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US Student Visa Services Suspended Indefinetely... Now What? (Risk of Losing Funding)

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Hi everyone! I didn't see any posts on this issue on the forum but I'm sure there are people in similar situations. So let me start the conversation.

I'm a prospective intenrational student who got accepted into a PhD program in the US, with a decent stipend offer. It's all cool except... the visa situation!

The US embassy in my country has suspended all the student visas for almost a year now. It's my understanding that this is the decision of US Department of State, hence international. Therefore, if some of you all are in my situation, I'd love to hear from you.


No Payments Without Visa:

To make the matters worse, I was told that I can't get paid by university until I arrive in the US. I actually know someone who was in the same situation last year but still was able to receive her funding because it was framed as a "fellowship" in her offer. Whereas mine is a stipend for TA/RA work. Which means I need a valid visa to be able to work (TA/RA) and get paid in the US. When I asked the department if my offer can also refer to my funding as "fellowship" as a workaround, they said it wasn't possible.

So my question is, do you know any potential workarounds that I can suggest to my department? 


Lost Funding:

What's even worse is that I'm offered 4 years of funding. But, for instance, if I start my first semester online due to visa issues, I will have 3,5 years of funding left, though I never received the first part of it. The department says that the missed amount can't be paid at a later time. Does anyone know what would be the legal basis for that? And even better what arguments can I use to convince them otherwise?


I feel really stuck in this unfair situation. I did my best, deserved the funding but I'm about to lose it due to something completely out of my control. Any suggestions are geniunely appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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