Visa applicants are often flustered when they don’t receive an immediate decision on their case at the time of the visa interview.
However, it is not the worst case scenario-- it is much better than being refused a visa, for example.
Administrative processing, or being put in “pending” status under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, basically means that at the time of the interview, the Visa Officer is unable to make an immediate decision to approve or deny the case. This could be due to the application missing some key information or paperwork (which the Visa Officer will request at the conclusion of the visa interview), which you will need to submit once you get home, or perhaps the Visa Officer needs additional time to make a decision on the case.
In actuality, administrative processing can mean any number of things, from missing one key document, to the Visa Officer wanting to complete additional research on their own into your case, to the State Department referring your case to the Fraud Prevention Unit because they believe there are red flags in your case. Administrative processing can last just a few days, months, or even years!
There are also certain types of review that the State Department may need to complete through the main Department of State in the United States, depending on what type of visa application you have.
The best way to avoid administrative processing is to make sure you are absolutely prepared for that visa interview. When you do an Argo consultation, an ex-Visa Officer give you a customized strategy based on your own personal situation on how to succeed at your interview. We will also give you tips and insights on what you will need for your interview so you can minimize the possibility of administrative processing. That way your visa won’t be delayed due to lack of preparation, or worse, denied.