Consular Processing and Administrative Processing
In many instances an immigrant or non-immigrant visa petition is put in “administrative processing” instead of the visa being denied or approved. What is administrative processing? It is basically the consulate indicating that they need more documentation, more time to make a decision and or do more security checks. Generally a decision should be made within 60 days of the case being in administrative processing. However, often this is not the case and cases can languish for weeks, months, and years.
If you are in consular processing and your case is now in administrative processing, what can you do?
- Do not panic! Be proactive.
- Ensure that you had provided the requested documentation to the consulate.
- Inquire with the consulate whether more documentation or clarification is needed to get a favorable adjudication.
- If after 60 days, you did not have a response, consider contacting your local congresswoman to see if they can make an inquiry on your behalf.
- Consider the talking to an immigration attorney to see if they can help with resolution of the matter.
How can an immigration attorney’s involvement help with your case stuck in administrative processing?
- The attorney can contact your congressional liaison and provide a detailed explanation with supporting documents to move the case along and out of administrative processing.
- The attorney can advocate on your behalf directly with the consulate.
- The attorney can advocate on your behalf via legal net and the USCIS’s ombudsman’s office.
- The attorney can discuss your options (such a litigation) if the case has been pending for a long time despite inquiries and providing the requisite documentation to the consulate.
- They key here is to have an immigration attorney who is persuasive and relentless.