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Administrative Processing for Visa Applicants

For the uninitiated, “administrative processing” is state department-communicate for a temporary visa refusal pending in addition investigation of a visa utility. (nine FAM Appendix E, 404). The applicant usually learns of the temporary refusal while, at the belief of the interview, the consular officer problems a written be aware declaring that under phase 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act no visa can be issued until additional administrative processing has been completed.

Administrative processing may additionally contain a request with the aid of the consular officer for a protection Advisory Opinion (SAO) from the branch as to whether or not the applicant poses a threat to the us. before issuing the SAO, the department might also in turn talk over with different government companies, which include regulation enforcement and intelligence companies. there are numerous varieties of SAOs, including:

(1) Condor SAOs, which can be based totally on countrywide security concerns, which includes a subject that the applicant may additionally intend to interact in terrorist hobby;

(2) Mantis SAOs, which are based at the applicant’s suspected get entry to to touchy generation with a capacity navy application and the unlawful exportation of that era;

(three) Donkey and countrywide Crime data middle (NCIC) SAOs, which are primarily based on name fits or “hits” going on in various databases; and

(four) SAOs related to Communist celebration individuals making use of for ok-1 or immigrant visas. Consular officers are warned not to reveal to candidates that a case has been stated the department for an SAO. (nine FAM Appendix E, 404).

An example of the SAO process gone awry:

consistent with a 2017 report of the nation branch’s office of Inspector preferred (OIG), when the U.S. Embassy in Beijing sought SAOs on whether or not people had been ineligible for visas below 8 usaC. 1182(e) due to involvement in forced abortion or sterilizations, the country department “now and again waited several years” earlier than imparting responses. greater than 2 hundred such SAO requests were stuck pending in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and labor. That Bureau, in turn told the OIG that it lacked the assets to finished the SAOs.

aside from SAOs, the term “administrative processing” may also be used in diverse different contexts, such as

(1) whilst the consular post has determined to perform an research to verify records or to check for fraud, on issues consisting of the legitimacy of a marriage, an applicant’s schooling or paintings experience, the authenticity of a wedding or delivery certificate, etc;

(2) after the interview if the consular officer’s decision is chosen for evaluation with the aid of a manager at the consulate; or

(three) after an applicant has withdrawn his or her visa application.

According to the State Department’s website, applicants should wait 60 days for administrative processing to be completed before inquiring further with the Consulate:

a few visa applications require in addition administrative processing, which takes overtime after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer…. maximum administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview…. earlier than making inquiries approximately reputation of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives will need to attend at least 60 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.

all through administrative processing, you could take a look at your case repute on the Consular digital utility middle (CEAC). You reputation will show as some thing like this:

Administrative-Processing

but administrative processing may also take a great deal longer than 60 days. Administrative processing is a black hollow due to the fact the motive for the brief postpone is obscured and the length of that delay is uncertain. Our firm typically follows up to test on the repute of administrative processing after 60 days. We usually first contact the consular submit, then if no well timed reaction is obtained, we recall the following steps:

  1. escalate the inquiry to a supervisor within the consular post
  2. contact the Department’s Visa Office
  3. follow up through the committee that provides liaison between the Department and the American Immigration Lawyers Association
  4. if the case involves a student, scholar, or professional in the sciences applying for a nonimmigrant visa to engage in science-related activities in the U.S., ask the International Visitors Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to file an inquiry with the State Department
  5. file a Congressional inquiry through a member who is willing to be helpful
  6. file a mandamus action in federal court.

One tip is that if you are renewing your visa the existing unexpired visa typically will now not be cancelled and may be used to use for admission to the U.S., regardless of whether it’s far inside the same or distinct visa category. (AILA DOS Liaison Q&As, Q13 (Oct. 19, 2017, AILA doc. No. 17102030). So consider applying early rather than after your visa expires so that you can go back to the U.S. in your current visa if there are unanticipated delays in visa processing. Of path, you need to qualify for admission by means of CBP under the terms of the existing visa.

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