CEAC Website US Visa Status Check

Why US Visa Status on CEAC says Refused for 221g ? [2020]

In US Immigration - Visas by KumarUpdated : 440 Comments

If you have applied for US Visa and received 221g Administrative Processing for your case, you would have checked your visa stamping status on CEAC website. When you check the status, you used to see status of “Administrative processing”, but that would have changed to “refused” from today, March 3rd, 2020….This has caused a lot of panic among many in 221g administrative processing. We will clarify the reason in this article.

How to Check US Visa Status on CEAC

If you do not know, US CEAC website is the place where you check US Visa status. CEAC stands for US Dept. of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). If you are new and not sure how to use CEAC website, you can read How to Check US Visa Status on CEAC website to get an idea on how to check the status online and understand the status that are typically showed, when you check the US Visa status.

What used to be Status of 221g on CEAC website for US Visa?

In general, when you are issued a 221g for administrative processing, you used to see the status of “Administrative processing” on the US Dept CEAC Website and the text under it used to read like below.

“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 US Consulate General <City name>”

See the screenshot below on exactly how it looked.

221g Administrative Processing Status CEAC Website

We have picked a case that is still in Administrative processing from the past and have is how it used to look. But, that changed today.  Pay close attention to the number to check below.

221g Status Changed to Refused for US Visa on US CEAC Website

From today, many users have reported and we verified as well that most of the 221g Cases status has changed to “Refused”, even when there was no real update on their ‘Case Last Updated Date’ or anything has changed. One key thing to note is the text under it has changed. It reads like below now.

“A U.S. Consular Officer has adjudicated and refused your visa application. Please follow any instructions provided by the consular officer. If you were informed by the consular officer that your case was refused for administrative processing, your case will remain refused while undergoing such processing. You will receive another adjudication once such processing is complete. Please be advised that the processing time varies and that you will be contacted if additional information is needed. For more information, please visit TRAVEL.STATE.GOV or the website for the Embassy or Consulate at which you made your visa application. For more information, please visit U.S. Consulate General <Consulate name>”

Pay close attention to the bold text, it basically tells that, if you were given Administrative processing, then it will be processed in administrative processing. Also, see the screenshot below with status ‘Refused’, it is the same case number as above.

221g - Status Refused - CEAC Website

You may watch the below YouTube Video, that covers the same details

Why has the Status Changed from Administrative Processing to Refused Suddenly ?

Well, CEAC website changed the displayed status text to be in line with the form given by the consular officer, and that’s why you see this big change and the confusion. If you  check your 221g notice or any of the standard 221g forms given, you will see the text that says “Your application for a nonimmigrant visa has been refused per section 221(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act…”. See below screenshots.

221g Refused Text on White Slip
221g Pink Slip Refused Text

So, technically, it was refused and the online status now on CEAC website now reflects the same. So, nothing to panic or worry.

The text below the actual ‘refused’ status on CEAC website tells clearly that if you were given administrative processing, it will be continued to be processed and you will receive another update on the decision/adjudication once the process is complete . There is nothing to worry, if you have been issued a 221g, it will be continued to be processed.

Official Communication Travel.State.Gov New Alert

On March 5th, 2020, US Department of State update on their website in a news alert that they have made the status related text change to reflect the actual change, but does not really change the case information. As discussed above, it is in line with the 221g sheet given to the applicant, when their case goes to Administrative processing. Check below screenshot, that tells the change in text. You can check Official Travel.State.Gov Press Release for CEAC Change

Adminstrative Processing Changed to Refused - CEAC - March 2020 News Relase

National Visa Center – Verified Change

We called National Visa Center regarding the status changed and asked regarding the change. They confirmed that the status text has changed for Administrative processing, but nothing other than that. If you were given a slip for 221g or told by Consular Officer that your case will be in administrative processing, then your case will be processed accordingly. The status text of the refused for Administrative processing is different from the real refused case, without administrative processing. We cover that below. In any case, you can call National Visa Center as well and verify, if you are concerned. You need to have your Passport Number, Date of Birth and Your Case ID for getting info on your case. You may have to wait for 30 to 45 min, details of Phone Number for National Visa Center are at : https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/contact-us/us-visas.html

How does actual Refused Status look like on CEAC ?

We have looked some previous US Visa Cases that were refused ( not administrative processing) and the text that displayed for them also changed. See below text. You can see that they are very different. The new one clearly tells “A consular officer has adjudicated and refused your visa application…”.

Old Text for Refused : Your application was refused. Please refer to the letter or other instructions you were given at the time of your visa interview. For more information, please visit <US consulate name >

New Text for Refused : A consular officer has adjudicated and refused your visa application. Please see the letter you received at the interview. For more information, please visit <US Consulate name>

We have picked same case number for a case and had its status captured before March 3rd and after March 3rd, you can see that they are different. It is the same case number. We have highlighted the same in below screenshot. Hope this clarifies for many of you confused with the status…

CEAC Status Refused - Before - After Change 2020

What do you see on your 221g Status on CEAC website ? Share your thoughts in comments.

   

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Comments ( 440 )

  1. Bestphephe

    Can someone help me with that issues please?
    My husband and I had a dual interview for a visa since January 2020, after the interview the officer said everything is fine but he didn’t keep any passport or hand over any paper to us, he just said everything is ok if they need anything they will called, but after a few days the website said, the case is in Administration processing,but in the middle of March the case overturned to refuse until now September 21,2020 I never received anything update from immigration or a letter to explain what went wrong with that case.

  2. Nabeel

    Hi,

    I just got an update on my CEAC with today’s date. It is now under administration processing, previously it was under refused with March 3 which was my interview date. I got 221 (g) white slip. My question is when this administration process will be complete? What is time frame from your experiences.

          1. AP

            Thanks for letting us know, did they ask you to submit your Passport yet (I would presume your passport would have been returned to you either along with 221 g or later) ?

          2. Nabeel

            Hi AP,

            No! They kept my passport and other with relevant documents. And gave me white piece of paper and told me no additional documents are require from you. It’s with them since March.

      1. Nabeel

        Hi Kumar,

        I got a call from US Embassy – they said “consular want to ask whether you are going to continue the same position at the company?” I said yes, I have employed on same position since 2016. He said ok.

        According to CEAC tracker it is still under Administration Process but last update date changed from Sept 16 to Sept18. What does the mean! Please respond!

        1. AP

          Nabeel: I ain’t expert but I they might wanted to confirm if you are eligible for Exception which was released in Aug. Did they ask anything else…Post here your updates here as your status gets changed.

          1. Nabeel

            Hi AP,

            They didn’t ask anything else, just that question. I did told them to look at the document which I send to them. The document which I gave them is from my employer’s immigration office listing all the criteria on why I am exempt.

  3. SDC

    Firstly, thanks to Kumar & the community for sharing all this information.

    I had my H1B visa interview at the consulate in Toronto on Sep 1st, 2020. I was told by the officer that my case was approved and they would get in touch over email when my passport was ready for collection. The officer specifically said that I qualified for the exceptions that were announced to the H1B ban a few weeks ago.

    Having not heard back from them in a week, I checked my DS-160 status on the CAEC website which shows my case was “Refused” on Sep 2nd and it has an accompanying message which says “a consular officer has adjudicated & refused your application, please see the letter you received at the interview”. I did not receive any letter at the interview and the consulate still has my passport. If my case was indeed refused on Sep 2nd, then I’m wondering why I haven’t heard from the consulate yet.

    Any insight on what this could mean and has anyone else been in a similar position?

    1. SDC

      Got my passport back today. Visa was refused as they now think my case doesn’t meet the exceptions. No other explanation was provided as to what changed, which is frustrating.

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        SDC,
        Sorry to hear. Did they give any letter ? Was it due to the current Travel ban ? or due to the general issue with stamping ? It should say some number on the letter given.

  4. Ibra Salah

    Hi,

    My status has been updated to administrative processing (Nonimmigrant visa). It was a refused (with a long paragraph) since March 23rd, I had my visa interview on Feb 2020 and I got a yellow slip.
    What does that mean?? more AP or Visa Approval and how long will it take??
    Did anyone faced any changes recently ??
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ibra,
      Many have similar situation, There is estimated time for Administrative processing. You can follow up with the consulate. Depending on consulate, many are not processing 221g yet.

      1. Ibra Salah

        Thanks, Kumar,
        They told me that the administration process is complete and my status was changed from AP to refused (with a long text) on March 23rd.Then, the embassy has been closed since March 26th. A few days ago, my status has been changed from refused to AP. Does that mean the embassy start to resume their work and they need to do the administration process again?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Ibra,
          It could be they are working on the case. Only embassy could tell. Sometimes the online status could be just changing due to system wide changes….hard to say.

      2. ABARNA BOOPESH

        hi my spouse H4 visa interview happened on Aug 31st and he was not given any slip and the VO said visa was approved. Status shows Administrative processing since then for the past 9 days. How long will it take to get the passport? What will the status change to?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Abarna,
          It could be that there is additional processing. Wait for some more time a week or two and then contact consulate. There is no Estimated time for Adminstrative processing.

  5. Viridiana

    HELLO KUMAR,
    First of all I want to thank you for all the help and guidance.
    I applied for my TN Visa renewal (for Registered Nurse as a NAFTA professional).
    My work permit expires until 2022, but my visa was about to expire so I had to renew it since I live in the border and cross daily. I went to the picture and fingerprint and was told my visa would be sent via mail in 5-7 days, now my status shows as refused and all they can tell me is I might need an interview. Have you heard any other cases involving a TN visa? For what I’m reading theres not interviews anytime soon, I don’t know what to tell my employer.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Viridiana,
      If you see the long text, it may or may not be refused, but rather administrative processing. Do not worry, wait for few days and it should be fine. Do update here.

  6. Huda Asghar

    I had an interview on 25th july,2017. The consulate held my passport and issued a white letter and put me in “administrative processing”. Well, on 10th March,2020(that’s when i checked), my status was changed from “administrative processing” to “refused” but I still haven’t gotten my passport back yet. Anyone who encountered the same experience? Should I ask the embassy to return my passport?

    1. ABARNA BOOPESH

      hi my spouse H4 visa interview happened on Aug 31st and he was not given any slip and the VO said visa was approved. Status shows Administrative processing since then for the past 9 days. How long will it take to get the passport? What will the status change to?

  7. Nik

    I went to visa interview on Jan 20 2020 with i797b that is valid only until march 31 2020,
    VO issued me a 221g and returned my passport back and asked for some documents. i submitted them within a week. In the mean time my employer applied for extension and got my extension((new i797B)) till Sep 2022. I got my new extension document on march 18 2020, I want to update that to embassy but they are closed due to covid.
    My status still shows “Refused”(long text).
    Will embassy accept my new i797b for the existing 221g? Or do I need to again go to interview with new i797b?

  8. MUHAMMAD ALI FARAZ

    hi everyone,
    My wife has sponsered me and my 2 daughter (step daughtes) we had seprate inteview, both the girls had interview before me as they are under age i had to accompanied them and i answered all the queries and at end they issued white 221g and passport held with islamabad counsalte and later after a month i was called and in minutes i was approved and afetr few month i travelled to usa got all my formalities done (Greencard) and i am back to islamabad, now the usa counslate has asked for medical again which i subbmitted and their status has been changed from “REFUSED” TO “READY”

    “CAN ANYONE SHARE THEIR VIEWS ON THIS”

    1. Esonye

      I had my interview in Feb 2020 for a CR1 visa, was given a 221g and my status was refused. Based on the 221g instructions I submitted my passport and other documents within 2weeks. Later in March my status changed to Administrative Processing and has been so since then. Please I’ve tried tracking my passport through their website and by mail and all I got is that they have no status on the passport number i submitted. Please what do you advice I do?

  9. Sirisha

    Hi,

    I have my h4 visa stuck in admin processing since Feb 2020 from Hyderabad India Consulate. Recently i heard that the consulates are processing for Emergency appointments and H4 visa is exempt from executive ban.
    Did any one know this and will they be processing my visa in this case.

  10. Sudhir

    Very unfortunate situation !! Need help.
    I attended my visa interview on 20th Jan 2020, Officer collected my passport and said, you will receive it in 4 business days once it is stamped.
    25th Jan 2020 , my status changed to Administrative processing.
    They requested to submit client letter by email & I did, they responded after 2 weeks to submit my passport , I replied saying my passport is already with consulate & they confirmed the same.
    3rd March 2020 , Status changed to refused with long text ( no Date change).
    25th July 2020 Status is Refused but with short text and the last updated date changed to 25th July 2020.

    At this point, I am assuming that my visa is denied. But my passport is still with them.
    Could you help me with the following :
    how to get my passport back?
    My i-797 will expire in September , can my employer file an extension?
    My I-140 approved yesterday , does this effect it in any way?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sudhir,
      You can ask them the status, if they will process it or it is denied.
      If you are in urgent need, you can email them requesting to withdraw the application and get passport back.
      I would suggest you discuss with an attorney the reason is, it can be tricky if you request to get your passport back and again apply for stamping…So, discuss and clarify with attorney on the implications.

    2. Betselot A.

      Hi Kumar
      I’m a petitioner of my wife and daughter. My daughter got visa but her mom AP. And my daughter 4 years old she can’t move and live with out her mom. My daughter visa got 28 Feb 2020 and expired 28 Aug 2020.
      So how to extension my daughter visa ?
      Thank you

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            Betselot,
            You would follow the same process that you followed before, when you did first time. Check with US Consulate, if you are in doubt.

  11. A

    Long time reader, first time poster. Posting because the experiences here provided invaluable guidance, and I’d like to add my own to help others, if possible.

    – February 27 2020: Immigrant visa interview at US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago. (Immediate relative; spouse of US citizen).

    – 221g issued requesting missing document. Passport returned and asked to be sent to embassy with the missing document via courier.

    – March 03rd 2020: document and passport received by US embassy. Case status changed to “Refused” with long text.

    – June 23rd 2020: Status changed to “Administrative Processing”.

    – June 26th 2020: Status changed to “Issued”.

    Thank you Kumar for this resource and to the users for sharing their experiences.

    Best of luck to all.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      A,
      Congrats on the visa ! Thanks for sharing ! Isn’t the US embassy closed in Trinidad now ? Do update, once you get passport to your hand with visa.

      1. A

        Thanks Kumar! Received passport with Immigrant Visa today (July 6 2020) via courier.

        The US embassy in Trinidad and Tobago is closed for in-person interviews however, it is processing applications/passports which were at the embassy before its closure.

        Additionally, it recently started accepting visa interview waiver applications via courier/dropbox.

        Thank you again for your service and best of luck to all applicants.

          1. Betselot A.

            Hi Kumar
            My wife and daughter were interviewed 10 Feb 2020 and my daughter got visa on 28 Feb 2020 and my wife AP . My daughter 4 years and she can’t travel and live with out her mother . I contact the embassy oversea and they
            say AP but my daughter visa 2 month left to expired . so how to extend my daughter visa .
            Please help me.
            Thank you

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            Betselot,
            You can only do it once the consulate opens. So wait for the consulates to open, she can apply for dropbox. Also, there is current ban on issuance of visas and entry for H4s without visas..so, need to wait till december.

  12. polur

    Hi,

    I came to Guadalajara (Mexico) for stamping. i came to visit a friend who was getting married . My First Stamping from Hyderabad ( Andhra Pradhesh, India) got Expired in 2017 so i planned for my stamping too. i had my finger printing on Feb 28th 2020 and interview on March 4th 2020. I was only asked the following questions:

    1) Where do you work?

    2) what are your duties?

    after that the officer asked if i was given a booklet of immigration i said yes and she said i need to type something and asked me to go through the booklet. after 5 minutes she gave me a white slip and said we have sent you a mail with a questionnaire please fill it and send it and retained the passport.

    The questionnaire contained question related to my addresses for the past 15 years, my phone numbers for the past 5 years, my employers and their addresses and DOBs of my parents.

    i replied back to the email with in 2 hours. The status was refused when i check in the system. later the date got updated but it was still in refused status. on March 18 2020 the date got updated and the status remained the same, but i got a mail stating i have to reappear in person. from March 18 2020 , all the embassies in mexico are closed and the latest appointment i could get is in July.

    I am stuck here in mexico for around 4 months and i have one more month to wait to go for the interview.

    My question is what are the chances of the approval at this stage.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      polur,
      Sorry to hear on your situation. Honestly, I do not know…Visa interviews are always subject to Consular officer discretion.

      1. Genelyn

        Hi
        Kumar

        I just wanna ask regarding my case status I am worried of it because since the lockdown started March and I was already submitted 221(g) with my passport end of January and they have it. Now my concern is my medical has already expired .Do you think they will let me again to re-medical or they give a consideration because of COVID-19 has been suspended routine visa processing..
        thank you

        Genelyn.

  13. NKB

    Hello Folks,

    Does anyone here have instance where case was updated on CEAC after us embassies were closed due to Covid?

    And when they are planning to re-open it?

    Response will be appreciated!

    Thank you

    1. Adamna Chioma

      Hello NKB
      My case F1 category was updated on May 27th and 28th 2020 to refused status (short text). My passport was sent back and the attached letter said that my case was completed and the refusal was really a suspension because of the Immigration ban by President Trump. However when the ban is lifted they would request passport and issue visa.

  14. Gabriel

    Hello All,

    I am a US citizen petitioning for my spouse. My case status was on REFUSED status because when we went to the interview and the consular said they did not have the medical results in their system (they were sent electronically). Consul kept her passport. Three weeks ago the status changed back to READY and has been stuck on that. What does this mean? Thank you in advanced.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Gabriel,
      If they have held your passport, it is good. If ready means, you would be ready to pick up the passport. Call or email them to check the status.

  15. Waleed Bashir

    Hi,

    I am from Pakistan and my fiance visa has been in admin processing for more than a year now. This is the reply I got from 3 weeks ago when i made the inquiry on my visa

    ”Dear Applicant,
    Thank you for writing to our office. Your immigrant visa case has been refused under INA Section 221(g) for administrative processing, an integral part of the visa adjudication and issuance process that can neither be expedited nor waived. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict the amount of time the processing will take, and timing varies based on the individual circumstances of each case. The visa application will be reconsidered when administrative processing is complete.”

    Questions :

    1. Should i wait any longer ? If yes , How can i Expedite this issue apart from Senators ? is there an email for Department of Sate ?
    2. Can i apply for Marriage visa ? If i am in Admin Processing For this ?
    3. How will i get my passport Back ? Since the US embassy has my passport ? How can i abandon the Fiance Visa ?
    4 . Would i be placed in Admin Processing again if i Apply for a marriage visa ?
    5. What is the Difference Betweem the K3 and CR1 visa ? Which should i apply for ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Waleed,
      All they are saying is that you need to wait and they do not have an estimated time. you can try to expedite using Senators, but I am not sure how it would work. There are some attorneys who file writ of mandamus for 221g delays, you can try that route.
      if you want the passport back, you can withdraw the application and get the passport back.
      It is a possibility, they can put in admin processing anytime…it is totally their discretion. I cannot speak for the visa types of K3 and CR1, talk to an attorney.

      1. Soniya Khan

        Assalam alai kum,
        This is soniya khan and my uncle apply vissa for my mother and me. We had our 1st interview 2 years ago but bcz of sme papers issue status was in admin process. This march they called for intrview again and they said evrything is ok they kept our passport. Since aftr the intrview the status was refused nd it said US concular adjucted and refused ur visa etc (big paragraph) now it is update and says (US conclr ofcr refused ur vissa applction plx see letter u recivd at the intrview.) I didnot get any letter. Can any one tell clearly what does this mean? Its so confusing.

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Soniya,
          Sometimes the online status can be misleading. Try calling the national visa center or email the consulate to get clarity. If the really reject, they will return your passports and give you a letter.

        2. লিংকন

          W/Salaaam. Sister,

          I think you are not rejected since they’v got your passport.
          The ban started from April 22 ( or 24th I forgot the exact date ), So if they were suppose to reject your visa , they had plenty of time to send you back the passport, right? 🙂
          Inshallah they will give you visa soon.
          – You can write to local consulate to know about your status. NVC usually gives a theoretical reply and I personally have got 2 different answers from 2 reply from NVC.
          (This is my personal opinion.)
          – You can also try filing a lawsuit depending on the situation. If you see that you are under ban of D. Trump executive order which extended till end December2020, then you must wait till end December and see if the ban is uplift after that. If they uplift the ban and you still are waiting for an uncertain duration and you no longer wants to wait more, then you should find a lawyer ( mostly they work from US ) and file a lawsuit. I heard it works better to reduce time frame. ( again this is my personal opinion)

          I myself is also waiting in the Q for my visa to be approved.
          May HIM help us all to receive what we deserve and what is good for us. InsaAllah .

        3. Mel

          Hi Soniya,

          Same thing happened with my case (CR1). Refused with long AP paragraph for past 6 months changed to Refused with the one sentence this month. Did you find out what this change meant? I hope it is just a word change and not an actual visa denial. Please let us know.

  16. Shravan

    Hi,

    My status has been updated to administrative processing from rufused administrative processing text on may 12th, I had my visa interview on Feb 2020 and I got pink slip. Did anyone faced any changes recently after may 10 server update ??

        1. shravan

          Today my visa status changed to issued from administrative processing. Thanks for the good information provided on this website. Cheers

          1. Nabeel

            Congratulations! I thought all US embassy are closed. Then why I’m seeing people’s status changed.

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            shravan,
            Good to hear. How long was it stuck in the administrative processing status ?

        2. Suganya

          Hi Shravan, Congrats!!!. Could you please elaborate your Case.mine also Chennai consulate.submitted the client letter on Feb first week

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