F1 Visa

F, M & J Visa Issuance Halted Temporarily – All US Embassies and Consulates

On 11/18/11 SEVP broadcast message announcing that Department of State has temporarily halted the issuance of all F, M, and J visas at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates due to communication difficulties between the Consolidated Consular Database and SEVIS.

I got access to the following report published in NAFSA.

To: All SEVIS Users

Date: November 18, 2011

Re: Department of State Inability to Issue F, M and J Visas

Number: 11111-02


To comment on this Broadcast Message, please e-mail [email protected] with “Broadcast Message 1111-02 – Comment” entered in the subject line.


The Department of State (DoS) has recently identified difficulties with its Consolidated Consular Database (CCD) communicating with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). DoS discovered this issue on November 14, 2011.


SEVP and DoS are investigating this issue between CCD and SEVIS to bring about a resolution as quickly as possible. Effective immediately, in order to ensure maximum data integrity and consistency, DoS has temporarily halted the issuance of ALL F, M and J visas at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Please note that this may alter prospective students’ or exchange visitors’ travel schedules. SEVP plans to circulate additional broadcast messages upon receipt of any updates or changes regarding this issue.

Original Report

Impact for Spring 2012 Students

Depending on how long it will take  for DOS to fix the problem, it will have impact students traveling for Spring 2012 semester.

At this time, you best bet is to contact your university International Student Services office to check if they have additional information.

I don’t have additional information at this time. Say tuned for more information. Hope they will fix this issue ASAP.


Check comment below

SEVP and DoS have resolved the interface difficulties between their respective systems as of close of business, November 18, 2011. DoS has instructed embassies and consulate to resume issuing F, M, and J visas immediately.

Kind regards,

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
Visit SEVP on the web at http://www.ice.gov/sevis.

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  1. I got two times visa rejeted in hyd,kolkata i have f1 visa interview on Dec 06 2011.
    I got admit at fit in biotechnology,i have 99 in toefl and 67.4%in ug, please guys help me this possible to get visa

  2. Hi,

    This is Ritu. I came to US on H4 Visa and then started my studies on H4 and at the same time applied for change to status to F1. My F1 was approved and i came to india this month due to some emergency and i gave my visa interview at delhi consulate. My interview was on 18th of November. VO told me that visa is approved and i’ll receive my passport in a week. But it’s been more than 10 days and i have not received my passport yet. I wrote an email about this delay to US embassy and they are telling that my case has gone under 221g administrative processing. Though i was not given any 221g slip and case number at the time of visa interview.
    Now issue is this that i have my exam on 4th Dec and 10th Dec and still i do not have any information that when will i get my passport with visa on it. If anyone has any pointers which can help me on my issue then can you please reply on this post.


  3. Name: Paresh Salunke
    GRE: 1230
    Toefl: 80
    Acads : 58%
    Admits from : NYU poly(with $7k scholaarship) and 3 other univ.
    Thinking of going for visa with NYU poly for spring 2012.
    Have been already rejected twice in fall 2011 for santa clara university.
    What do u think? should i go for visa?? Do Reply .. Thank you

  4. hi frnds upto when this visas will be halted and can we book our slots and where we can find the info about resolving of this issue”””

  5. hi
    i applied for three universities but got only one i20 from northwest missouri state university..is this university is good for visa?
    carring only one i20 to visa interview will effect my visa chances ,,,please help me out

  6. @ Uche
    Ur comment has really motivated me, I applied 4 my VI yesterday Nov 22, 2011 and got rejected
    I have GRE -960
    Toefl -87 and only 1 backlog, the VO asked me only 3 questions and checked only my GRE score card but said nothing. Could it be my low GRE that made me get rejected? But I think my confidence level wasn’t good enuff. Am thinking of re-apply so I can still make d deadline 4 resumption. Pls advice me.

  7. hi guys..

    i have attended for F1 visa for spring 2012 admission at hyd on 15 nov.unfortunately my application has been rejected.
    Now i am planning to re apply for the visa interview.Do I NEED TO FILL THE DS-160 ONCE AGAIN??or SHALL I CONTINUE BOOKING THE SLOT WITH SAME OLD DS-160 CONFIRMATION CEAC BARCODE??

  8. Hi all,
    Pls I applied 4 my VI on the 22nd of Nov and got rejected, the 1st question the VO asked was if I participated in DV lottery, I did but I sed No, cos I was thinking he wud say I wanted to emigrate to the US. Am thinking of scheduling anoda apointment cos my school deadline 4 resumptionis jan 17th, pls help! Wat is d best ansa to giv to dis kind of question and ao soon can I re-apply even thou he didn’t give me a reason 4 denial.

  9. Hello, all HSB followers. Is there any link for study in canada in HSB blog? Does anyone know about Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver —— How is this university? I have applied for Master in Administrative sciences (Global Health and Human Resources). This is a new program started only last year by univ. How can i know its value in job market after graduation.?What if i dont get job after doing this course? Will my workpermit be cancelled then? HSB, please reply.

  10. hi
    i applied for three universities but got only one i20 from northwest missouri state university..is this university is good for visa?
    carring only one i20 to visa interview will effect my visa chances ,,,please [email protected]

  11. hello,

    my gre score is 286 (new pattern)
    my toefel score is 75
    my academics 75% (b.tech in instrumentation)

    i applied for three univ and got i20 from univ of new haven
    i have tried for visa twice (oct 24th and nov 18th)and been refused.

    first time i was refused because i couldnt submit my work experience aft my b.tech( im a 2011 passed out)

    so are there any reasons for me not getting visa…plzz help me…

  12. HI HSB,
    i finished my interview on nov 18th and got rejected for no reason he dint even cheked my any of docs and just asked my acadamics and gre and annual income. Is there any influence of this above issue in issuing my visa then.That Day All with whoom i talked got the same incidents.
    please reply

    1. sometimes they have a policy of not issuing visas on a particular day so just don not worry and reapply but prepare well for the interview

    1. situation is not very rosy and regarding yoru gre toefl and academics i have no idea so if i have any idea better position to tell you

  13. Hi hsb ,

    i applied fr 2 univ, i got one I20 in hand other s yet to come, so i applied DS160 and booked my slot fr dec6 at hyd. still i didnt pay sevis fees. so, by end of this month i will get my 2 univ I20. can i change ds160 form now ? can pay sevis fees on this I20? if i did so will that visa consulate raises such issue?
    pls configure my issue.

    1. the reason y am prefering fr 2nd univ is : 1st univ s sacred heart univ,CT. and the second one s Central michigan university,Mt pleasant. so guide me hw resolve this and tell me any info regarding these universities.

    2. hi satish,as per your message that you want to change the DS 160 form and book the slot for 2nd university.
      you can go head with that……you can chage the DS 160 form as many times you want but once you book the appointment it is hard to change the things and also you can pay the sevis fee once your interview is blocked….

  14. Hi HSB, i have my visa appointment on december6 at hyderabad. My issue is , i got one I20 from sacred heart univ,CT. and booked my slot by filling DS160 with that sevis no,I didint pay sevis fee yet. I am not comfort with that univ,dnt knw why. So weeks ago i applied to centra michigan univ,and I20 is on the way.by end of this month i will be holding in my hand. So after getting CMU I20 , can i change DS160 form ,can i pay sevis on CMU , if i did so will visa consulate raises any such questions? please configure my confusion

  15. I got this below mail from SEVP saying everything is alright now


    SEVP and DoS have resolved the interface difficulties between their respective systems as of close of business, November 18, 2011. DoS has instructed embassies and consulate to resume issuing F, M, and J visas immediately.

    Kind regards,

    Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
    Visit SEVP on the web at http://www.ice.gov/sevis.

  16. My VI is on 23rd, but I have not received any information regarding this issue, does that mean my VI will go on as per schedule…………

  17. My VI is on 23rd but i did not receive any information regarding this issue, does that mean my VI will be performed as per schedule.

  18. Hi can any one suggest me , i have my visa interview on friday that is 25/11/11 , but i got a letter from toefl,ibt that my toefl score has been cancelled due to some reasons that center has not reached the toefl standard in meeting the examinations requirements . I am totally Confused what to do i am unable to understand . What is the best reason to tell in consulte

    1. Hi shilpa, where did u write your toefl exam…… N what ETS is showing in your TOEFL IBT account …. is the score cancelled or NOT AVAILABLE. …

    2. well suggest u to be honest and tell him the truth.
      if u hv good score in GRE verbal then it won’t be an issue.

      all the best.

    3. just cancel your appointment beacause the consulate people and the universities receives the email from ETS that your scores are cancelled……. better you postpone the Visa Interview…..

    4. just go ahead with your interview and do not tell them all this stuff may be it is cancelled but you are not aware of it so do not worry

      1. i think ets will sent email about cancellation of toefl score to the student because one of my friend faced the same problem.so dont lie to consulate that you dont know about your toefl score cancelled.. find another alternative and if your gre verbal is good then go ahead and tell the truth to the consulate. because they hate liars very much.

  19. This is just a scare alarm. My GRE/TOEFL-iBT student (an MS aspirant) had his Visa interview this morning (Nov. 21, 2011) in Chennai and received his visa. He is scheduled to start his MS program in Jan. America is not a banana republic. Gremlins will be fixed and visas will be issued, don’t you worry. Go, get interviewed, in confidence.

  20. Hi HSB,

    Today I got a mail from the ISSS of my Univ, saying that the issue has been resolved and the Embassys and Consulates are issuing visa now.

  21. @HSB: I received my I-20 today and was about to schedule an appointment near this weekend. I am really horrified after this. What do you think…Is this a temporary issue or will it take longer? Should I hold on..or go for it assuming this problem will be dealt with easily within a weeks time?

        1. It says they halted issuing visa, not cancelling the appointment. Check with VFS tomorrow. I think interview should go as per schedule, if visa is approved, it might take time to get your passport, again this is my guess.

          1. This is my 3rd Visa Interview,what advice do you have for me in appearing for the visa ?

            Toefl= 97[genuine].
            Academic ; 68 % with 2 backlogs. completed 2011 fresh in IT Stream.

            First try ; July 19th 2001 for fall 2011 with startford university.

            got rejected with a reason for low GRE score.

            Second try ; 28th August,2011 with SNHU university.

            Again got rejected with a reason that i have gone through the consultancy the first time,as i told him the same before he said this to me.

            3rd try: Spring 2012,slated for 25th nov,2011

            Changes in profile; Wrote ielts,changed university to Loyola university Chicago having another i20 from Texas A&M commerce.

            Can you please guide me HSB ?

          2. Dear Ansari,
            I would like to tell you that just because of that cheat consultancy , you have lost your visa. They just told you to apply to the private universities to get their share of money. The VO’s know which universities are having tie-ups with some of the cheap consultanies here. So , now go for texas a&m commerce as it is a state university and try to convince the VO into giving you the visa.

          3. i have already booked my visa slot with loyola uni,what to do ?

            please give me some tips…………please…………

          4. @ Ansari:

            My advice to you would be think positively and don’t be afraid when you go for your interview. I was refused the F1 visa three times but was given on my fourth try. With bad academic stats: 11 backlogs
            GRE: 1160
            TOEFL: 109
            Four rejections from schools applied to and only one admit.

            With the loyola and Texas A&M , you are in a far better position than I was a year ago. Think about the reasons you want to study this courses, how it will impact your life and society back home, and your next step after the masters degree ( no matter what your plans are, tell the VO that you are definitely coming home after your master’s degree ) and write them down .When you practice, it becomes a part of you and would sound sincere, not rehearsed when explaining to the VO.

            I decided to write because like you and many others reading this blog, I was afraid and lost hope but things did turn around, and now I am just rounding the first year of my master’s degree in information systems management .

            This is long overdue but i would also like to say a big thank you to happy school’s blog, you change my life. The work you do and information you provide is truly remarkable and has helped through the different stages of my graduate school experience. I cant remember how i stumbled upon this blog three years ago when I was trying to figure out the best books to use for my GRE exams , but i will be forever grateful that I did. Thank you for your time and being selfless in helping others.

          5. thanks a lot bro,can u add me on fb/gtalk or any other place where i can have a chat with u plz………….. ?

            plz send me ur link,so dat i can do d same

          6. HI DEAR ,
            I got i20 frm texas A&M commerce univ, i applied for vis a on nov 15th and got rejected for unknown reason, myself gng for visa 2nd time on dec 8th any suggestions frm ur side

          7. texas A&M commerce univ, is a university miles ahead of the both the previous universities technically both the previous univ are junk from visa point of view

          8. hi,
            could you tell , how long will it continue. does this type of things happen in interval or is it the first time ?

          9. Better i think you should retake the GRE.
            i had GRE score of 910 and my visa got rejected for TAMU C on 15 nov 2011

      1. I think your headline must be more responsible than what you’ve writtern. You sounds like Indian media. The inferrence of your headline is that F1 visa will not be issued, you’re right but it is because of technical errors.

        1. Dude, give HSB a break. The guy has clearly mentioned “TEMPORARILY”. And I am sure he realizes that we are bunch of highly intellectual people and we can make sound inference of that heading.

        2. I agree with Aditya. The headline sounds like the india TV sensational news! As much as I appreciate HSB sharing this with us, the headline is too alarming n scary.

          1. Anjali – If you were to write this post what will the title? Condition – It should be within 70 characters.

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