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Administrative Processing

Administrative processing is when a visa application is selected to undergo additional security and background checks. It typically takes place after the interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. Administrative processing does not mean your visa application will be denied. It does mean though that it is going to take time to receive a decision. Generally administrative processing can last up to two months. Sometimes though it can last longer. Timing varies on a case-by-case basis, and there is no way to expedite the process. Consequently, ISSS recommends applying for a visa as early as possible to allow sufficient time to receive the visa.

Visa Denial

If your visa application is denied, please let ISSS know by emailing The Consular Officer should provide you with a letter or email that refers to which Federal Regulation the denial was based upon (e.g. Section 214(b)). The U.S. Department of State has information about visa denials, where you may read about reapplying for a visa and also look up the Federal Regulations code to further understand the reason for denial and find tips for addressing the concern in your next interview.

The most common reason that an F-1 or J-1 visa application is denied is due to failure to demonstrate nonimmigrant intent. This is a broad denial reason but it indicates that there is a problem with the evidence or information you provided to the officer. It could be that the officer has questions about your academic plans. It could be that the officer is not convinced that your purpose of coming to the U.S. matches the type of visa that you are applying for. It could be that there are concerns about your intent to return after your studies. It could be that there are issues with the documentation you provided at your interview or your background check.

Unfortunately, while ISSS wishes to provide support, we are not able to overrule the Department of State’s decisions regarding visa issuance. If your visa is denied, ISSS’s recommendation is to make immediate plans to apply again. Prepare to provide better documentation, if possible and try to address the officer’s concern.

If your visa denial results in your inability to arrive on time for classes, please let ISSS know so that we can explore options for your legal status and academic coursework.

International Students and Scholars

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