When you go for US Visa stamping and it is approved, you get your passport with US visa stamp foil glued in it. Sometimes, you may see some text in the annotation section like company name, or other details… But, it can be confusing when you see some text that says “Clearance Received” or something on that lines in the same annotation section. Also, when you are applying for visa and filling out DS-160 form, you also may also encounter questions like below:
- Was your prior H1B Visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”? “
- Was your prior H4 visa annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” ?
- US visa – B1/B2 Visa with annotation “Clearance Received”
In this article, we look at what that means and how to answer DS-160 questions, including samples with screenshots.
What is the annotation field in US Visa ? No Annotation ? Samples ?
Annotation field in US visa stamp is for the US Consular officer to put in additional notes related to your visa. Depending on the kind of visa, it could have details like University Name, employer name, work visa petition number, etc. Also, it could include restrictions or checks done so that it can help CBP officers at port of entry. Below are some samples.
Sample US B1/B2 Visa Stamp in Passport without any annotation
Sample US H1B Visa Stamp in Passport with Employer Name and Petition Number.
US Visa Stamp annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”
Some of the US visa applicants get “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” in the annotation field. It could happen for few reasons as listed below:
- The US Consulate officer, while reviewing the applicant’s file, found some issues with the applicant’s records, but they believe that the applicant is eligible for visa.
- It could be for reasons like name mismatches, security checks, etc.
- Also in some cases, it indicates that they may have contacted other agencies like USCIS and got it sorted out.
- This annotation is an indication to CBP officer at US Port of Entry to make sure, if something shows up in their system to review as needed and allow the applicant to US. It looks like in below screenshot.
Sample US H1B Visa Stamp in Passport with “Clearance Received” Annotation
Filling our DS-160 form, question on “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” – What to Answer ?
When you are filling out DS-160 form, you may come across questions tied to annotations like ‘Was your prior H1B Visa (temporary occupation, temporary worker or trainee) annotated “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”? ” ‘ or it could be same wording with other visas like H4 Visa or B1 /B2 Visa.
First thing you need to check is your US Visa stamp on your passport, if it says any of these words “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”, then you would answer “Yes” for that question. If annotation section is blank or just has employer name or school name, then you need to select ‘No’.
You should answer it truthfully as the US Visa stamp says, you cannot select wrong option here. The US Consular system already has this information captured, so you should not try to answer this incorrectly. If you do so, you could be penalized for stating wrong information on DS-160 form.
US Visa Dropbox Eligibility with ‘Clearance Received’ or ‘Department Authorization’?
If your visa stamp in passport has “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”, then you would not be able get US Visa renewal using Dropbox Stamping or Interview Waiver Option in the future.
When you are filling dropbox or interview waiver questionnaire, you would be asked the question ““Was your prior XXX visa (visa details XXX ) annotated ‘Clearance Received’ or ‘Department Authorization’?“ and you need to answer “Yes”, here, if you have these in annotation section. It looks like in below screenshot for H1B Visa Dropbox Questionnaire and the moment you select “Yes”, the system will automatically exit you out of the wizard and ask you to schedule in-person interview.
Should I worry, if my US Visa stamp has “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization” ? Will it impact Future Visa Applications ?
In general, it should be fine and would not directly impact your future US Visa stamping chances. Having said that, what it does indicate is that there was some issue with your name or any other details in their systems, you may be subject to few more questions or screening in some places. So, be prepared with all the documentation, in case any questions arise. Also, as mentioned above, you may not be able to get the US Visa renewal using Dropbox option.
Also, sometimes Visa officer may stamp “Cancelled without Prejudice” on your old or valid US Visa, to understand on the details, you may read details on Cancelled without Prejudice – US Visa – Meaning
Did you get this annotation in your Passport ? What was your experience ?