Thursday, March 14, 2013

221(g) Administrative Processing and the Actual Visa Stamping


On the day of your H-1B Visa Interview at US Consulate or Embassy, when Visa Officer finished asking questions, he/she will conclude the interview by letting you know whether you succeed or failed in the interview. If you succeed, there are two cases:

  1. The Visa Officer hand over to you a 221(g) Administrative Processing Form and say that Administrative Processing is required in your case.

    It is possible that the Visa Officer will ask for some more documents related to you or your Sponsor, which you and/or your Sponsor has not submitted throughout the process. Not that these documents were required initially, but they might need them in your case for further clarification.

    It is also possible that they don’t ask for any further documents and your application still have to go through the Administrative Process.

    The actual amount of wait might also vary from case to case. Generally they give you the time of 6 to eight weeks, but in actual it can be less or more than.

    “After the interview, many visa applications necessitate further routine but required administrative processing, an integral part of the visa adjudication process that can be neither waived nor expedited. Individuals whose applications require this processing will be informed of that fact at the conclusion of their interview. Most administrative processing is completed within 60 to 90 days of the visa interview, but some cases do take longer. We cannot predict how long this processing will take for any particular case.”

    Source -


  2. The Visa Office will inform you about an estimated time frame when your H-1B Visa will be stamped on your Passport.

UPDATE – You can now Check your Visa Application Status Online, click to read more

In either cases, once your H-1B Visa is stamped on your Passport and your Passport is ready to be collected from American Express, you will receive a call from American Express representative to come and pick it up.


  1. Can you email them asking how long it will take so you can make plans while waiting? will they say anything?

    1. You have to check this with your Embassy/Consulate (through their website maybe?). As for US Consulate in Karachi and US Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan - they require visa applicants to wait for at least 60 days and if no response received, they can email to them asking about further updates.