A various number of factors play a role during the H1-B visa interview, which might lead to a person having his/her visa approved or rejected. During the Interview, the decision is made based on how the questions were answered and the documents provided. If your visa is rejected, you will get a form with a refusal reason. Most of the refusal cases received a 221(g) form.
What is 221(g)?
Refusal under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act means that essential information or documents is missing from an application.Visa approval can sometimes be kept on hold for various reasons, such as administrative processing, requirement of additional documents, medical tests, insufficient validity of passport, etc.
Issue of 221g doesn’t mean that the visa is rejected or that the chances of issuing visa are likely low. But, it means that the visa officer couldn’t take a decision on the existing documentation and requires additional documentation for further review by the Consulate office.
Types of 221 (g):
There are different reasons for refusal under 221(g) section and the visa officer will give a color coded form. U.S. Embassy uses a specific color coding for each form to indicate the type of 221(g) and the form has instructions to be followed and documents necessary to be provided by the applicants for further processing of their visa application.
The following are the color codes and the explanation of what each color means:
Blue: A 221g Blue slip is given when the additional documentation is required. After submitting the required documents, a decision will be taken by the Consulate.
Pink: A 221g Pink slip is handed out when your application needs further administrative processing. The consulate will notify you once the processing is done. This form is most likely issued when the Visa Officer is doubtful about your current employer or work related information. You will be given a reference id and you can track the status online.
Yellow: A 221 g Yellow slip denotes general type of administrative processing. The Consulate looks at all the documentation provided by the candidate and the employer.
White: A 221g White slip denotes requirement for further processing by the USCIS. The Consulate pushes back these kinds of cases to the USCIS and the decision is taken based on the information obtained from the USCIS.
Common Reasons for Issuing 221g:
- Employee Verification: The Visa Officer would want additional documentation to verify your job. This is more likely the case with consulting or client-side jobs.
- Employer Verification: Sometimes, additional documentation from the employer is expected and the candidate is asked for to submit these.
- Missing PIMS: Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) system is a database which is updated with the employee information when a person’s H1-B is approved. This update is done at the KSC (Kentucky Service Center). Sometimes, when a person attends the interview before the PIMS is updated, it is likely that the consulate office would request for additional documentation.
Once a 221(g) form is issued, the documents necessary to be submitted to the VFS (Visa Facilitation Services) either electronically or at the VFS drop box. The 221(g) provides all the necessary instructions to be followed during this process of documents submission.
The processing time of 221g varies from one week to several months.
Once the documents have been submitted, you need to wait to hear back from the U.S. Consulate. It is very difficult to tell how long a person needs to wait. It differs from case to case. You need to make sure all the documents are submitted properly, so that there will be no delay in your processing.
You can track your passport on the VFS website or call VFS customer service. You can also track using your case number on the corresponding Consulate website, where you attend your visa interview.
- This form is more commonly issued for candidates with client-side or contracting jobs. So, make sure all the documentation is genuine. You can get the Check list of h1b documentation at http://h1bwiki.com/h1-b-interview/.
- A new LCA needs to be filed when a candidate changes his location at the client-side. In some cases if the job duties of the employee changes significantly, there would be necessity to file an amended petition.
- It is very important to know your employer as well as the client (if any) details. And, we suggest you to go through the H1-B petition filed by your employer to USCIS before the interview, to see how your duties and responsibilities have been described.
- It would rather be a better idea to have your visa appointment during the time your presence is not highly critical in the project at your company. In case of 221(g) administrative processing, your project then wouldn’t be affected due to extension of your vacation upon necessity.
- Before you would attend the visa interview, you should explain your manager about the visa rules and the possible 221(g) administrative processing issues. You could ask for a possibility about working from home (from India). Make sure you are carrying your laptop along with you and you have a reliable internet connection to work from home and a way to communicate with your employee (Phone, Magic Jack, Vonage, Skype, etc.)
- Go confident and give your best at the Visa Interview.