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. Hi Saurabh,

    I had gone for my H1 interview on 28th October. My petition was filed for an internal project by the company. However the interviewer didn’t ask me many questions. He took my passport.

    After 2-3 days when I went to collect my passport, the visa was stamped but there was a rubber stamp on that saying that Cancelled without prejudice. Also attached was a white 221g form asking me for client documents.
    I talked to my company and they said since they had filed for an internal project they will state the same as the response.

    What are the chances of my visa getting approved.
    How much time they take for deciding
    If they reject the visa, can any other employer file a cap-exempt visa on the same petition

    Please help

  2. Saurabh,

    Thank you for the article. My H1B is pending (221(g)) for 4 months. Can I apply for an F-2 visa based on my spouse’s legal F-1 status? I have the I-20 and supporting documents. I ask because you have mentioned applying parallelly through other visa categories. Please LMK.



  3. I got a 221g paper white without collecting any document from me, my passport which includes that of my wife and son were not taken. I applied under b1/b2. I have been rejected before in January 2016 and reapplied in December 2016. I was told by the consular officer that he’s not rejecting our visa but Administrative processing. Today makes it two weeks from my interview. NB: the 221g was not checked but it has information like 1. You are requested to schedule another interview
    2. You are requested to submit another interview
    3. Administrative processing

    • Hi Saurab,

      i visited US in Jan 2015 through employer A. Later on oct 2015 transfered to Employer B. From employer A the stamping is valid till sep 2017. But i visited india and droped a passport in drop box on Dec 1st 2016. Today i got a email that.

      A letter has been sent along with your passport to the document pick up location, please collect the letter and follow instructions.

      i think they issued a 221g. Can i travel back to US when i recived a passport with out responding 221g by using previous stamping which is valid till sep 2017!!!! Is there any chance to cancel my stamping by consulate people…Still iam waiting for passport …

  4. Hi There,

    I attended H1B stamping on 18th Oct @ Chennai Embassy and VO gave me blue slip, its been more than 50 days, no update on my case.
    Meantime I would like to apply for H4 and attend the stamping. I have questions related to that, please provide your valuable inputs.
    1. Can I appear for H4 stamping while my H1B application is pending for approval (form 221g).
    2. Do I need to withdraw my H1B application prior appearing for H4 stamping.
    3. If so do I need to submit any form to withdraw my H1B application with supporting documents like resignation letter, resignation acceptance letter or termination letter from my current employer.
    Has anyone gone through similar situation like mine.


  5. If my h1b is in 221g via employer B., and they also collected my passport.its been 1 month now.
    And now my current employer wants to apply for B1 visa .
    So is it possible to apply ? And i need to revoke passport for the same.

  6. My husband is in India and he recently went for his h1b visa interview. His visa was approved and then we were waiting for them to send it. The tracking website continued to show “Admin Processing”.
    My husband opened a support case after which he came to know his visa has gone under 221(g) status. Now his stay in India is prolonged till I don’t know what time.
    Anyone has experienced something like this? Please let me know

    • Adding more to this, the consular officer did not give any kind of colored slip to my husband at the time of interview. All he did was say “your visa is approved”. What kind of case is this?

  7. I had F1 visa and did my MS in USA, from last 1.5 years I was working in USA as a full time employee with a US based company and they filed my H1b visa.
    I have visited India while on F1 and OPT a few times, this is the first time I have visited on H1b visa and attended interview at Chennai, interview went well but VO gave me Blue slip and status as “under administrative processing”.
    I am really worried, VO told me they cannot guarantee time frame for this process and it might take long. I have to be in office soon; I am afraid to lose my job if takes long.
    Please help me with any information and how long does this process usually takes.
    If anybody are in similar situation like me pls do reply.

    • Hi Logan,

      I am in the same situation. I appeared for interview on Dec 9th. VO said my status changed from F1 opt to H1 but it is not reflecting in their system in the embassy. They collected passport and told me it needs administrative processing for USCIS to confirm the status change. Regarding time frame, they mentioned it would be about a week. The person who went before me also got the exact same reply from the VO. I am very worried as I have to return to my Job. Could you please mention if there is any update on your case? Thank you!

        • Hello knowledgeable and workable solution sharing saints, i need your support.

          2015 June 15, got the information that my petition is picked
          2016 March 1, interview at Chennai consulate, 221g blue slip Administrative Processing ( not many questions asked, basic questions on relationship and job location)
          2016 October 5, received email from Chennai consulate mentioning AP case is suspended and file sent back to USCIS for further review ( attachment dated Sep 17 mention insufficient documentation to support employer employee relationship)
          2016 November 23, I-797B expired.

          Meanwhile I consulted an immigration attorney (not from the sponsoring company), to summaries.
          1. it’s easy to get the visa approved by the sponsoring company (company attorney need to be more proactive)
          2. Approach a new company and get the cap exempt, can get the visa approved in 4 weeks. (Best option according to him)
          3. Approach a new company, if they are not having an able attorney, hire my attorney to get the process done.
          4. Do nothing wait for USCIS reply.
          5. Apply in 2017
          Guys I need your suggestion, I want to save my lottery pick.
          I am an Automotive BIW&DIW PD engineer with 15 years’ experience, trusted the petitioner and quit probably the best automotive OEM in February.
          Looking forward to hear from you.

          Thanks in advance

        • Yes kc. My case was updated in ten days and i got my visa stamped two days after the update. This process usually takes one to two weeks but its quick. If i had known this earlier i would not have been so worried. Dont worry, This is a common case and will be resolved soon!

          • Hi Arif,
            I really appreciate your quick response on this. The VO asked me basic questions and some questions on my F1-OPT. She also mentioned that the inputs were fine and asked me not to freak out as the process would be completed in a week time. On 12/30/2016 it is a 5 working days. Have you gone through the same process? Please advise.


  8. Hello All

    I received 221g white slip on 24th October on my H1 visa interview date. The status date has not changed since then.

    When I contacted US travel docs for my visa application status, they responded the below:

    “We are ready for final processing. Please submit your passport, pending letter to the Consulate General via any of the 11 document delivery locations. Please visit www.ustraveldocs.com/in for more information. Please carry a copy of this email for ready reference”.

    What are they referring as “Pending Letter” in the above note. When I asked them on the same, they didn’t clarify.

  9. Hi,

    I have filed visa from a desi consultancy and it has been approved for a in house project. I m worried about a possibility of 221g if I go to visa interview. I want to know,:

    – In case a 221g is issued, am I m required to submit my passport to the US consulate? I will be traveling to other countries in Europe for some personal reasons in upcoming months and would need the passport for the same. In case my passport is taken, I would not be able to travel to other countries. What should I be doing in this case?
    – If the US consulate takes the passport, then for how much time they keep it with them?

  10. Saurabh,

    -2015 Petition picked.
    -March1st 2016 i was given Blue Slip (AP checked)
    -October 5th email from Consulate mentioning AP case suspended and file will be sent to USCIS (reason mentioned in the letter insufficient credible evidence to support petitionable relationship)
    – Attorney has sent letter to USCIS
    -Petition is valid till 23 November
    What should my next move should be, Please Suggest

  11. Hi Kumar,

    Due you have any idea on status “Document Delivery Information:”. I am an H1-B candidate and in cgi federal site it gives this status. It has been a week now earlier the status was “Your passport is still with US/Embassy”. My interview was 4 weeks ago, there was no document required just handed me a white slip.

    If you have any past record information where status is “document delivery information” please let me know.

    CEAC Status: Administrative Processing
    CGI Federal Status : Document Delivery Information
    US Travel Docs Status : There is no status update available for the passport number submitted.


    • SRK,
      I am not sure what it means. In general administrative processing is a black box and we do not know how long it can take. All we can hope is to have a decision faster. You can check the tracker to get some idea on others situations.

    • Hello, our case is similar the cansulate officer said that he was going to send the case back To uscis cause not enought evidence of the relationship That was augus 10,16 the state website says, administra processing and its been up dated 5 times so far but they havent sent the case to uscis yet is this how your case went? Did you have to wait for uscis to get uour case or did the lawyer just send the latter to uscis? Call me i have some questions. Call me 419.612.7657 tone

      • Antonio,

        I am not sure my case went to USCIS yet. As of now its been 6 weeks and there hasn’t been any case status update date on CEAC. Just that the USTRAVELDOCS says “Document Delivery Information:”. So I am waiting for now to hear something back from them.


  12. My case status date changes twice on 17th and 18th on AP and changed it to Ready on 21th Nov and date updated today to 22nd with status “Ready”.

    Any one know what status “Ready”means.

    • Hi
      Just a question on how you check your status.
      Using case number or application id. Mine application id seqrch does not show any updates whereas case number given to me still does not reflect any data.
      Its been a month. I think the case number given to me was wrong. But don’t know how to verify it.

  13. Hi All,
    I submitted documents through drop box on 19th July 2016. After 10 days my documents and passport were returned and 221g issued. Then submitted client letter, project description, work itinerary . Again got 221g, asking me to attend visa interview, attended visa interview on 23rd September 2016, after reviewing all documents ,VO officer returned all my documents and told me that it requires additional administrative processing . I checked visa status today but still showing as administrative processing and last updated date is 23rd September. Can you please let me know how to proceed further.

    Thank you,

  14. Hi Saurabh,

    I had gone for my H1 interview on 28th October. My petition was filed for an internal project by the company. However the interviewer didn’t ask me any questions. He took my passport.

    After 2-3 days when I went to collect my passport, the visa was stamped but there was a rubber stamp on that saying that Cancelled without prejudice. Also attached was a 221g form asking me for client documents.
    I talked to my company and they said since they had filed for an internal project they will state the same as the response.

    What are the chances of my visa getting approved.
    How much time they take for deciding
    If they reject the visa, can any other employer file a cap-exempt visa on the same petition

    Please help

  15. Hi, sourabh
    im living wid my husband(h1)in NY as dependent visa (h4).we have come india for our visa stamping . At the interview day VO approved my husband’s visa n they gave me 221g slip after saying that my visa will take few weeks to approved. N they have taken my pp

    Bt the documents they have mentioned in that slip which are not capable for my educational background like thesis paper, journal ,CV,

    Im a simple graduate in Bengali. N im homemaker.

    My husband emailed to the USA consulate that the documents are not capable for me coz i never did any thesis or journal ..if they need any other documents we can send like petitions, my graduation result etc. bt they replied.. they dont need any documents right now..n my case is now under administrative processing.

    Im really worried that why they gave me 221g wid out any reason. Its almost 2weeks now..im really very upset. Coz my husband has to fly soon for NY. Could u. pls tell me why they have given me 221g. Any idia abt How many days i have to wait?

  16. Today attended interview at delhi embassy .
    Was issued yellow slip but they took my passport and told if they feel okey to approve they will mail me to collect.
    They were more focussed on who will be my end client .
    But my employer gave my MSA documents of 2 companies.
    And VO was focussed on which client locn i will be workinh.
    Happend with any1 else something like this?

    • Hi,

      Today i.e. 10 Jan 2017 I went for H1B interview at Delhi and lady taking my interview gave me the yellow slip after few questions. She took my passport and all the documents and said it is under Administrative Processing now. Did not ask for any more documents as of now and also did not write anything on the yellow slip.


  17. Hi Sourabh,

    On Nov 17th 2014 I had attended the interview in chennai consulate. My client company name got changed and so I took 2 letters containing both the company names. VO asked me about my US company, I told him about the same. Then he asked me to provide client letter and SOW which I provided the same. After verifying it for some time he handed over me blue slip just checking one check box saying administrative processing. They have not taken my i97 or petition document or passport from me. They don’t have any document for my case. They had sent an email to my client asking for some more details on me, but unfortunately the client company got closed and the person who was responsible for replying to the mail resigned. Now I have left the company which processed my H1B, I want to know if I can transfer the approved H1B petition to other company?

    • Sorry about that!I had the EXACT same experience at Chennai consulate today 11/17/2016 and just need to wait now.

      Kaushik Kuberanathan

  18. Hello Saurabh

    I attended my H1 Visa interview (was working in the US and came to India for vacation and stamping). The visa officer issued me white slip where he ticked 4 documents (employment contract letter, client letter, project details etc) under documents required from the petitioner section.

    My question is – should these documents be emailed by my employer to the consulate or I should email them?

    Note that my employer has already emailed these documents to the consulate quoting my name, bar code number, passport number and; DS160 confirmation number.



    • Sudesh,

      If the employer is willing to share the documents with you, then you can email them as well. If not, you can email them that the employer has directly emailed the docs to the consulate and the consulate should refer to employer’s email on XXX date from YYY to get more information.

  19. I got 221g on march 2015,my case got reapproved,and i got new interview date through mail,but didnot asked for any document,i was asked to update my medical and police report,and to resubmit my DS260.
    Pls,What can i take along

  20. Hi – I received a 221(g) asking additional details on petition and project description. Since I work for a product company ,most of the projects we are involved in are of short term in nature …My company responded with a typical roles responsibilities document in line with what was filed during my petition. I again got another 221(g) asking specifically for project details.
    I had a discussion with my company immigration and they don’t want to share project details as they think it might set a wrong signal that I work for multiple projects as a sub-contractor ( which is not the case). They are suggesting to send a Manager letter providing validation of my roles .

    Kindly help as to how to respond to project details query.

  21. I attended my H4 interview in Chennai on 30th Sep. After 221g, I was sent an email on 13th Oct to submit the passport. I submitted my passport on 14th Oct at Hyderabad VAC. I got a email from Chennai consulate that they have received the passport on 17th Oct. Since then the status date has been updated thrice on 17th, 19th and 21st but the passport status is still showing as ‘still with embassy’. How many days it usually takes to get to the next status? I was told it takes 4-5 business days but its already been a week.


  22. Saurabh,

    Passport returned during interview and issues 221g….and passport collected during interview and issued 221g does this make a huge difference?

      • Thanks Saurabh.

        In the meanwhile Employer has got new tier 1 customer for which I was selected, he said he will do an amendment so that I can appear for interview again with new client letters which is
        tier 1, and this will help in clearing the interview easily.

        Is this feasible and how risky ? because the previous one is in 221g yet.

  23. Hi All,

    I appeared for interview on 14th Sep 2016, and was issued a 221g form with a status ticked as “your application requires additional administrative processing before a final decision can be made”, the VO collected all documents and returned my passport alongwith the slip.

    on 13th October received mail from US travel docs as below,
    Your documents have been collected from the US embassy.

    The passport number being returned is XXXXX

    you have chosen to have your documents delivered to the following location:

    Chennai XXXX……….

    I’ve collected my documents from the collection centre and my status in the tracker still shows as processing as below,

    The date of interview was 14/09/2016 and the the status shows
    U.S. Department of State
    Administrative Processing
    Application ID or Case Number: AAAAAAAAAA
    Case Creation Date: 12-Sep-2016
    Status Updated Date: 21-Sep-2016

    Your visa case is currently undergoing necessary administrative processing. This processing can take several weeks. Please follow any instructions provided by the Consular Officer at the time of your interview. If further information is needed, you will be contacted. If your visa application is approved, it will be processed and mailed/available within two business days.

    For more information, please visit U.S. Consulate General Chennai.

  24. Hello Saurabh,

    I appeared for interview on 11th March 2016, and was issued a 221g white form asking to provide the all employment documents.Also my passport was returned.

    At the time of interview am not having client letter or project documents…
    I replied to VO that am going to work for one of his(employer) clients and i named some, VO has asked me specific client and project details am going to work.
    VO issued a 221g white form asking to provide the all employment documents to hydfpu@state.gov.
    One person from consulate used to call me weekly for two months to send the required docs..but i was helpless at that time.

    Recently mine employer has provided me client and project details, I have mailed all my Docs to hydfpu@state.gov.

    It’s been two weeks I send the Docs, I didn’t received any call or mail from consulate…

    1) Will they consider my case because already six months over from interview?
    2)How can I know that they have seen my docs,Shall i call to Hyd consulate Number,will they Respond?

    Thanks In Advance.

    • BhanuChander Reddy V,

      1. They would still consider and review the case.
      2. There is no way to know for sure. You can follow-up but they are not very good in providing updates.

      Side note – the client letter that you submitted is it for a location covered in original LCA?

      • Thanks Saurabh,

        Side note – the client letter that you submitted is it for a location covered in original LCA?

        In the client letter, mentioned that am going to work for that client from employers location…In LCA also it’s Employers location mentioned.


  25. I got my B1/B2 approved and got the passport back with visa sticker on it. I had made plans and booked tickets to travel to USA. I got a call from the embassy 2 days back and they said that there is some technical issue with my visa and I need to come back and see the VO. I asked her that I am flying out on Sunday, she said cancel your tickets as they will send you back from port of entry. I asked her that should I bring any other supporting documents, she said no need. Status on the website still says visa issued. What does this visit to embassy mean? Please help

    • Sunny,

      Did they ask any questions during the 2nd visit or collect additional documents? If the status says visa issued, then probably it is approved (but you can’t be certain until you see the passport). Since how long have you seen this status online?

  26. Hi,
    I attended my Visa interview on June 16 2016. VO approved my visa and 221g letter was given. After a week I received a call from US embassy to submit few documents through email. After verifying the credentials, my attorney had provided all the documents. after few days received email asking me to submit hard copies in one of the drop box locations.
    I did it on July 15 and confirmed that July 18 documents were received in required location.
    It’s beed almost 3 months from the date of documents submission and no reply yet.
    Two things are bothering me here:
    1) Not sure which 221g slip was given to me and why did they call me after a week also no update on case status.
    2) Since my VISA was approved at consulate, later they gave 221g is there any possibility that my passport is misplaced somewhere.

    Is there any one here waiting for VISA for over 3 months now?

    I know there is no SLA, UStraveldocs help center or email request to US Embassy provided no update even after 60 days query.

    Let me know if any one faced similar issue and EOD response from embassy.

  27. Hi,
    I have appeared for visa interview in Singapore and was issued 221(g) pink slip. I might have to move back to India soon. Could you advice if I need to/could move my case to an Indian embassy now. If so, what is the process involved. Thanks in advance.

  28. Hi Saurabh,

    9/12 : Got the Blue slip with ticked one check box on required Administrative Processing .

    In Visa interview they asked basic question and client letter only. i have provided the same , they asked me to wait in the room after 30 min they called me and returned my client letter and passports and they gave blue slip and said that your case required Administrative Processing.

    for me , total in USA 5 years ( 2 years L1 B and 3 years H1 B ) this is my first H1 B stamping based on the my second approved petition( i-140 approved on 2 years back ).

    9/23 : Client verification done which i got the details from my Client Hr.

    But still my case status are same , there is no update.

    Please tell me average waiting time for after done the client verification from uscis side.

  29. Krishna,
    I got appointment for interview on 15th September 2016 for H1B Visa process in Chennai. I got job offer from a tire 1 company in USA through a consulting company in India. My visa is being denied by under 221g. They hold the copy of client side offer letter of mine and returned back the all documents and passport. Will there any issues in getting visa?

  30. Hi Sourabh
    Your replies are really helpful and satisfying. Congrats.
    I recently had H1B/H4 interview. The VO told us that there was some issue at their end, which they have to sort out and it does pertain to me, no more visits submissions from my side. He collected our passports and given back original I797B to us. He was mentioning some mismatch some where. When I asked how much time it will take , he replied ; one week. He also handed over 221g white color on which he hand wrote our DS_160 bar code nos. Nothing is checked/ticked in this form.
    What can be the issue

    • The date of interview was 15/09/2016 and the the status shows
      U.S. Department of State
      Administrative Processing
      Application ID or Case Number: AAAAAAAAAA
      Case Creation Date: 14-Sep-2016
      Status Updated Date: 16-Sep-2016

      Your visa case is currently undergoing necessary administrative processing. This processing can take several weeks. Please follow any instructions provided by the Consular Officer at the time of your interview. If further information is needed, you will be contacted. If your visa application is approved, it will be processed and mailed/available within two business days.

      For more information, please visit U.S. Consulate General Kolkata.

      • XYZ,

        If they didn’t ask for any documents and mentioned it is an issue at their end, then you should not worry; but just be patient. Give it a week or two and see if it gets approved. Its a positive sign that they kept the passports.

        • Thanks Sourab
          I just wanted to know what can be the possibilities. How can there be a mismatch or Is it that petition is not updated in the PIMS. Petition approval date is 30/08/16 and interview date was 15/09/16. This is a long time for updating any data. Can you explain the process of flow of information from USICS to consulate .

          • XYZ,

            PIMS could be a suspect or there could be another reason. If the issue is at their end, it gets resolved within 7-10 days (usually).

            As for the dates it is possible that the server is working in US timezone and you may have attended interview when it was still 14th in US.

          • Thanks Sourabh
            Today it says- issued. Under final processing……………….. If you dont recv it in next 10 working days ………
            Passport section says – recd from consular section and currently being processed for delivery.
            Shoud I take it job done. Can I go ahead with giving notice to present employer in India. What do you suggest

          • XYZ,

            Looks like it has been approved. Personally I prefer to be extra cautious when dealing with USCIS and/or consulate. So until I see the visa stamp, I wouldn’t consider it a done deal. But if you have confidence in them and this is becoming a bottleneck in your future plans, you may take the calculated risk.

  31. Hi,
    I applied for B1/B2 visa to attend an IEEE technical conference in the USA. I had my interview on 15th September 2016 and the lady at the counter asked me thoroughly about my research area (I am a Electronics engineer). After the interview, the lady asked me to go to some other counter where an Indian lady took my passport and I got a white 221 (g) form asking me to send my research plan in detail to the advanced processing people. I have my conference on 17th October 2016 and these people are saying that the Visa takes 4-6 weeks! Will I be able to attend it? Will I get my Visa before 4 weeks??

  32. hello, my wife got a 221g administration processing aug,10.2016 and on her website it says ‘ to process your case. each applicant principal applicant to the usa will need to complete the online iv application form ds-260. it also say after submitting the ds-260 provide all supporting documents listed on the applicant must submit web page for each applicant to your consulate or u.s. embassy? she don’t know was this on there before the interview or after, is there a chance that they are telling us to reapply? or can we reapply while under administration processing?

  33. Hi Saurabh
    I applied for B2 visa on 24th August 2016 at frankfurt consulate VO told me my visa is approved and after 5 working days i will get back my passport. very next day i got email from consulate asking about some more information like my previous addresses (15 years) travelling history names of sibling etc. no 221g form was given at the time of interview.
    i am still wating for my passport i need to travel at mid of September. what should i do i alreday contact them but no reply
    1 thing more he said to me during interview there are alot of Muhammad Khan (my name) and i said yes its common name in my country.
    waiting for your response

    • Muhammad Khan,

      Looks like security check to me due to the common name. If you want the passport back, then write to them. Tell them that you want the 221g to continue its process but want your passport back as you have other travel plans.

  34. Hi Saurabh,

    I graduated my MBA in the US in May 2016 and I am currently on OPT. My H1B has been approved and kicks in on Oct 1st. I need to travel to Europe for business reasons my current employer starting October 1st week itself.- it will be weekly travel mostly.
    1. Can I get an early H1B Stamp on my passport so that I am ready to re-enter the US multiple times? How many days early can I go?
    2. Is Canada riskier for first time stamping? Most issues I read were related to education/experience out of US or Canada. My MBA is from a reputed university- do you think it will be riskier to stamp from Canada than India?
    3. What reason do I state for applying for Canada visa for H1B stamping? or tourism?
    Any other suggestions in this front?
    Thanks for your time!

    • Anonymous Consultant,

      1. Yes, you can get it stamped even now. The thing to watch out for is cancelation of F-1 visa stamp w/o prejudice when approving your H-1. You can mention to the officer that you plan to return on F-1/OPT until Oct 1 and plan to use H-1 only after that.
      2. As you have done Masters in US, you should be fine to go to CA.
      3. Toursim

  35. Hi, I had my interview with the consulate in New Zealand for an 0-1 visa. He gave me a blue 221g form and checked “other” saying “they want to review qualifications as 0-1”
    He took my passport and also necessary documents summing up my evidence for the visa. It’s been 2 weeks since the interview and haven’t heard back. Is this normal? Should I be worried?

  36. I attended my CR 1 interview on 29th August 2016.I was issued with a yellow 221g form and asked to send in photos of my sons growing up.

    This is a spouse Visa and the consular confirmed that they have found my marriage bona fide but I need to prove relationship between me and my sons that I had before marriage since their birth certificates were registered quite late.

    I mailed the documents on 30th , how long does this take?

    • Hi geshy did youvget ur visa.lready..I was interviewed aug 30 and got 221g fir uodated ITR of my husband and Isubmitted the documents 9/6 and they received it 9/8 until now my case is still AP

  37. Hello,
    I had F1 visa interview on 8th august it did go well according to me but he provided me 221 (G). So i completed further procedure and asked University for deferment of my admission to spring-17. After some days yesterday i received mail from us consulate to submit passport to one of the drop off location including copy of I-20 and submission slip. My concern is can i submit current I-20 with passport or should I wait for new I-20 to come so as to submit it with passport?

    • shubham,
      It is a tricky situation, if you get visa in next 15 days, will you be able to make it on time for Fall Classes ? If not, I suggest you get the new I20 and apply for Spring. I recommence you speaking to DSO on the best thing to do.

      • I spoke to DSO they told me to submit passport with new I-20 of spring-17 but SEVIS ID should be the same as mentioned in previous I-20. Should i go for it?

        • if your DSO says to go for it, then you should go for it. Dont worry too much, your DSO is the best person to suggest it. Check with them, if SEVIS ID matters.

  38. Hi Saurabh,

    I received 221g when I went for Visa interview & I worked in USA for 3+ years and came for a vacation and struck here.
    My Client is forcing me come back ASAP. I have valid B1 with previous employer.
    Can I travel using my valid B1? What are the questions I can expect at port of entry.
    Please advice.
    Thanks In advance

  39. Hi Sourabh

    I appeared for interview on 30th August and was issued a 221g form asking to provide the documents.Also my passport was returned.
    Is it a rejection or just an administrative process

    • Pallavi,

      It is Administrative processing, but is also considered as refusal (which can be overturned later when processing has been completed). Submit the documents and then patiently wait for them to finish the review and processing.

  40. I had my interview on 25th august(Montreal). The officer said everything seems fine but we require administrative processing. Also he said, it will take 3 to 4 weeks and returned my passport and he said we will ask you to submit your passport by email. Furthermore, i have checked my status it says administrative processing. What should i accept? It’s a sign or approval or a denial? What are the chances?

    • Waleed,

      No one knows the chances of success. You have to just wait for them to complete their processing. What kind of questions were asked during the interview? Do you have a common Muslim name?

  41. Hi,
    I am very frustrated and feeling helpless since last 10 days. Please help me. I had my interview on August 11, 2016. The officer said that my visa has been approved and I was NOT given any slip. He kept my passport. Since that day, my visa status is showing administrative processing. Why is that? Please someone help me.

    • S Kajal,

      At times, it is put in AP due to no fault of yours. Maybe they are unable to verify something related to petition etc and need more time. If they needed anything from you, they would have contacted you by now.

      Unfortunately, there is no SLA for this and could take days, weeks or months.

    • Sorry to hear that,

      Below is my case

      I have attended H1B VISA interview on August 18th at Chennai , India and VISA officer said my VISA approved.

      Just couple of days back got email from consulate saying that “they are returning passports along with 221g letter”

      I am waiting for passports.

      Hope your VISA will be issued

  42. Hi,
    I have received 221g when I submitted through drop box and and asked me to appear for interview. I completed my interview today and they have asked few questions and took my passport. Would that means my visa is approved? How many days it may take to receive my passport?

      • Hi saurabh,
        I went to h1b stamping in jun16 I got 221g slip…and asked for tax documents my employer didn’t submit till now
        1.what else I can do if he didn’t submit query..
        2.Is there any specific time for submission of query..
        Thank you

        • Krishna,

          1. Nothing you can do
          2. There is no specific timelines, but long delays don’t help your case. For example, if you submit the response 6 months from now, the officer may think why it took so much time when a company is expected to keep regular tax records and it shouldn’t be something that takes that long (just an example).

          • Thank you very much for your reply Saurabh..

            As my query didnt resolve yet but i got an offer from MNC which they are ready for transfer my petition.
            Can you please help me with below queries
            1)Shall i accept the new offer and go ahead with the transfer?
            2)If yes then Is there any possibility of getting RFE or any query like 221g in stamping.(I am going through one of the MNC so they might resolve those but wanted your feedback on this).

            Thank you,

          • Hi Saurabh

            Thank you very much for your reply..
            My employer submitted the required documents to the embassy and came to know that we got another query requesting for below documents..

            (1) A copy of the Labor Condition Application that petitioner submitted to USCIS; and

            (2) A copy of whatever documents petitioner sent to USCIS explaining what your duties will be upon arriving in the US.

            I have some queries

            1)If suppose my employer responds quickly and submitted the query what happens if it rejects(Any alternative that i can do now)
            2) Shall i go for H1b transfer even if VO rejects and sent it back to USCIS
            3)Can you please tell me how much time frame it will take ..As it will take 30 to 45days for me to get the receipt number in newH1b transfer..
            Please help me at the earliest.

            Than k you,

          • Krishna,

            1. If visa stamping is eventually rejected, they would send the petition back to USCIS for reconsideration. Until USCIS formally revokes that petition, you can still use it for cap-exempt purposes. You would have to act fast in this scenario.
            2. Yes. Maybe start searching for an employer now as that may also take time.
            3. Which process’ time frame are you referring to? 221g has no set time frame and could take weeks or months. When filing transfer, I would suggest PP to reduce the impact of current 221g outcome.

    • Hey Rajesh ,

      Guess what I am also sailing on same boat . Went for Drop-Box pune and got Passport back in 4 days and asking me to come in-person . Passport with 221g while slip.

      Can you please highlight what question VO asked you ?
      Are you in EVC model ?
      If it’s okay with you please be in touch with me on my mail_id vijene0586@gmail.com. we can share our updates .

      Vijay Bhagat

  43. i went to cr1 interview on the 2/8/16 and the consular issued me a letter stating that i was been found ineligible under section 221g of the immigration and nationality act.so they will return the case to NVC.which will return the above case to USCIS.we should not contact the embassy regarding the case as it may take six months for the case to forwarded.
    My question is would they give me another chance or is totally deny?.And this 221g is under which category,is it admnistrative processing or what?

    • Nana Agyemang,

      They will continue to process your visa application and make the final decision in next few days/weeks/months. Yes, 221g is administrative processing.

  44. So my mom got an interview yesterday to ask for a tourist visa to visit me. But after the interview they kept her passport and gave her a white i221 form and checked the box with administrative processing. What do they mean by that? Is there still a chance for my mom to get a visa? What should we do? Thanks

    • Bio,

      Did they mention any documents in the issued 221g form? You need to continue to wait here, as there is no other option. 221g issuance doesn’t mean denial and there are lots of cases where visa was eventually approved.

      • they didnt mention anything about any documents just gave my mom the form. and how long does it usually take to find out if she could get visa or not? is there anything serious here or they just want to take a deeper look into her case?

          • so i just used her confirmation number to check her visa status online and it says refused. so that meant she couldnt get visa this time right? or they are still trying to do something else? thanks

          • Bia,

            That’s a standard status for petitions in 221g status. Did you check that on US travel docs site or CEAC site?

            As they have kept her passport, consider it as a positive sign (not an approval, but a positive sign).

          • i checked and it says her visa was refused. so thats meant she has to re apply again if she still wants to get the visa right? or are they still trying to figure out something else?

          • Bia,

            They issued 221g which is refusal and the same is shown on the site. However, they still have the passport and are continuing to process it. If they return the passport, then it means they are not going to issue the visa at all. You should continue to wait until the passport is returned.

            If the visa is eventually rejected, then she can appear again. However, it may end up in similar fate until you know why it was rejected and correct those issues.

          • so just wait until the passport is returned and hopefully they will say why they refused her visa. or how do we find out why she got denied? we thought if they kept the passport it would be positive sign. i got so disappointed when i checked her status today.

          • Bia,

            Most of the times they provide a very generic reason as denial text. In reality most of B-1/2 visas are denied either due to the fact that person was considered as a potential immigrant or didn’t have finances to support the trip.

  45. my wife went to cr1 interview marriage interview and they guy told her that she would need more evidence and that he was sending the case back to uscis but he or the paper didn’t say more evidence of what, we not sure what he talking about and he didn’t write it on the slip but we check the website and it say administration processing and he kept our wedding pictures only, since it says administration processing does that mean he have a chance of heart and have not deicide should have give us a visa or not? we been married for 2 years.

    • Antonio,

      Administrative processing doesn’t mean denial. They would let her know when the processing is completed, and it could be approved at that time. Patience is the secret weapon when stuck in administrative processing.

  46. Hi Saurabh,

    As you have mentioned, 221(g) will be issued as part of background check if a person has a common muslim name. Are they doing background check for all muslims ? My H1b visa is approved and I’m planning to take my spouse for stamping interview.

    It would be helpful if you clarify.


    • h1b_Approved.,

      Its not a blanket check for all folks having Muslim name. It is case by case basis. However, if someone is appearing for a visa interview and has common Muslim name, it is better to be prepared for delays and have back-up plans.

  47. Hi Saurabh,

    I had my interview on Aug the 5th. The consul approved my visa. However when l picked it up yesterday, I got surprised by the fact that under section 221g l am not eligible for a non-migrant visa (b1-b2: tourism and business). On the white slip attached to my passport, was checked to sending to them via the Visa Collecting courier service in my city a new passport since the one l used in the process was a bit deteriorated.

    They don´t mention nor ask me to send them in advance neither another document nor info or interview at consular section. What does this mean? How long would it take? After sending it to them, Would they ask me for another document during the process?

    I´d appreciate your answer Saurabh. Thanks a lot.

    • Dario Rivera,

      If they have only mentioned about new passport, then get a new one and submit that. If they had to ask for any other documents they would have listed them in 221g form.

  48. Hello Saurabh,

    I recently attended an H1B visa interview. I work full time for a legitimate US consulting firm. The visa interview went well but the officer issued a yellow form 221g.

    The form does not have any boxes checked off. Do I just need to wait until further administration review is complete? Or am I supposed to submit the additional documents mentioned on the form? I am confused because none of the boxes are checked off.

    Appreciate your help in advance.

    • Hi Saurabh,

      Same issue happened to me. I got white 221g slip but no boxes were checked off. When I called call center, they instructed me to submit all the documents listed on the sheet. In addition I also got a email questionnaire. Could you please update what happened afterwards in your situation.



      • Upendra,

        Call center at times provides scripted response. If nothing was marked in that document, then no need to submit anything. If you received email w/ questions, then do respond to that.

          • Antonio,

            Look at the site of US embassy/consulate where you went to. They should have phone numbers mentioned there.

        • hello saurabh. ive already interview for b2 visa with my father and my brother. my father was arrested but he had been living in the us a long time a go and travel to us many times since then. and after he was released from prison he already got uk,schengen visa without no trouble and already travel to uk and europe. in the interview they said that they need the legal documentation about the release but beside that everything else is perfect,and now the status is in administrative process. i mean is it possible for the three of us to get the visa even my father has been arrested before? god im so nervous. help. thank you

  49. Hi,
    I got 221g and i am waiting from 7.5 months. I heard from my employer that USCIS visited my employer office personally and verified bunch of documents. How much time they will take to respond as it was completed 3 weeks back.

  50. My Parents for visitors visa interview on JULY 26th to mumbai consulate. theey were issued 221g asking for a list of documents like invitation, resume, research, publications , iternary, purpose etc which looks like general one. My father works with defense sector. This might have triggered some kind of suspicion and hence the 221g. Has anyone here faced similar issue? if so can you suggest how these documents are expected is there any format which is favourable to support the application. Research and publications is irrelevant to my parents occupation, how do we justify that?

    • 221gb2visa,

      Yes, the defense sector could have triggered this 221g. If they haven’t published any research etc then mention so in the cover letter addressed to the consulate office.

      • We have prepared all the documents in requested format. Is it okay to include additional supporting document like ‘No objection certificate’ issued by government Defense department ? Or we jut stick to what they say in
        The document ?

          • Hi Saurabh

            We emailed all the docs to mail id in the slip but did not get any auto response. When I researched through the forums regarding this I see that the subject line has to
            Match exactly as per the slip. For example it was given AAxxxxxxxxx — last name, first name. In the above format we just put a single (-) in the subject line between ID and name. So it did not trigger an auto response but I am not sure if it also means that they would not
            Go through the email. Can you please clear my confusion if you had come across this before?

          • 221gb2visa,

            I don’t know about the subject line. Maybe call the contact center and ask them about it.

        • Hi 221gB2visa
          Can you please mail me the format of the response you sent to the consulate mail id.
          Please mail me at gurgaontechie9@gmail.com
          Also if possible, the contact no please, thanks


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