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Ask the Consul

My case is in administrative processing. What does that mean and how long will it take?

August 22, 2011

The Department of State is committed to facilitating legitimate travel and providing prompt and courteous service.  At the same time, we must ensure that applicants are both qualified for the visa and do not pose a security risk to the United States.  Applicants sometimes require additional screening to determine whether they are eligible for the visa.  The term “administrative processing” refers to various additional checks that must be done before their visas can be issued.

Administrative processing does NOT mean that the U.S. government has identified the applicant as a security risk.  Many factors can trigger these checks.  For security reasons, the consular officer will not be able to provide specific information regarding what additional checks are to be performed.  In some cases, the consular officer may need to request additional information from the visa applicant. 

Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview, but the timing can vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.  The Department of State is continuously working to improve processing and expedite visas and we appreciate your patience.  The best way to ensure your visa will be ready in time for your trip is to apply as early as possible.  Many applicants wait until the last minute to apply for their visas.  In order to ensure that you receive your visa in time for your trip, please apply as soon as possible.  That way, if your case requires administrative processing, it is less likely to interfere with your travel plans.