Home » US Immigration - Visas » What is 221g ? Process, How long to Resolve, Delay, Issues, FAQs

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

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. Let’s look at the details regarding 221g and some of the process steps for 221g situations, what happens after that in this article.

What is 221(g) in context of US visa Stamping ?

When the US consulate officer determines that additional processing is required before they can make the decision on your US visa issuance, they issue 221(g) form. It is a basically a piece of paper and it can be in various colors, depending on the consulate and processing they would like to do or information they need to verify.

When is 221g issued ? What are the common reason for 221g ?

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.  Petitioner Information Management Service(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 visa stamping case is put under administrative processing using 221g, following steps happen:

  1. Issuance of 221g a Color Slip :  A slip will be issued to you as the visa applicant by the US Consulate officer. 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. Submit Documents, mentioned in 221g Slip : 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. Waiting time : After you submit the documents, if requested in the slip, you just need to sit back and wait for them to process your case. There is nothing you need to do, just need to wait…It can be long at times…
  4. Submit Passport or Visa issuance Decision : 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) and give a denial letter. Check out Sample 221g US Visa Denial Letter. 

[prompt type=”left” title=”221(g) Case Tracker ” message=”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.” button_text=”View or Add your 221(g)Case!” href=”https://redbus2us.com/trackers/221g-tracker/”]

How long does 221g processing take to resolve and come to a decision ?

There is no set timeline or SLA for 221g processing. It totally depends on the case and it can take as little as a week, or as much as several months. It is very hard to know how much time it will take for them to come to a decision on your visa stamping case. As per US Travel Docs Website, they say that most of the administrative processing cases resolve typically in 60 days, but there is no SLA as such. See below.

US Visa Administrative Processing Time for decision

 When can you follow up on 221g with Consulate or US Dept of State ?

As per US Dept of State, unless it is an emergency like injury, death of family member or something critical, you should not contact them regarding administrative processing before 180 Days. It is kind of long, but that’s what it is.. See below from Dept of State website.

US Visa 221g Administrative Processing Time for inquiry

How to follow-up on your 221g  processing  ? What are the options to check your 221g case ?

As per US Dept of state guidance, you cannot reach out before 180 days, but users can still track their case online using the options provided and sometimes, they can call as well. Below are the various options to follow-up on your 221g case :

  1. Track your passport on US Travel Docs Website 
  2. Track your case number on US Department of State Visa Status Page. Note that not all cases can be tracked electronically, and each consulate has a different method of updating the cases. You should check your country’s US Travel Docs website to know where to check.
  3. Call customer service using contact us on US Travel Docs Website. There are options for live chat, Skype calling and other options. Note that they will not provide any more meaningful information than what’s already available from (1) and (2), but you can always ask more.
  4. Email concerned US consulate (contact information available at respective consulate website). Note that they may not be very good in responding, but you can try it.
  5. Email or call Department of State in Washington DC (contact information available on Department of State 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. As they mention, you need to wait for 180 days before reaching out to them. In the past it was 60 days, but now it has gone up.
  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 180 days or more. Again, there is no guarantee. In the past we had the 60 days guidance to reach out on VFS website, but now it is different and the the guidance on Dept of State website is 180 days to follow-up for non-emergency cases. .

[prompt type=”left” title=”221(g)  Community Telegram Group ” message=”Do you need help from community in same boat with 221g ? Join the Telegram Group…Give or get advice….” button_text=”Join 221(g) Telegram Group !” href=”https://t.me/joinchat/JdJoSRfKSvtB_GftUCvaHw”]

Can I expedite 221g processing? Is there premium processing for US Visa Administrative Processing ?

Absolutely no premium processing or way to expedite the process, unless it is an emergency as indicated.  You just need to wait. The wait can be long, but it is what it is…

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 situation for your US Visa?

There are not many alternates, but the few options available are:

  1. Apply for US 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 with US consulate.
  2. Apply for same visa but through another employer (applicable more to H1B 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 with 221g ?

In case the US stamping request is rejected after the administrative 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 I-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.

Again, this is a very lengthy process and can take time. Some of these steps would happen during the administrative processing as well.

We continue to update the 221g article, based on most commonly asked questions in the blog.

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.

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


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  1. Haloo
    I had interview IV Visa .But they Give White Slip Paper .And My Visa Status Refused . Thay Need additional Documents And I Sent Via Dhl
    But Stil Refused .

  2. I was issued a 221g white slip following an in person interview after my Dropbox was denied initially. The interview took place on Jan 13 2023. The documents requested within the 221g slip were more relevant for a PhD candidate or researcher vs. H1B applicant. I submitted all the documents on Feb 1st 2023. Since then I’ve been waiting on a response from the NVC. What are the chances for an approval?

  3. Hi Team
    I had visa interview in October 2022 and got blue slip 221(g) to update LCA with corrected work location. In my LCA SECTION – F they have mentioned New York location as a secondary entity. During the interview i said i will be working from illinois location to my end client because in SECTION – C i have illinois location. hence i have submitted latest amended LCA with corrected location(illinois).
    How many days it will take to approval please be advised

  4. I have been interviewed last year and where they gave me 221 G slip but still my case is same ‘refused ‘ after one year ! My question – I have to reapply or still wait for response any advise ?

  5. Hello Kumar,

    I submitted the documents in dropbox at the delhi consulate on 25th november. I got a yellow 221g slip on 28th asking for photographs, even though I had submitted them earlier. I submitted the photographs on 30th november. I am waiting since then. Any suggestion on what I can do now?

  6. Hello kumar, I was given a 221g white slip asking me to submit a new passport , as I have already submitted the expired one for b1/b2 drop box and it was returned with a 221g white slip asking for a new passport, I’m worried is it a big issue?😩😩

      • Hello Kumar,

        I have attended for H4 Visa on 11th of June, 2021 at Delhi US Embassy. My application was refused under section 221(g) (yellow slip). They have taken my original Passport and xerox copies of my Marriage Invitation and Marriage Certificate. there is no update from their side and I am waiting since then, any suggestion on my status ?

  7. Hi Kumar,

    I got email from us travel docs on 28 Dec 22 that i need to appear for Re-Interview at any working day. I already attended interview on 13 Dec 22 with depended and got visa stamped on 19 Dec 22 and received passports. I am not sure why they asking for re-interview. Please suggest.

    • RaviJ,
      Well, we dont know. If they asked for it, then you must honor and go there. Do not worry, just follow the instructions.

      • Thanks Kumar..
        Last year I went for stamping for is based employer and issued 221g to submit additional documents from employer. It was already shared. This year my Indian employer filled petition and I went for stamping which got approved as mentioned in query. As you suggested in one of my previous queries, I have provided 221g details in ds160 but did not withdraw application. Do you think it could be related to that? Do I need to prepare for previous application for re-interview?

  8. I am currently in Singapore with Employment Pass valid for 2 years.
    my H1 Lottery got selected last year and i am ready to file DS160 form.

    Is it possible to attend Visa interview in singapore / do i need to be in India and get stamped.
    this is First time i am applying for H1b.

    Please help me with this information

  9. Hello Kumar, I was issued a 221g for a 10 year old arrest record. This is my first 221g in last 7 years. On 221g, I dont see anything that mentions that I need to submit my passport as well. Should I submit it ?

  10. Hello,
    I got 221g white notice (October 22)for my dependents dropbox visa stamping while traveling to India and they asked for Primary applicant visa copy (as Primary applicant is in India)to share with passport return. Primary application even though traveled to India but was having AP I131 document and not the visa stamped. Now I have returned back to US with my AP and passport is stamped as parolee. My question is – now primary applicant is in US now, can I share the Parolee stamp copy for the dependent 221g additional documents?And will the dependents get visa stamped?

  11. I went for US visa interview and I was give a white documented paper which stated that it is undetermined clear and I have to wait for US ambassy to cross over check, what does that mean.i submitted all the documents and a becoming bit worried.

  12. Hi kumar
    I was given with 221g and asked to attend in person with my passport. Iam in h1b what should I expect? Should i carry all other documentation?

  13. Hi,
    I am asking this question for my father’s B1/B2 visa. He interviewed on 15th Nov 2022 in Delhi for visitor visa. Officer kept his passport stating his case will be processed, it might take few weeks. He got his passport back on 23rd Nov with yellow slip. The slip doesn’t list any documents that needs to be submitted. It just says ‘Administrative processing’ written with blue pen under the space provided after current passport in the yellow slip( bottom of the page). His status online is showing Refused. I am confused if his case is still being processed or not. Why did they return the passport and if they have sent 221g, why they haven’t listed any documents that they might need from him. Any thoughts? What should be our next steps? For some more context- My father is retired now but he was previously employed as scientist in Govt. run organization. In his previous visitor visa interviews he was given 221 g but with list of additional documents needed. His visa has never been denied before. Thank you in advance for help.

  14. I attender the H1B visa interview on 21st November 2022@India embassy, Officer asked me the evidences which I didn’t had(LCA, Client letter), I had appointment letter and I-797 forms which I gave them, Officer took some time and reviewed all the provided documents and finally issues 221(g)white slip with the point ticked. “additional administrative processing before a final decision can be made” and returned my passport. Could you please explain the reason and timeframe to these cases.

  15. Hi All, I received 221G with white slip, requested for additional documents, all documents are provided. Later consular informed with this status “We are coordinating this investigation with other Posts due to multiple identical petitions” and asked me to wait. what does it mean?

  16. Hi,
    My L1A was rejected clearly, and my passport was handed back to me immediately with a form 221(g) handed to me without asking for any additional documents. The interviewer told your visa is clearly denied. But my passport status in the cgi portal says it is with the consulate. I am now applying for L1B but since my passport status is incorrect, I am not able to book for appointments. How can I get this corrected? Or is there a administrative process still pending because I was given form 221(g) even with a clear rejection?

  17. Hi,  I had my H1B visa interview in Chennai last week and got 221g saying “additional Admin processing” and didn’t ask for any other docs. And they returned my passport. I have dropped an email to support-india and got the standard reply. Could you please answer below questions.
    1. Can I change my employer while 221g under processing. If Yes, How long this process takes?
    2.Do I need to get current petitioner’s approval for that?

  18. Hi All,

    For L1B my interview went fine but at the end the VO said that your passport is damaged and handed me a white Slip 221g with mentioned require AP and one more tick as submit new passport. i have submitted the same has anyone been on the same situation.

  19. Hi,

    I had an H1B interview at Delhi recently. I have answered all the questions and then VO asked me to show LCA and Client Letter. I have shown the LCA and Client Letter and then she started typing some thing by looking at my LCA and Client Letter. After 5 min i was given 221G yellow Slip without asking any documents to be submitted and Pass port is not returned and VO kept with her.

    Any advice on my case.


  20. Kiran , as you mentioned above we don’t need to withdraw pending h1 221g at consulate if you are attending to different visa class . Can you share me the reference from where you got the details ?

  21. Hi Kumar, I received 221g in march to submit additional documents for us employer in 2022. Meanwhile got new h1b approved for current employer in 2023 and processing for stamping while previous year is pending for 221g. Do I need to mention it in current stamping? Is there anything I should take care? Plz help.

    • Ravi,
      You should mention in DS-160 that your visa was refused under 221g when you fill in application of new employer. Be transparent and tell the same.

      • Thanks Kumar, I was having VISA stamped few year back. Am I eligible for Dropbox in this case? As per dropbox steps “Question 4: “Have you ever been refused a U.S. visa before?” answer will be Yes or No. Please help.

      • Thanks Kumar, I was having visa few year back. Am I eligible for dropbox in this case? As per Question 4: “Have you ever been refused a U.S. visa before?”. do I need to answer Yes? Also should I need to withdraw 221g case due to new stamping? Please help me.

  22. Hello everyone,
    I have observed that al AP have been solved in less than 60 days. The ones pending for more than 90 days seems that they have never been solved. Do you know someone or you are this someone whose AP case was solved after more than 90 days of waiting without a lawyer help? I have been waiting for more than 110 days. Thank you!

  23. Hi,
    For My Spouse H4 Visa they have issued 221(g) white slip in May for missing marriage certificare, our attorney said as passport have spouse name no need to carry exceptionally. VO Officer issued white slip, in next 2 days we have mailed them Marriage Certificate on 26th May 2022 and its been 4 months, when we queried for status all the time they are saying administrative processing in progress. Do for verifying the Marriage Certificate for H4 Visa will take this amount of Time ? Is it something purposefully placing them in Backlog ? Will they ever issue visa in such cases ? and they are saying not to query for status and if query state that this will noted on their case….

  24. My 221g case status moved to “Issued” from “Refused”. But when I search by Application Id, it still shows “Refused”.

    And I didn’t receive passport submission email.

    I am confused if my Visa is approved or still in “Refused” state.

    Can someone guide me please.

    • ss535,
      The status can be very misleading. If the have your passport, there is hope. If not, wait for them to give some info that they need. Follow up with them as well.

  25. Hello, I got my dvd 2022 interview on April 06, 2022. I submitted all my documents to the consuls. I am still waiting for my visa. What should I do? Seen that they will end the dvd 2022 on September 30. Should I worry about that?

  26. hi
    they give me yollow page this page meantion wait for our mail now 5 months around complate still i am waiting
    any advice ?

  27. Hello Every one,
    This is Raghu, had interview 18th July.
    I got 221g white slip for H1B with out asking any documents & with adm processing. Any advise on how much time will it take.Please let me know.

    • Hello
      I had interview 14 August 2022
      I got 221g white slip for IR1 and IR2 with out asking any documents & with adm processing. Any advise on how much time will it take.Please let me know.

  28. Hi kumar,

    I had interview on 21st April, they gave me blue slip and i submitted a requested documents with in 15 days.

    On 29th jun last updated time got updated and case status remains same i. e Refused

    I don’t have any mail communication as well.
    Do i need to apply again?

  29. Hello,
    I had interview 29th June and still waiting after sending 2 mails that they asked for some documents and informations. Now this is my question: Do they send mail to me even if they wanna reject as I wanna apply again or not?


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