All students who apply for a J-1 visa outside the United States or a Change of Status to J-1 in the United States are subject to security clearances. These clearances can delay the issuance of a visa or adjudication of a Change of Status. These security checks can take from 30-90 days to be completed.

These delays can affect entry to the United States, enrollment and employment eligibility. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and be prepared for the visa application or Change of Status application.

Consular Clearance Procedures

These include:

  • Fingerprint Checks
  • Facial Recognition Checks
  • CLASS Name Checks
  • CCD Checks (Consular Consolidated Database)
  • SAO’s (Security Advisory Opinions)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Security Checks

These include:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Fingerprint Check
  • FBI Name Check
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Name Check

Avoiding Visa Delays

As an applicant for a U.S. non-immigrant visa or status, you cannot avoid security clearances. However, there are some things you can do to decrease the delay. Along with the other visa or change of status requirements you should prepare the following:

  • A resume
  • A list of your publication
  • A description of your major
  • A letter from the UTD academic department describing your area of research and the possible applications of your research