What can I do if my visa application is stuck in administrative processing?
Once a visa application is stuck in administrative processing, there is not much that can be done until the Department of State has completed its security checks and investigations. Even congressional assistance is not a clear remedy. Note that applicants or their attorneys can and should make inquiries after an application has been stuck for 60 days from the date of the consular interview.
The best means of dealing with administrative processing are the following:
1. Avoid it. If you are currently in the United States and have the option to change status to your desired visa category, rather than return to your home country to secure a visa for that category, stay in the United States if you can. Administrative processing is associated with visa applications through the Department of State, rather than nonimmigrant or immigrant petitions through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
2. Prepare for it and anticipate it. Knowledge is power, and if you plan for administrative processing, it will likely not pose so great a problem. Apply for your visa early, so that unfortunate delays will not jeopardize your employment start date or vacation.
3. Go around it. Remember that you are not stuck in administrative processing; your visa application is! If you have another means to enter the United States, you may be able to use it. Later, you can travel back to your home country to receive your visa once administrative processing has ended and the visa is available. You may be able to enter through the visa waiver program, a different valid visa (such as a 10 year tourist visa for example), advance parole through a pending green card process, etc.
A successful American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) trip to India in November 2013 yielded some new information about administrative processing in New Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai. Our own Greg Siskind was among the participants in discussions with the U.S. Embassy in India.
In New Delhi, AILA was told to contact the embassy if a case has been held for administrative processing for more than 30 days. In Chennai, AILA was advised to send an inquiry if a case has been held for more than 3 months. Finally, in Mumbai, AILA was told that a 90 day administrative processing hold is normal. The consulate routinely runs reports to check on the status of these cases. If a case is held for administrative processing, and the applicant needs to return to the U.S. urgently, the Mumbai consulate advises that the applicant communicate this to the consulate, and an expedite will be considered. Requests to expedite will only be granted if it is in the interest of the U.S. government or there are humanitarian grounds. The consulate specifically noted that physicians in designated shortage areas will be considered for expedited requests on a case-by-case basis.
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2014 11:56:18 GMT -6 by adamcohen