Administrative Processing Frequently Asked Questions


Administrative Processing due to a request for more information (DS-5535)

My wife’s interview for immigration visa was on 27th of July and at the end of the interview the consulate officer asked her to email additional information including (15 years history, social media handles, previous addresses …. etc). since then, she has been placed on administrative processing. any idea about how long this kinda process take?


Form DS-5535 is a new procedure that was implemented by Department of State so they can gather additional information for background checks.

Most of this information is already collected on the visa application that you submitted but for a shorter period of time (5 years instead of 15). The request for names of sibling and social media accounts is new and will be used to see online criminal behavior or security risks.

It should state a time range for processing on the actual letter. Can you check to see? I’ve heard it can take 10-30 days after you submit the form but administrative processing can take over 60 days depending on how quickly they review the documents.


My husband and I have been waiting years in administrative processing, what can we do?

My name is Nada I’m originally from Iraq I’m a US citizen now I applied for CR1 visa for my husband in 2012 and he’s still under administrative processing. Do you think they will deny him after this several years? I’m so tired because I keep having to visit him in Iraq and it’s getting expensive.


First of all, I’m really sorry you have been waiting this long. Years? That’s ridiculous! I would recommend either finding a really good immigration attorney or sending a letter to your local congressman to put some pressure on the Iraqi embassy. I have a feeling that the delays are because of where he is from and possibility extensive background checks that are done on people who are applying from the Middle East.

But the fact that you said it has been years really has me concerned that they aren’t doing anything with your case. The entire processing normally takes a year to complete and some of the most difficult cases I’ve seen took 2 years at most. It’s time to find a good lawyer to fight this excessive delay.

Most consulates/embassies take 60 days to complete administrative processing so you need to follow up.


I was placed on administrative processing, what can I do?

Good morning, my fiance is from Lesotho. Our visa packet was sent to the NVC almost 3 weeks ago and has been stuck in AP. Do you know what this means? Is there anything that can be done? Any suggestions or advice you can give would e greatly appreciated.


Administrative processing just means that they need additional time to review your case, run background checks etc. Normally they complete it within 60 days but if it takes longer than this, contact the consulate to get an update.

If you don’t hear anything back, you can ask for a supervisor at the consulate or contact your local congressperson make an inquiry on your behalf. If you’d like more information about AP, check out this post:


Dear it’s Mustafa living in South Africa and I’m national from Pakistan. I got pink slip at my CR1 interview time. They asked only one question and he was writing writing on computer and then kept my passport and said soon we will contact you . Please advise me what I have to do and what does mean from all yes or no visa.

It means that they need more time to make a decision on your case. Since they kept your passport, it’s a good sign that your visa will be approved soon. Sometimes the country that you are from can impact how long it takes for them to complete the process.

Were you told that you are in administrative processing? If so this normally takes up to 60 days to resolve.


Hi I have a question. I went for my interview and was issued a 221g. I was not on the PIMS system & also the immigration officer was tough, I was nervous but answered all questions to the best of my ability.

My petitioner never received a receipt from the USCIS, stating my petition had been returned from the consulate. I also do not think my petitioner originally submitted two copies of the petition to USCIS, as I have discovered is recommended (still waiting on them to confirm this). Ultimately my question is do you always receive a receipt from USCIS when the DOS return your petition?


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