all about 221g process and faqs

What is 221g ? Process, How long to Resolve, Delay, Issues, FAQs

In Immigration| Visas by SaurabhUpdated : 1801 Comments

Any person planning to travel to US has to go through a visa interview process at the US embassy/consulate, and as part of the interview process, the consulate officer reviews all the submitted documents and information and makes the decision, whether to approve or reject the visa for that individual. As part of the visa interview process, they often issue 221g form, when they want to do additional processing and cannot make the decision at the time interview is being conducted.

Here, I will try to capture as much information on 221g to try to explain the process.

What is 221(g)?
When the consulate officer determines that additional processing is required before they can make the decision on visa issuance, they issue 221(g) form.

When is 221g issued?
A person can be put under administrative processing also called as 221g, because of several reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

  1. Background check: This can happen if a person has a common muslim name, or is working in an industry like pharmaceutical, biotech, engineering etc that’s there on TAL (Technology Alert List); or has a name matching to an entry in alert list.
  2. Employment check: This can happen if a person is working for a consulting company and the officer wants to ensure that the submitted client/project information is correct; or want to check if the employer maintains control over employee’s tasks and activities (employer-employee relationship).
  3.  PIMS: This can happen when the petition has not been updated at the KSC (Kentucky Service Center) and the officer puts the processing on hold until the information gets updated there.

What does the Department of State (DOS) do after 221g is issued?
Once your case is put under administrative processing, following steps happen:

  1. A slip will be issued. Different color slips are issued for different reasons by different consulates. The slip will have the case number assigned to your stamping. The case number starts w/ the year of interview date and will be of the format 2012xxx-xxx-x or 2012xxx-xxx-xx (assuming the candidate went for interview in 2012).
  2. If the consulate needs additional documents for the processing, they will ask you to submit the documents. These can be submitted electronically or at VFS drop-box. The issued slip will have information about the required documents and how to submit them. The processing will not start until all the documents have been submitted.
  3. After this, you just need to sit back and wait for them to process your case.
  4. Once the processing is complete and you are determined to be eligible for the visa, then you will be asked to submit the passport (if not already submitted) and they would stamp the visa in the passport. If you are not found to be eligible, then they would return the original documents (except for 797).

How long does it take to resolve?
There is no set timeline for 221g processing. It can take as little as a week, or as much as several months.

How to follow-up on your 221g ?
As per Dept of State, “Before making inquiries about status of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives will need to wait at least 60 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.” One can follow-up in following ways:

  1. Track your passport on VFS website
  2. Track your case number on concerned consulate website. Note that not all cases can be tracked electronically, and each consulate has a different method of updating the cases.
  3. Call VFS (contact information available on VFS website). Note that they will not provide any more meaningful information than what’s already available from (1) and (2)
  4. Email concerned consulate (contact information available at respective consulate website). Note that they may not be very good in responding.
  5. Email or call Department of State in Washington DC (contact information available on DOS website). Note that they will not provide any more meaningful information than what’s already available from (1) and (2), and may be short in conversation.
  6. If you were working in US, then you can email your Senator and ask them for help. However, this should be done only if it has been pending for more than 60 days.

Can I expedite 221g processing?
There is no way to expedite the process. You just need to wait.

Does delay in 221g processing mean rejection?
Not necessarily. Unfortunately, administrative processing takes time, and one needs to remain hopeful. If one has been asked to submit the passport, then that’s definitely a positive sign. However, if one has not been asked to submit the passport, then it’s not necessarily a negative sign.

Are there any alternatives to 221g ?
There are not many alternates, but the few ones available are:

  1. Apply for visa in another category. This can be done as long as you are eligible for that visa category. One doesn’t need to withdraw the pending 221g application.
  2. Apply for same visa but through another employer (applicable more to H-1 applicants). Based on your current petition, an employer (same or different) can file cap-exempt petition for you. Once it is approved you can re-appear for visa interview. Again, one doesn’t need to withdraw the pending 221g application.

What happens in case of rejection ?
In case the stamping request is rejected after the processing:

  1. Consulate will send the petition back to USCIS for reconsideration along w/ their comments
  2. All your original documents will be returned to you, except for 797 which is sent to USCIS
  3. Once USCIS receives the petition, they will send a notice of receipt to the petitioner
  4. USCIS will review the petition (this could take 2-3 months) and either issue NOIR (Notice of Intent to Revoke) or NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny). The petitioner will be given certain days (30-60 days, actual days given is mentioned in the NOIR/NOID) to respond.
  5. Based on petitioner’s response, USCIS will finally reinstate the petition or deny it
  6. If it’s reinstated, then USCIS will send the document to the concerned consulate, which in turn will get in touch w/ you to appear at the consulate.
[As I get more information on 221g and based on most commonly asked questions in the blog, I will continue to update this post]

Also, you can check out our 221(g) tracker that has anonymous data with users like you, who added the details for community benefit.  Waiting for the 221(g) response from US Consulate can be very painful…To help everyone be informed on average processing time and other similar cases,  we have built an easy way to track for users their 221(g) status and let the community have an idea on the timeline as well. It is fully anonymous. Please add your case to the 221(g) Tracker.

221(g) Case Tracker

View 221(g) Cases by added by community. Please add your 221(g) Case for everyone's benefit. It is fully anonymous and will help many waiting for it like you.

Original Image : http://www.elfwood.com/art/l/y/lycos/numero_tresbmp.jpeg

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Comments ( 1,801 )

  1. sa123

    Hi Saurabh ,

    I attended the H1b stamping and got 221g yellow for adminsitrative processing .On the form it says I need to submit passport , yellow letter and ceac barcode affixed on passport. I am not sure what they mean by CEAC barcode affixed on passport. There was no CEAC barcode affixed on my passport

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sa123,
      I think it is the sticker which is there on the HDFC receipt and is then pasted on the outside cover of the passport when appearing for the interview.

  2. katti

    hi,
    i i got married a month ago and i had applied for f2, i had interview on 15th may in chennai consulate, i answered everything she asked me and gave her all the documents she asked, but she gave me a pink slip and asked me to wait for my number to be called again, and then the next interviewer asked me a few more questions i answered everything right, she took my passport and gave me a case num and asked me to keep checking on the website, its been 10 days and it still says process pending, my husband returned back to the US, can someone please tell how many days will it take…they have not asked me to submit any document, does anyone have the same experience, i am really depressed 🙁

  3. king

    Hi,

    Do we need to have the bank statement carried during the H1B Visa interview? I don’t maintain a neat bank statement. If yes, then for how many months do we need to get the statement.

    Currently it is under “initial review” since april23rd, when will the decision change to “Approve”?

    Thanks!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      King,
      Are you currently outside of US and are referring to bank statement of your home country bank? If yes, then that statement is not required for H-1 stamping.

      Processing can take 2-6 months.

  4. Sanjay

    Hey Saurabh,
    I attended my VI on 23d May 2o12 @ Hyderabad consulate. I had a pretty extended interview. When others were getting away with a visa after just being asked about their academics, I had a different day altogether. My academics, for sure, satisfied the VO. She asked me how I planned to pay for my school. I told her that I have a bank loan that covers most of my expenses. She asked me to show the sanction letter and I did. She kept on pressing me if all my documents were original. I kept on telling her “yes, absolutely, genuine etc.”. She took the documents inside and came out after quite some time. She reached for the 221(g) and checked “administrative processing required before a decision can be made”.

    Now, my documents are ABSOLUTELY GENUINE. In fact the bank statements she is holding were printed out from the bank’s website. I am sure that I will get through their processing. But like this page is rightly titled, 221(g) is a beast. Lots of uncertainty occupies your mind because of this. Could you please tell me
    1. How long could this process take? (I dare presume, it is just verifying the authenticity of the documents, shouldn’t take long?)
    2. When the documents are proved to be genuine, which I am sure they are, will they issue a visa or are there chances of rejection on any other grounds later?

    I apologize for unnecessarily extending this post but the anxiety is such! Thanks in advance mate!

    1. Sanjay

      Addition. When I asked her how long could it take, she replied “Might not take too long”. This sounds encouraging 🙂

      Cheers mate, appreciate the hard work!

    2. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sanjay,
      1. There is no set processing time and it can take few weeks to several months
      2. They might keep the initial research limited to the authenticity of the documents, but that doesn’t stop them for extending the processing and see if anything else stands out.

      1. Sanjay

        Saurabh,
        Thank you so much for the response. Looks like there are many more anxious weeks ahead for me (hopefully just a few 😛 ).
        Cheers mate!

  5. Nair

    Hi Saurabh,

    I went for my visa stamping on 22nd May 2012. My interview was good. However the VO gave me a yellow slip of 221 g. and marked others option on it. And wrote Wait for the consulate to contact you. She did not ask me any documents and returned the passport and I797 to me.
    Also mentioned once VFS calls submit the passport and yellow slip to VFS center. Any idea what this could mean ? i know the processing time is uncertain but still do you know any one who came accross something like this. Any views would be appreciated.
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Nair,
      I don’t remember anyone w/ same scenario, but it is possible there are others w/ similar experience.

  6. AMIT

    Hi,

    I appeared for F1 VISA at chennai consulate yesterday. I had a good interview and the VO said she is fine with my paper work and other document requirements but said she requires additional administrative processing so gave me a pink slip 221g with a case number. They kept my passport and said that they would revert back to me in 8 to 9 weeks as that’s the processing time.

    They asked me abt my dad, sister – who is in singapore and my recent international visit (China for tourism) that’s it . I don’t know on what they have doubt it . I work for a very reputed MNC firm i dont think that should be an issue. VO asked me abt my work and i said i work as a consultant and have been working for 6 years with the firm. The VO was infact impressed by the profile but instead gave me a pink slip ;( . Can you please help me identify the reason and the approx time required for this issue to be sorted.

    Thanks a lot for help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      Pink slips are usually issued when they want to do a background check on the candidate. May be your visit to China triggered the 221g (not that anyone visiting China will be subject to this, it’s a VO’s discretion).

      These usually get resolved in 3-4 weeks, but can take up to 8-9 weeks in worst case scenario.

  7. Kazu

    I have done an interview on 4th May and they said that they required my CV for my 221g as I did not bring it along. However, they kept the passport with them. Today, I recieved an email simply stating

    Your document has been collected from the US Embassy. The document will be delivered to the location that you selected for passport delivery/pickup during the scheduling of your appointment.

    The number of the passport being returned is —-.

    Is this a good sign? Or does this mean that my application was rejected?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Kazu,
      Although they never specify in the update if the visa stamp has been approved or rejected, but such emails often mean approval.

  8. Lily

    Hi,

    I had appeared for H1 B interview on March 7th 2012. The VO office gave me a green slip and asked me to submit the contract between end client and employer. She kept my passport, I129, LCA, I797 and my client letter with her. I submitted the contract on March 12th. I received an email on March 16th from VFS along with the attachment to submit the following documents:

    Complete COPY OF ALL I-797, I-129 petition, Labor Condition Application, and Cover Letter submitted to DHS with the petition application.

    Petitioner’s federal tax returns for the last two (2) years

    State unemployment wage reports
    A complete set of forms filed quarterly with state authorities for the last four (4) quarters listing wages paid to each employee for all states where employees worked. (NOT payroll reports or quarterly tax returns).

    I submitted all the required documents on March 28th, 2012.
    I sent an email to VFS to check the status of my case and I got a reply from them on May 3rd stating that ”
    As per the US Embassy please note application is still pending the submission of requested documents, please submit the documents as per the mail sent to you on March 16, 2012.”

    I went to VFS on May 4th and showed them the receipt of all the submitted documents. But the documents didnt reach the consulate. I was so bummed. I spoke to the manager and she said she will look into it. But they never accept their fault.

    I already waited for almost one and a half month thinking that they are processing my case. This is so ridiculous. They are not at all serious with this stuff.

    I resubmitted the documents on May 4th again and emailed the consulate stating that I submitted the documents twice.

    Is there a way that I can find out whether my documents are with the consulate or not?

      1. aditya

        Lily,

        I think what you can do call the New Delhi VFS customer and ask for your status, if they say your case is under processing that means your documents are reached.

        Thanks
        Aditya

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Lily,
      You can do what Aditya mentioned and then wait to see if they received the documents this time.

      1. Lily

        Thank you so much Aditya and Saurabh.
        The funny part is VFS has three departments: The telephone department, the email department and the customer care department.
        So when I called(telephone department) them to check the status, every time they told me that they have the documents, till the day I received an email from them (email department)which said that the documents are not with the Embassy.

        And the customer care people told me that they are not sure why the documents haven’t reached. They will have to do a physical check for the documents, but just in case I should submit another copy as well.

        All three departments have a different story.
        It is a black hole. I don’t know what to do.

        1. Lily

          Hey Saurabh,

          Under the follow up section point # 6, it is mentioned ” If you were working in US, then you can email your Senator and ask them for help. However, this should be done only if it has been pending for more than 60 days.”

          By senator do you mean my lawyer?
          Please let me know.

          Thanks,
          Lily

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Lily,
            It is applicable more to applicants who were already in US and had returned to their home country for visa stamping (so they can be considered as US residents). They can contact the US Senator of their Congressional district in US for help. I am not referring to lawyers.

          2. Lily

            Hi,

            My case has now been returned to Kentucky Consular Center. Does anyone know how to track the status now? I have been trying with my petition case number as well as the case number that I received from New Delhi embassy but had no luck.
            Can someone please help me with this?

            Thanks.
            Lily

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Lily,
            You can track it using the petition receipt number on USCIS website. It can take few weeks to months for it to make any progress.

  9. Mohammed

    Hi Saurabh,

    I went for h1b visa stamping(hyd) and received 221g white form and told that my case needs administrative processing.
    They took my passport and sent questionnaire to fill and reply back and also gave case ID related to 221g.
    Is 221g a visa rejection ? And I am really wondering why I got it as I was asked only few simple questions during interview and they even didnot ask to submit any documents either.
    Even before interview they mentioned that “PIMS and Name check OK” on my documents.
    Everybody in my organization who went for stamping with same set of documents got their visa stamped successfully.

    Thanks,
    Mohammed

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mohammed,
      Yes, 221g is visa rejection. Once the consulate completes the review, they will either issue the visa or send the petition back to USCIS for reconsideration.

      I don’t know what your name is, but based on your screen name I suspect you might have been put under name check as you have a common Muslim name. Could that be the case?

    2. SS

      Hi,
      Did VO mentioned any time frame for issuing u r passport.?Guess u r case is under name check as u have commom muslim name.
      Even my case s under 221g adminsitrative processing pink slip as I have a common muslim name too.Its more than 6 weeks now.still waiting..VO asked me to wait for 8-10 weeks.Even all my collegues are getting stamped with the same set of documents which I produced to them.

  10. Sumeet Dheer

    Dear Saurabh,

    My wife appeared for a visa interview B1 b2 today —They held her passport and asked her that they need time for further processing and gave a slip with case no but we were not asked to submit any documents — Please let us know what does this mean ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sumeet Dheer,
      They might be doing background/administrative processing for her. There is not much you can do but wait. You can track the passport on VFS site.

  11. Asha

    Hi,

    My husband attended the interview for his H1B stamping (first time) at the Chennai consulate on 17 May 2012. He was asked a few routine questions and he answered them confidently. At the end the VO retained documents relating to his petitioner (this is a small consulting firm in Houston, Texas) and his passport. She said they are putting this under “conditional review” and would get back within 7 working days. No slip was issued.

    Can you pls advice?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Asha,
      There is not much he can do except to wait. As no slip was issued, I assume he doesn’t have any case number. He can track the status either by emailing VFS or tracking the passport on the VFS site. His passport was kept w/ the consulate which is a positive sign. Also, even though the consulate said 7 days, there is no set processing time, and it can take even longer.

      1. Asha

        Thanks for your response Saurabh. Yes, no case number was issued to him. His passport status on the VFS website shows as “Your Passport is under process at U.S Embassy/Consulate”. Praying and hoping for the best!

        1. Asha

          Hi Saurabh,

          My husband’s passport came back today with a 221g blue. No docs are asked only “The Petition is being returned to USCIS for further review. Upon completion of the review, USCIS will contact your petitioner. Please wait for a notification from the Consulate before returning” was ticked.
          What happens in this circumstance? How long would this take and is the outcome generally positive?

          Regards,
          Asha

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Asha,
            You can refer to the article above which mentions what happens in such a case. The final outcome varies from case to case.

          2. Asha

            Hi Saurabh,

            On 8 June 2012 we received a mail from the consulate stating, “As per the US Consulate, your case has been returned to the Kentucky Consular Center in the United States. You may contact the USCIS office for further information. Please consider this case closed at our office”. We went back to them asking them the date the petition was returned and reasons for the same. Today (19th) received a mail stating, “As per the US Consulate, your application is pending under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for mandatory administrative processing. Please note that there is no definite time for administrative processing. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary depending on circumstances of each case. Be assured that the U.S. Consulate will contact you if the administrative processing is complete or if they require additional information.”

            What do they mean by “mandatory administrative processing”? How long a wait can we expect before we hear of the final outcome? Thanks for your help!

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Asha,
            The 2 messages are conflicting. The first one says that consulate is no longer processing your case and is returned to KCC. The second one says that it is still under going administrative processing and is w/ the consulate. So don’t know which one is correct. Also the messages are pretty standard and there could be various reasons for administrative processing ranging from PIMS to name check to client verification to employer-employee relationship.

            You can call VFS and ask them which message is the correct one.

          4. Asha

            Saurabh,

            I confirmed from VFS about the correct status, they said it is under admin processing. The 221g blue form said “petition returned to USCIS”. It has been 2.5 months since the interview and have not received any update from USCIS. What to make of this?
            Appreciate your help.

          5. administrator
            Saurabh

            Asha,
            There is no set processing time. It can take few to several months for USCIS to get back to employer on this.

  12. shikhar

    Hi Saurabh,
    My employer had applied my H1b visa today they sent to chenannai for filing the petition.Please let me know it will be under this yera cap count or not??? and it will be completed by oct ??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Shikhar,
      Depends when it reaches USCIS office. As long as it reaches USCIS office before cap reaches, you will make through the quota. How soon it reaches depends upon your employer.

  13. bunty

    hello frnds…. i had my interview on 3arp…they said u r interview is ok….bt one paper is mising…submit it den u will get ur visa..i already sumbit it on 19th apr to vfs….bt when i checked on vfs tracking passport…..the ans came ur visa is under process us consulate/embassy….

    any1 can tell me wat does it mean???how many days it take?????my catagry is F4

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bunty,
      There is no set processing time. Once you submit the documents, they will complete the processing within few weeks to several months.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Bunty,
          That’s what I said in my previous response. Read it again.

          There is **NO SET** processing time. Once you submit the documents, they will complete the processing within few weeks to **SEVERAL** months.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Bunty,
          You can go to Delhi embassy website and see if they have provided the number. Usually the expect the person to call VFS who will collect all the information and contact the Embassy on your behalf (if required).

  14. Rajesh

    HI saurabh
    2 months back I have applied change of status for my spouse from h4 to f1. The status is in initial review.
    Now I want to apply for H1 visa as well.

    Questions:
    1. can i apply H1 visa parallelly while H4 to f1 change of status is in intial review
    2. If I get H1 approval before F1(since i am applying in premium) will i be able to cancel change of status petition on F1?
    3. If I get F1 before H1 how to proceed

    My ultimate goal is for H1

    Thanks in advance
    Raj

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rajesh,
      1. Yes
      2. Yes, you will have to send an application to USCIS asking them to cancel the F-1 COS
      3. You will be on F-1 status from that approval date and will have to start maintaining F-1 status. Once H-1 gets approved w/ COS, your status will change to H-1 from that date. If this a new H-1, then H-1 COS will become effective from Oct 1 even if it gets approved earlier as part of PP

  15. ady

    Hi Saurabh,

    I went for H1b stamping today,got 221g yellow for additional processing, no docs asked
    VO said you are eligible for visa but additional processing reqd.I think it bcoz of my common muslim name.what ae my chances for visa.

  16. srivalli

    hi
    if we get 221g once is there a risk of getting it every time?
    in my case , i’ve got 221g when applied for b1/2 visa in 2009, visa was approved after one month which expired in 2010. Now applied for h4 visa and the interview is due in 10 days .
    what are the chances for me to get 221g again ?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      srivalli,
      You may or may not receive 221g in subsequent visits. 221g could be raised for the same reason, or for a different reason.

  17. Dinesh

    Hello Sir,

    I came to India on vacation and I am on CPT rit now. I have’t completed my master’s yet!
    I lost my passport when i came to India and I got a new passport immediately and went to visa and got 221G (white slip). It’s almost more than 60 days and haven’t received my VISA. Is there any possibility of rejection and what might the factors for the delay! Please help me in this regards,

    Thanks,
    Dinesh

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Dinesh,
      What did they ask during the interview? Did they ask you to submit any documents as part of 221g?

  18. Sunny

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have completed MSc (Computer Science) and have 9+ years exp. as QA.
    Recently My Company initiated H1 B for me and sent to Attorney to review.
    I have gap in my Work Experience and Education also.
    Will it create issue for H1 B Visa Approval?
    Pleases suggest me.

    Thanks,
    K S Rao

  19. harry

    I have been interviewed on april 5th in new delhi ,the lady visa officer asked me some questions and at the end she told me to go to window number 30,where an Indian lady gave me pink slip and told me to wait for 3-4 weeks,and also I dont have to submit any doucments.
    I am following other blogs also where people got pink slip in first and second week of april 2012 but need to submit additional documents got their visa in 3-4 weeks maximum .
    Today 5 weeks have gone and still no update.I donot know when this agony will end.
    My question is do they do full check on person when they dont ask any additional documents?
    regards
    Harry

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Harry,
      Most of them get resolved in 3-4 weeks, but at times it can take up to 8 weeks as well. In the end, there is no set processing time.

        1. harry

          Hi Saurabh,
          Today i got email from VFS , asking me to submit the copy of bio-page of all the passports previously held.I have no previous passport ,so I replied back by saying i do not have any.
          Atleast after 6 week I got some response ,but i do not know is it positive sign or what,how long they can take after this again?
          regards
          Harry

          1. harry

            Saurabh,
            I do have a common sikh name and Visa officer at the end asked me did you ever applied for visa at mumbai counslate after looking at the screen?..and now asking previous passport ,,,i dont know is there any co- relation between all this, but i am just hoping for hope-hopen..thanks for your reply
            regards
            Harry

          2. harry

            this is what they ask—-

            u are requested to submit the copy of bio-page of all the passports previously held by you at the nearest VFS centre for further processing.

            Please log on to the given link in order to check the nearest US Visa Application Centre.

            VFS Centre Timings: – 8:00am to 1:00pm and 2:00pm to 3:00pm (Monday to Friday).

            Also you need to pay Rs183/- in cash (VFS Service Charges) while submission of passport/Documents at the respective VFS centers.

            Note: You need to carry the hard copy of this email for your reference.

            regards
            Harry

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Harry,
            You can go to VFS center, and submit a signed letter stating that you don’t have any previous passport and the current one is the only one. I am assuming you have also mentioned the same information in your DS form.

            Also attach a copy of the bio-page of your current passport stating that it is only passport.

          4. harry

            Hi Saurabh,
            Around 4:15 pm,at vfs site status change to collect your passport at US Visa application in between 1600 and 1700 hrs.If not collected ,passport will automatically be discharged to you by courier..

            fingers crossed,hopefully it should have visa in it.
            regards
            Harry

          5. harry

            saurabh ,
            good news, it took exactly 8 weeks for US embassy to stamp my H1B visa,
            thanks for all your help and replies.
            good luck to all folks waiting for their visa,may god end their agony soon.
            regards
            Harry

  20. Delhi_24April2012

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have attended H1B Stamping Interview on 24-April-2012
    During my stamping discussion, I had submitted all the documents to consulate along with
    my Passport. Today on 08-May-2012, I received my passport along with only I797B form.
    I have checked my all pages of passport and there is no H1B Stamping, But my previous B-1
    Visa is cancelled.
    It is my humble request, if you could please assist and help me out. What are the chances for me to have H1b Stamping Approved and What is happened here??
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Delhi_24April2012,
      Were you given a case#? If yes, call VFS and ask them the status of that case #. This looks strange as they have neither approved it nor rejected it. Also, they have returned 797 to you, which they typically keep w/ themselves and send it to USCIS for reconsideration (in case of rejection).

      1. Delhi_24April2012

        Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks for your kind response. No, theyhad not issued any case reference what so ever. I have dropped email to VFS (U.S.VFS helpdesk Delhi), but even they are not sure about the case and they are not sure about the embassy response timeline.
        I am also curious, in case H1b Not approved, Do Embassy cancel B1 with CWP stamp? And what your say about my H1B Approval.

        Regards,
        Gaurav

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Delhi_24April2012,
          Not sure how you can track it in this case, or what will happen eventually.

          When you went for H-1 interview, you have shown your immigration intents (as H-1 is a dual intent visa). That is why they have canceled B-1 which is a strong non-immigrant visa.

          1. Delhi_24April2012

            Saurabh, I have schedule a new appointment again.
            Can you, plz guide me, how should I proceed? I need to brief about my ist interview or I should take is as a New Intv?
            Mean, do I need to give them reference for my prev Intv? Or shud I wait for their Qs?
            plz revert at the earliest.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Delhi_24April2012,
            There is a question in DS form asking if the visa has ever been refused. Answer that question as Yes.

            During interview you might be asked about the previous interview. However, if nothing is asked then you don’t need to add anything from your side.

          3. Delhi_24April2012

            Hey Saurabh,
            A very bad day for me 🙁
            I went for the interview today. Since, it was on old petition, they only valued the previous interview.
            1. They had no information, why my B-1 Visa got cancelled. Consulate replied, Sir I have not cancelled your B-1 Visa, so I am not sure.
            2. Regarding H1B intv they told me that my case is forwarded to USCIS office from the State Department, they will notify you after review.
            (A) Can you please assist and guide me, Is something wrong? what are my chances for approval now? And how much time it would take for review completion?
            (B) Since, they had no reasons for B-1 Cancellation, Can I ask them to stamp it back ?
            Please respond.

            Thanks

          4. administrator
            Saurabh

            Delhi_24April2012,
            USCIS will review the petition and then either re-affirm it or revoke it. You can see the details in the article above. There is nothing you can do at this point.

            As for B-1, I don’t think they will re-stamp it. B-1 is a non-immigrant visa and by going for H-1 you have shown immigrant intent. That is one of the most common reason for canceling B-1 visa when going for H-1 stamping.

          5. Delhi_24April2012

            Hi Saurabh,
            Thanks so much for response. I request you to answer my other set of queries:
            1. In my case, do they issue any Case#?, as I dont get any CASE# or information.
            2. They sent my original I797B but retain rest of documents, What does this apply?
            3. Any defined time frame for such a case?
            4. Since now, I have my original I797B, can it be of any use for any new employer, who would like to sponsor my H1b?
            Please revert.

            I am really thankful for you great support and assistance

            Regards.

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Delhi_24April2012,
            1. There is no case#. As the petition has been returned to USCIS, you can follow it using the petition receipt number on USCIS site
            2. They usually return the originals. Did they keep any original document w/ themselves? If yes, then you should contact VFS asking them to return those documents.
            3. No defined timeframe
            4. Yes, another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you (aka H-1 transfer)

          7. Delhi_24April2012

            Thanks so much Saurabh for your kind response!!!
            I will wait and will reach you, as soon as I receive some response.
            Pretty disappointed though..Went for H1B Stamping and lost 10 Year approved B1 🙁
            Thanks again for tremendous support and guidance.

          8. Delhi_24April2012

            Saurabh,

            I am about to change my Job and my new Employer is willing to send me to US on B-1 for Knowledge Transfer for a Month (3-4 Weeks).
            Is it possible for me to go for B-1? as my earlier B1 Visa got cancelled while going for H1b? If yes, Any preparation, I need to make before going for interview? I have been to US twice on my previous B-1 (For 4 weeks each).
            Please assist and revert.

          9. administrator
            Saurabh

            Delhi_24April2012,
            It might be tough. Your previous B-1 was canceled b/c you showed immigrant intents by going for H-1 visa. This may still be a deciding factor when going for next B-1 interview. Let your new employer know about this, and see if they can provide documents which can help you w/ visa stamping. You can also consult their attorney about your B-1 stamping.

          10. Delhi_24April2012

            Thanks for response Saurabh. But today I received response from VFS, which strongly favor my base w.r.t. B-1 Visa Cancellation:
            Here are the important points that favor my CASE for B-1 Stamping:
            =================
            (A) On US Embassy Website, New Delhi

            http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/nonimmigrant_visas/frequently-asked-questions.html/

            Refer the below points:

            (1) I received a B1/B2 visa from a previous employer. If I have left that job, is it still valid for traveling with a new company or will that visa be cancelled?

            =>The visa is valid until its expiration date. B1/B2 visas are issued to individuals, not employers.

            (2) Will my B1/B2 visa be cancelled when I apply for an H1-B?
            =>No, you can hold a B visa and an L or H work visa at the same time. However, if you are issued a B1 in Lieu of H visa, your B1/B2 visa will be cancelled.

            (B) Response Received Today from U.S VFS Helpdesk Team – Delhi (infousdelhi at vfshelpline dot com).

            Kindly note, a stamp an embassy or consulate puts on a visa when there is a mistake in the visa or the visa is a duplicate visa (two of the same kind). It does not affect the validity of other visas in the passport. It does not mean that the passport holder will not get another visa. Further, as your B1/B2 has got cancelled without prejudice and incase if you wish to reinstate your B1/B2 visa you would need to obtain a new non-immigrant visa by going through the entire visa process.
            =================

            Can you please assist, If I may check/escalate to someone for their support to reinstate my B1 Visa, till my H1B is under review?

            Please revert.

          11. administrator
            Saurabh

            Delhi_24April2012,
            Although that’s what the VFS site says, I have seen lot of B-1/2 visa stamp cancellations when going for H-1 interview (I already explained the reason in my previous post). You can contact the consulate but there is a strong chance that they would not reinstate the B-1 stamp.

          12. Delhi_24April2012

            Hi Sourabh,

            I received below response from VFS.
            As per the US Embassy your application is refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as the petitioner was not able to provide you qualifying employment in the US. Section 221(g) prohibits the issuance of a visa to an individual whose application is incomplete or inconclusive, or whose eligibility has not been firmly established.Your case has been returned to the Kentucky Consular Center in the United States. Once KCC receives the case it will be sending it to the approving USCIS office. For further inquiries you/petitioner may wish to contact the approving USCIS office.
            ——-
            Can u plz lemme know:
            1. What will be the reason for this?
            2. Is I still hold the chance for Visa Approval or I lost it here.

            Please revert.

          13. administrator
            Saurabh

            Delhi_24April2012,
            So they have refused to issue visa and have sent the petition back to USCIS. The consulate is no longer handling your case and will not be able to provide you anymore information.

            You can read the main article on how the process works from here, and what options you have.

  21. sunny

    Dear Saurabh,

    Today I got the Visa Stamped Successfully.

    Thanks Saurabh for helping me by answering all my queries. You are really helpful.

    Thanks a lot again !!!

  22. sunny

    Hi,

    During the H1B interview, will there be only 2 cases, that is either approval or 221g denial ? Is there any denial for H1B at that day itself like for B1 and L1 ?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sunny,
      Usually there is not an outright rejection. They will issue 221g giving you a chance to respond (just like RFE). However, they can reject it on the same day if they feel huge discrepancies and want to give no chance to you to submit more information/documents (that is already made up their minds).

  23. Haritha

    Hi Saurabh,
    My brother attended the H1B stamping in Hyd today , and he is issues 221g , asked for States wages report for past year.
    VO kept all the documents and returned passport. He asked to submit the wages report and has to wait on mail from them to submit for the passport later.
    221g white slip doesn’t contain any case number , how do we track the case ??

    Will there be any issues in keeping all the documents ??

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Haritha,
      He can track by calling VFS and asking them for an update. Once he submits the documents, they will review the petition and can ask him to submit the passport (which is a positive sign), and then status can be tracked by using passport number on VFS site. They usually return al the documents after completing their processing.

  24. Gnani

    Hi Sourabh,

    In my Visa Interview last week for H1B , I was issued pink slip which just had a case number and said that it would take so many weeks to process. When I checked my case in the given site it is updated as “SEND INFORMATION”. But I was not asked any information in the interview, nor was something mentioned in the pink slip. So I do not know how to proceed further. Kindly guide me.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Gnani,
      I don’t know what that status message means. You can call VFS and check. It may not mean that you have to send information, but something else. At times, they don’t ask any documents for the pink slip and process it within 3-4 weeks.

      1. Gnani

        Thanks Saurabh for your reply.

        SEND INFORMATION – Processing cannot begin until we receive your response as requested.
        This is what is mentioned in the consulate site. But as I said I was not asked for any documents anytime. So do not know how to proceed further.

          1. Gnani

            Hi Sourabh,

            By God’s grace I got my H1B Visa stamped last week. I did not do anything and I was not asked for anything too.

            But my status was showing as “SEND INFORMATION” till last week, but now it is showing as “PENDING PROCESSING” eventhough I have the stamped visa. Is there anything to worry.

            And thanks a lot for all your answers and suggestions.

  25. Mahesh

    Hello, I have attended the H1B visa interview in Jan 2012. I was given a 221 g. They did not ask any specific documents apart from what i had to furnish at that moment in time. They said they will need to go back to USCIS to review my case. Last week, I got a courier with all my documents back including the original notice I-797. There was a blue form 221 g where they asked me to submit my passport alone through VFS drop box. I have a couple of questions.
    1. Should I be hopeful of getting the visa approved? Is it an approval or rejection?
    2. Isnt dropping the passport at dropbox of VFS unsafe?

    thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mahesh,
      1. Yes, it’s a positive sign
      2. You can check w/ VFS about it, but if they have asked for it through the drop box, then it should be ok

  26. Dhawal

    Hi Sourabh,
    I appeared for my H1b interview in Belfast, UK on 13April.
    VO told me that she thinks I’m good fit for the job but she is not sure abt the company and gave me white 221g asking for W2 of all the employees in the company and contracts of the company. Fortunately my company from States gave all the details on the same day (friday).
    But embassy has kept my passport and I don’t see any reference number on the white 221g form handed to me.
    I am not sure how to track the status of my passport as I plan to travel to India before I go to states. If the Administrative processing is gonna take time I can finish my trip to India, come back to UK and then move to states after stamping.
    What would you recommend in such scenario?
    Cheers

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Dhawal,
      You can follow-up w/ the consulate to ask how much time it will take. The consulates in India are not responsive, but you can try w/ the one in Belfast. If the wait it more, then you can ask them to return your passport for urgent travel and you can resubmit it after you return back to UK. However, you will have to make sure that they do not think that you are withdrawing the case. You just want the passport back but want them to continue processing your petition. You can get this checked w/ your attorney as well.

  27. Rinky

    Hello Saurabh,
    On jan 31st, i had my interview, signed a employer- employee memo & received a 221g green form selected as ‘Petition sent back to USCIS’. The VO office has told me to ‘let my employer know that he has to contact USCIS. But suddenly after 2 months, I received a mail from chennai US Consulate asking for general information (height, passports, brother/sisters, professional & educational background). Once i sent them this information they would like to initiate administrative processing. Also, my case was updated on chennai US Consulate.
    I am really confused as what’s happening??- If my case was sent back to USCIS then why is it Chennai Consulate is contacting me. I was under the impression that USCIS website would be updated. Please help me on this issue!!
    Thanks!!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rinky,
      They may not have sent your application back to USCIS at that point, and may be collecting additional information before sending it to USCIS. You should provide them all the information and then wait to see what happens. Did USCIS contact your employer or did the online status change?

      1. Rinky

        No they haven’t contacted my employer yet. I have seen in other cases that went they send the petition back to uscis usually they update on USCIS & not on chennai US Consulate. They did not update on USCIS website but my case no was mentioned on the chennai Consulate website. Here is what they sent
        Dear Applicant,

        Case number : xxxx xxx xxx x

        This office is unable to act on your visa application at this time, as it requires additional processing. Further action on your case has been suspended under Section 221(g) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. No action on your part is required unless expressly stated from the Consular Officer.

        Kindly send us the following information immediately at ChennaiSAO at state dot gov to initiate the administrative processing.
        Height, brother/sisters, edu & professional background etc.

        Kindly Help!!

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Rinky,
          You should send the documents asked by Chennai consulate and then wait to see what happens next. Remember, it can be a pretty slow process.

  28. Vishal

    Hello Saurabh,

    Thanks for your anticipated response to everyone who is stucked and helping them out with your knowledge. I have a question too. I am currently working in US as a full time employee and I went to India in February and got married and got my H1 Stamped. I applied for H4 for my wife when she got her passport. When she went for interview she received 221(g) and VO requested following documents:
    1. Petitioner’s Federal Tax Returns for the last two years
    2. List of Petitioner’s Employees ()
    3. State Unemployment Wage Reports
    4. H1B beneficiary salary for last three years

    I am a full time employee here from 1.5 years and I got my H1 stamping two months ago in India. I spoke to my employer about this documents and my employer is not giving any of these. What can be an alternative?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vishal,
      If the employer is not willing to provide these documents, then there is no much you can do. Are you working for a small consulting company or a reputed US firm? Talk to your attorney if it is ok to withdraw the case from the consulate and then re-appear for H-4 interview in future at another/same consulate.

      It is unfortunate that they approved your visa 2 months ago and now rejected hers based on these documents.

      1. Vishal

        Hey Saurabh,

        Thanks for your response. I don’t work as a consultant. It is a full time job and no clients are involved. It is a direct employer employee profile. Would you recommend me sending a letter to consulate explaning the facts about documents confidentiality and explaining my job profile and that this a full time job? Also can you guide me as to how to withdraw a case from VFS?
        Thanks again.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Vishal,
          Yes, you can try that. If the company is publicly traded, then you can provide information from their latest financial results. If it is privately held, then you can submit the response you mentioned. Check the exact wording w/ your attorney.

          To withdraw, you will have to call/email VFS and ask them the specific process.

  29. trupti alay shah

    we had interview on 6th jan 2011 in interview i864 fourms my petitioner not sighne in fourms so next day we receive 221g letter with passport my priority date is 16 th jan 2001 so how much time it takes for 221g

  30. Bala

    Hi Saurabh,
    In Dec’2011, I have been issued 221(g) – white slip for my H1B interview in Hyderabad. My spouse is on H1B and is in US now and Today I attened H4 interview in HYD. The officer said that as my H1B is under admin processing, till the decision is made on the same, they cant take decision on my H4. This is really frustrating. They gave me a 221(g) white form again for H4 although the documentation I have provided is good. Can I withdraw my H1B processing? Its been almost 4 months, and I have no update. I dont want to block my H4 visa because of my H1B admin processing. pls advice.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Bala,
      That is strange. I have seen instances where H-4 visa stamp was approved even when H-1 was under process. Anyway, you can either wait for H-1 to get resolved, or withdraw it and then go for H-4 visa stamping. You should also consult an immigration lawyer about this – if you can continue w/ pending H-4 application or do you need to withdraw it as well and then go for fresh H-4 stamping.

      1. Bala

        Thanks for the reply. Withdrawing H1B meaning – revoking by employer? Can applicant withdraw H1B application? Pls clarify.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Bala,
          I mean you withdraw the H-1 stamping by writing to the consulate. At that point, they might send the petition back to USCIS for reconsideration and possible revocation. Do you have an attorney? If yes, what’s their opinion?

          1. Bala

            Hi Saurabh,
            Could you please hlep me finding answers to my below questions:
            My H1B is under Admin Processing from past 5 months. If my employer wants to revoke my H1B…
            1. What would be the impacts on my future H1Bs, if my current H1B which is under Admin processing is revoked by my employer? How long the revoke process can take?
            2. What would be the impacts, if I withdraw the H1B applicatiion, which is under Admin Processing? How long does the withdraw process takes?

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Bala,
            1. Another employer can still file cap-exempt petition for you in future. It can take few months for the petition to be withdrawn.
            2. USCIS will most likely send the petition back to USCIS for reconsideration. If USCIS decides to revoke it, then it cannot be used for future cap-exempt petition.

            You should get these responses verified by an attorney as well.

    2. Shoba

      Hi Bala,

      I know you updated this case in 2012, I’m going through the same situation now.
      I’m planning to apply for H4 while my H1b is under administrative process.
      What happened to your case last time, did you withdraw your H1B stamping application?
      What all the documents they requested from you when you requested for H1B application withdrawal.
      I sent email to ustraveldocs, yet to receive response.

      Thanks
      Shoba

  31. sunny

    Hi,

    RFE is now processing very quick. I got RFE on march 2 week back and now I can see that it is approved.

    So all the best for everyone who got RFE.

    Pray for me too to get the Visa Stamped successfully please.

    Thanks,
    Sunny

  32. SR

    Hi Saurabh,

    What does it eman by 221g white slip, no documents required but still they want to do Admin processing? Is it related to PIMS update,and how to avoid this PIMS udpate issue.

    Regards,
    SR

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      SR,
      Each consulate uses different color slip for different reason. It could be PIMS, but that will not stop them for again reviewing submitted client/contract information.

  33. Priya

    Hi Saurabh,

    Pardon me if have answered the question earlier. What does this AA0024I5EH (I picked up from the pdf updated by Mumbai ) number represent ? Mine is A0022 and I am still waiting
    Interview Date: Jan 31
    Doc submitted :Feb 7
    Color Blue
    Mumbai consulate
    H4

    Thanks
    Priya

      1. Priya

        Actually that is the 221g case number.
        I just wanted to see is there any pattern in how they process the cases? and what does the parts of this AA0024I5EH (like AA ,24, I5EH ) represnts? so I can get an idea when would my turn comes up. I know there is no defined timeline they process the case but if I can crack the code pattern, who knows there may be some useful information.
        http://photos.state.gov/libraries/mumbai/559154/fernandessb/Report.pdf

        Thanks,

  34. Mathur

    Hi,

    I was in usa for 5plus years and got approved I140 so got extention in July for another 3years.
    I have attended on Nov 8th,2011 for h1b stamping after coming to India on emergency. My case was sent to USCIS for further review.

    When i checked this website it is giving old date https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard/CaseStatus.do

    Please send me the correct website to see my case.

    Thanks,
    Mathur

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Mathur,
      It will show up on the same USCIS site. At times it takes weeks for them to receive and update the status.

  35. Amit

    Hi Saurabh,

    Below are the details of my H1B case :

    VISA Type : First time H1B (Myself) & H4 (Spouse and Daughter) all on same day
    Intervew Date : 02/02/2012
    Place of Interview : New Delhi

    VO at counter 30 issued me 221(g) Pink Handout and kept our passports and said they want to do additional processing. They didnt ask me for any other documents also.

    This is fourt week and I didnt here anything from them and the case status @ websites shows pending processing.

    I was issued a 221g green in 2008 as well from new delhi embassy for my B1 Visa – but it got typically cleared in a week or 10 days and got my B1 Visa in two weeks.

    What do you suggest as VO at counter 30 told me it will take 4 weeks ? Wait and watch –

    Is there anyone else who is in the same boat?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Amit,
      I was following 221g pink slips in January fro New Delhi and they got resolved within 3 weeks. If it has been more than 30 days, you can request your attorney to contact DOS and follow-up. However, be aware it may not help much in expediting the process.

      These are usually trigger on the basis of your education, work experience and employer’s industry. Can you elaborate on this?

      1. Arijit

        Hi,
        Is the forum of Redbus2US active? Because the moderator of “Students Planning to Come to US for Education” section has not been visiting the forum over a year. So I was wondering if you moved your forum somewhere else or if it’s the same one.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Arijit,
          Most of the discussion is happening on the blog posts. So you can post your question under one of the related post, and someone will answer it (if they know the answer).

          1. Arijit

            Thanks for your reply.

            My question is detailed below: –

            Hi,

            I’m about to graduate with a B.Tech degree in CS in Calcutta. We are having job fairs at our college campus almost everyday & what’s disheartening me is that most of the companies are asking for at least 60% in 10th, 12th & B.Tech. I had 75% in 10h grade & am having above 7.5 in CGPA in B.Tech so far. But I couldn’t score 60% in 12th. I had 56% though. Also, my education was discontinued for almost 3 years after I passed 10th due to a lot of reasons. Now the companies coming at the fair are not allowing students with more than 1 year gap, which means I’m in a big mess now.

            So I was wondering if I did a Master in CS or CE in US, would that guarantee me a job in US (or in India for that matter if a recession hit US)? Would my 12th grade report card & the 3 year gap still matter that much? Do American (or Indian) companies in US set any bar on your qualification like the Indian MNCs do? Would an advanced degree do it all or would I be in the same mess I’m in now? What do you suggest I do in this kind of situation?

            Thanks for taking the time to read….

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            Arijit,
            I don’t have much knowledge in this area. There are few blog pages related to F-1 education, maybe someone over there will know the answer.

            Good luck!

          3. Arijit

            Thanks for your reply. Do you know of any F1 related blogs? Can you link ’em here? Because the ones I came up with don’t respond as fast as you do.

  36. Sharmila

    I am an IR1 immigrant visa applicant, my interview is to be held in March. I have tow marriage certificates (ofcourse with the same person). once we registered our marriage in India and once when I was on a B1 trip to USA. For my immigrant visa application I have only submitted the original one from India. Can this get me a 221g asking for more documents?

  37. Uma

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have gone through the article ‘Plan/Schedule to apply H1B visa FY 2013’, given in this website. From the plan, I understand that it is possible for a company to file H1B petition for a full time student who is currently not working, after giving a job offer to the student and before the student can start working in the company. The article says to submit the required documents for H1B application by March to the company, so as to enable the company to file the H1B petition in April. In other words, it is not necessary that the student needs to start working in the company in order for the H1B petition to be filed by the company. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    I wish to be clear on the above because it could help me in deciding the start date of my OPT. I plan to submit the required forms for EAD, to USCIS in a couple of days and have all the required forms ready. My university has already been given the documents required. I only need to confirm the start date of OPT, after which I will be collecting the I 20 OPT form from them. I am applying for jobs and currently do not yet have a job offer. I am scheduled to graduate in April end of 2012. I do not wish to give May as start date of OPT because if I do not get a job offer by then, I will be losing out on the 90 days of unemployment. I am hence thinking of giving June 18th as start date of OPT. In case I get a job offer by May end, I will be able to start working only on June 18th, since it is the OPT start date I plan to give. In this case, please let me know if my employer can file for my H1B petition before I start working on June 18th, or will the H1B be filed compulsorily only after I start working. Please advise.
    Thanks ,
    Uma

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Uma,
      Yes, it is not necessary to be working for the sponsoring employer at the time of H-1 filing. Lot of companies file H-1 for employees for a future job.

      1. Uma

        Hi Saurabh,

        Thank you for your prompt reply.

        As mentioned in my mail to you, I plan to enter my start date of OPT as 18th June 2012. Suppose, I get a job offer on 25 th May 2012 and soon after, my employer begins the process of filing for H1B.

        Within ten days of getting a job offer on May 25th 2012 , as per University rules, I have to submit the ‘OPT reporting form’ online, after entering required details like employer name , supervisor name and telephone number etc. Say, I submit the ‘OPT reporting form’ online on June 3rd 2012. Since I will be able to start working only from 18th June 2012, I worry if the required details entered on the ‘OPT reporting form’ could give the USCIS a chance to put me into some sort of trouble, before I could join the job on 18th June. Please advice.

        Thanks
        Uma

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Uma,
          I don’t think it will cause an issue. Actually, H-1 can be filed even while one is on F-1 visa and OPT hasn’t started yet. So those 10 days will not cause an issue for your processing.

  38. Santosh

    Hi,
    One of my friend recently went for H1B stampign in India, and got a 221g. he was asked to provide additional Documentation, which he did and later was asked to collect his Passport without a Visa. They did not giv him any reason why his visa was denied. I am assuming he will get some Notification from USCIS. Wanted to see what his options were – He has his I140 approved, and may become current in the next 6 months. Can he change to CP from AOS, so that he can apply for GC if his dates are current in the meanwhile? His H1 is valid for the next 1 year.

  39. 221gkolkata

    Hi,
    i had my h1b visa interview in kolkata on 13th feb. i was issued orange colored 221g requesting few documents. i submitted the documents on 16th feb. my passport was with-held during the visa interview. how long do you think it will take for me to get the visa?do u think that the fact that i had medical treatment sceduled for me in march 1st week help me request expedition of the process?
    thank you.

      1. 221gkolkata

        they asked for 4 documents –
        – copy of my work agreement with the company,
        – company’s tax returns and financial statements for last two years,
        – document explaining my job description in detail,
        – letter to USCIS

        1. Kivon

          Hi Saurabh,
          I went for the interview on 14th Feb at Kolkata counsulate and was asked for these exact same documents.I am supposed to fly back in another 3 weeks. Is there any chance that the visa might get stamped during this time?
          When you say it typically takes months for the process to get completed do you mean a couple of months or more than that? What’s the best course of action open for me if I don’t get it approved in the next 3 weeks?

          Many Thanks In Advance.

          1. administrator
            Saurabh

            Kivon,
            I have seen instances where consulate took more than 1 year to approve the visa. It is subjective, but its better to be prepared for the worst (i.e. have contingency plans).

          2. 221gkolkata

            What contingent plans do you suggest? My husband has been working in USA on H1 B visa for 7 years now. I have had successful stamping for H4 and F1 previously. Our Green Card priority date is current too. Lawyer said that we should put a hold on GC filing for now till I get my visa stamped.

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            221gkolkata,
            If your H-1 doesn’t get approved within your preferred timeframe, you can evaluate whether to go for H-4 stamping or not. Once H-4 visa is stamped, you can travel to US and then file your I-485. You can start working again once your EAD arrives.

  40. vamshi

    Hi Saurabh,

    I attended H1 Visa interview on Oct12. The VO Issued me 221g asking me for some documents from my employer. My employer submitted the documents on Dec9,2011. It has been more then 2 months and i dint get any response from US consulate.

    Any idea how long it will take? Is more then 2 months a common thing for 221g cases or it is happening only to very less people?? Any way to track the status of the 221g case??

    Please help me out……

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vamshi,
      Unfortunately there is no set time period within which it needs to get resolved. I have seen enough cases where it has remained pending for several months. You can track it using the options I have mentioned in the article above.

      1. vamshi

        Hi Saurabh,

        Today i got letter from VFS asking me to submit my passport. (After long wait of 3.5months of submitting documents)

        Please let me know if it is a positive sign?? is there any possibility of pending or rejection now also ??

        Regards,
        Vamshi

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Vamshi,
          Yes, this is positive sign. They usually don’t ask for passport unless they intend to issue the visa stamp. Not a rule, but that’s what has been seen in the past cases.

  41. Raj Samnani

    Hey how are you? I need ur help with regards to labor certification process & Green Card, I’m here on H1 since Oct 2011 and now I’m planning to get my labor certification process start, I’m here with my son age 16 with me & my wife is in India due to some health issue, what i wanna know is with my process how can i get work permit for my family??? Please let me know the complete process i wanna make sure that b4 my son turn 21 he has his work permit. Thank U

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Raj Samnani,
      You can file the PERM while your wife is out of the country. Work permit (aka EAD) is issued after I-485 has been filed, which happens when dates are current. You will have to talk to your employer to know what the GC job requirements are, and whether they qualify you for EB-2 (may take 2-3 years for date to become current) or EB-3 (may take 20-30 years for date to become current).

      1. Raj

        Thank u for ur reply, Right now my main concern is to get Work permit (aka EAD) for my son (age 16) b4 he turn 18 because i had a friend who is on EB-3 & they still did not had GC but her daughter got work permit based on her EB-3 stuff. Please help me on this last thing….

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Raj,
          Like I said, whether it is EB-2 or Eb-3 will depend upon your profile and the offered GC job requirements. Typically if one has done Bachelors and has 5 years of progressive work experience (prior to joining current employer), then they qualify for EB-2. However, the offered position should also require a candidate w/ such a profile. In other words, even if you qualify but the position requires someone w/ 2 years work experience, then it doesn’t qualify for EB-2.

          Talk to your employer about the GC position and what job requirements it will have.

  42. Shiva

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am in India and applied for H1B in 2011 quota , in category of visa to be issued abroad and it got approved this week . I have to attend for stamping in Hyderabad and looking for some information on the documents to be submitted for first time visa , and how to answer about the questions on client location and reporting manager and all. Also my H1B petetion took almost 6 months to get approved and what to say in case asked , to justify why the client is waiting for such a long period . Also any idea on chances on the stamping for first time in India ?
    My employer has a company based in India as well with 300 employees.

    Let me know how do i get ready for this stamping.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Shiva,
      Chances of approval depend upon your profile, employer credentials, maintenance of employer-employee relationship, client/project details etc. You need to remain truthful to the officer. Discuss w/ your employer and/or attorney on how the set-up would be at the client site – whether there will be an on-site manager from the employer side, how frequently you will meet him, how frequently will he meet the client etc. Also be prepared w/ your job duties, skill set, project time lines etc. If asked about the delay, you can mention that client is still willing to hire you as their project also got delayed etc.

  43. Puneet

    Hello,

    I appeared for H1b interview at Hyd on 9th Feb. My interview went fine and officer said ok i am issuing you visa and you will get back your passport in 4 days then suddenly he looked into his screen and ask me to wait and ask me whether i have being to US before, I explained him my B1 visa mishappening in which i went to US on B1 but unfortunaltly was not allowed to enter US at POE because my cleint invite said that i am there in US for Business meetings and System testing. Officer at POE ask me to voluntary withdraw my visa application and told me i am not barred since i withdraw my B1 and can apply for freesh visa then my company filled H1b for me for which i appeared in hyd consulate today. The officer at consulate issued my white pamphlet and mention case no. and checked admistrative processing required. He also however kept my passport with him. Now can you give me some idea how likely i have chances to get visa and secondly how long wait can be
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Puneet,
      They would do more checks to see why you were denied entry, and if you misused your visa stamp or provided false documents/information to get that visa stamp. Based on their results, they would either approve the H-1 visa or deny it. They can also cancel your B-1 visa stamp based on their checks.

      1. Puneet

        B1 already withdrawn and is not valid so no point of canceling it.
        B1 was issued on same invite letter from the consulate which I carried to USA at POE. Ok how much time it can take to get result and if rejected will it impact on getting visa for any other country other the US in future?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Puneet,
          There is no set processing time frame. It can take few weeks to several months. If rejected, it won’t impact visa filing to any country other than US.

          1. Puneet

            Saurabh,

            It has being 1 month now and my passport is still with US Consultate Hyderabad. How can i ask them to return my passport. Secondly till when they can ideally keep the passport?

            Thanks

          2. Puneet

            Saurabh,

            I today got call from US Consulate that they would like to meet me and ask to come to embassy on Monday. But they didn’t ask ask document or HDFC receipt to bring, So what could be the reason they are asking me to come again?

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Puneet,
            They might have called you for another round of interview and questioning. They will ask for more details from your B-1 period and what went wrong. So be prepared to answer questions related to it and if you have any documents related to that trip, then you can carry them as well.

          4. Puneet

            I went today and they had asked all same questions abt my B1 trip like what has happen there and why i was refuse entry. They ask me to give in writing and said it will take 2 week to 4 weeks to make decision now. Can you suggest what can be the outcome?

          5. administrator
            Saurabh

            Puneet,
            It’s tough to say what the final outcome would be, but they would compare your information w/ what the PoE would have entered and then make the final decision.

          6. Puneet

            You were right they asked me about my previous travel and all, but i ask them to give my passport back so they said ok u can take but if we want to issue the visa u have to submit back i said ok and took my passport, today i got email from them to submit my passport, can you tell me why they want my passport back? Can you let me know ur contact as i need to speak to u for few clarifications u can email me [email suppressed]

          7. administrator
            Saurabh

            Puneet,
            Yes, it’s a positive sign, but not a surety. If you have any follow-up questions you can post them here, and I will respond to them.

          8. Puneet

            Positive it is but why not sure? What can be other outcomes? Secondly i have a question that if i get H1B now from my present employer A but i dont travel to US presently and join employer B can this visa be transfered in India itself without traveling to US from US employer to US employer B? if yes then what is the process and fee which employer B has to pay to get this transferred.

          9. administrator
            Saurabh

            Puneet,
            With US consulate and USCIS, nothing is a surety until you get the petition/visa approved. That is why I said, it’s not a surety but definitely a positive sign.

            The new employer can file a cap-exempt petition for you (aka H-1 transfer). Once approved, you can travel to US to work for the new employer. No new visa stamping is required as long as previous visa stamp is still valid. New employer will have to pay same fees as previous H-1 petition. If they have more than 50 employees and more then 50% of them are on H-1 and L-1, then they will have to pay additional 2000 USD.

          10. administrator
            Saurabh

            Puneet,
            It looks fine then. They issue the visa only until petition expiration date. Although they issued it for 1 month less, it is not a big deal (in my opinion).

          11. Puneet

            Can this duration be extended?
            Secondly is there any risk if i go for my visa transfer to employee B from India itself in my case?

          12. administrator
            Saurabh

            Puneet,
            I don’t think it can be extended. Yes, H-1 transfer can be filed while outside of US. It will be subject to regular scrutiny, just like previous petition.

  44. Vijay

    Saurabh,
    I attended my H1 interview on 7th Feb along with my wife (H4) and got green form and also they gave back the passport.
    During my first interview VO asked few questions about my work,client etc and asked my wife when we got married. Later he said he needs more information about my employer and client and I will be called again.
    Later I was sent to another window where i was asked around 25 questions about my client, work etc. Later he gave me a letter with all the questions and my answers and asked me to sign on that. After reading all my answers i signed on it.
    Later VO came and gave me a green slip asking me to provide additional documents
    1. Client letter in client letter head ( My employer had given the agreement between employer and client which was not in client letter)
    2. Proof of letter from my employer and my client that there is a vacancy for me in US
    3. My work itinerary for the period of employment

    My questions are:
    1.Is it normal to have this kind of interview?
    I saw few other folks having this kind of 2 interviews . I saw one H4 case sent back to USICS as well.
    2. I have excellent educational and professional background. I also know my employer is genuine and project they are having with client is genuine. But what i noticed is my client location they have mentioned as location B whereas actually they are located in location A.(they also have another client from location A)
    Do you think VO would have noticed it?
    3. Can my employer change the client now? i mean can i submit the client letter of different company saying they have changed my project?

    Thanks
    Vijay

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Vijay,
      1. For consulting companies’ employee such interviews have become the norm these days
      2. It would depend upon what the officer determines based on his review. While reviewing, he might notice the discrepancy of client location, and at that point decide to ask for more clarification or issue a judgment. Also, they would look into employer-employee relationship i.e. how your employer controls and manages your daily/weekly tasks and activities.
      3. Yes, they can but it will add more confusion to the processing as new LCA needs to be filed in this case. In addition, officer can question why I-129 wasn’t amended after new LCA was certified.

      Do you have an attorney hired by your firm?

      1. Vijay

        Saurabh,
        Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention they also asked for LCA for the client location. I had given LCA for my employer location where my initial training supposed to happen. But he asked for LCA for client location as well. Do we need amend the I129 in this case also?
        Let me clarify my client details. I am supposed to work for client A in location B. But i gave client letter of client X and said i will work in location B. Now during this 221g process can i give the client letter of client A and say we changed the client? in this case only client has changed not the location.
        Other option is the change my location and move to client X. In this case my location is changed (and also all my offer letter, invite letter also has to be changed) Which is better among the two?
        Yes, i spoke to the legal expert of my employer. She said she will look into the case and get back to me.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Vijay,
          Off late, they want I-129 to be amended whenever the underlying LCA is modified, which looks like your case. The LCA needs to be modified whenever there are material changes – which include location and (off-late) client. IMO, LCA needs to be certified and I-129 needs to be amended whenever there is a change in location and/or client.

  45. ssshah

    hi
    Saurabh
    I had interview of b2 visa along with my 14 months old daughter on 31st jan 2012. my interview was very good and my vo has been satisfied with my answer. she took my daughters passport and gave me my passport along with 221g yellow slip in which no documents asked but the colom that marked says that your visa has been pending under 221g once u see ur ceac number submit pp and pending letter. my wife already have 10 year b2 visa in 2006. next day i received my daughter passport in which she got 10 year b2 visa. i m 32 year old male businessmen. my question is that i m planning to visit my brother in laws place in 2nd week of march then should i book only my wife and daughters ticket? or i can also book my tickets along with them? becoz i dont know about my visa. what are my chance to get visa? how much time it takes around in my case of visa?what to do plz advice Thanks in advance.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Unfortunately there is no set timeline for 221g processing. Your visa may get approved in few weeks or can take several months. Also, there is no surety that it would get approved. One option is that your wife travels w/ the child now and you can join them later if and when your visa gets approved. If you want all to travel together, then they will have to wait (which has no set end time).

  46. Praneeth

    Hi Saurabh,

    I went for visa stamping in 2009 on the petition filed by the employer A for whom I was already working in the US. I got 221G for technology alert because I mentioned that I work on security applications development for our product. Last year, I changed jobs in US and have been working for Employer B.

    Now, I am travelling to India next week and attending visa interview on the petition filed by Employer B. What are the chances that I will get 221G because my name is in the TAL list. I’m NOT working on security applications anymore at Employer B.

    Kindly let me know.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Once clearance has been received, I don’t think you will be issued another administrative processing b/c of TAL. Your old visa stamp would have a note mentioning when the clearance was received, and I think it is good for multiple stamping visits.

      1. Praneeth

        Thanks Saurabh. You are right, my old visa stamp has a mention about the clearance. Thanks for letting me know that it isn’t as risky this time.

  47. 221gchennai

    Hi,
    My friend’s visa application went into 221(g)-blue slip and after providing all the documents, the consulate had send the petition to KSC for verification. Apparently the KSC sent a NOIR to the employer but he never informed us about this. Meanwhile the time period was lost and USCIS sent a NOID and denied visa citing that they could not verify the credentials of the employer. The Employer is playing a game by saying that only our case got caught up due to bad-luck and he has no denials so far.

    Question: Can my friend press the employer for reimbursement of all the fees collected for H1b processing ? What remedy do we have, since we lost the money and also the opportunity to work in US ?

  48. 221g_victim

    Hi Saurabh,

    I work for Employer A and also own a B1 visa. My H1B application with Employer B(new employment) is under 221(g) processing @ the Chennai consulate. Now, my Employer A wants me to travel to US for a couple of weeks on B1. Would there be adverse impact on my H1B processing due to travel on B1?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I don’t think there should be any issue as long as you have the passport w/ you. Check w/ B’s lawyer as well to be sure.

  49. SUNNY

    Hi,

    What are the chances for rejection at chennai consulate (during visa stamping after getting petition approval) for an H1B compared to B1 and L1 ? The reconsideration of USCIS for Visa rejection is only in the case of H1B or it is applicable also in the case of B1 and L1 rejection?

    Regards,
    Sunny

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Each visa category holds chance of denial, and each visa has different set of required documents and information. It’s tough to say which visa has more chances of rejection, as it will depend upon your profile, reason for travel, documents etc.

  50. Tired

    Saurabh, I have a few questions on H1b Visa and as always need your expertise to plan:
    I have H1B Petition from Company A (mnc in India) but not Stamped yet. If I decide to switch to Company B — I suppose they can file a cap-exempt petition for me in H1B. Now I am confused about the following —
    –> If Company B files my cap-exempt Petition does that mean they are transferring my original petition in their name and does that make the already Approved H1B Peition from Company A “Invalid”?
    –> If Company A comes to know about my intention of not going to US for them, can they Cancel my Already approved Petition from their side and will that affect the Company B H1B cap-exempt Petition?
    –> I my Visa gets stamped from Company A, and then I switch to Company B BEFORE traveling to US, do I need a re-stamping as Company Name is usually mentioned in H1B Visas. Again, similar question — can Comp A do something to prevent me from travelling for Comp B in that Visa ?

    Thanks !

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Legally H-1 is not transfered, that’s just a term coined by people and often causes confusion. What happens is that another petition gets approved for you. So both old and new petitions are valid, and you can decide either to continue working on old petition or start working on new petition.
      2. They can withdraw the petition, but you can still use it for cap-exempt purpose as long as you have a copy of approved 797.
      3. No stamping is required as long as the old visa stamp is valid, even if belongs to old employer. In case they get your visa stamp canceled by sending the passport to the consulate, then you will have to re-appear for visa stamping once the new petition has been approved.

      1. Tired

        Thanks Saurabh..thats great info..just wanted to clarify one more point…related to above question..
        If my Stamping for Comp A gets denied at Consulate, can Company B still use Company A’s 797 to apply for cap-exempt petition ?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Yes, they can. However, if the consulate sends the petition back to USCIS for reconsideration and USCIS revokes the petition, then it cannot be used for cap-exempt purpose.

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