Students who are not able to enter the US in time for the New Student Orientation due to visa delays or denials should contact the Office of Orientation Programs and their academic department alerting them of the delay. In general, a student cannot arrive more than one week after classes start and be an enrolled student for that semester. Students who may be more than one week late will need to work with their academic department and Admissions to defer their attendance to the next semester. The Office of Graduate Admissions (GA) will then assist students with providing the updated I-20/DS-2019.

Pending Application

Visa applications may be in pending status due to security clearances being performed by the US Department of State. There tends to be longer delays for security checks in China and Iran. It is not possible to expedite the security clearance process and USC or OIS is unable to intervene on the student’s behalf.

Denied Application

Common reasons for a visa application denial are:

  • Section 221(g) – Lack of required documentation
  • INA 214(b) – Failure to demonstrate eligibility for the visa category being applied for (Insufficient “Ties to Home Country” is a possible reason)

Students who receive a denial should not get upset or argue with the consular officer. Students will most often be issued a letter that explains why the application has been denied.

If an explanation letter is not issued, students should request a written documentation for the reason of denial. Students should politely ask the officer how to improve their chances for next time and what additional documentation should be provided to reverse the denial. Students should thank the officer and take down his or her name for future reference.