Series: F-1 Visa Application Process (Part III)

Series: F-1 Visa Application Process (Part III)

As a means to help ease the stress that can be caused by the process of applying for an F-1 student visa, Optimus has been inspired to start its first blog series. In this series, we aim to equip all of the students wishing to come visit the Orange County, California area to study English here at Optimus Language School with the necessary tools to ensure the least difficulty in entering the country. In part III of our series, we dive into the need and nature of the interview process, and we end with some basic information on actual entry into the country.

The ultimate goal of the interview process is for a consular officer to determine whether or not each student is fit for entry into the country. As outlined in part II, this process is necessary for a handful of key reasons. First, to determine why a student has decided to come and learn in the states (as opposed to going straight to work in their own country). Questions during the interview process to these ends may include questions concerning what your goals are academically, as well as questions concerning the job you hold in your country.

Making your intentions after you have completed studying in the U.S. clear is also a major part of the interview process. While it is possible to legally stay in the U.S. after your F-1 visa is up through other means, the inherent purpose of an F-1 visa itself is to give students from foreign countries the chance to study in America. For this reason, your interviewer will attempt to make sure you intend to return back to your own country once you have completed your studies. There are a wide range of ways to provide enough evidence of this including an obligation to family or any property that is owned in your country of origin.

Finally, and quite possibly most importantly, the officer will attempt to determine whether or not you are financially prepared for study in the U.S. It is no secret the world over that the U.S. is among the most expensive places to study in the world. It goes without saying that saving for the cost of tuition should be at the forefront of any travelling student’s priorities. Furthermore, other expenditures like rent and health insurance must be planned for to ensure the most painless admission into the United States.

After the interview process, it’s time to make your way to the United States! Entry can be granted as early as 30 days before the start of classes through a U.S. port-of-entry. This port-of-entry is most typically an airport, and it is up to you what location you will arrive through. It is important to keep in mind that while a visa does permit its owner entry into the states, it is not a guarantee. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will have officers present at the port-of-entry who are the final word on whether or not any traveler from a foreign country will be admitted into the US. Information on the specific process for admission of students, as well as information concerning restrictions on food, agriculture, and other products can be found on the CBP website ( Upon admission to the US, you will be issued either an admission stamp or an I-94 form.


At this point in the series, entry to the United States has finally been achieved! It will be a long and sometimes difficult road, but we hope that the provide information will help to assuage some tension brought on by the F-1 visa process. Catch out next blog in the series where we set our sights on how a student can extend their stay in the United States past the time they spend here studying.


Published on August 19, 2016

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