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Administrative Processing/Administrative Review

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Administrative Review and/or Administrative Processing

/Administrative Review and/or Administrative Processing

After Your Visa Interview



Administrative Review: Is when your case is being looked at more closely for accuracy and to make sure all security name and fingerprint checks have cleared and your visa can be adjudicated.


Administrative Processing: Means once you have interviewed it is in security checks for any of these situations: you have had a name hit in one of the many data bases, background checks for fraud, or has missing and incomplete information that must be submitted and the rechecked. Processing is more in depth and than the review process and there is no time limit for this processing to complete. Administrative processing can last a few days or months and in some cases it has endured for years.


What is 221(g)? :


The 221(g) is a section of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, which is used when the embassy or consulate are unable to take immediate action on a visa case. In rare cases, when additional processing is required, the suspense category used in that case is 221(g) while the additional processing takes place. For example, sometimes the applicant has failed to bring in the correct documentation, has incomplete information or in some cases the embassy wants a co sponsor before they will issue the visa or health reasons are all reasons a 221(g) is issued. In the Middle East/African/ Asian countries these applicants are scrutinized and screened more intensely and thus they have to wait out longer security or fraud investigations until all verifications for security or suspected fraud come back cleared.



The 221(g) forms vary from consulate/embassy and you can get one or more forms after your interview. They vary in color as well as the way they are written whereas some are brief and some are detailed. In most cases they say to contact the consulate/embassy after 45 days. Be aware that the 45 days means business days (no weekends or holidays) and in some parts of the world the processing times are longer than 45 days. Always, try and check for others that are going through the same consulate and see what the average processing time is for the majority of the applicants.


Administrative Processing Frequently Asked Questions


• What is Administrative Processing? AP is also called Additional Administrative Processing and is when the applicant is being checked more closely. It can be for security checks which encompass fingerprints and/or name checks or for document verification.


• When does Administrative Processing Happen? AP can happen at any time during your processing. It can happen at a service center, at the NVC level, or at the embassy level. It mainly is discussed here in the forums at the embassy level.


Who can get Administrative Processing and Why? AP usually affects men and women from certain countries but anyone can get AP. Persons coming from T countries (Terrorist Countries) seem to have more security checks and have to endure AP at the embassy level after their interview. Common names, your nationality, religion, education, relationship of applicant, travels and job can all be factors for AP. Having incomplete or missing documents will also cause a case to be put in AP. In some cases if the embassy does not believe in the validity of the relationship they can investigate it further with a field investigation.


• What are the T-Countries? Although it is classified, the list of countries reportedly affected by these restrictions includes, but is not limited to, Afghanistan,

Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt,

Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya,

Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia,

Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates,

and Yemen. http://www.abil.com/articles/ABIL%20...0Wolfsdorf.pdfThis list is complied from an attorney and the list of T-countries can change at any time.


• Can I check the status of my case? The embassy will not in many cases respond to emails until a certain amount of time has elapsed. The best bet is to contact Department of State aka: DOS and ask them for an update bi-weekly. They will not be able to give you details but they can tell you if the case is still pending in AP or cleared.


DOS information: DOS can be contacted Monday through Friday during business hours. You must have all information concerning your case with you so that they can assist you.

Department of State’s visa Information phone number:

# 202-663-1225


Can I expedite this process? The simple answer is NO. No one can expedite the checks since they are considered a matter of National security. An elected official can only make a congressional inquiry on your behalf. They cannot get the checks finished any faster.


Does AP have any time frame for completion? NO AP can last anywhere from days, weeks, months and in a few cases years.


Anyone that happens to be given a 221(g) or Administrative Processing letter must be patient and let them do their work. Do not call constantly and ask about your case. Remember each time your case is moved it can then end up at the bottom of the stack and your time can be extended. Each case is different so you cannot judge your case by any other and each consulate/embassy may have a different average time for completion of AP.


Returning Petitions/Applications Under Section 221(g) of the INA


The following guide is specific to returned petitions/applications under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act issued by the Department of State at the conclusion of a beneficiary interview. In no way is this guide legal advice, and should never be used in place of a good immigration attorney. The information has been compiled from personal experience and months of research.


First a Little Basic 101 on the 221(g):

The document issued by the Department of State under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is for the most part used for requesting additional information from the beneficiary such as missing documents, additional evidence, or advising them of not being able to issue their visa due to pending name/security checks i.e. Administrative Processing or Administrative Review. However, Section 221(g) is also used by the Department of State when returning petitions/applications to the USCIS for further review ultimately recommending revocation.



Why are Petitions/Applications Returned to the USCIS by an Embassy/Consulate Under Section 221(g)?


Petitions/applications are returned for a variety of case specific reasons. Returning a petition/application to the USCIS means that the embassy/consulate refuses to issue a visa to the beneficiary, but they do not have specific evidence to actually deny a visa application. So the next best thing to do is return the petition/application to the USCIS office where the petition was originally filed requesting further review and ultimately recommending revocation.


What Happens When a Petition/Application is Returned to the USCIS by an Embassy/Consulate?

221(g) is issued to beneficiary at conclusion of the interview stating the application and/or petition is being returned to the United States.

Petition is returned to the United States by the interviewing consulate for "further review" in what is called a diplomatic pouch.

Returned petition is received by the NVC. It is reviewed and entered into the fraud database by fraud management.

Returned petition is sent to the local USCIS service center where the petition was originally filed and approved.

Local service center receives returned petition.

Local service center who processed the original petition sends a notice of receipt to the petitioner.

Local service center reviews the returned petition and consular officer notes on the case.

Local service center then sends either a NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) or NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) to the petitioner also asking for more proof of the relationship, many cases have specific consular objections to rebut.

Petitioner is given 30-60 days from date of NOIR/NOID (depending on the service center) to respond with additional evidence of the relationship or other specific evidence. The timeframe to respond will be provided in the letter.

Local service center receives evidence...if in the timeframe given (30-60 days) the case is reviewed and either original approval is reaffirmed or the petition is officially denied.

If the petition is denied the local service center sends the petitioner an 'official' denial letter. This can be officially appealed if the denial letter states such.

If the petition is reaffirmed the local service center sends the petitioner an official notice of reaffirmation.

Local service center sends the reaffirmed petition AND its evidence provided in the rebuttal directly to the consulate along with a recommendation to issue a visa.

Consulate notifies the beneficiary of a new interview date.

Beneficiary has interview for the reaffirmed petition and the visa is either issued, or the case in placed in Administrative Processing which after cleared a visa is issued, or worst case scenario it is denied via Section 221(g) and returned again to the USCIS with a recommendation for revocation.


What can you do immediately when faced with this issue:

First and foremost, contact a good immigration attorney.

Immediately have the beneficiary send a scanned copy of the 221(g) issued.

Contact the consulate directly (immediately) and attempt to have the petition reviewed by the senior consular before it is returned.

If you are unable to get through to the consulate on the phone, contact them via email, and if you're mail has a "read verification" use it.

Contact your congressman/senator, get them involved immediately. You will need to sign a release form giving them permission to make an inquiry on your behalf.

Provide your congressman/senator with as much information as possible about your case, the interview, and the result.

If your congressman/senator is top notch, they will not just send an email or letter to the consulate, they will call on the phone and try to get the petition reviewed again before it is sent back.

If they are not successful, they can request the diplomatic pouch number the petition is being returned in. This number will allow you to track the petition until it is received by the local service center.


To track a returned petition/application with a pouch number, you can contact the Diplomatic Pouch Service in Washington:


Diplomatic Pouch Service: #202-663-1588


If you do not know who your congressman/senator is, use the following links to find out who represents your area:

US Congressional Representatives (By State)

US Senators (By State)


If the petition is returned, you are in for a wait. The diplomatic pouch the petition is returned in is sent from embassy to embassy picking up other returned petitions along the way. It could take up to 2 or 3 months for it to be received by fraud management at the NVC...then the NVC has the petition for about 1 month before sending it to the local service center where it was originally filed. One thing to also know is that returned petitions do not take priority...they are reviewed in the order they are received, that is after new petitions have been processed.


What You Can Do in the Meantime While You Wait?:

Continue contacting the consulate to get an actual reason for the return...not the blanket "validity of relationship" response.

Stay in contact with your congressman/senator, they can assist you in getting the actual reason for denial.

Immediately file a Freedom Of Information Act request for the Department of State asking specifically for the consular notes on your returned petition: DOS FOIA

Immediately file for a Freedom of Information Act request for the USCIS asking for the same specific consular notes on your returned petition: USCIS FOIA

Continue to document your relationship, emails, letters, phone bills, visits to their country, etc.

Be ready for the opportunity to rebut the consular findings.

Contact a good immigration attorney as suggested above...preferably one who has experience in returned and denied petitions.

After a period of 6 months or longer has passed and you do not hear anything from the local service center regarding the receipt of your return, or the results of the review, you can contact the CIS Ombudsman. While the Ombudsman cannot make the USCIS reaffirm your returned petition, they can assist when processing times are outside of guidelines

USCIS OMBUDSMAN

Now, there are some differences between returned fiancé petitions and marriage petitions. The K1 is especially at risk due to the expiration of the original approval, many returned K1s are not given the opportunity to rebut, they receive a notice telling them their K1 has expired and may file again at any time...this is why the FOIA is so important. You need to know the exact reason the petition was returned, just filing again is a huge risk if you do not know why the petition was returned in the first place.

While the K3 does have an expiration date also, they are treated more seriously. I have not known anyone who has had a returned K3 not being given the opportunity to rebut. Obviously the CR1 does not expire. Still, it is very important to file the FOIA, not every service center will tell you exactly what the consular office findings or objections to issuing the visa are. Some people are only asked to provide more evidence of their relationship.

The following articles have been written by an immigration attorney experienced in this area:

Clash Of The Titan Bureaucracies? The Battle Between DHS And US Consulates

Denials Of Family-Based Immigrant Visas At Consulates And DHS Petition Revocations

Edited by BraveAmnay

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mohammed-iii-sultan-of-morocco-and-georg

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You Are Welcome :)

Awesome information, thanks for taking the time to explain and post in such in-depth details!


Married:.................................08/02/11
I-130 Sent:.............................05/21/12

I-130 Packet Recv'd:..............05/23/12
I-130 Touched:.......................05/25/12
I-130 NOA 1:..........................06/02/12
I-130 RFE:..............................09/06/12
I-130 RFE Sent:......................09/14/12
I-130 RFE Recv'd: ..................09/18/12
I-130 Petition Denied:.............10/09/12
2nd USCIS I-130 Petition
I-130 Sent:......................................12/17/14
I-130 Packet Recv'd:.......................12/22/14
I-130 NOA 1:...................................12/24/14
I-130 NOA 2:................................... 05/19/15
I-130 NOA 2 Hardcopy Recv'd: ......05/22/15
I-130 Petition Sent to NVC:.............05/26/15
I-130 Petition Recv'd At NVC:........................06/02/15
Case No. assigned Recv'd over phone: ....... 06/16/15
NVC Welcome letter Recv'd: .........................06/19/15
Agent assigned: .............................................07/06/15
AOS fee paid: .................................................07/06/15
AOS confirmed paid: ......................................07/08/15
IV Bill Recv'd by email:....................................07/21/15
IV Bill paid online:............................................08/01/15
Submit DS-260:...............................................08/10/15
AOS & IV Packet sent:....................................08/11/15
Scanned Date:.................................................08/13/15
Case Completed:.............................................08/31/15
Medical Exam : ...............................................10/28/15
Interview Date: ................................................11/11/15
Interview Date Rescheduled By Consulate : .12/04/15
Results: Approved Admin Review / AP..........12/08/15

Case Returned to USCIS .................................05/17/16

Case Reaffirmed: ..............................................09/18/17

Case Forwarded to Consulate: ........................10/12/17

2nd Interview: ...................................................11/17/17

Case Updated By Consulate: ............................12/28/17

Case Status Changed to Issued: ......................12/29/17
Visa Ready Pick up at Aramex: .........................12/30/17
Visa In Hand: ............01/03/18

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Hello VJ friends



the summery on my case



Interview March 10, 2015 - AP(Issued yellow slip) taken passport


18 March 2015 (Updated) -READY


20 March 2015 (status updated) -READY


23 March 2015 (status updated) -READY (Sent an email to the embassy )


24 March 2015 (status updated) -READY


25 March 2015 (status updated) -READY



* No reply to my email



I called NVC last Friday and a guy told me everything is good, you will hear something soon,


I called NVC on 25 March and a guy asked everything from me and he told me it's still under AP and i said nop it's says ready and again he said no mama it's under AP and no time frame


Again i called them and they said the embassy system down


today morning i called them and they said the embassy system down.



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My fiancé just had her interview too today in Cauro and they took her passport and her case moved to AP. I have no idea what does that mean!!! How long is the wait AGAIN NOW?? This is so frustrating.

Edited by mero.lola

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My fiancé just had her interview too today in Cauro and they took her passport and her case moved to AP. I have no idea what does that mean!!! How long is the wait AGAIN NOW?? This is so frustrating.

The only thing you can do is wait ,like everyone who went trought this ,the good thing in your case is they toook her passport which is not my case i'm still waiting since March 16 th and nothing yet hopefully today with The Mercy of God i will get call from them if not i'm still waiting . :clock:


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mohammed-iii-sultan-of-morocco-and-georg

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Hi my VJ friends

Hi got my visa on 31 March 2015,

Thank you for the support that and i love you all.

Also, i wish everyone to get their visa soon.

God Bless you everyone with loads of love.

Also many more thanks a lot jawaree and Janelle2002.

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Hi how are you ? I am stuck in administrative processing now my status said ready for interview I already give my interview since 28 October 2016 but my status go like adminstrative processing then ready for interview  then administrative processing then ready for interview now it's stuck in ready for interview what's going on can anybody tell me?

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Hi, my dad case is under AP for almost 5 years . And recently he received a call from embassy after 5 years asking him some question about his job and stuff . Please some one let me know if it is a good sign ???? I will appreciate it ,,, waiting for five years...... for this day 

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