Visa Approved Status Admin Processing, Form 221g Solution

H1B visa approved but CEAC status is Administrative processing. VO said visa Approved. Identity verification - Form 221(g) issued but no documents asked.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  19 Jun, 19

  319    


After the H1B Visa interview at US embassy in Delhi, India, Visa officer took my passport and told me Congratulations, your visa is approved and I will get the passport in 2-3 days.

I just checked my CEAC status online and it says: Administrative Processing. I did NOT receive any form 221g or any other document whatsoever.

Why is it in Administrative processing then? This is pretty common question in this situation. Don’t worry.

Admin processing is the normal status and could mean multiple things with or without form 221(g).

Form 221g Processing Time

CEAC – Visa Approved but Status is Administrative Processing status is common these days after visa interview in US embassy. If your visa was approved and no form 221(g) was issued, then you can expect your stamped passport within 5-10 working days. No need to worry.

It is possible that US embassy has not issued form 221(g) but the status will still show as admin processing on CEAC website.  But, they can still send your application back to USCIS in USA for US work location verification.

In this case, your application status will show as Administrative Processing even though the visa officer told you VISA APPROVED.

White Form 221g US Embassy Visa Interview – Real Life Case

This real life case happened at US embassy in New Delhi for H1B visa interview. This person worked for direct US employer full time. This H1B visa stamping was done just after H1B transfer approval in premium.

  1. Visa Officer (VO): How are doing today?
    A: I am doing fine. What about you?
  2. VO: What class of visa have you applied for?
    A: H1B
  3. VO: Which company are you going to work for?
    A: ABC Company.
  4. VO: What is the education of your wife?
    A: B.A.
  5. VO: Is B.A. equal to Bachelor of Arts
    A: Yes
  6. VO: Where have you lived in US and where are you going to live now?
    A: Tampa, FL and Westford.
    -I was interrupted by my kid here. So, could not answer completely and was immediately followed by another question.
  7. VO: Westford? Where? In Massachusetts?
    A: Yes, Massachusetts.
  8. VO: Is there any client or you are going to work directly for this company?
    A: There is no client. The work is directly for ABC company.
  9. VO: Please move to the next window and my colleague will help you.
    A: Okay.

——————————————————————–
They move to next window and then were informed that they are putting the case for administrative processing. They now ask following questions:

  1. Q: When did you change your address in last 15 years? Is it in 2006?
    A: I thought they are asking specifically about India as i was in India in 2006. I answered Yes, and gave my Indian address before and after 2006.
  2. Q: Do you have any brother/sister?
    A: Yes, I have.
  3. Q: What is the name of your sister?
    A: XYZ Sharma.
  4. Q: What is the name of your brother?
    A: I don’t have any brother.
  5. Q: When do you intend to travel?
    A: 11th Oct.

They hand over the white form 221g but keep passports with them.

Problem (as analysed by person himself and attorney): In this case, this person forgot to tell one of his address that he lived in USA to VO officer. VO did not tell this to the person but instead, just issued a form 221(g) with no documents to submit.

White Form 221(g) – No Documents to Submit

US embassy form 221g white
US embassy form 221g white issued by US embassy in New Delhi

Form 221g may be issued even if there are no extra documents required from you. Usually, the documents list is printed by default and the visa officer will cross it down.

Form 221(g) Solution by Attorney

Attorney and person went through the full transcript of the interview (as written above) and concluded that VO probably had doubts on person’s identity since he forgot to mention all his US addresses clearly.

The Attorney in USA then sent an email to USCIS premium service email directly with clarification on the address that the person forgot to tell the Visa Officer.

The is the the real email that was sent. I must say that attorney was really smart in this case and took fast decision and really helped the candidate.

 

Attorney response to USCIS premium email for white slip Form 221g
Attorney response to USCIS premium email for white slip Form 221g

The US Embassy was satisfied and they cleared the ‘Administrative processing’ within a week. The person had his H1B visa approved in 7 straight days including weekends.

A smart attorney can really take you far!

Is there risk of Form 221g issue in Canada/Mexico?

You can get admin processing form 221g issued in Canada or Mexico too. The risk of form 221g delay is always high if your paperwork is not complete.

What is Form 221g processing time in India?

Form 221g processing time varies between 7 days to 6 months. If the form 221(g) is issued with request to submit more documents, you can expect to wait form ore than 8 weeks. If there are no documents requested, then you can expect your US visa approval in 7-30 working days.

Can I get Passport for Travel while Form 221g Admin processing is pending ?

You can request to get your passport while US embassy is doing their internal admin processing. Once US embassy has cleared your case, they will send an email to submit passport again.

H1B Form 221g in Canada or Mexico

If the visa officer is not satisfied with your answers or you are working in an EVC (Employer Vendor Client model) with H1B visa, the chances are high for request for more documents.

You will have to stay back in Mexico or Canada if your case gets into Admin processing. It may take 7-14 days to get your passport with stamped US visa.

You should not book your travel tickets with fixed dates if you do get form 221g as there are no fixed timelines.

Passport Returned by Visa Officer

If your passport has been returned by US visa officer after interview and a form 221g was issued, then the chances are very high that your case processing will take at-least 6 or more weeks.

You will get an email to submit the passport again as and when the US embassy is ready to stamp your US visa. Once you submit the passport again, you can expect to get stamped passport back in 7-14 days.

It is important to keep a buffer of at-least 3 weeks after US visa interview these days if you are going for visa interview especially H1B and L1 visas.

H4 Visa Approved, H1B still Admin Processing

It is also possible that with no Form 221 (g) was issued and Visa officer told you ‘Visa Approved‘.

Your dependent’s H4 gets approved but your own H1B visa status shows as ‘Administrative Processing‘ online.

This generally happens when US embassy is just verifying primary H1B’s credentials a little bit more or have sent H1B’s application to USCIS to confirm some more information.
One of them could be ‘Work Location‘.

No need to worry, you will get your H1B approved.
Remember, H4 cannot exist without H1B. If H4 has already been approved, your H1B approval is also on the way. Just a couple of more days to wait.

Reasons for Form 221g

There can any number of reasons for issuing form 221g by US embassy and some can be really un-heard of.

Recently, a person was issued form 221g and asked to submit the details of CBP encounter at US port of entry. This person had paid the fine for not declaring the food items that he was carrying from India.

We will add more form 221g reasons here as and when we hear.

Why Identity / Security Checks with Form 221(g) are done?

Identity checks are done by US embassy to get US government security clearance on the person before the visa is issued. You cannot expedite the security check process as the State Department (through the Embassies) takes its security obligations quite seriously.

We have found that once someone supplies the missing or corrected information, the security clearances can take 1 to 8 weeks, and unfortunately, the government shut down does delay these clearances.

The State Department do not have any specific time limitations to give security clearances.

Sometimes, these clearances are requested just because someone with a name similar to ABC’s name is on a watch list of individuals who committed a crime – and then the Embassy must be sure it can clearly determine that ABC is NOT that person.


USA Work in USA - H1B, L Visa
 



Recent discussion on forum

  1. Harish779
    Harish779

    Hi Anil,

    I had my Interview for F1 to H1B visa stamping on April 12th at Hyderabad Location and visa officer asked basic questions, she then told me I didn’t need to submit any documents and I will be getting my passport with in 3-5 business days and I was issued a small White 221g Slip. Its been more than 5 weeks and this is 6th week and here is my Case details.

    April 12: Interview
    April 15 -23 : Administrative Processing
    April 23: Application Received
    April 30: Application Received
    May 1: Administrative Processing

    No update after May 1st. So how long would it possibly take to get next update to my case as it almost 6th week?.


  2. thatguy7
    thatguy7

    Hi @Anil.Gupta need your valuable comments on my case, my extension got denied and I traveled back to India, got the new I-129 approved through consular processing through a Big US based company for 3 years- full time employee, I was asked to do dropbox and after that I was asked to appear in-person for interview(alone with spouse’s passport) with some documents to be mailed in advance(new petition docs and proof that I was in legal stay while I waited for h1 ext. appoval) to be mailed (221g blue slip)
    Appeared for interview on 16th May, VO didn’t asked any questions related to employment just asked to show my previous h1 ext. receipt on which I waited and asked new h1 filed receipt and exact date of filing, I didn’t had the new h1 receipt and showed the new I797 and told approx date of filing as I couldn’t remember as my attorney’s filed that.

    VO gave 221g blue slip and told we don’t need any docs for now and need to do admin processing
    VO kept the passports (mine and my wife’s)
    Gave a case number and said you can mail if you want to track
    My case is still in admin processing (its 7 working days now)

    1. Wanted to get your comments on the same when I can expect the update on the same and if it’s usual or fine?
    2. My attorney’s said in cases like mine admin processing is common and no need to worry just wait and we don’t need to send anything

    Should we need to mail something or just need to wait, case shows admin processing with the date as 16th may- day of interview?


  3. kumuda_chowdary
    kumuda_chowdary

    Hi @Anil.Gupta

    I attended the interview on aprl 9th and got blueslip and returned my passport asking for additional document of petitioner tax filing for two years and my employer submitted the documents on same day of my interview.

    last updated date was aprl 17th and till then i dont have any update and it is still under ap and it is almost like 60days.

    How long it takes to approve?


  4. thatguy7
    thatguy7

    Hi @Anil.Gupta I just saw the update, Visa is issued :grinning: so it took sometime (31days) but finally I have got that, really appreciate the work that you are doing and guiding folks like us who are going through a lot of stress and confusion! Thank you so much!!


  5. Harish779
    Harish779

    Hi Anil,
    It was about some fine I paid in 2013 for not mentioning food items clearly.


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47 more replies

  319 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Yarn
    Yarn 19 Jun, 19 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Anil.
    I had my student F1 visa interview on 10th June 2019 at Us embassy Yaoundé Cameroon. Vo and I had close to a 15mins interview which went on quite smoothly. At the end of the interview,vo took all the documents i brought for the interview including my passport and told me I’ll get a call.He also issued me a 221g but didn’t tick for any additional documents.My online status still shows AP 8 days from my interview.My deadline for arrival at my school is 29th July which is quite close.I’ll like to know possible outcomes for my case and an estimation of how long it may take to issue my visa.plss need ur help Asap

     

  2. Harish
    Harish 21 May, 19 at 3:36 am

    Hi Anil,

    I had my Interview for F1 to H1B visa stamping on April 12th at Hyderabad Location and visa officer asked basic questions, she then told me I didn’t need to submit any documents and I will be getting my passport with in 3-5 business days and I was issued a small White 221g Slip. Its been more than 5 weeks and this is 6th week and here is my Case details.

    April 12: Interview
    April 23: Application Received
    April 30: Application Received
    May 1: Administrative Processing

    No update after May 1st. Can you please advise What’s going on with my case?.

     

  3. Tarun Gupta
    Tarun Gupta 15 May, 19 at 5:33 am

    I am also in similar kind of situation as stated above. I applied visa stamping in drop box on 25 April and got my passport back with white slip to appear for interview. I attended Visa interview on 06 May after which VO said its approved and will take normal processing time of about a week. However I didn’t get my passport in week’s time and had to cancel my return ticket of 14 May. It’s still showing as under administrative processing at CEAC website. And email status says “There is no status update available for the passport number submitted”. Any suggestion ?

     

  4. Vanc
    Vanc 11 May, 19 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Anil,

    I had my interview in New Delhi Embassy on March 18th, I was given a white slip to submit some documents like resume, research, current past experience, etc because I work in aerospace and it comes under TAL and my passport was returned to me .. On March 22nd I emailed all the requested documents.. My case was in administrative processing till April 25th. On April 25th, I was asked to submit my passport for further processing of my Visa. I dropped the passport at the nearest VAC on April 26th. After that my case was updated twice on CEAC website , April 30th and May 1st. Since then there are no more updates.. It’s been 2 weeks , I submitted my passport but they still haven’t issued the visa yet. What do you think how long it’s going to take. Also, I emailed them and got a reply that my visa is in final review. Don’t know what that means?

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 11 May, 19 at 6:54 pm

      It usually takes 6-8 weeks time if you are asked to submit additional documents.

       

      • Vanc
        Vanc 11 May, 19 at 7:09 pm

        I submitted the documents more than 7 weeks ago and they asked to submit the passport 2 weeks ago..they updated the case twice after I submitted the passport but it’s still in administrative processing… Generally how long does it take after the passport submission?

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 11 May, 19 at 7:09 pm

          Its pretty fast after passport submission and in the range of 7-15 days.

           

          • Vanc
            Vanc 11 May, 19 at 7:15 pm

            Thanks for your reply ..

             

  5. Rohan
    Rohan 10 May, 19 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Anil,

    Hope you doing good. Looks your advice is really helpful.

    I had my h1b interview on May 1st – Delhi. VO approved it and since then it’s in administrative processing. It completed 7 business day already and not a single update. Had to cancel my flight once and the client I work for is getting impatient.

    First time stamping from f1 to h1b.

    Any input will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Rohan

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 11 May, 19 at 5:45 am

      You can expect the passport in about 7-14 days if no documents were asked to be submitted.

       

      • Rohan
        Rohan 11 May, 19 at 7:08 am

        Thanks for the reply. No documents were asked as he verified all documents asked during the interview.

        I see people even after approvals waiting on for weeks.

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 11 May, 19 at 4:24 pm

          If no documents were asked, then it should be approved pretty fast.
          Don’t worry.

           

          • Rohan
            Rohan 12 May, 19 at 3:15 am

            Thanks. Hope for the best.

             

          • Rohan
            Rohan 12 May, 19 at 9:57 am

            Anil,

            My status in US Visa Dashboard for passport status changed from the US Embassy/Consulate to Document Delivery Information.

            Is this any kind of an update ?

            Thanks,
            Rohan

             

  6. Raghunath
    Raghunath 7 May, 19 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Anil,

    I have a question with regards to work location at Client site:
    Background:
    In LCA, I-129(Petition) and even in SOW there is an address of Client (in Sunnyvale, CA) where I intend to work and this petition was a transfer which was approved in April 2018. All though I worked for few weeks at the address mentioned in petition, in the beginning, I was moved to a different campus (as per Client’s internal process), which is just 2 to 3 miles from the address which was originally mentioned in Petition, LCA and SOW. There is travel planned to India in couple of weeks, and the Visa interview is scheduled in the last week of this month in Chennai. The address mentioned in the Client letter is the address where I am currently working from, and this is different than the address mentioned in all other documents. My company has done LCA posting (no new LCA filed, only LCA posting) and confirmed that there is nothing to worry about the change in actual physical address in the Client letter.
    Question:
    1. Is LCA posting normal?
    2. Also, if the VO asks what is your work location – I should tell the address which is in client letter, right?
    3. If VO asks why the address in Client letter and rest of the documents is different – Can I tell my company did LCA posting for this change or could you suggest ideal answer for this question?

    Your inputs for these queries will be helpful.

    Thanks in advance,
    Raghunath

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 7 May, 19 at 7:53 pm

      Yes, LCA posting is normal if the new address is in same MSA (Metropolitan statistical area). You should tell the current work address if VO asks about it.
      Legally, only LCA posting is required. So, you are fine if you speak the truth.

       

  7. Murtaza Doctor
    Murtaza Doctor 6 May, 19 at 12:27 pm

    Hi, Appeared for interview in New Delhi on 1st April, handed 221g blue slip with asking for many documents from company 2 year tax returns, employees name and designation, my Master degree transcript and certificate and internal project details, Attorney submitted those on 4th April, my wife is about to delivery in a week with neurological conditions, i am been calling the Traveldocs call center but just one answer to wait, any idea if there is a way to request expediting on medical grounds

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 6 May, 19 at 2:15 pm

      Where is your wife at this time? With you in India or she is in USA?

       

      • Murtaza Doctor
        Murtaza Doctor 6 May, 19 at 2:16 pm

        She is in US, with my 6 yr old and surgery for delivery is planned for next week

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 6 May, 19 at 2:16 pm

          I am not sure if there is anyway to expedite the case based on medical grounds. You have to check with traveldocs.

           

          • Murtaza Doctor
            Murtaza Doctor 7 May, 19 at 2:59 am

            With your experience, what could be the timeline for approval based on the documents asked in 221g? Blue slip, passport with me.

             

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 7 May, 19 at 5:40 am

              Could be 6-8 weeks or more.

               

            • Murtaza Doctor
              Murtaza Doctor 7 May, 19 at 1:50 pm

              The visa application status is showing the date of my visa interview of 1st April, is that common and normal? Or they are not working on my case?

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 7 May, 19 at 6:21 pm

              Your question already has answer in above article. Please read.

               

            • Murtaza Doctor
              Murtaza Doctor 9 May, 19 at 1:38 am

              Received email from support@traveldocs to submit the passport for further processing, submitted the passport, hope to receive the visa back by Tuesday, as Wednesday is my wife surgery. You know how many days they take to get back the passport with visa in these cases?

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 9 May, 19 at 5:28 am

              Congratulations. I think you will get your passport by Tuesday.

               

            • Murtaza Doctor
              Murtaza Doctor 14 May, 19 at 6:30 am

              Hi, after submitting the passport last Thursday 9th May, I saw the case updated today but still the status showing Administrative Processing, really worried, pls advice

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 14 May, 19 at 7:13 am

              I can understand your situation but not sure what to say.

               

            • Murtaza Doctor
              Murtaza Doctor 14 May, 19 at 7:31 am

              Is it normal to update the case date and status not changed to issues?

               

  8. Rama Lingam
    Rama Lingam 25 Mar, 19 at 11:25 am

    hi
    applied for A2 visa in jan 1st week..me and my colleague..us consulate asked some questions after 4 weeks. we both replied same answer separately..again same was asked to my colleague and revised departure date in march 2nd week whereas i didn’t get anything so far.. it s almost 3 months.. what is the reason for this and why this much delay?

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 25 Mar, 19 at 11:44 am

      Nobody can guess the reason for delay. Most of the time the reason for longer delays are background checks and security checks on your name.

       

      • Rama Lingam
        Rama Lingam 25 Mar, 19 at 11:57 am

        first time documents were asked to both whereas second time it was to only one person…what is the reason ?when contacted it was told that each case is unique.. can it be like that?

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 25 Mar, 19 at 11:58 am

          Off-course each case is different as you and your friend are two different individuals and may need different security checks.

           

  9. Sanjay Rai
    Sanjay Rai 20 Mar, 19 at 12:29 am

    Hi Anil,

    I went for the interview on 5th March and in less than 3 mins interviewer issued me 221G form (checked 3 documents) and returned me all passports (including family). I sent all required documents via email. But have not received any updates since 7 days after I sent the docs. How long it will take.

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 20 Mar, 19 at 8:21 am

      What documents were requested in your form 221(g)?

       

      • Sanjay Rai
        Sanjay Rai 26 Mar, 19 at 5:07 pm

        Three documents as below:
        Client letter, Statement of Work, Project description in details

         

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 26 Mar, 19 at 5:36 pm

          My suggestion is to be prepared for longer wait like 8+ weeks based on the documents visa officer has requested.

           

          • Sanjay Rai
            Sanjay Rai 22 Apr, 19 at 10:40 am

            thanks for your reply.
            One more question, According to USCIS email they have asked me to submit the passports along with 221g and i797. Does that mean it is approved and they have asked in order for stamping?

             

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 22 Apr, 19 at 11:13 am

              When did you receive this USCIS email? Are you sure you received an email from USCIS or US embassy?
              Also, when did you submit your passport? with your 221g documents or more recently?

               

            • Sanjay Rai
              Sanjay Rai 26 Apr, 19 at 11:12 am

              Email received from support@ustraveldocs.com after 28 days when I submitted the document against 221g response. Passports submitted on 15 April with 221g and i797 along with email copy from support@ustraveldocs.com

               

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 26 Apr, 19 at 11:32 am

              Ok.. so, it is US embassy. The chances are very high that your visa has been approved as they have asked for passport submission.

               

  10. SD
    SD 16 Mar, 19 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Anil,

    Hope you doing well!

    URGENT – PLEASE RESPOND

    I am currently pursuing my double masters degree and working on CPT status. I have previoulsy utilized 3 complete years of OPT. My emoloyer is applying for H-1B this year and recommened me to apply H-1B on the outset as a conuslar petiotion to avoid additional scuritny of my current status. They are not suggesting to apply H-1B along with change of status.

    They have asked my opinion and would like to take suggestion from you if applying H-1B as consular petition will do any good rather than applying H-1B along with change of status.

    I need to send response to my attorney by Monday there your response sooner will be gresty appreciated.

     

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 16 Mar, 19 at 10:38 pm

      Your question about filing H1B with consular processing after OPT is out of scope of this article. Hence, I have added it to our forum and answered there.

      You can ask follow up questions on forum itself. We answer within 1-24 hours

       



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