US Visa Stamp Clearance Received or Department Authorization and Issues with DS160

US Visa – Annotations : Clearance Received or Department Authorization Meaning ?

In US Immigration - Visas by KumarUpdated : 3 Comments

Sometimes, you may get US visa stamp in your passport with an annotation, sometimes there maybe no annotations in them. It can be confusing for few for us. Also, when you are applying for visa and filling out DS-160 form, you also may also encounter questions like below

We look at these aspects below along with some examples.

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

US Visa Stamp Sample Without Annotation - Blank

Sample US H1B Visa Stamp in Passport with Employer Name and Petition Number.

H1B US Visa Sample with Annotation of Employer Name and Receipt 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. 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 below.

Sample US H1B Visa Stamp in Passport with “Clearance Received” Annotation

US Visa Annotated Clearance Received - Department Authorization Sample

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’.

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. But, as it indicates 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, 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 ?


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Comments ( 3 )

  1. Murali

    Also , to the term “Prior Visa” .It was a bit confusing as I had my last H1B visa stamp that did not have clearance received, but the visa stamp before that one had clearance received. I couldn’t get a clear answer from the customer support and I chose “No” for that question as i felt the question is for the most recent visa. I used the dropbox facility and got my Visa stamped in 2 days , no issues. So if any one has the same issue, you can go for the dropbox.

    1. administrator

      Thanks for sharing. Just to clarify, you mean to say, having ‘prior visa’ in the annotation field ?

  2. Steve

    I have 2 questions about h1b visa stamping/renewal (not 1st time stamping). The 1st visa was stamped with administrative processing and have the annotation “clearance received” on the stamp with a date on it.

    1) Does that date really mean anything? If i renew my visa prior to that clearance received date, would i get admin processing again? If so, that would be my 2nd question

    2) If my old visa stamp isn’t expire, can i come back to US if I do get administrative processing and VO didn’t take my passport? That way i can still work in US while waiting for the visa approval.

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