International students may experience delayed arrival to the U.S. In some cases, this delay may cause significant impairment to academic progress or maintenance of the F-1 or J-1 visa status. It is possible for some international students to defer their I-20 or DS-2019 start date to the next semester or summer session, with approval from their academic department. By deferring the I-20 or DS-2019 start date international students can maintain their same Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record and identification number, thereby maintaining their pending or approved F-1 or J-1 visa stamp. We encourage all international students to communicate with ISSS if your visa stamp or arrival to campus will be delayed beyond your I-20 or DS-2019 start date.
You can request an I-20 start date deferral if:
Your admission has been deferred to a future semester.
You will start your program online from your home country, which will delay the start date of on-campus instruction.
Students who will not arrive at Wake Forest in time to start on-campus classes must request an I-20 or DS-2019 start date deferral before the last day to add a class for their term of admission. The last date to add a class for each school can be found on the Registrar’s website.
How to apply:
In order to apply for a deferral, you will need to make the request through your ISSDeacs account. You must communicate with your admitting department to confirm the next available semester you are able to attend classes in the U.S.
If you do not plan to take classes (on-campus/online) the semester you were originally admitted, you will need to provide an updated admissions letter that will reflect your new start term and any University funding. If you take classes online the semester you are admitted you will need a supplemental letter that states the start date of the on-campus instruction portion of your degree program.
Your deferral is based on your ability to defer with your admitting academic department. Please contact your admitting academic department BEFORE you complete your ISSDeacs deferral request.
ISSS will not initiate an I-20 start date deferral on your behalf. You must request a deferral in ISSDeacs in order to ensure your I-20 and SEVIS record start date is successfully deferred. If you do not defer your I-20 start date, and you are not able to enter the U.S. your SEVIS record will be automatically canceled by the SEVIS system. If your SEVIS record is automatically canceled you will have to request a new I-20 using the ISSDeacs system.
Please note there are other considerations for students who need to transfer their F-1 status to Wake Forest and students who need to apply for a change of visa status to F-1 or J-1. These students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately if they want to defer their admission.
Please remember to contact email@example.com with any questions you have as they relate to your visa status. Our entire staff are the only Designated School Officials for Wake Forest University, meaning we are your resources for all immigration-related guidance. It is so important to us that you receive accurate and timely information to ensure you are protecting your visa status.