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VISA interview for a PhD admit without funding


Hello, I am in quite an unusual situation. I got an admit to the PhD program in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. Unfortunately, my admit was not funded. When I inquired with the committee and asked if I can terminate my education with a Masters degree, they said I can do that. This is what I would most likely be doing. Now that I received my I20 (which is for a PhD admit), would I face any trouble during the VISA interview? Something like "how are you going to manage your funding for a phd program, and why do you think you did not receive any funding for the program?". Would it have any negative effect if I explain the situation and say that I would return with a Masters Degree if I can't get funding after I go to the university? 

Any kind of help regarding this is appreciated. 

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First off, I don't think your situation is as out of the ordinary as you might think, unfortunately. If this is an interview for a F1 visa, you should only be required to show funding for your first year, although you might be asked about how you plan to fund the rest of the degree. I don't know if you'll be asked why you weren't offered funding by the department but if so I think it's fair to say that you don't know and you didn't receive feedback from the department on the issue. I think you should expect to be asked how you plan to finance your education and perhaps why it's worth the debt to get this particular degree. I think it's fair for you to say that you plan to apply for additional funding opportunities once there, and that you have a reasonable expectation that something will work out. But, in addition, you have inquired and you'll be able to leave with a Masters if you can't find this additional support (assuming that you can show that you can self-fund the Masters, which I assume you can, or you should not be going in the first place). I think this shows that you have a plan and are responsible, both of which should work in your favor, not against you, in my opinion. Beyond that, I don't see what else you can say, but assuming that you can show that you can self-fund (=so you can show that you won't work or do anything else illegal while in the US) and that this is a degree that's worth the expense (=it's a real degree, not a visa-mill, and you really want/need it for your future career plans), I think you should be ok. Disclaimer: I am not an immigration expert, and this is just my personal opinion.  

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