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214b 221g Admin Processing and the Fraud Prevention Unit

Unfortunately, United States visa applications can be delayed at a US Embassy or Consulate overseas. That being said, understanding the reason for the delay can often be a key factor in getting overcoming the impasse. This article attempts to explain the reasons for delay and possible solutions.

This writer mostly has experience interfacing with the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, thus his experience is limited to that post. With this in mind, it should be noted that other United States Diplomatic and Consular posts may process applications differently. In a sense, each Embassy or Consulate is unique from an administrative standpoint.

A 221(g) denial, 221g is a reference to the relevant section of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, is technically considered a "refusal," by the American State Department. Usually, this type of request is simply issued to fulfill evidentiary requirements of the visa application. The Consular officer generally issues such a refusal if there is not sufficient documentation to render an opinion in the case. In most cases, if the deficiency is remedied, then the visa will be issued.

A 214 (b) denial is a more factually based denial. It is a denial issued in non-immigrant visa cases pursuant US Immigration regulations. Essentially, this is a refusal based upon the officer's belief that the applicant hasn't surmounted the statutory presumption of undisclosed immigrant intent. Essentially, this denial means that the applicant failed to show sufficiently "strong ties" to the country of origin, or another country outside of the USA, which would necessitate the applicant's departure from the United States.

Administrative processing is not a denial in the strict sense of the word. Instead, an application for a US visa is placed in administrative processing if the Consular Officer believes that more investigation is necessary to vet the evidence in the case. Generally, applicants try to avoid administrative processing as it can greatly delay a final decision regarding the visa application. The best way to avoid administrative processing: submit a well documented application at the start.

Finally, the Fraud Prevention Unit is a section of most United States Embassies and Consulates that is tasked with detecting material misrepresentations in visa applications. Most cases are not brought to the attention of the Fraud Prevention Unit, but it is essential in any application to be truthful and honest when presenting documentation or oral assertions to the US Embassy. Lying to the US Embassy can result in criminal sanctions and/or denial of United States Immigration benefits for a long period of time.

In the experience of this author, the staff at the United States Embassy in Thailand is polite, efficient, and hardworking. In most instances, the aforementioned denials are founded upon United States law and in many ways the Consular officers have no choice in issuing such refusals, but these officers do possess a large amount of discretionary authority to make judgments about the facts of an application. Therefore, evidence in the form of documentation is crucial and even though an application might be delayed one should not assume that the application has been denied.

About Author Ben Hart :

Ben Hart is a licensed lawyer from the US and Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd. Contact Integrity Legal at 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, or For more see: y-for-a-thai-fiancee-conducting-due-diligence/ or c-seeks-to-take-hpv-off-of-immigrant-vaccine-requirements/

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Article Added on Monday, December 14, 2009
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