US visa administrative processing is a waiting time for background checks by the US state department. This background check is sometimes carried out by the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) and report is sent back to US department of State. Why your US visa case was placed under Administrative processing? and how long will it take the process to complete. That’s what I am going to share with you this blog post.
What’s US Visa Administrative Processing?
The US Department of State says something like this on their official website :
Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. All applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
After reading the above statement on US department of state’s website and searching for many hours on the internet. I came to know that Administrative Processing can take from 3 weeks to 6 months. But I was anxiously waiting for the decision to be taken on my case as my application also went to administrative processing. The administrative processing is actually done in Washington DC, which can take time.
Why Your US Visa Got into Administrative Processing?
US visa process is based on submitting online application and then face to face interview with a visa officer. Sometimes, the visa officers want to take more time to make a decision. Therefore, they put some visa applicants under administrative processing. This is not a single reason for Administrative processing.
A visa applicant can be placed in administrative processing after issuance of visa. Furthermore, a visa applicant can be entered to administrative processing even before visa interview. The main reason for administrative processing is to check in different worldwide databases the status of this applicant. If the applicant has done something wrong in the past, that will come out during the administrative processing.
The investigation takes into account several databases such as immigration cases in different countries, criminal databases and Identity documents’ databases. But if you haven’t done anything wrong in the past and have not hidden anything in visa application then do not worry. The result of the administrative processing will generally be positive.
When my visa application went to administrative processing. I was worried because I thought US visa had to be issued on the spot. I came home and searched on internet and different forums. I found that it took a few weeks for someone and took months for other people to come out of this thing.
How Long will It Take for Administrative Processing?
Since I travel regularly, when I checked people’s reactions on the internet. I decided to withdraw my passport from US consulate as you can withdraw your passport while your visa application is under processing. I emailed the consulate and they replied to collect my passport from visa office within 2 working days.
However, I had received an email from the consulate after the visa interview. They asked me in the email to provide last 5 years travel history, job history and my addresses where I lived during last 10 years. I provided all the requested information the same day and then waited for the result.
I would check the result every day on this website: US visa administrative processing check online. I already had withdrawn my passport from US consulate. Seven days after my visa application, I received a phone call from US consulate and they asked me to submit my passport back to consulate. They told me, they have made their decision on my application. I got my fingers crossed and excitement level up.
I submitted the passport and after two days I received my passport back with 5 years multiple entry US visa. This means, in my case the administrative case took just 7 days because my record was clean everywhere. It should take same or a few more days in your case too. But if your case is complicated then it can take a few weeks to few months. And this also depends on the workload of that department who does the background checks. If they are not busy too much then the process should be completed in a week or two.
The Bottom Line
The United States visa process is one of the easiest process in the world. It’s very transparent and most of the visa applicants get decision on the spot. Most applicants will either get a negative result or positive. But in some cases, you will be given 221 (g) form which is for administrative processing. But again, you don’t need to worry about that. In very complicated cases, it will take some time. Most of the cases will get resolved within one week to eight weeks. If you have any question then do let me know that in the comment section.