I recently submitted the application for a F1 visa interview. I submitted the application on May 22, 2018. One of the sections asked the following question:

Have you traveled to any countries/regions within the last five years?

I answered NO. I haven't traveled abroad between May 22, 2013 and May 22, 2018. However, I did travel to Qatar on a short 3 day trip in April 2013, which was 5 years and 1 month prior to my submitting the F1 visa application. The visa for this trip is also stamped on my old passport, and not the new passport.

Is this a problem? How should I answer this question if I'm asked about it in the interview?


You've answered the question that was asked accurately and honestly. This is exactly what you should do. If you're asked about the previous five year's travel you should also answer accurately and honestly.

Being in Qatar for a short period five years ago is less of a problem than lying about it and being found out.

If your visa is denied because of your trip then that's unfortunate.

If you're found to have deceived the immigration service you potentially stand to have your visa revoked, have to leave the country, perhaps involuntarily, and incur a substantial ban.

  • How should I answer if I'm asked about it in the interview? Assuming I'm asked the same question verbatim, I'm thinking of answering it as follows: "I submitted my F1 visa application on May 22, 2018. In the five years between May 22, 2013 and May 22, 2018, I didn't travel anywhere abroad. I did, however, travel to Qatar for 3 days in April 2013, which was 5 years and 1 months ago. I have the visa for that trip stamped in my old passport." I feel that I will be lying if I didn't give this explanation. Suggestions? – user82261 Jun 8 '18 at 7:28
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    Just answer naturally and don't go in with pre-prepared speeches using grammatical constructions that really only get used in writing. "No" is a perfectly truthful answer. "No, but I was in Qatar for a few days five years and one month before my application" is truthful and deals with your concern about lying by omission. – David Richerby Jun 8 '18 at 11:02
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    @user82261 The general rule about immigration questions is to answer the questions you're asked honestly, but not to volunteer information you're not asked for. You'll need to judge in an interview where to draw the line in the light of the specific questions you're asked. – Carnegie Hall's cleaner Jun 8 '18 at 11:09
  • @DavidRicherby Thanks. I'll make a minor clarification in case the interviewer asks me this question. I really, really hope this minor, technical detail doesn't cause me any trouble that may put my future at stake. – user82261 Jun 8 '18 at 11:42
  • @CarnegieHall'scleaner Absolutely. I'll keep that in mind. I really hope they ask me about this question in case this is a problem from them. In any case, I haven't technically lied about anything, but I'm a bit nervous about it. – user82261 Jun 8 '18 at 11:42

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