Administrative Processing

After the visa interview, a consular officer may either issue or deny your visa application. However, sometimes additional information might be required to establish your visa eligibility. In such scenarios, your application enters a phase known as “administrative processing”. This article will help you understand the nuances of this process and guide you through the steps you can take to facilitate your application.

Understanding Administrative Processing in Visa Applications

Administrative processing is a term that refers to the additional scrutiny or referral of a visa application to the Department of State. The time taken for this phase can vary considerably depending on individual case specifics. It’s essential to note that there’s no standard timeline for administrative processing; it could range from months to years, contingent on the facts of the case. Therefore, it’s advisable for visa applicants to apply well in advance of their intended travel date. Though the specific reasons for administrative processing aren’t disclosed to the applicant, some common causes include:

  • Further Consultation: If the consular officer needs more supporting evidence or advice before reaching a decision, they might initiate further administrative processing.
  • Database Matches: All visa applicants undergo checks against multiple databases. If there’s a potential match with adverse watchlist information, the consular officer must verify the person applying isn’t the same as the one on the watchlist before issuing the visa.
  • Technology Alert List (TAL): If the visa applicant’s intended activity could potentially lead to the unlawful transfer of technology, as per the TAL, the case must be submitted to the Department of State for further evaluation.

Following Up on a Case in Administrative Processing

Once your case enters administrative processing, the consular officer adheres to a stringent processing schedule. Here are the steps to take for a case in administrative processing:

  1. After your interview or submission of requested supplemental evidence, wait for at least 180 days (unless it’s an emergency situation) before contacting the consular post.
  2. If there’s no response or action from the consulate within the next 30 days, reach out to the Department of State Visa Office to inquire about processing.
  3. If there’s still no action, continue to follow up monthly.
  4. For long-pending cases, consider reaching out to your local representative for congressional assistance.

Abiding by this procedure can facilitate your case processing. Remember, before inquiring about the status of administrative processing, you or your representative must wait a minimum of 180 days from the interview date or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.

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We Can Help!

You may have questions regarding administrative processing. We invite you to reach out to our team at Richards and Jurusik for detailed guidance and assistance. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make your immigration process smoother and less stressful. The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik have decades of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews! Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.

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