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8 Sample 221g Forms Issued for Travel Ban, NIE at US Consulates

As many of you know, Biden signed a Proclamation banning travelers from India to enter US due to the worsening situation with COVID in India on April 30th. To get US visa stamping done during this travel ban period, you need National Interest Exception(NIE) or you need to be part of the Exceptions as listed in the Travel Ban Proclamation.

Many users, applied for NIE using a letter from their company and were able to get the stamping done. But, for some who did not have NIE or it was not clear to the Visa Officer, a 221(g) administrative processing form was issued. In this article, we will review those samples and what they mean, and some context around them.

Before we get into details of 221g, in context of National Interest exception, let’s briefly review what is 221g.

What is 221g form – Refused for Administrative Processing ?

US Consulates, when they need additional information regarding the visa application or need to verify something on their side, they issue a form that says “Your case was refused under section 221(g) of Immigration Nationality Act(INA)“. It is usually called ‘refused for administrative processing’. Depending on the reason for 221(g), you may be asked to submit some documents to the consulate. Sometimes, they do not ask for anything and just say your case requires administrative processing.

If you were to be issued 221g form, there is nothing that you can do. All you can do is wait. There is no estimated time for processing if you were to be issued a 221g form. If it is a simple check, usually the response is quick like few days to few weeks. But, if something is not clear, it can be stuck in that stage for months. You can read more on What is 221(g) for US Visa ?Issues, FAQs

What is 221(g) form issued around National Interest Exception(NIE) ?

Since the US travel ban kicked in, many of the pending visa applications that were in the process received administrative processing 221g forms. Also, many users, who attended US Visa interviews and could not demonstrate that they fall under National Interest Exception(NIE), were issued 221g Forms asking to submit proof that tells they qualify for NIE.

NIE Approval for US Visa Interview Appointment: Since the US Travel Ban started in early May 2021, applicants planning to get visa interview appointments for H1B, H4, or others need to first request for Emergency US Visa Appointment based National Interest Exception. The applicant needs to fall under certain criteria as listed on the Official US Dept of State Website to get NIE.

221g Issued at Visa Interview: If the consulate approves the NIE request, then they can attend the Visa interview. The ultimate decision for issuance of US Visa under NIE is up to the Visa Officer. They would determine the same during the visa interview if the applicant really qualifies for NIE or not. In some cases, when they are not clear, they also issue 221g form at that time as well.

Let’s now look at some samples of the same and what they mean

2 Sample 221g given for H1B Dropbox Submission

Below are the two 221g white forms and slips that were issued by the US consulate for a couple of our users who applied for H1B Visa Renewal using the Dropbox option. This was issued around June 20, 2021. . This does not give any additional information to the user to submit anything. Just says text Presidential Proclamation as a reason.

221g White Slip Administrative Processing - Presidential Proclamation
221g White Slip Administrative Processing – Presidential Proclamation
Two 221g White Slips given for Administrative Processing - Presidential Proclamation
Two 221g White Slips given for Administrative Processing – Presidential Proclamation

Sample 221g Issued for H4 Visa Stamping asking NIE of Spouse

Below is the sample 221g form issued at US Consulate in Mumbai for a H4 Visa holder, who submitted for Visa renewal using Dropbox option. In this 221g, it is clear that the user was asked to submit ‘Husband’s Approval NIE‘. The background for this is that, for a dependent holder to get visa under NIE, the principal applicant need to be qualified for NIE.

221g Issue for H4 Dropbox asking to Submit NIE of Spouse
221g Issue for H4 Dropbox asking to Submit NIE of Spouse

Sample 221g Issued at In-Person Interview H1B – NIE

Below is sample 221g that was issued at US Consulate in Delhi for H1B Visa stamping. It has Consular officer comments that say, ” Please provide proof of qualification for the current national Interest Exemption“. For this case, the user needs to submit the NIE letter proof that is convincing to the Visa officer.

221g Yellow Slip Issued at New Delhi - Proof of NIE
221g Yellow Slip Issued at New Delhi – Proof of NIE

3 Sample 221g Issued for H1B Dropbox – Proclamation

Below is 3 sample 221g forms that were issued at Hyderabad Consulate for H1B Visa Dropbox submission. Two of them are in white color, the other one is in Blue color. It states that the user needs to submit documentation to the Hyderabad consulate via email to be eligible for further process.

221g issued at Hyderabad for Presidential Proclamation
221g issued at Hyderabad for Presidential Proclamation
221g issued at Hyderabad
221g issued at Hyderabad
221g issued for US Travel ban for India Travelers
221g issued for US Travel ban for India Travelers

Sample 221g for H1B Regular Visa Appointment – No NIE

Below is a sample 221g form that was given for an H1B Visa applicant at Chennai for Regular Visa Stamping for not having NIE. If you see the below 221g white form, it shows that the applicant got admin processing due to the proclamation in effect and needs to apply after the ban is lifted.

221g Issued at Chennai Consulate for Presidential Proclamation
221g Issued at Chennai Consulate for Presidential Proclamation

Did you get 221g form due to US Travel Ban or lack of National Interest Exception ? What action did you take ? Share your thoughts and experiences in comments below.

   

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49 Comments

  1. Hi Kumar,
    The Same happened for us as well, we received a white slip and asked to send passports for stamping post lifting the ban. Any idea if dropping a mail to the consulate will help?…or how can we proceed?

    Reply
  2. Hi Kumar,

    I received 221g issued at Hyderabad for Presidential Proclamation on June 8, currently when check the status it says “Refused”.
    But I didnt receive any update from the US Consulate, do I need to reachout to them or have to wait till then.

    Reply
    • i also received 221g at Hyderabad for Presidential Proclamation on Sep 1, currently when check the status it says “Refused”.I got my passport back today i need to submit documents and request for interview again.

      Reply
    • Hi VijayVarma,
      I am in same situation, received 221 g on July 10 due to Presidential Proclamation and returned the passport without stamping. Till now did not get any response.
      Did you get any update in your case? Any suggestions how to proceed further?

      Reply
      • No update on the case from consulate. Even my company attorney is not sure what steps to be taken to move future. Just waiting for consulate to respond.

        Reply
  3. I got 221g for presidential proclamation 10199, on my H1B visa from Chennai Consulate (drop box appointment). The 221g states that, I submit NIE letter or submit a well document evidence of being exempted from presidential proclamation, 10199. My kid is a US citizen and is currently living the US. I am stuck here in India. I am planning to submit my kid’s proof of citizenship, to prove my exemption from the ban, without a NIE letter. Any thoughts? I appreciate any inputs.

    Reply
  4. H1b Drop box at Mumbai, got 221g stated as PP ban (as the first screenshot). I just received NIE letter , can i email the letter to Embassy?

    Reply
    • Hi Praveen,

      Have you received any update for your case? I recently submitted my drop box on 8th July and got the same 221g response.

      Thanks,
      Satya

      Reply
    • Hi Praveen, I wasnted to see if you managed to re-submit your application. If so, could you please let me know the steps you have taken, Thanks in advance!

      Reply
  5. Hi Kumar,

    I attended my H1B visa interview on 13th July 21 in Mumbai consulate. I was issued the 221g citing presidential proclamation although I was carrying the NIE document with me and the officer had a look at my NIE documents as well. What should I do further shall I write back to the consulate to reconsider my case or shall I re-apply in some other consulate.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Ishan, How did it went? My wife attended H4 interview with NIE of primary applicant, Consular had a look and said its an application ,not the NIE approval and issued 221g. Any idea what should be my next steps?

      Reply
      • Hello Venky,

        The same happened with my wife in Chennai this week. Can we connect ? What have you done since the 221g was issued to her ?

        Reply
        • My wife got a 221g white slip from the Chennai consulate yesterday since my I797 petition was not found in PIMS. I have contacted my attorney for help and waiting. Hopefully it gets cleared soon. Why was 221g issued in your wife’s case, Amit?

          Reply
          • The Same happened for us as well, we received a white slip and asked to send passports for stamping post lifting the ban. Any idea if dropping a mail to the consulate will help?…or how can we proceed?

    • Travelling in the same boat. Can someone suggest me what to do? Wait until the ban is lifted or email to embassy I have NIE letters and my interview is done but passport return due to PP ban asked me to come after that and submit my passport.

      Reply
  6. Hello Kumar,

    really need your help on this please reply with you comments, i have been stuck in india due to this pandemic i can’t travel to US, currently i am on H1-B Visa which is expiring in 2022 and i got realized that my current passport is expiring on September 2021 which is exactly 2 months from now. And on this same passport i got my visa stamp and i am trying to apply for NIE to travel back to US in august if i got approval.

    1. Can i travel with the my current one month expiring passport ?
    2. Do i need to renew my passport ? and travel back?
    3. If i renew my passport is there any complications while travelling and with my visa?
    4. Do i need to go for stamping again?
    can you please advise here, it will be really helpful.

    Reply
  7. Received a 221g white slip from Mumbai just like the first image in this series (pres proclamation). However I have a US citizen child. I sent an email to support-india ustraveldocs email address with birth certificate details. Is there any other email or phone number I can follow up on?

    Reply
  8. Hello, Anyone received NIE approval from Mumbai recently ? If so, when did you apply ?
    I applied for NIE on June 14th to Mumbai Consulate and sent 3 reminders so far but haven’t received approval yet.

    Reply
    • Hi, any word on your case yet? I applied yesterday, and haven’t seen a lot of success stories or swift action from Mumbai

      Reply
  9. Hello I’ve appeared for my F1 visa interview at Mumbai consulate on 7th July. After my interview, the consular handed me back my passport with 221g white slip which is the first sample in this web page. I was refused under PP 10199 who pose a risk of transmitting coronavirus. No documents were asked to submit. My university start date is nearing. I’ve emailed the ustravel docs team but no response. What can I probably do at this point? Can I apply for F1 visa again at different consulate? Or will this 221g gets a decision anytime soon? Please share your opinion. Thank you

    Reply
  10. Hi
    I attended VISA Interview (DROPBOX) at chennai location on 4th April. Status changed to Refused on April 15th and My passport returned with 221(g) white requesting Clint letter.

    I sent client letter on MAY 5th, But I did not get any response till now. I don’t get any acknowledgement number when I sent mail. Just got below Auto response.
    In 221(g) they mentioned Submit this letter with required documents in any of 5 VAC or 6 VFS location.
    They check marked ‘ Please Submit your PASSPORT at one of the VISA application center or VFS location.

    Can I walk into VAC or VFS location and submit Client letter and Passport.

    Auto Reply from Consulate when I Sent client letter on May 5th.
    “Dear Applicant,
    Greetings from U.S. Consulate General, Chennai.
    Thank you for your email. We will update your record with the information provided.

    The U.S. Consulate in Chennai is providing limited appointments for routine non-immigrant visa processing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will resume regular visa services as soon as possible, but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. We kindly request that you do not send inquiries about the status of your case during this period.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
    .

    Reply
  11. Hi Kumar,

    I have travelled to India in 2nd week of April and submitted my documents in Dropbox for H1B restamping in Chennai. Consulate issued white 221G letter on 3rd May stating to come for an interview once normal services are resumed and Do Not Book an appointment. I’ve called US travel docs support on 30th June and they said I can go for the interview. When I went to Chennai, officer outside consulate told me to book an appointment. I’ve called support again and they said I should he able to see an option in my profile to book follow up appointment and asked me to drop an email, on email I’ve got same auto generated email that normal services are not resumed yet.
    Questions-
    1) Are Normal services resumed yet? I could see people were in queue with normal appointment.
    2) How will I be able to solve this Schedule Follow Up appointment problem?

    Reply
  12. Hi,

    I attended my H1 visa interview at New Delhi on 12th april 2021 and was issued a 221g white slip (to get a medical checkup done by panel physicians) because I had a DUI 10 years ago. I got it done and submitted reports along with my passport on 22nd April but still no update. I work for a government client which comes under critical infrastructure. I also have a letter from client manager as well. Can I request the consulate for a NIE in my case and if yes, how can i do it?
    Can someone please advise?

    SV.

    Reply
  13. Hi,
    I have 2 questions
    1) I’m new F1 holder(visa got in Feb 2021) and come under NIE as my classes start after 1st Aug. I had applied with family and have F2 visa for spouse Can my spouse travel as accompanying derivative with me or I need to apply for NIE for spouse separately.

    2) We had a baby in March. When both parents have visa then baby’s visa is guaranteed?
    I Applied for my newborns F2 visa on 18th June through Dropbox at Mumbai
    Got 221g white slip and another slip that our baby is not eligible for NIE and we should contact after ban lifted.
    As I understand if primary visa holders is granted NIE then accompanying derivative is also covered and need not apply for NIE separately. Right?
    Then my newborn baby is my accompanying derivative. Why is she given 221g and presidential proclamation slip.
    Can I send A NIE request to remove her from 221g because of Presidental Proclamation as I believe she is covered under my F1 and also family separation case.
    Kindly clarify

    Reply
  14. Hi Kumar,
    Can you guide me?
    I came to Mumbai with my wife and US citizen kid for Dropbox appointment related H1 and H4 visa extension on June 23rd, 2021. My current visa expired on Feb 2020.
    I have a approved I-797 petition. We did Dropbox and got refused status on CEAC website on 25th June. We wrote back once to consulate through Support-India and got the same reply saying we are not exempt under PP 10199 which is shocking to me.
    Do you have any guess what is going wrong?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Shri,
      You should write to consulate by attaching the proofs. These usually need to be given by the consulate. Also, reach out to ustraveldocs again, sometimes, they have less trained staff. They are contractors.

      Reply
      • Can you please share the email address for the Delhi Consulate. I am facing a similar issue but my DropBox was in Delhi.

        Reply
  15. My kids are US born and are under 18 years and I am NIE exempt due to that. Do I still need NIE letter from my employer?

    Reply
  16. Hi Kumar,

    I am selected in 2022 H1b lottery, my petition is filed and approved by USCIS, can i go for VISA stamping. Employer comes under waste water treatment category (NIE). Due India ban, i am not clear what to do. I don’t wish to take risk of rejection.

    Thanks,
    Sagar

    Reply
    • Sagar,
      You could, if your job duties require your physical presence or if the category falls under the 16 sectors. Check the blog, we have article that talks about this.
      you need to work with your employer and get this sorted out.
      Some of these are subjective and there is no definitive yes for everything.

      Reply
  17. Hi Kumar,
    I have a query, i am holding valid H1B, currently in India and never been to US.
    My visa is valid until Aug 2023 with employer A and now employer B is showing interest to transfer H1B since they have urgent requirement. Employer A is kept calm after my stamping and not clear on travel date so is it a good idea transfer my H1? Is there any issue? Please advise

    Reply
    • Venkat,
      There is no issue as such. You could transfer if you had stamping already done. Usually USCIS looks for H1B status for transfer. If the company B is willing to go for it, you can try.

      Reply
  18. If we got the 221g form in the droobox appointment, does that mean we need to again schedule an appointment once the Ban will get lifted and again appear for the dropbox or in person interview?

    Reply
    • Jyoti,
      Once the ban is lifted, then you can reach out to the consulate to see, if they can reconsider your application and process your application. If you see the forms given, it tells the same to either email consulate or ustraveldocs support.

      Reply

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