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US Student Visa Delay, Visa Denial, or Visa Cancellation: What to Do?

Studying in a reputed international university is an experience that only some get. Getting selected as an international student takes a lot of hard work, patience, and paperwork. Indian students must prepare for strict immigration procedures, especially in a country like the US. Even with all the precautions, it is common to face visa-related issues like visa denial, delay or revocation. This article will discuss these issues and ways to address them.

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Plans for an individual of 30 years age travelling to USA for 15 days

Meaning of Visa Delay, Visa Denial, or Visa Cancellation

Every international student must have a valid F or J visa to enter and study in the US. For this, they must obtain their respective I-20 or DS-2019 forms that act as their certificate of eligibility. However, the ultimate decision to issue you a US student visa lies with the US Embassy or consulate.


Despite all your preparation and meeting all the requirements, there may be some issues with the visa procedure. These can be caused by administrative processing and may result in visa denial or delays. Let us first learn more about these visa-related issues and the key differences to note.

What is Visa Delay?

It is not uncommon to face a visa delay while your F-type or J-type US visa is being processed. Visa delay is possible during administrative processing. Your university can't help with this issue, and you must immediately inform the ISS about this delay. If your visa delay prevents you from entering the US and starting your classes, you can either take a leave of absence or request admission for another semester. You must inform the ISS within 30 days of when you were supposed to start the classes.

If you request admission in the next semester, you should request a change in your start date mentioned on the I-20 or DS-2019 form. This must be done within 60 days of your program start date.

What is Visa Denial?

Your US visa application can be denied or refused by your consular officer. Visa denial is a common issue faced by many Indian applicants, as it is usually because of a mistake on the applicant's part.

When your US student visa is refused, it is always for a reason. You will receive a written reason for your visa denial from the responsible authorities. Once you get the written reason, you must contact the ISS and provide them with a copy of the denial.

There can be many reasons for US visa denial. One of the most common reasons is failure to prove non-immigrant intent. This means that you were unable to convince the officer that you did not plan to immigrate to the US and lacked sufficient ties to your country.

In case of visa denial, you may be eligible to re-apply for your US student visa. For this, you will need an updated Form I-20 or DS-2019. You can get more clarification from the US embassy or consulate regarding your eligibility to re-apply for the visa.

As with visa delay, you must inform the ISS if you are not able to arrive by the start of your classes in the US. You can either take a leave of absence or request admission for a later semester.

What is Visa Cancellation?

Visa cancellation or revocation can happen when you have failed to maintain your visa status in the US. The US embassy or consulate that issued your visa will inform you of your cancelled visa. However, a written notice is not always guaranteed, and you may also be informed via email. You must contact the ISS with a copy of the visa cancellation or revocation.

Your US student visa can be cancelled when you are inside the US or even outside the country. If you're outside the US when your visa has been revoked or cancelled, you must apply for a new US student visa.

When is a US Student Visa Cancelled?

As an international student, you must abide by all the rules to stay in the US and maintain your visa status. There can be several reasons behind a student visa cancellation or revocation. Here are some common reasons why your visa may have been cancelled or revoked in the USA:

  • You may stay in the US without regularly attending your classes for an extended period
  • You may be away from your varsity and outside the US for several months
  • You took a long break from studies exceeding 5 months
  • You may have a legal record in the US, such as DUI (Driving under the influence), DWI (Driving while intoxicated), domestic assault/ domestic abuse
  • You may have some mistakes in the paperwork

The US Embassy or consulate can stamp 'Cancelled Without Prejudice' if you fail to maintain your visa status. This means that you can appeal this decision, and any mistakes must be remedied before the visa is approved again. The part 'without prejudice' denotes that the cancellation will not affect your overall eligibility or other immigration benefits.

What to Do if Your US Student Visa Is Cancelled?

If your student visa has been revoked or cancelled by the US Administration, it means that your visa is now invalid. Once you receive an official notice of student visa cancellation, you must immediately:

  • Contact the ISS and provide them with a copy of your visa cancellation or revocation
  • If the cancellation is issued by an India-situated US embassy or consulate, you must immediately start with the US Visa Reinstatement process. You can file for a visa reapplication under this process.
  • If your US student visa was cancelled because you took a break longer than five months, you must reapply for US student visa. For this you should get a valid I-20 or DS-2019 form from your college or university.

Over to You,

Studying abroad is a dream come true for many students. However, this is a very costly dream requiring plenty of savings, funds and planning. A lot of students go for their higher studies on a scholarship or take up student loans.

However, room and board in the US is also very expensive and can cost a lot of money. As a student, you must manage your funds well and take all the precautions to avoid unnecessary expenses.

However, in case of unavoidable circumstances abroad you must always have valid travel insurance policy for students. It will protect you financially from issues like passport loss, bail bonds, personal accidents, and several other risks.

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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