Several of our clients who attended recent Visa Stamping for H1B and L1A visas were pulled for Administrative Processing. Our recent case delays are coming from India (Delhi), Mexico (Tijuana), and Russia (Moscow).
The clients were told the same story in all cases:” Your case was selected for Administrative Processing, go home and we will contact you shortly”. In a recent American Immigration Lawyers Association meeting with the State Department, the issue was raised and we have some information to update.
Question: When questioned on reasons for delays in visa issuance, 62.2% of our members responding to our survey answered that it was due to administrative processing. We understand that there is no timeline for these cases to be processed, but at our last meeting, it was discovered that some cases had been resolved, and the applicant or attorney was not notified. Have there been steps taken to ensure applicants and/or their attorneys are indeed notified when their cases have cleared? Some posts, including Chennai, have real time case status reports available on their website. Are there any plans to institute such case status reports at other posts or worldwide?
Department of State Answer:
A small percentage of visa applications require further administrative processing,
which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 30 days of the visa interview, and we are working diligently to reduce processing times. Visa applicants are encouraged to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Several posts have opted to include an online case status tracker; however these websites do require significant resources to update. They are optional for posts, and the Visa Office has no plans at this time to require that posts create and maintain such sites. Applicants or their representatives can contact the processing post for cases status updates when there is not an online option. Before making inquiries about the status of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives should wait at least 60 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.
Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes
additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply – and are alerted to the possibility on our websites. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. There is no specific recourse available for cases pending more than 90 days.
There you have it, unless you wait 60 days, expect no answers from the Posts. I can report that some European posts do respond in a matter of a week or so. But otherwise it is 60 days or nothing.