Visa Delays and Denials

Visa Delays and Denials


While all individuals applying for a U.S. visa are screened before the issuance of a visa, certain applicants may be subject to further screening or Administrative Processing. Issues that may trigger administrative processing include:

  • Nature of research/study may be considered a “sensitive technology”
  • Inconsistent spelling of your name
  • Your name is similar to others in the consular system requiring further investigation
  • If you are from North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, Iran and Libya, you will likely be subject to an additional security clearance process that can take several months.

If administrative processing is requested by the consulate, your visa will not be issued until the clearance is received from Washington D.C. On average this takes about 60 days, but can take longer. While, there is no way to expedite this process, you may find some guidance under Administrative Processing on the website of the consulate at which you applied for your visa.

Once issued, the clearance can be (at the discretion of the embassy) valid for up to four years for F-1 students and up to two years for students and scholars in J-1 status, as long as there have been no substantial changes in your academic or research program.


Denials are extremely rare. If there is a denial, it often is based on the student's or scholar's presumed intent to immigrate to the United States, known as 214(b). It is often difficult to disprove this assumption as it is by nature very subjective. Please review the U.S. Department of State resource page to consider whether you can overcome the denial, and contact your adviser in OISS to coordinate your appeal.

U.S. Department of State Resources is the primary source of information regarding travel delays, alerts, and warnings. Please refer to: