What Is Administrative Processing?

Have you ever wondered what is administrative processing and what exactly the term "221(g)" visa refusal means on your visa application? Joshua Goldstein is an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience in immigration law

You can gain many insights from Josh’s experience to help guide you through visa application complications. Joshua has a history of assisting families worldwide with administrative consular processing. He is well-prepared to simplify this process for you.

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What Is Administrative Processing Or 221(g)?

Imagine you're visiting a consulate for a visa interview, wondering, "What is administrative processing?" This could be for various types of visas, such as a student visa, visitor visa, or immigrant visa. 

Maybe you're married, and someone applied for you, or a family member submitted the application. It's also possible you have an employment-based case. No matter the visa type, the consulate might not issue the visa after the interview. 

It's not a denial, though. Instead, they typically inform the applicant and provide you with a colored piece of paper labeled "221(g)." This is referred to as a refusal. Unfortunately, these visa processing delays have caused many potential immigrants many visa application challenges

The Differences: Visa Denial Vs Refused Visa

First, it's important to explain the difference between "refusal" and "denial." While these terms may appear alike, they have different meanings in visa applications. A denial means your visa application has been turned down, so you won't get the visa.

On the other hand, a refusal refers to a temporary hold placed on your application. This leads to what's known as administrative visa application processing. So, what is administrative processing

Administrative procedures or 221(g) indicates additional processing time after your visa interview. This is “what is administrative processing” means officially.

Things We Don’t Know

Let's pause for a moment and think about a few questions regarding “what is administrative processing.” Firstly, based on that definition, some aspects remain unclear. We're often left in the dark about why your visa was subjected to administrative processing. 

No specific reasons are usually given. If you're undergoing administrative processing or background checks for a visa, you may know someone with a similar case that was approved.

This discrepancy can be perplexing. Why was your friend's case processed smoothly while yours remains stuck? It's frustrating not to understand visa application delays or why your case is stuck in administrative clearance.

What Are They Checking? 

What are they checking when administrative processing is required? Are they reviewing specific details of your case? Do they need additional information? Is there a security check being conducted? Do they need more documents from you? 

Unfortunately, consulates usually don't clarify the reasons for the delay. This leaves applicants unsure about what is administrative processing and what is causing the hold-up.

Discover what is administrative processing & "221(g)" with Joshua Goldstein. He simplifies visa challenges with over 20 years of expertise.

How Long Will It Take?

The third thing that's still unclear is how long the administrative processing will take. Sometimes, consulate procedures follow, giving you standard documents and asking you to come back after 30 or 60 days. But they rarely give you the visa application timeline or say exactly how long it will be. 

You don't know what is administrative processing, how long it will last, or what they're looking at. When you add up all these things you don't know about administrative processing and 221(g), it can seem very mysterious.

Let’s share a story that perfectly explains it. We hope this helps you understand administrative processing better for your visa application.

A Client Story

Joshua represented a woman whose visa was stuck in administrative processing many years ago. She told him, "I know why I'm in administrative processing. I know." Joshua asked, "Really? Please tell me why." 

She explained, "Well, it's about mangoes." Joshua was surprised, "Mangoes?" She continued, "Yes, in my home country, we have the most delicious mangoes. They are amazing, so juicy and tasty. I love mangoes. 

But at the airport, there's a sign that says, 'Don't bring any fruit or vegetables into the US.' I had a mango in my bag, and customs found it. They took it from me. That's why I'm in administrative processing."

She believed the mango was the reason for her delay, but in reality, it likely had nothing to do with it. It remains a mystery why she was stuck in administrative processing. Joshua helped her get out of administrative processing in a few months.

He has never received an explanation from the Department of State or consulates worldwide for their checks or reasons. It's like dealing with a mysterious black box.

It's An Excuse For a Delay

If you’re wondering: "What is administrative processing?" We're here to help you navigate through it. Assisting with visa applications is a priority for Josh Goldstein and his team at the law firm.

If you're stuck and need visa application assistance, and you're looking for a visa lawyer in your area, we urge you to reach out by sharing your case. We’ll then be able to assess your case and provide our best recommendations for you based on your individual circumstances.

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