Visa Denial & Delays

Visa Denial

Any failure to meet one of the specific requirements of the applicable category results in 214(b) denial. For example, a student's F-1 visa application may be denied if he/she fails to possess sufficient funds to cover educational expenses. Additionally, a student must be able to show strong ties to his/her home country, which he/she has no intention to abandon.

214(b) is the number one reason for students' visa denials. It is referred to as "failure to establish entitlement to non-immigrant status," or more commonly, "presumption of immigrant intent" because the majority of 214(b) denials are applied to intending immigrants.

"Strong ties" may be cultural, social, professional, or any aspect of life that has a binding effect between a student and his/her country of residence. Family members, a job, a steady source of income, a house, an investment and bank accounts are all examples of "strong ties." They also differ from country to country, and person to person. So a full time job may be important for one applicant, but not so convincing for another. A student or a retired parent can still get a non-immigrant visa without a job, for example.

In short, "strong ties" is a vague concept that must be proved by physical evidence. For this reason consular officers are trained to look at all aspects of a visa application, not one particular document or piece of evidence.

Students who were denied an F-1 visa may resubmit their application with NEW documentation focusing on their ties to their home country. Read the United States Travel.State.Gov website for more information about F-1 visa denial.

Visa Delays

While all individuals applying for a U.S. visa are screened before the issuance of a visa, certain individuals may be subject to further screening or clearance, commonly known as Administrative Processing. To enhance your visa application process, we recommend you to avoid the following issues:

  • Inconsistent spelling of your first and last name
  • If you have ONE NAME ONLY, please insert it in the last name box and leave the first name box blank
  • 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

Late Arrivals

All of UNC Charlotte’s new international students are expected to attend the mandatory international student orientation.

However, some students might not be able to attend the orientation because of visa delays, travel arrangement issues and other reasons. If students are arriving to the United States AFTER the program start date listed on the I-20 and shortly after the add/drop deadline (see: "How late can I arrive?"), students must communicate with their Academic Advisor to request a late arrival letter, which may be issued in some circumstances. 

To request a late arrival letter, please email your Academic Advisor and include your full name as it appears on your passport, SEVIS ID number, and UNC Charlotte student 800 number so they may process your request. Academic Advisors may use the following Late Arrival letter template.

The completed letter should be carried by the student when entering the United States after their program start date listed on the I-20. 

Useful Links

Visa Appointment & Processing Wait Times

United States Embassies and Consulates Worldwide

Here to Help: What to Expect at a Port of Entry