Visa Denial or Visa Delay

The vast majority of Manhattan College students will be successful in obtaining their student visas. Despite this, a small number of students may have their visa applications denied.

Common reasons for visa denial:

  • failure to prove sufficient ties to your home country, or
  • failure to provide sufficient evidence of financial support

Other reasons for visa denials include health-related issues such as Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, etc., criminal background, security risk, previous illegal entrance to the United States, immigration status violators previously removed from the United States, and unlawful voters.

The visa officer must verbally inform you of the reason for the visa denial. If your visa is denied, please send an e-mail message to debra.damico@manhattan.edu and provide the date and location of your visa interview, and details regarding the reason given by the visa officer for the denial.

Much more common than a visa denial is a visa delay. This is why it is so important to apply for your visa EARLY!

Common reasons for visa delays:

  • Closings or reduced hours at U.S. visa issuing posts abroad due to security concerns or political instability in the host country
  • Student or scholar's record does not appear in the SEVIS system at the U.S. embassy or consulate, even though the student or scholar presents a SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019. If you are told that your record does not appear in the visa officer's SEVIS system, immediately contact the International Student Advisor at debra.damico@manhattan.edu and provide the date and location of your visa interview. We will in turn contact the appropriate authority to have your SEVIS record resubmitted directly to the location where you have applied for your visa.
  • Student or scholar not presenting proof of Federal SEVIS I-901 Fee payment
  • A finding based on Section 221(g), which means that the visa officer found that the information provided at the visa interview was insufficient to support approval or denial of a visa. The applicant will be asked to return with additional information
  • The need for a security advisory opinion (administrative processing) prior to visa issuance if the visa applicant is determined to be pursuing a "sensitive area of study" as indicated on the State Department's Technology Alert List. The fields usually include the sciences and engineering.
  • The need for a security clearance prior to visa issuance if the visa applicant has ever been arrested in the United States, or if the applicant has a name identical to or similar to a person with a previous arrest record.
  • The need for a security clearance prior to visa issuance if the visa applicant is male, between the age of 16-46 and a citizen of or born in one of the designated countries requiring security clearances (Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen).
  • The need for a security clearance for any non-immigrant visa applicant male or female, age 16 or older who is a national of or permanently residing in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan or Syria. Such individuals will not be issued visas unless the applicant can show evidence that he or she is not a threat to U.S. national security.
  • The new U.S. Department of State requirement that all applicants for non-immigrant visas be interviewed. This new policy has created delays at visa issuing posts around the world. Similar to a visa denial, the visa officer must verbally inform you of the reason for the visa delay. If your visa is delayed, please send an e-mail message to debra.damico@manhattan.edu and provide the date and location of your visa interview, and details regarding the reason given by the visa officer for the delay.

The U.S. State Department has prepared information on student visas on its web site that may be useful to you. Visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html

Special Note for Citizens of Canada

Citizens of Canada are not required to obtain a U.S. visa to enter the United States. However, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will inspect your papers, either at a pre-inspection site in Canada or upon entry to the United States.

You must have with you:

  • your Canadian passport
  • your admission letter to Manhattan
  • proof of Federal SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment
  • your Manhattan College Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)
  • proof of financial support that corresponds to the information on your I-20 or DS-2019

It is essential that you enter the United States in the appropriate status, so be sure to have complete documentation with you.