA/RA , or you will be legally working for 20 hours/week, still write down "NO". Question # 23: Do you intend to study in US? What else??!!!! Check "YES" and write down the name of your univ and short address of your univ. Question # 24: Present Occupation If you are working somewhere, mention that. If you are studying at some Computer Institute, then mention that ..like..(DCA or PGDCA or JAVA Spl). Question # 25: Who will furnish financial support including air tickets? "Family Funds" is the answer. Even if you have aid, dont go around to thinkfor it coz, they arent bothered by this section ..avoid lots of cluttering in the VISA Form ;).If you have an aid, you can mention that at the back of the form, where you also are asked to write down your TOEFL & GRE Scores. Click for more such tips. Question # 26: At what address will you be staying in the US? "On Campus" at " Your University Name" . Because you dont actually know whee you might stay, so this is the answer. Question # 27: What is the purpose of your visit? "Educational" or "Higher Education" or "Higher Studies" Question # 28: When do you intend to arrive in the US? Mention any date some 15 to 20 days ahead of your Orientation date. This isnt important really. Any date after the date of your VISA Appearance will do. Question # 29: How long do you intend to stay in the US? If your I-20 says 2-3 years for MS, write down "2 years". IF you are going for PhD and your I-20 says 3-5 years, write down "3 years". Question # 30 to 32: As per your details. Be truthful in this sections. That wont stand against you, but just in case your file is examined, and your details found crossed, you might land in trouble. IT is always good to be truthful in these sections. Question # 33: Cities you have been living at for the past five years List the cities from the recent one, and the time you have been staying there. Question # 34:Various questions Without reading what they hold, just check "NO" in all the boxes. Question # 35: Name, Signature, Date, Place As per your details. VISA Qs 1. How many universities did you apply to? This is a very basic question, but linked to this is the second question that is shot at you. 2. How many admits/ rejects? As explained in the above question, both of these are interlinked. Now if you applied to 4, were accepted in 1 and got 3 rejects..you dont have to be Mr. TRUTH. So put it as applied to 4, got 1, awaiting 2, 1 reject or applied to 4, got 1, awaiting 3.But then you have to state as in Question 3. that this was supposed to be your first choice anyhow, so even if you would have had the admit letters from any of the other 3, you would certainly have gone for this one. But if you are one of those type who offered to 1 and got just 1, dont go about saying that!!! Say you applied to 4 ,got 1, awaiting 3..put up the other univ's names;-) coz they think that someone who has applied to just one univ isnt really serious about his admissions and so isnt interested in educational purpose..which means a direct reject. If you applied to 11, got from just one..better say that you applied to just 4 or 5, and one reject, one admit and rest awaited. Many a times its better not to carry the reject letters, though some people advise so, but the thing is some univs reject on totally baseless matters..eg. I was accepted by Univ of Maryland, College Park..but I was rejected by Univ of Texas, Dallas. I passed my BE in EC wiht 72%, now UTD sent me a rejection letter stating that I dint meet their academic requirements". Well they admitted people with 60% marks. So now If i carried that letter with me, though my acads were great, the letter would have created a negative impression in the mind of the interviewing officer. So you are the best judge as to if the rejection letter will do you good/bad. Its never gonna do good, beleive me :-P. 3. What was your first choice? The answer to this question also is dependant on the earlier one. 4. What is your GRE/TOEFL score? As per your details. But always try to speak out the better score first. Like if you have a good TOEFL score ,say 630, and a GRE of 1750, speak out your TOEFL first and then GRE. Usually people think, they can go and lead them by answering long and sweet, like if asked for scores, the long answer might be : "Sir, I took my Computer based TOEFL and scored 270 at it, while I took the GRE and scored 800 in Quantitative, 710 in Analytical and 430 in Verbal". Well this can heat up the officer. He/She might feel you are taking him for ride ..even if you are not. So keep it short. So let the answer be : " TOEFL 270, GRE : 1940". Thats it!!..as much as he asked for. Makes his job easier and so he doesnt get pissed off at any of your leading behaviours. 5. What are your grades like? Spell it out as it has been at your university. Say "Sir, We have a percentage system, and i scored xx% overall" IF your final year marks excel the other sems marks, spell that one out, coz usually in some universities, they look at the final year marks to grade the student in the Certificate.When later asked as to why u said XX% whereas the total marks of all your marksheets add up to XX-5/10% then clarify yourself...(They wont always go checking all your marksheets, but then you werent lying) 6. Which was your undergraduate college? As per your details. 7. What was your bachelor's degree in? As per your details. 8. What is the purpose of your trip? MS in CS/Telecommunications/EE...whatever or PhD in MEch/ 9. Which university are you planning to go to? The University of your choice and the univ you want the VISA for. 10.Who is planning to sponsor you? As mentioned in your I-20. If you have a scholarship, say that. Else in case the I-20 says "Family funds" say that, and you may add that sir, my father and my mother are supporting me for my higher education. 11.Why do you plan to do MS? Say that you felt that higher qualifications give a better place, a better standard in today's competitive world. You felt that you have a good know-how of your field, but a bit more technical knowledge in "the field you are going for MS in" will serve you greatly, when you come back here and join the industry of your choice 12.Why do you wish to study in the US and not in India? The courses in the field I am interested in are not being offered (or very few institutions offer such courses). In addition to that the research going on is something I would like to be associated with. (Speak about the facilities as well). Talk about a few researches being conducted in that field. Technical words work out when other things dont. 13. Why did u select this University? This question can be best answered when you do a bit of homework about you university. Browse the Webpage of the University, visit the pages of the professors, go through thier projects. Now remember some of the key words, like the project a professor X is working on. Mention something about the project if the officer is listening and is giving you time to explain. When you do such things, they think that you are pretty serious about your studies and are really into it. Well, some people believe in mentioning about hte rank of the university, or the student to faculty ratio..well these all things dont affect how you are interested in it. You can say all these stuff such as rank and all, but you have to state what interested you and it should be something about research or academics.You can also show letters of correspondence with your University professors. If you dont have those, build some..Click here to know how to build a Correspondence mail MY answer to this question: "Sir, the first and foremost factor for selecting this university was the course being offered. Telecom at UMCP is a cross-disciplinary course. Besides technical knowledge, this course also enhances the managerial skills which is the demand of the present-day telecom industry. So while the professors from Computer and Electrical department will be teaching me Signal Processing, Encoding, Communication techniques, Networking ..at the same time the experts from School of Public Affairs will be imparting me knowledge of Present day competition in Telecom industry, staff management and resource management." IF time permitted, I would have added: "Sir, UMCP is located within Baltimore-Washington DC area, one of the greatest concentrations of research facilities and intellectual talent in the nation. "Library of Congress", "the National Archives" and "the Smithsonian Institute" are some of the biggest research institutes and libraries which the students will enjoy having frequent interactions with. What else could a Student ask for??" 14. Your passbooks show that a large amount of money has recently been deposited. How would you explain that? (NOBODY keeps huge sums of money in their savings account, so relax! If you have borrowed the money here is what you could do Its quite likely that in the past you may have received huge sums of money like selling of some property, retirement of parents etc so u could say something like) In year X we had received Rs. T and instead of depositing the amount in a bank at a low interest rate, we invested it in other sources which gave us high interest rates or we gave it to our needy friends. Now we have taken this money back to finance my education. (Of course its really dicey to answer this question, but if you are confident you shouldnt have a problem. If you have some proof of receiving a huge sum of money some years back, make sure you carry it) You can also say that you had private FDs , i.e you invested in private firms coz they provide higher interest rates (say out figures like 16% per annum0 as compared to the mere 9% of banks. Click here for Private FDs Receipt. You can show this receipt and say that now you encashed that amount, coz you needed it for your educational purposes. 15. What does your father do?What if my dad has taken the VR? Well this does have a specific reply, but then you can put it as "Sir, My father is working with a German collaborated company for the past 25 years as a Manager in XYZ department. The long reply helps over here. If your father has taken a voluntary retirement, dont mention that he has retired. Well there are two approaches to this. One, say that your father worked with this company for the last 30 years and now has his own consultancy dealing with(insert some financial or technical terms). Two, Say that your father worked as Asst Mgr./Mgr./GM with some company for the past 25 years, took a VR and now has a consultancy of his own. Never show him to be idle, coz that means your income has drastically reduced and works as a negative point. Stating about the VR often helps coz then you can assure him that most of the money you have shown is yours coz usually people get huge amounts on taking a VR. So that does help on the financial grounds. 16. Does any of your relative stay in the US? The answers to this vary from person to person. The two basic replies being: Either "YES" or "NO". But I believe that you be truthful at this instance. I have seen many people who have been true and werent affected by that. In fact at an USEFI seminar, addressed by the Consulate Officer.. it was said by the officer himself that," We know that most of the student will end up staying there after completing their studies, but atleast we can do our part of skimming them. We can atleast play the part of sieving across the deserving people and not every pedestrian." This means that they evaluate you on the basis of your merits and not by what the person staying abroad is going to do for you. And the financial part is because they want to be assured that you can atleast go through your studies fully. It just happens that many a times, they check your file..based on details provided in your passport, and if they do apprehend you lying, that might spell trouble. So, I think telling the truth is the best thing. If your uncle or cousin or distant aunt stays there, you dont have to say "YES" coz that doesnt matter. All that matters is your immediate relatives ..i.e own brother, sister , father or mother. 17. Your brother/sister is studying there too. How will your parents support both of you? Now, you have your chance of taking the officer for a ride here. Even if your brother/sister doesnot have an aid/scholarship, you can say he got a TA/RA there and so he neednot be supported by the family any more for his educational expenses. 18.Why is your GRE score low ? (or any section score low) This is the most preffered answer.I answered the first few questions incorrectly and I couldnt improve my score later even after performing well later. (Low = <1800 Otherwise you can say that you think your score is average and on the basis of that the university has given you the admission). You can also mention that "This score is considered to be ideal for the Engineers(if you are one)..or according to what you are. You can always build up a story , saying that the GRE Score interpretor sheet says that. Such as Engineers dont need to have an extra ordinary VERBAL Score, If the toher sections complement it, you can show that the other sections are stressed upon by universities while selection for admission(Say this only when you think the situation is getting tense). If you have a low VERBAL score, but a good TOEFL score, you can always say that "Please look at my TOEFL score Sir, I have done well at that". Besides GRE is just one of the many aspects that the universities look at for admission(Say this line only when you think you are drowning). 19. What are you plans after Graduation? Be really well prepared for this question. This answer is not fool proof, but its you who can make it seem so. The basic things are: Your field is what you will pursue Your field is on a roll in INDIA Your field has great opportunities You get those opportunities even now You get better opportunities once you do your MS Show foreign companies coming to INDIA investing in your field State some technical words expressing the advancements in your field Make it seem, this field wont go ahead without guys like you ;) Here is what I prepared as an answer to his question: "Sir, I plan to go to University of Maryland,College Park, to do my MS in TELECOMMUNICATIONS. Telecom industry is booming today in INDIA. Various US companies like HUGHES, Orange, AT&T, Hutchison.. are investing huge amounts of research funds and are looking forward to launch advanced Telecommunication methods in INDIA. Besides them, various Indian Telecom Giants like RELIANCE TELECOM, Bharti Telecom, VSNL are also investing in behemoth amounts into this arena. Sir, as it is I beleive that better technical knowledge will help me to achieve greater heights in this field, having deepened my technical knowledge after completing my higher studies, I wish to get into this seemingly vast arena of Indian Telecom Industry" I was also selected by RELIANCE TELECOM , so i took the letter along with me, and would have surely shown them that if i would have seen that they werent impressed by my answer and would have added" Sir, as it is I was selected by an INDIAN Telecom Giant, but sir, deeper technical knowledge would surely enable me get better results in the competitive field, and I have seen that there is a dearth of persons with greater technical know-how in this field, and whosoever has it will be benefitted highly. So I wish to complete my MS and strengthen my technical know-how and grasp the opportunity" 20. Why are you changing your stream? This generally occurs coz people having done their BE in Civil go on to pursue MS in CS. I am giving this reply specifically for transfer to CS stream, coz i dont think anyone from CS would be going to Mech ;).This is easy to get through. You can say either of the points: Sir, during my third semester, when I was introduced to programming languages, I had a great exposure to computers. I gradually developed a liking for it and wished to deepen my knowledge in it. I mastered a number of languages on my own, and am also into Web Designing and software debugging(push in technical words). I always had it in my mind, that once I strengthen myself in my field, I will go on to enhance my skills in the field of Computers. There were a vast number of options available, viz. CS, CN, CE but I chose CS as I had esteem interest in Software and its working Always try to show that you have an interest for that subject. Never project that you are taking this up coz the market is strong. This is coz you are changing your stream..they might end up thinking that you just used your BE to get to this stage and that u dint do that on interest..they'll think you are fickle minded. Show that you do everything with your interst , you even did your BE in Civil or any other field coz you had interest in it, and now CS is your interest too. 21. What is your father's annual income? This question often decides your ability to pay for your expenses. They think that money can be put into banks, but annual income is a proof which they heavily rely upon to decide the student's parents capability to spend for his educational expenses. Whatever the officer asks. 1) What is your father's annual income? 2). What is your family's annual income?..The moment the words 'Annual Income" creeps in, state your complete family annual income, i.e if your mother is also an earning member, if you have agricultural income, if you ahve rental income plus the interests and dividends...State all of them together. Dont commit the blunder of stating just your father's income..many a times it hampers your chances..if it seems low to them. Obviously a sum of mother's income , your father's income, agricultural(if u have), ental will be more than a single one. And if they ask for the IT returns , hand over both of your parent's return statements, plus the agricultural papers plus the rental receipt(duplicate) at a time. And if he/she just argues(usually they dont) that you were asked about your father's income..then say" Sir, MY family is sponsoring me. Alongwith my father my mother is also an earning member and an income tax payee. Family funds is what the I-20 states, and so my family including my father and mother(opt brother, if u have one earning) are sponsoring me and here are their statements and proofs of other modes of income. 22.You look like Potential immigrants OR I dont think you will come back to India This is a real tricky question. Many get blue when they hear this and lose their senses as how to tackle this question. Stay calm and think what all you can say like :"I am from a very well-to do family and money is not at all essential for me. I stand to inherit a lot from my parents (say this if u have lots of property) so staying and working in the US is not a criteria at all. The only thing i lack is this Masters (or whatever degree) which will make me a better software professional. As far as opportunity is concerned, because of the recession most of the US Companies are turning to the Indian companies for their software solutions. Most of the Indian companies have tie-ups with the US Companies (give some examples). So I am certain that with my degree I will get an equivalent opportunity and pay packet in India. The Most important Factor Let me tell you something. The most important factor is "CONFIDENCE". Nothing can depose that. Whatever the answer be, if you are confident and show that you arent nervous a bit, that will really help you get through. Complete Documents, Convincing Skills, Confidence and Present mindedness is what you have to invest. These are the keys to getting through the interview successfully. Many do get through coz of sheer luck, when some of the casual officers just seem to be in a hurry to get through with the troop of VISA aspirants facing their counter. But then I believe that your parents do all the job of putting together all the financial documents and stuff. The only thing you need to do is to put a confident self of yours over there. Its not that All the questions i have put here are the only ones, they might come up with any other alien stuff. But then present mindedness and spontaniety is what helps under those situations. You have to be prepared with an answer the moment he shoots a question at you. Dont make a face as if you just committed a sin. Hand over the documents and look at him. Remember , all your documents are as genuine as your Birth-Certificate;). PROCEDURE AT THE CONSULATE 1.Arrival at the Consulate: Some people think that arriving at the consulate early helps while others say it seldom matters. I think arriving early is better. But you dont have to go there at 0200 hours. Well, I couldnt sleep the night earlier, so I reached the consulate at 0300 hours. But believe me people start to flow in at around 0430 hours.So its better to reach in at that time. You are allowed entry till 11 am. You can go as early as 5-6am and sit in the Raj Pavilion. The line will start only by 0730 hours .If you go in after 0630 hours, its possible that the seating area is full, and you will have to stand for almost 2 hours. And on top of it, if it rains then..... However, you can also go at around 0745 hours. There will be a HUGE line in front of you but atleast the line will be moving. And believe me, everything inside is randomized. If you are lucky enough, you can walk in at 1030 hours and have your interview done by 1100 hours whereas there could be some guy who came at 0500 hours, waited 3 hours, was one of the first to enter the Consulate Office, and he could possibly have his interview at 1400 hours! So its your call! Tip !!! Going a bit early helps, coz then 1)you get the chair to sit. 2)You get acquainted to the atmosphere there 3)Your nervousness eases out 4)You get to talk to the person next to you, and you always get to learn something new Carry an umbrella with you. Rain-God is unpredictable :P 2. Things to check for while you are in the queue: While you are standing in the queue, or sitting in the RAJ Pavilion, go through your file and check the documents within, as to where you have placed a particular thing and if you remember its location. Tip !!! This is a list of what to check for: Check that you have filled your VISA form and signed it Check that You have signed both the copies of your I-20(though they take in the School copy only) Check that you have both the drafts (45$ equivalent and 75$ equivalent @47 equals 2115/- and 3525/-) Check that you have written your NAME, ADDRESS , PHONE NUMBER behind both the drafts. Carry the counterfoils of the drafts as well, coz many a times the guy accepting the fees doubts the genuinity of the drafts in case of an unheard name of the bank. 3. The ambience and Raj Pavilion(Mumbai US Consulate specific) Raj Pavilion is barely a hundred paces away from the Consulate office. Its quite a fanciful name for a shed covering a pavement with a row of chairs aligned. Yes, its just a part of a pavement covered by a shed. Chairs are arranged as 100 Rows, 4 Columns. If you reach early you get to sit, or you have to stand out in the open in a queue.At the Raj Pavilion at about 0630 hours, the security people standing there, ask you to show your passport and drafts. Then they ask all the parents and accompanies to leave the pavilion. 4. Getting into the Consulate At about 0730 hours, a mini bus arrives, courtesy RAJ TRAVELS and the students are asked to move in. The bus carries that batch to the main gates of the consulate. But later batches are usually asked to walk to the main gates. At the main gates you are supposed to stand in a line, and you have to show your passport, i-20 and draft to the guard of the consulate who asks you to take them out in your hand before you enter.The line starts moving in through the big doors of the consulate. Next you are frisked by the security guard. Tip!!! Folders with metal zips arent allowed, so better dont carry them. Jewellery, lighters, tobacco preps, weapons of any kinds are not allowed inside the consulate. You cant even carry a leather bag i heard. Polythene bags are the best opt. 5. The steps Once inside the main hall, after the security check is over you are supposed to stand in a line which directly faces the Counters # 1 and 2, where you are supposed to submit your PASSPORT, I-20 and VISA FORM. You are given a token, which you carry with you all the time, till you pay your VISA issuance fees. You are also asked to write down your scores either on the back of the VISA Form or on the second half of the token, that they keep with themselves. Tip!!! Write the score that is comparatively higher than the other first. Also dont forget to mention any other achievement, such as working for an Indian Govt. Org, or RANKED Student, or achieved international scholarship etc. From here, you have to move diagonally across the room to Counters # 13 and 14, either of where you are supposed to pay your initial fees, VISA Application fees. Give your draft(2115 Rs rupee equivalent of 45$)to the person over there, you also have to show your pink token here. He gives you two receipts One Yellow, the second white. Keep them close to ur heart. 6. The Eternal Wait After having paid your fees, you come to the front. and sit in the chairs aligned in front of the counters 5,6,7,8,9. These counters are in the same line as that of Counters # 1 & 2. The proceedings usually start at about 0800 or 0830 hours. But many a times it is delayed. The function of the counters is all randomized. But usually Counter # 3,4,5,6,7,8 are used for student visas. Either of these, not all. Some of the unused counters from this lot as well as other counters are used for Non-Immigrant applicants, Visitor visas and Immigrants too. You have to wait for the announcements to start. You can clearly see the officers sitting at the counters behind the glass. Tip!!! Your token has a number printed on it.Memorize that number. The calls for student visas are made by the Americans themselves. They call out the token numbers in batches of 10 and ask them to come to a window. The calls are made as "For Student VISAS, Token # 106, 525, 445,108,110, 565, 446,526,112,113.. please come to the counter # 5") It doesnot usually occur, but it does at certain times...Two of the officers call out simultaneously..well its your job then to pay attention to your number being called out. But dont fret or panic, bcoz if you happen to miss out your number once, they call it a second time, and even after your batch is over and you dont turn up, they announce it as : "This is the final call for token # 101"..Well thats it, if you dont turn up now, they wont oblige again !!!!..so be attentive, (the VISA office is a good place to be in ;) , but the interview should be your first preference ...hehe). 7. Its your turn !!!! If you hear your number being called out, its your turn. Listen to the counter number you are asked to appear at, and reach there. If you arent the first one to reach the counter, you probably might be in a queue. Let Confidence flow. The Interviewing officers keep an eye on even the students standing in the queue. Tip !!! Suppose the guy ahead of you is being interviewed..and he has been rejected..and is still standing there trying to convince the officer ..and the officer signals you to come into the cabin..dont just barge in and push the other guy..that creates a negative impresion.. Stay your footage..till the guy is asked to move out by the officer and he asks you to come in aggressively. Be mannered...that helps. 8. The Interview !!! Now once you have prepared yourself, you shouldnt have much trouble with the interview. The only point is convincing the officer that you are reutrning back and that your only motto of this trip abroad is STUDIES. After the interview, if the officer is convinced, he/she will take your token and write F1 on it ...else if he/she isnt convinced, you will be handed back your passport with a VISA rejected seal on a page. If you arent granted the VISA, dont just shriek or sob out yourself, gather yourself and ask the officer as to what ws wrong with you..You can ask for the reason for being rejected..Be modest. Tip !!! Be modest and humble.... Never ever hurt the ego of the officer. 9. Got the VISA!! Yoohoo..now what?? The officer wrote F1 on your pink token?? Thats great...Now move towards the counter# 13 and 14, to pay the second draft of 3525(original conversion of USD 75). Tip!!! Dont forget to collect your I-20 from the officer who interviewed you. Pay your fees and collect the receipts, keep them carefully. You will be asked to come back at about 1500 hours to collect your passport with the VISA stamped on it. 10. Collecting you Passport The line builds up much before 1500. I reached the Consulate at 1500 hours to find that I had to stand in a queue comprising of about 500 people. Dont fret...the line moves pretty fast..very fast ..I had my passport in my hand withing 35 mins... Tip!!! Dont entertain the touts offering you a place ahead in the queue for some hundred bucks, coz the you will be at that position within the next few mins.. While collecting the VISA, you have to hand over the receipts(the yellow ones), and you will be given your passport with the VISA stamped on it. The ladies at the counter are very fast..they will ask you to step away from the window to allow the next person. Tip !!! Be quick as you receive your passport, have a look at the VISA page to verify if your name is spelled correctly, if your birthdate and other details are correct.. If you find any corrections to be made, approach them immediately..you wont probably be asked to stand in the queue again to submit your passport. You have to come the next day to get the rectified VISA stamped.
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