Administrative Processing (AP) in U.S. immigration is when an immigration case goes through additional screening, vetting and review by the USCIS, Homeland Security, or U.S. Embassy. This generally occurs when an officer determines they don't have enough information to adjudicate the case, or a red flag or other concern revealed itself during the review process. Some cases that enter administrative processing may receive a 221(g) or a request for evidence, also known as an RFE.
Often times, if a case enters AP after the embassy interview, it is not there for long. In fact, some of these can be resolved within a day or so. But as of 2018, cases are spending more and significant time in administrative processing. During this period, the government will be taking a closer look at things like criminal history, visa history and other potential security risks.
How Long Does Administrative Processing Take?
This varies widely depending on the type of issue you are facing, and your case. Simple AP cases can be completed in a few days, while some unfortunate cases can sit on the shelf for literally years. Most of the cases we see take around 60 days or less.
What Should I Do if My Case is in Administrative Processing?
- Comply with any requests for evidence as quickly and accurately as possible
- Stay on top of your case (don't let it go dormant)
- After 60 days passes, aggressively call the agency for an update until you get a satisfactory one
- Hurry up and wait