What is 221(g) Administrative Processing?

What is 221(g), also called administrative processing or admin processing?

When you have an interview in a US consulate, it can either be because you want a K1 fiancé visa or because you are getting a spouse visa or other types of visas as well.

221(g) is not a rejection of your case. It doesn’t mean your case was rejected but it does mean that they’re holding the case for one of many reasons. They weren’t able to give you the visa at the time of the interview.

It’s rare to get a 221(g) unless it’s something very serious like the government suspects you are a gang member or you are affiliated with the terrorist organization or things like that. A lot of the 221(g)s we see are very serious situations.

But we do find that a lot of people who are doing their own cases or sometimes, if they’re using one of the document processors where you type in your name online and they auto-generate stuff for you, there can be a lot of boxes that don’t get checked and minor bureaucratic things that don’t get done.

That can also cause a 221(g) if you don’t have everything in order at the time of the interview. You’ll hear horror stories online about some 221(g) situations that are very serious and can take years, in some cases, to resolve.

There are also some more minor paperwork type ones that maybe could take two or three months in some cases to resolve where they ask you for something additional that was missing.  The most important thing in that situation would be to respond to what they’re asking you for.

Basically, administrative processing is just a catch-all term for something that’s not right with the case. They couldn’t give you the visa right on the spot, they could be researching your relationship and think that you’re not eligible and trying to revoke your petition. They could think you’re a terrorist or maybe you just forgot to send them one piece of paper or check a box.

Hopefully, that’s the situation. The letter should give you some indication of what the situation is. Sometimes if it just requires adding more information in, that’s really all you can do and then you just have to wait. There’s a lot of waiting in admin processing so that’s no fun. But that’s what it is.

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