Each year approximately one million US visas, both immigrant, and nonimmigrant are neither approved nor denied. The final decision is pending and the explanation is a procedure called 221g. What is this procedure, what can be done and how long does it take to get a final answer? All these questions are solved in this article.

What does the administrative procedure 221 g mean?

This means that the consular officer has not been able to make a final decision after conducting the interview for a US visa. In other words, the visa is not approved but it´s not definitively denied either; it passes on to a special procedure that is known as the administrative procedure 221 g.

Why is my case sent to an administrative procedure?

The reasons can be basically two:

The first reason could be because of a lack of documentation for the visa procedure. In this case, the consular officer will tell you what documents you need and how you should send them to the consulate. In these cases, it is very important that you bear in mind that you have a deadline to provide this information. After that time the visa request is canceled and if you still want the visa you will have to reapply all over again.

There could be other several reasons. One of them is when there´s a coincidence in names and date of birth with another individual and basically, the consulate may have information that needs double checking before making a decision.

Another example can happen when the person requesting the visa has been in the military forces of a country considered unfriendly. Also in the case of people who have visited or resided in countries considered unfriendly to the United States. This problem could also come up to entrepreneurs, investors and scientists in some way related to technology that´s considered sensitive or that could have a double use and that is included in the Technology Alert List.

Other cases arise when the Embassy or consulate suspects the visa applicant has been involved in criminal activity or when an office of the federal government of the United States is required to carry out verifications. Another example occurs a US officer suspects that one of the submitted documents or one of the statements you made in the application form when applying for the visa is false. You must always keep in mind that lies in this scenario are considered fraud and can have very serious consequences.

There are several things you can do to get out of this roadblock. On the one hand, it can simply consist of getting the documentation that is missing. But, on the other hand, the process could consist of an investigation that needs to be conducted by an office that depends on a federal agency of the United States. This investigation could mean checking the criminal record of the applicant or if he really works where he says he does. They could even send an investigator to verify the genuineness of a marriage, etc. In these cases, the procedure will depend on the type of problem that is being addressed.

How long could this process take?

Each case is different so a general rule cannot be established. In most cases, there is a definitive answer before 60 days, but there are also cases in which the delay has reached eight months. If the delay is longer than usual, ask for counsel from one of the immigration professionals in Visa USA Now.

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