Why is administrative processing an issue? | How to handle Administrative Processing


In today’s guide, we will learn about something called administrative processing, Why is administrative processing an issue, reasons for administrative processing u.s. visa, how to handle administrative processing and others.

What is administrative processing?

Administrative processing is something that can happen when you apply for a visa. When you apply for a visa, the consular officer that’s reviewing your case and that’s conducting your visa interview can grant your visa, or they can deny the visa if they find that you’re not eligible for the visa, or they can essentially put the case into administrative processing.

Administrative processing is basically when the consular officer determines that there’s some additional information needed to determine your eligibility. Maybe there’s an additional security clearance that’s needed, or maybe they need to assess your case for certain irregularities or what have you.

But basically, additional information is needed to determine that you’re eligible for this immigration benefit. That’s just a general, big picture overview of administrative processing.

Why is administrative processing an issue?

The reason is that there’s no real timeline for precisely how long your case can be an administrative processing for. Sometimes administrative processing can last for a few days. Sometimes it can last for a few weeks, even a few months, or even several months.

As you can imagine, if somebody’s applying for a visa, they do not want to be in a position where after they’ve gotten all the way to the visa interview, now their case is being put into this uncertain time frame of administrative processing where it could take anywhere from an additional few days or potentially several months. This uncertainty can be very challenging for these applicants for immigration benefits. That’s why it’s such an issue.

Who is at risk of having their case placed into administrative processing?

For one, citizens of certain countries are more prone to having their cases placed into administrative processing. For example, in certain cases, the applicant for the immigration benefits is from a Middle Eastern country, there may be an increased likelihood of that case going into administrative processing.

Similarly, if somebody has potentially served in the military of one of those countries, there is likelihood of that case potentially getting placed into administrative processing.

Another interesting scenario where someone may get their case placed into administrative processing is if they share a name with somebody else who may have some criminal issues or other issues associated with that name.

Another situation where a case may have an increased likelihood of being placed into administrative processing is if the applicant for immigration benefits either has their own criminal background or has had immigration issues in the past, perhaps a prior overstay, or these things.

Those that we just went over can potentially increase the risk of a case getting placed into administrative processing.

What happens when a case gets placed in administrative processing?

The case may be held for some additional review, some additional security clearances, or certain things like that. The consular officer may send over a notice requesting additional documentation from you. This does not always happen, but you may receive a request.


If the case gets placed into administrative processing, you may receive a request for certain additional documents. For example, a case where the case was placed into administrative processing and the visa applicant received a request for the documentation pertaining to their prior military service.

Maybe someone that served in the military in a Middle Eastern country, and they received a request from the consulate for additional documentation showing the dates of their service in the military, and some additional documentation as well.

In some cases, you may receive a request for additional documentation, and in other cases, you may have no need or request from you to send any additional documentation and you just have to wait. What can you do if you’re in that situation?

Again, the case is in administrative processing and it’s been pending for a period of time. One thing that you can do is to just periodically follow up with the consulate and see if there’s any updates with the case.

You do not want to overly follow up and you do not want to annoy the consulate, but periodic follow-ups can be something to just touch base with the consulate to see where the case is at.

In summary

We have learned about what administrative processing is, why administrative processing can be an issue, what happens when a case gets put in administrative processing, why someone may be at higher risk of having their case being placed into administrative processing, and ultimately, what can be done once a case has been placed into administrative processing.

Source: Ashoori Law

I hope you liked this guide and I believe you got some good value.

DISCLAIMER: This guide and content is designed for general information only and is NOT legal advice. The information presented in this guide should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

The information presented in this guide does not create an attorney-client relationship nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should seek the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any legal action.

As such, I disclaim all liability with respect to actions taken based on any information presented. Nothing herein is intended to nor constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Every case is different and outcomes will vary depending on the unique facts and legal issues of your case. Thank you.