“Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants
Where can I find more information on administrative processing? When a person applies for a non-immigrant visa at an Embassy or Consulate, the Consular Officer can issue the visa at or soon after the visa interview. However, the Consular Officer can also issue a notice, sometimes referred to as a g notice, declining to issue the visa and sending the case for further review. Administrative processing is carried out by the Visa Office of the U.
For more information on the purpose of administrative processing click here. Sometimes — but not always — the letter instructs the visa applicant to provide additional information or documentation which will help the consular official can make a decision. For more information on visa eligibility click here. What should an applicant do if a case is placed in administrative processing without any written notice? If the Application for Non-Immigrant Visa DS is sent for administrative processing, does this mean the application was denied or will be denied?
When a visa application is sent for administrative processing, the visa eligibility has not been determined. After the case comes back from administrative review, and if no problems are identified, the application is likely to be approved. Of course, the final determination of approvability belongs to the Consular Officer.
Such determinations are made on a case-by-case basis and an adverse decision cannot be appealed in any U. How long will administrative processing take? Processing times are unpredictable. According to the U. Department of State, most administrative processing cases conclude 60 days or less after the visa interview. However, the average wait time for administrative processing can vary depending on where the consulate is located.
For more information about the administrative processing wait time click here. After the case is sent for administrative processing, is it possible to determine the status of a case? Can a decision by the consulate to place an application in administrative processing be contested? There is no formal process for contesting administrative processing. However, additional documents and information relating to your individual case can and should be sent to the consular office or post. Concerns about administrative processing may be reviewed with your immigration attorney.
In situations where administrative processing is taking longer than expected, it is possible to initiate an inquiry. What can an applicant do after an application is sent for administrative processing?
If the consular post associated with your application has a website, view the consular website to determine if there are any instructions on how to make a status inquiry. Also, the U. That website can be found here. Applicants can also check the status of their case by calling the U.
When calling DOS, applicants must provide all relevant information relating to their case, including their name, date of birth, passport number, where and when the applicant submitted the visa application.
If more than 60 days have passed since a case was sent for administrative processing, can anything be done? If it has been more than 60 days after the visa interview or after the submission of additional documents, the consulate handing the visa application should be contacted by e-mail.
Please note, the average wait time for administrative processing can vary. If the case has been pending more than 90 days, an attorney can submit an inquiry to the U.
How to know if an application is likely to be sent for administrative processing? For example, if a name is similar to the name of an individual who may be suspected of criminal or terrorism-related activities, that applicant may be subject to administrative processing. If the consular officer suspects the applicant may be ineligible for a visa, he may request an SAO, or Security Advisory Opinion. Membership or affiliation with communist or totalitarian activity.
If an applicant has been a member of or affiliated with a communist or totalitarian party, administrative processing is more likely. This does not apply where membership is or was involuntary, was solely while under the age of 16, by operation of law, for the purpose of obtaining employment, food, or essentials of living or membership or affiliation terminated two or five years in the case of membership or affiliation with the party controlling a government that is a totalitarian dictatorship before an application for a visa.
Technology Alert List: One of the major goals of administrative processing is to protect national security. The U. The TAL is a list of scientific and technological specialties which are considered sensitive.
The TAL is used to protect the U. To view the TAL, click here. Please note that the list below is non-exhaustive, and the actual TAL is classified. If an applicant works in a field which appears on the TAL, referral for administrative processing is more likely. Also, if an applicant comes from a country considered a state sponsor of terrorism Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria and or a nonproliferation export control country China, India, Israel, Pakistan and Russia and works in a field or has an academic background which appears on the TAL, the referral for administrative processing may be mandatory.
If denied a visa after administrative processing, can the decision be appealed? Visa denials cannot be appealed, but applicants can reapply for a visa in the future.
Applicants who reapply for a visa must submit a new visa application and pay a new application fee. More information about visa denials can be found here.
For more information about the administrative processing, visit the U. Practice Areas.
EP31: Here’s Why Your Case Is In 221g Administrative Processing
Listen in for insight on the difference between a discretionary provisional refusal and a mandatory SAO—and learn what steps you can take to resolve a case stuck in administrative processing. And a number of those cases get stuck somewhere in the process, with applicants waiting much longer than the suggested 60 days for a resolution.
So, if you are faced with a g provisional refusal, what steps can you take to request information about your case and inspire the officials involved to provide clear answers regarding a path forward?
Today, Ramin joins Mona and Mark to discusses the difference between additional screening at post versus requesting a Security Advisory Opinion SAO —which sends the case to Washington for review.
Ramin walks us through the information required by Form DS as well as the wide variety of factors that could trigger an SAO. Listen in for insight on the standard approach to resolving a case in administrative processing and learn what options are available should the standard approach fail to yield a resolution.
Sometimes this is done at the discretion of the consular officer, and other times it is mandatory. In this situation, the applicant has achieved statutory approval, but the officer would like to collect additional information or documentation. These cases are usually resolved quickly. On the other hand, if the consular officer issues a g and refers the case back to Washington for review, it may take much longer to reach a resolution.
In these SAO situations, administrative processing is mandatory and little information is available to either the applicant or their attorney. If, ultimately, a visa application is denied at the consular level, the EB-5 investor will not get their money back. A denial at the I level does guarantee a return of funds.
This form can be requested by the Consular Officer during the interview, but we suggest preparing and submitting it in advance, along with the visa application.
Form DS is generally always requested of a national from any Travel Ban country. Form DS requires applicants to disclose their travel, address and employment history for the last 15 years as well as all social media platforms and identifiers, phone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years.
It also asks for the names and dates of birth for all siblings, children, spouses or domestic partners, among other information. There are many possible reasons for an SAO request, including country of nationality. Consular Officers review a database that provides basic information, and if the applicant in question has a common name, that may also trigger an SAO.
A technology export concern is also grounds for an SAO, meaning that the applicant has a education or professional background in sensitive technology i. The Standard Approach to Resolution In theory, SAO cases should be resolved in 60 days, but many applicants get stuck in administrative processing.
Your first course of action is to inquire on the status of a case with the embassy or consulate directly. The applicant can do this themselves, or the attorney can inquire on their behalf by filing a G Unfortunately, no one is obliged to give authoritative or complete answers to applicant or attorney inquiries.
If the agency makes a manifest error e. Generally, this results in some action. Unfortunately, the applicant will have to pay the associated fees and once again complete the paperwork involved starting at the consular processing stage. Additional Options for Resolution If the standard approach does not yield a resolution, your next course of action is to get a Congressperson or Senator involved and ask them to advocate on your behalf.
This option should not be pursued until the to day mark. If you have exhausted all the possibilities to no avail, your last resort is to get the federal courts involved and file a Mandamus Action, compelling the Consular Post to reach a decision.
We suggest submitting a draft of the Mandamus Action to the State Department with the caveat that you will file in a certain number of days unless a decision is reached. Again, the option to pursue litigation should only be exercised when no alternative is available.
Mindanao Visa Applicants Face Additional Administrative Processing
But it does say that applicants should wait days for administrative processing to be completed before inquiring further with the Consulate.
But administrative processing may take longer than days. Administrative processing is a black hole because the reason for the temporary delay is obscured and the length of that delay is uncertain. Our firm usually follows up to check on the status of administrative processing after 60 days. We typically first contact the consular post, then if no timely response is received, we consider the actions described below. This will trigger more emails to consular posts by applicants asking whether their case is in administrative processing or whether that processing has been concluded with a final refusal.
Mandamus Actions in Federal Court A mandamus action is a lawsuit filed to compel administrative agencies to act. The Mandamus Act, codified at 28 U. The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff.
A mandamus plaintiff must demonstrate that: 1 he or she has a clear right to the relief requested; 2 the defendant has a clear duty to perform the act in question; and 3 no other adequate remedy is available. Mandamus can be a relatively simple and quick remedy in situations where the government has failed to act when it has a duty to do so. The processing time varies by each US consulate and there is no fixed time.
The quickest cases are normally the ones where you have only traveled to the USA in your life. Up to 60 days: If you have traveled to multiple countries like Canada, the USA, Japan, Europe, and other such places have waited for more than 60 days to get a clearance. You can join them to connect with people who are in the same boat.
Why US Visa Status on CEAC says Refused for 221g ? Dropbox ? Visa Interview ?
What Happens in Security Checks? The purpose is to check your background for any criminal activities that may affect US national security. US embassy sends your information to various other security agencies in the US who then try to validate the addresses and your employment information.
Usually, a red mark will be placed on your DS or your passport at the time of the ASC biometric process if your profile is flagged for security checks by US systems. Your application is also sent to Washington DC for final clearance before issuing you the visa. Can Attorney Expedite DS? Your attorney or you can contact the US state department or US embassy after your case has been pending for 60 days to get a status. But, most people just get a standard response that it is pending.
Need help with DS fast response? You can send us an email at contact am22tech.
Information on “Administrative Processing”
If you want to talk to the attorney before committing to the case filing, you can book attorney consultation here and this price will be reduced from the final case payment for AM22TECH members. The chances are very good that your admin processing will be completed within days when you file this case in the US court. There is no negative effect on your future green card process in the US if you file this court litigation to expedite your DS processing.
We suggest waiting at least 60 days after you have submitted your DS response to the US embassy. This helps in making your case stronger and improves your chances of success drastically. We also recommend waiting for at least 60 days.
DS 5535 Form Security Check (15 Year Travel History, Processing Time)
Information Required on DS Form DS form online is available on this US embassy website but we suggest using the one sent to your by your specific embassy. Last 15 years of travel history with country names, stay addresses, source of funds for travel and places visited.
List of all passports held to date. Siblings brothers and sisters — Provide the full name s and date of birth of any sibling full, half, step, adoptedliving or deceased. Children — Provide the full name s and date of birth of any child minor and adultliving or deceased. Address — Provide all addresses where you have lived during the last 15 years, if not already provided in your DS application. Phone Number — Provide all phone numbers you have used in the last five years, including primary, secondary, work, home, and mobile numbers.