Is your USA visa currently under administrative processing?
Wondering how long this will take and what you can do about it?
In this blog post, we will explain what exactly is administrative processing, reasons for administrative processing, how to know if your visa is under one and also how you can be prepared for any outcome.
What is administrative processing?
When you apply for a US visa, there are two possible outcomes ; either the visa gets approved or denied. But sometimes there can be a third outcome – your application is put under administrative processing. This means that the US embassy is running additional background checks on your application, hence seeking more time.
This can happen is the embassy is not clear with the information already submitted by you or they need additional information or documents to make their decision. When your visa goes under administrative processing, the passport will be kept by the embassy and the same will also be reflected in the online status of your application;
Reasons for administrative processing:
The US embassy provided a list of factors which can contribute to an application going into administrative processing. These factors as provided by them are listed below. But be aware that this is definitely not the exhaustive list and there could be reasons outside this list too.
- Applicant provided details to the interviewing officer that differ from the submitted petition.
- The applicant may have a criminal history.
- The applicant was born in or recently traveled to a Muslim country. When this information appears on the visa application, it will likely trigger a security clearance request, and this will typically take one to two weeks.
- The applicant name matches a name previously flagged by the Department of Homeland Security.
- The applicant has experience with dual-use technology (technology that can be used for both peaceful and military purposes.) These clearances typically take two to eight weeks.
- The applicant is a national of a country known for sponsoring terrorism. Applicants from Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria will likely be delayed at the embassy.
How to know if your application is under administrative processing?
There are various scenarios which can lead to your visa application going to administrative processing. Here we have listed the three most common ones:
- The visa officer taking your visa interview informs you that your application will need additional background checks and hence is being put under administrative processing
- Your passport does not get couriered back to you even after 10 -15 days of the interview. In this case you should log onto the embassy website and check the online status of your application
- Your visa gets approved during the visa interview but after a few days the status of your application changes from approved to administrative processing in the embassy website
How long does administrative processing take?
According to the official timelines of usa visa process in India, all applications under administrative processing must be resolved within 60 working days. In India, we have seen that most of the cases get resolved within 10 -15 days. However in some rare scenarios, it even takes more than 60 days, sometimes more than a year too. So in short, it is very difficult to put a specific timeline to cases under administrative processing.
What can you do if your visa comes under administrative processing?
Unfortunately there is only limited action that you can take when your case comes under administrative processing. In all likelihood you will have to wait till you get an update on the status of the case.
However during this waiting time, it would be wise to prepare additional documents which might be asked or additional information which you might have to send across.
Make sure to keep track of the status of your application by checking the portal on a regular basis. In some cases, we have seen that applicants are also called for an additional round of interview, so it would also be better to stay prepared for any such follow up interviews.
What to do if your visa gets rejected after administrative processing
Refusal after the administrative processing is similar to a normal visa refusal. It does not mean that you are permanently banned from applying for a visa. You can definitely apply for the visa again, but it would be important to first understand the errors made in the first application and correct them. This way you will have a much better chance of visa approval the next time.
We hope this article has given you a clear idea about administrative processing and what you can do if you find yourself in one. In case you are seeking more information or assistance, you can get in touch via the links mentioned below and we will be happy to help you out.
For more in-depth preparation, book a personalized consultation session with me here https://shachimall.com/1-1/ OR take a practice interview here: https://shachimall.com/interview-preparation/