Refused Immigrant Visa Status Explained

“I’ve checked the status of my case online and it shows visa refused. What does this mean? Is my case over? What can I do?”

Usually, when a visa refusal would show up, it’s for individuals who are going through consular processing or a fiancé visa. Part of the process after a petition has been filed and approved is an interview abroad at a US embassy or consulate at the immigrants country of origin.

After the interview or at the end of the interview, the officer will let you know if they’ve decided to approve your case or if they need to review it and if they’ll need additional documents and that they’ll let you know if they do.

If immigration decides that they need to hold your case for review or need to request additional documents, they’ll either give you a letter of what they need or they will reach out to you. There’s also an online portal where you can check your case status or US visa online.

But what people are seeing on that profile when they check the status of their visa for their spousal visa or their fiancé visa is the word refused.

Immigration used to use the term administrative processing on the portal when you would check the status of your case. That means after your interview, the immigration officer decided they needed more documents and they asked you to submit more documents.

They used to call that administrative processing when the immigration officer needed to review your case further or have you submit documents. Immigration eliminated that language. They no longer put administrative processing. Now, after the interview, if the officer hasn’t approved your case they just write refused for everyone.

If you received a notification in your interview and you know that immigration was asking you for more documents and you submitted those documents and they’re reviewing your case, know that likely your visa wasn’t refused. You’re actually in administrative processing and they’re reviewing your documents.

What you can do to give yourself peace of mind and clarity would be to reach out to that US embassy or consulate where your interview occurred and ask them for clarification. Was my visa actually refused or is my case in administrative processing? Are there still documents that you need or are you just reviewing my case?

Sometimes the embassies and consulates might take a while or a long time to respond. You can send follow-up emails to get an inquiry, to get a status. They will typically let you know by email of their final decision.

If you see that on your status, don’t panic if you see that. Take a deep breath and know that hopefully your case is an administrative processing and not actually refused. You can reach out to the US embassy or consulate for clarification about if whether or not you’re just in administrative processing and waiting on a decision or whether or not the case was refused.

If the case was refused, they should give you clarification about the reason for the refusal. Oftentimes, you’ll have an opportunity to either apply for a waiver or have some clarity about whether or not you have options available to you.

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