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B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Old Mar 27th 2024, 3:47 am
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Default B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

I'm a UK citizen but ineligible for ESTA because of a criminal record (only one offence). I previously had a B1/B2 visa issued no problem back in 2014, after being denied for an ESTA (I checked "Yes" on the CIMT question on the ESTA as that was what was advised to do).

The visa was issued without any kind of waiver being required or anything like that, and I was told by the consulate officer on the spot I was approved. I've recently been back to renew my visa as it's been 10 years, and the officer told me that my application was "temporarily refused" as it needs further administrative processing. He handed me a written note about the refusal under 221(g) and gave me back my passport and told me I will hear from them.

Is there any common reason why this has happened?

Some further information:
  • I only have one offence and it was committed before my previous visa and fully disclosed, presumably since my visa was issue previously, it's not considered to be a CIMT.
  • I have never overstayed or abused my existing visa.
  • I have not been involved in any criminality since the offence (this was asked in interview).
  • I have strong ties to the US (my wife is a US citizen and we have family there).
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Old Mar 27th 2024, 4:26 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

There is a presumption in the immigration law that one does not qualify for a visa. The State Department has put out an excellent description. Furthermore, each application is made in what us legal types call “de novo.” Past adjudications do not govern future adjudications.

The ConOff simply may have been unsure and wanted to talk to a more senior colleague or otherwise review the matter.
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Old Mar 27th 2024, 5:55 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Originally Posted by processing
I'm a UK citizen but ineligible for ESTA because of a criminal record (only one offence). I previously had a B1/B2 visa issued no problem back in 2014, after being denied for an ESTA (I checked "Yes" on the CIMT question on the ESTA as that was what was advised to do).

The visa was issued without any kind of waiver being required or anything like that, and I was told by the consulate officer on the spot I was approved. I've recently been back to renew my visa as it's been 10 years, and the officer told me that my application was "temporarily refused" as it needs further administrative processing. He handed me a written note about the refusal under 221(g) and gave me back my passport and told me I will hear from them.

Is there any common reason why this has happened?

Some further information:
  • I only have one offence and it was committed before my previous visa and fully disclosed, presumably since my visa was issue previously, it's not considered to be a CIMT.
  • I have never overstayed or abused my existing visa.
  • I have not been involved in any criminality since the offence (this was asked in interview).
  • I have strong ties to the US (my wife is a US citizen and we have family there).
Your “strong ties” can be viewed as a negative at times.
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Old Mar 27th 2024, 6:07 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Originally Posted by processing
I'm a UK citizen but ineligible for ESTA because of a criminal record (only one offence). I previously had a B1/B2 visa issued no problem back in 2014, after being denied for an ESTA (I checked "Yes" on the CIMT question on the ESTA as that was what was advised to do).

The visa was issued without any kind of waiver being required or anything like that, and I was told by the consulate officer on the spot I was approved. I've recently been back to renew my visa as it's been 10 years, and the officer told me that my application was "temporarily refused" as it needs further administrative processing. He handed me a written note about the refusal under 221(g) and gave me back my passport and told me I will hear from them.

Is there any common reason why this has happened? ....
Almost all visas go through the "adminstrative processing" step. It may only be held in that status for a few hours, but it could be longer - days, months, or years. I heard that some stall-out and never leave "administrative processing", but at the moment, you probably have nothing to worry about.

I would make one observation though - having "strong ties to the US" is not a positive when it comes to applying for a visitor's visa, as it means you are at a statistically higher risk of over-staying or even trying to live in the US without the proper visa approval, especially if your connection to the US is through your spouse being a US citizen. As you have already held a B1/B2, and you report having a history of not overstaying, you likely have very little to worry about in this regard, but "not overstaying" is what you should be bragging about, not your "strong ties to the US".
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Old Mar 27th 2024, 6:35 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

I appreciate strong ties can be negative although I have significantly stronger ties to the UK than to the US (employed, own a home here, my wife has gained citizenship here rather than me trying to do so in the US, etc.). The officer was not interested in seeing my proof of ties to the US or ties to the UK.

I guess I had seen some posts around stating that the fact that I was given my passport back is not a good indicator than the administrative processing will be short, but maybe I'm reading too much into that. I assume that if the officer thought I was entirely ineligible, but wanted to allow me entry, then he would have mentioned waiver of ineligibility (which I asked explicitly about and he clarified that it was not this), and if he thought I was ineligible but wanted to refuse my visa outright, he would have just done so.
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Old Apr 16th 2024, 8:44 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Originally Posted by processing
I'm a UK citizen but ineligible for ESTA because of a criminal record (only one offence). I previously had a B1/B2 visa issued no problem back in 2014, after being denied for an ESTA (I checked "Yes" on the CIMT question on the ESTA as that was what was advised to do).

The visa was issued without any kind of waiver being required or anything like that, and I was told by the consulate officer on the spot I was approved. I've recently been back to renew my visa as it's been 10 years, and the officer told me that my application was "temporarily refused" as it needs further administrative processing. He handed me a written note about the refusal under 221(g) and gave me back my passport and told me I will hear from them.

Is there any common reason why this has happened?

Some further information:
  • I only have one offence and it was committed before my previous visa and fully disclosed, presumably since my visa was issue previously, it's not considered to be a CIMT.
  • I have never overstayed or abused my existing visa.
  • I have not been involved in any criminality since the offence (this was asked in interview).
  • I have strong ties to the US (my wife is a US citizen and we have family there).
strangely, my story is similar to yours!

I committed an offence 15 years ago, only thing I’ve ever done wrong and only crime I’ve ever committed. In 2014 I applied for US visa went to London and received a 10 year visa B2 on the spot! Which after reading the posts on this page is extremely unusual!
I applied for my visa renewal last April 2023, interviewed on the 13th September 2023, and same as you given the letter etc with the refusal but recommended for a waiver and I’m waiting for the email to come thru asking for passport.
on your refusal letter what was the refusal reason?
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Old Apr 16th 2024, 9:07 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Originally Posted by Florida88
strangely, my story is similar to yours!

I committed an offence 15 years ago, only thing I’ve ever done wrong and only crime I’ve ever committed. In 2014 I applied for US visa went to London and received a 10 year visa B2 on the spot! Which after reading the posts on this page is extremely unusual!
I applied for my visa renewal last April 2023, interviewed on the 13th September 2023, and same as you given the letter etc with the refusal but recommended for a waiver and I’m waiting for the email to come thru asking for passport.
on your refusal letter what was the refusal reason?
So mine was just "administrative processing", that was the reason. I've actually just sent my passport to the embassy this morning as they requested it so presumably the visa is being issued. If yours was refused pending a waiver of inadmissibility, then my understanding is that the consular officer you got this time thinks your offence was a CIMT, but one they are willing to apply for a waiver for. I think you can be expecting to wait 6 months or more for a waiver.
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Old Apr 16th 2024, 9:15 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Originally Posted by processing
So mine was just "administrative processing", that was the reason. I've actually just sent my passport to the embassy this morning as they requested it so presumably the visa is being issued. If yours was refused pending a waiver of inadmissibility, then my understanding is that the consular officer you got this time thinks your offence was a CIMT, but one they are willing to apply for a waiver for. I think you can be expecting to wait 6 months or more for a waiver.
Ahh glad you got it sorted! Happy for you! yeah it’s a CIMT. My last visa was a 10 year B2 visa which I was offered immediately on the interview day, don’t understand it!

this time I was refused a visa. But the officer said as it was over 15 years ago he will recommend a waiver. So currently waiting for it to come through. I was expecting mid April time but just looking on the USA embassy website and it’s now apparently 9 month wait so could be mid June!
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Old Apr 16th 2024, 9:21 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Originally Posted by Florida88
Ahh glad you got it sorted! Happy for you! yeah it’s a CIMT. My last visa was a 10 year B2 visa which I was offered immediately on the interview day, don’t understand it!

this time I was refused a visa. But the officer said as it was over 15 years ago he will recommend a waiver. So currently waiting for it to come through. I was expecting mid April time but just looking on the USA embassy website and it’s now apparently 9 month wait so could be mid June!
Yeah I find it quite frustrating that previous visas don't apply any precedent so it's essentially down to luck of the draw as to who you get on the day. Like you, I also got a visa on the spot in 2014 but this time was more worrying with the unknown administrative processing delay. Thankfully seems like it was just a few weeks.

Hopefully yours gets sorted too without too much delay or hassle, the timescale on these things really is crazy.

One thing I'm not sure about is if I have to put on future visa applications now that I've been denied a visa. The 221g paperwork says it does constitute a visa denial, but if they're now giving me a visa then is that still true? I don't know.
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Old Apr 18th 2024, 4:28 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

my friend in a very similar position after her interview to renew her visa last july. she's still waiting.....
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Old Apr 20th 2024, 9:52 am
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Default Re: B1/B2 Renewal Administrative Processing

Originally Posted by processing
Yeah I find it quite frustrating that previous visas don't apply any precedent so it's essentially down to luck of the draw as to who you get on the day. Like you, I also got a visa on the spot in 2014 but this time was more worrying with the unknown administrative processing delay. Thankfully seems like it was just a few weeks.

Hopefully yours gets sorted too without too much delay or hassle, the timescale on these things really is crazy.

One thing I'm not sure about is if I have to put on future visa applications now that I've been denied a visa. The 221g paperwork says it does constitute a visa denial, but if they're now giving me a visa then is that still true? I don't know.
On top of my prior notation of de novo applications, the system contains many provisions that nothing is final (other than US citizenship, absent fraud in naturalization). Just today my newsfeed had this article on revocation of previously issued visa. This reminded me of an old case I had handled — Se Jong Noh which engendered two decisions, first in 2000, followed by reconsideration and opposite decision in 2001. The curious thing is that reconsideration was based upon the failure of the court to consider subsequent case law and issues which nobody, not me, not the government, I mean no body had considered or argued.

So, I understand the frustration over prior decisions not being binding, but it is inherent in the system. As for “luck” the minions of the dark forces believe that a prior lucky approval should preclude a future denial.

BTW, the attorney quoted in the article is an old friend who knows his stuff.
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