Visas pending Administrative Processing
The US government may require certain visa applications to undergo additional review before issuing the visa. When subject to "administrative processing" or "security clearance", the consulate must wait to receive clearance from several other government agencies. This can add weeks, or even months, to the amount of time needed for visa approval, though most clearances require 3 to 8 weeks for processing. Please plan your travel accordingly!
It is impossible to guarantee which applications will require this additional processing, but it is certainly more common among applicants from certain countries, those specializing in potentially sensitive fields of study or research (primarily sciences, technology, or engineering), or with a common name that is likely to be shared with other people.
If you suspect that your application may require such processing, the ISO recommends that you request a letter from your department to offer additional details about your program or work in the United States. This may include the specifics of your research, source(s) of funding, contact persons in the United States, and anything else that will establish the legitimate, non-military purposes of your stay. The letter should be written in English, with limited use of technical terminology. You may present this letter at the time of the visa interview, as needed. While it will not prevent your application from being subject to a security clearance, the letter may help to provide explanatory information and speed processing along. Once a security clearance is granted, it remains valid for up to 4 years for subsequent visa renewals.
If your visa application is delayed, please use the Visa Delay/Denial Form to report your application and delay details to the ISO. The ISO will monitor your case and, as needed after 60 days pending, may report the delay to the US Department of State. You should also notify your University department of the delay and keep them updated on the process.