I work as a teaching and research associate at a university in Pakistan. I applied for PhD (Management) programs at 5 universities in the US last year. I was rejected by 1, wait listed by 2, almost accepted (had 2 interviews with 4 professors) by 1 and accepted by 1. The university that accepted me also gave me a full tuition scholarship, a stipend to cover the cost of living and health insurance. I was able to get my F1 visa.

Unfortunately, my father's health deteriorated just a few weeks before I was to leave. He has had long-term health problems and my family needed support at that time. I requested deferral but the university said that won’t be possible. I did not travel and my I20 was cancelled.

I would still like to pursue my doctoral education in the US and plan to apply again in Fall 2024. Therefore, I would like to get advice on what the implications of this situation will be for my future PhD applications. Will it significantly lower my probability of being accepted? And are there any visa implications?


2 Answers 2


I don't think it matters how many times you applied. If anything, the fact that you got already accepted once after sending out only 5 application is great!

If I were you, I would discuss the situation with the university that has accepted you and see if you can start later, or maybe, if possible, arrange some sort of collaboration between them and a uni in your hometown. You still may use the time to read up on the topic anyways, right. Just make sure that visa won't be an issue later on.

  • 1
    @minahilawais I suggest you update the question with the additional information you mentioned in this comment.
    – user126108
    Commented Nov 23, 2023 at 13:13
  • 1
    @leonos Done. Thanks for the suggestion.
    – user179667
    Commented Nov 24, 2023 at 3:56
  • @Artifact123 How can I make sure that obtaining my F1 visa again won’t be an issue? And should I discuss (in my personal statement) this situation with the universities I will apply to in the future?
    – user179667
    Commented Nov 24, 2023 at 3:57

Regarding the visa, in my experience obtaining a visa and having it cancelled for external reasons (in my case, travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic) did not prevent me from obtaining the same visa again later.

Regarding the PhD position, in theory it shouldn’t be a problem either. Mention it in the statement if you feel like it would support your application.

Lastly, if you apply in fall 24 then almost a year will pass. What you do in that year might influence your chances: try to do something that would strengthen your application, for example publishing papers or learning techniques relevant to the future PhD.

  • Thanks for answering! I will try to learn a software program relevant to my PhD research and present a study I have worked on at a conference.
    – user179667
    Commented Nov 24, 2023 at 4:00

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