Administrative Processing

It is not uncommon that applicants at United States consular posts encounter a situation in which they are told that their visa application will be held for administrative processing. The reason for administrative processing is usually not clear, and the timetable for completion is not known in advance. The American Immigration Attorney Association released a Practice Pointer to help attorneys and applicants better understand this process(AILA Doc. No . 12091850).

What is "Administrative Processing"?

The Foreign Affairs Manual defines “administrative processing” as the phrase that should be used to refer to clearance procedures or the submission of a case to the Department of State(DOS). It also states that a consular officer can advise an applicant that further “administrative processing” is required in his or her case if the officer believes that there are circumstances that require further internal consultation within the mission or with DOS.

What is the timetable for Administrative Processing?

According to DOS, most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview.

When can I follow-up on an administrative processing case?

Applicants need to wait at least 60 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later, before making inquiries about the status of the process.

Who should I contact to follow-up on an administrative processing case?

1. After waiting 60 days from the date of interview, contact the consular post where the applicant was interviewed.

2. If no timely response is received from the consular post after 30 days, follow up with the post for a status inquiry.

3. If after the follow up, the case remains pending with no substantive response, the applicant needs to continue to follow up on the status of the case directly with the post at least once a month.

4. For long-pending administrative processing cases, consider seeking congressional assistance if it is an option.

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Categories: Immigration News